MEMORANDUM BY DR MALCOLM AICKIN (DSW 123)
I have read the transcript of your Entrust's
evidence published on the Internet on 29 December 2000.
I have concerns that in some passages Entrust's
answers may be inadvertently misleading.
1. Q 839.
I am interested to learn "now, contributing
third parties have to report to us when they make a payment to
a landfill operator ..." Again this is not how I read the
regulations. Regulation 32 (2A) and (2B) are clear that this is
the Landfill Operator's responsibility and not that of the contributing
From Entrust's perspective the important aspect
may be that they now get to know the identity of third party contributors
and how they come by this information is less important. However,
the procedures for third party contributions are complex and the
subject of much confusion and I am concerned that such inaccurate
statements by the regulator published by parliament may further
mystify and confuse the situation.
2. Q 868
I am personally troubled by the statement "Malcolm
Aickin's statement about the budget was wrong". There are
two references to the "budget" in the draft that the
Select Committee obtained from the Guardian.
The first is "...Entrust has restricted
the ... financial resources available to us to a greater extent
than we would have liked". The Budget of £75k for 1999-2000
was the result of a horse trade and was less than EBCO thought
was required. That it was overspent, which I regret, is a testament
of a kind to its adequacy. I agree with the content of Neil Carrigan's
answers to Q 848 and Q 851 and acknowledge the support that Entrust
has given EBCO, without it there would be no EBCO. He did not
tell you that for 2000-01 EBCO believed that a budget of £125k
was required. Entrust was not prepared to allow any increase,
other than for inflation, over the budget for 1999-2000. Neil
Carrigan made it very clear to EBCO, as he did not to the enquiry,
that the overspend in 1999-2000 had to be recovered by savings
against the 2000-01 budget.
Neil Carrigan did not tell you EBCO's original
proposal was for 12 elected members (one for each English RDA
area plus Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland) plus a co-opted
Chairman and up to three further co-opted members to ensure balance
across the wide diversity of environmental bodies. Although this
was presented at the 1999 Entrust roadshows in January and February,
in July 1999 Entrust simply refused to entertain EBCO being any
larger than 12 members plus a chairman.
The second statement, was "Whether it is
proper for them collectively to gain more than they are prepared
to provide EBCO ..." Simply on its face the £75k budget
to which EBCO was pressed for 1999-2000 is less than remuneration
in respect of directors for the year ended 1 Aug 99 of £86,427
as reported in Entrust's annual report and accounts. This point
was picked up in Q 815.
3. Q 872
In the answer to Q 870 Lord Cranbrook makes
reference to the Terms of Approval between Entrust and Customs.
In paragraph 4 these require that "There should be at least
one, and no more than three, directors who possess direct experience
and knowledge of each of seven sectors". One of these is
"landfill operators/the waste management industry".
I am disturbed at the attempt to restrict those
with such experience to "three representatives appointed
as a result of proposals coming from the original working group."
Dr Kevin Bond was Chairman of a water company which had, and sold,
a waste disposal subsidiary. The late Roderick Paul, before him,
had a similar background. The Entrust's Chairman's role as the
Chairman of Shanks environmental advisory board is common knowledge.
Many argue that these too have "direct experience and knowledge
of landfill operators/the waste management industry". These
concerns should be addressed and answered, not simply ignored.
In order to balance this bad cheer I am absolutely
delighted by the answer to Q 874. I think that this is an absolutely
tremendous step I congratulate and encourage Entrust for making
it in such a public way.
I hope that these comments will prove useful
to the Inquiry.