HL Deb 04 November 2002 vol 640 c67WA
Lord Lester of Herne Hill

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they consider that the Commission for Racial Equality should discharge its statutory functions independently of control by, or influence from, the Home Office. [HL6069]

Lord Filkin:

The Commission for Racial Equality is a non-departmental public body, which receives some £20 million in grant in aid funding.

As with all NDPBs there is a need to balance accountability and independence. Conferring functions on an NDPB involves recognition that a degree of independence of Ministers in carrying out those functions is appropriate. Nevertheless, the responsible Minister is accountable to Parliament for the degree of independence which an NDPB enjoys and ultimately for the overall effectiveness and efficiency with which it carries out its functions.

In the case of the CRE, the policy and resources framework is agreed with the Home Secretary and he is accountable to Parliament for the policies and performance of the CRE, including its use of resources and the policy framework within which it operates.