Select Committee on Deregulation and Regulatory Reform Fourth Report


  10. The Department has consulted extensively, and over a considerable period of time, on these proposals. This has included the establishment of a 'Project Board', comprising representatives of the main stakeholders, to assist in the development of the proposals; and the holding of a series of seminars, presentations and meetings involving a wide range of those affected. The Project Board and other consultation informed the production of a written consultation document, which was published in May 2001 and sent to a total of 1654 recipients, once again across a broad range of those who would, or might, be affected.[9] The document was also published on various Government websites, and all VA and other maintained schools were informed that it was available. The written consultation on this proposal had itself been preceded by written consultation exercises firstly on the Department's overall capital strategy, and secondly on initial proposals for changes to the VA sector. We are satisfied that the proposals have been the subject of adequate consultation; indeed, we wish to commend the Department for having consulted so thoroughly and in so comprehensive a fashion.

11. The overwhelming majority - 91% - of the 127 respondents were in favour of the changes proposed. A summary of the main points raised in consultation responses, and the Department's response to them, may be found in paras 56-105 of the explanatory memorandum. Changes made to the proposals in the light of consultation are explained in paragraphs 106-116 of the memorandum. None appears to us to have required re-consultation. We are satisfied that the Department has taken adequate account of the responses received.

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