LETTER FROM MR MIKE KEOHANE, HM TREASURY
The Committee has asked to see those non-confidential
responses received by the Treasury to its quinquennial review
of National Savings and to the Debt Management Office (DMO) exercise
on the secondary market for gilts.
The Treasury has received a number of representations
about the ongoing review of National Savings, from a variety of
sources. These responded to letters sent to a wide range of bodies
who have an interest in National Savings informing them of the
review, and also inviting them to feed in their comments on the
Agency should they so wish, rather than to a formal consultation
exercise. The DMO consultation is rather different in character,
being a more technical exercise. Nonetheless it raises similar
points of principle.
In both cases respondents have addressed their
comments to the Treasury or its agency the DMO, and in doing so
may not have had an eye on disclosure to third parties. The issues
addressed are in some cases commercially or market sensitive.
We welcome the Committee's undertaking not to
publish such material, and recognise that their request is only
in respect of material that is not confidential. However, while
only some respondents have specifically asked that confidentiality
be maintained, it would not be right for us to assume that the
rest would be content with disclosure. The judgement on whether
information should be disclosed to third parties must rest with
I should also emphasise that in neither case
has any decision been made by the Government. Indeed in National
Savings' case no proposals have been made as the review is still
in progress. Nonetheless we recognise the Committee's interest
in these matters. We are therefore ready to consider the Committee's
request in due course, once the two exercises have progressed
to a set of firm policy proposals.
After consulting respondents, the DMO has, as
requested, now provided to the Committee responses to its consultation
on Gilt Edged Switch Auctions.
14 April 2000