HC Deb 17 September 2003 vol 410 c765W
David Wright

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what steps her Department has taken to implement the findings of the Higgs review of the role and effectiveness of non-executive directors. [129916]

Jacqui Smith

The Government warmly welcomed the Higgs Review. The majority of the recommendations of the Review were for changes to the Combined Code. The Code is the responsibility of the Financial Reporting Council, which published a revised Code on 23 July this year. The Government believe that this will provide a clear and robust framework to improve the performance of boards and increase investor confidence.

Following the Higgs Review, my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State asked Professor Laura Tyson, Dean of the London Business School, to consider how a broader range of non-executives might be identified and recruited in order to improve board effectiveness. Laura Tyson's report was published on 19 June. The Department of Trade and Industry s currently engaging with various stakeholders in order to take forward Professor Tyson's recommendations.

The Higgs Review also recommended the development of guidance on directors' and officers' insurance. The Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators are currently developing this.

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