HC Deb 17 May 2004 vol 421 cc718-9W
Mr. Gerrard

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will place in the Library a copy of the report of the Business Process Review of Trinity House Lighthouse Service. [167359]

Mr. Jamieson

It is not within the remit of this Department to place a copy of the Report of the Review in the Library of the House, however, it has now been issued to staff and the Trade Unions who have accepted the Report's findings.

Under the provisions of the Merchant Shipping Act 1995, the Secretary of State is required to sanction expenditure by the General Lighthouse Authorities and any proposal to establish new aids to navigation. He has no powers of direction over GLA internal operational matters. The Business Process Review was an internal exercise commissioned by Trinity House Lighthouse Service (THLS) to examine their business processes and update these to take account of best practice and future needs of the lighthouse service.

In terms of granting access to official information, THLS as a non-departmental public body falls under the jurisdiction of the Parliamentary Commissioner for Administration. It therefore has its own commitment under the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information to extend access to official information and to respond to reasonable requests for information except where disclosure would not be in the public interest in accordance with statutory requirements and the exemptions set out in Part II of the Code. There is no commitment to provide access to documents as distinct from information. Nor does the Code require Government Departments to acquire information that they do not possess.