Examination of Witnesses (Questions 120
WEDNESDAY 5 DECEMBER 2001
120. Yes, but one would not want to think this
was a static process in which one simply reviewed a body as is,
took every part of it as being unchangeable and merely checked
whether it was working effectively. There has to be some strategic
focus to this which looks at its relationship to other bodies.
You have emphasised partnership a good deal and whether the balance
of power between those partnerships is precisely right, but it
does not sound as if you took that opportunity to do that, did
(Mr Astling) No.
(Miss Bell) We did actually suggest that some of that
might be looked into, and it was not.
121. It was not?
(Miss Bell) Not as far as we know, but we have not
been privy to their findings.
122. So are there any particular problems about
the delayed publication, that maybe you have not been able to
do things that you otherwise would have wanted to do?
(Miss Bell) I think there has been some awkwardness,
yes, because people were very aware that the review was being
carried out, and I think they may well question whether there
is a problem, a problem that probably does not exist, but I think
there is the uncertainty that it has created. It has also meant
that Board members, for example, could not be offered the full
three-year extension, it is only an 18-month extension, so in
a minor way I think it probably has caused us some problems.
123. That may be something we can take up with
the Department. Thank you very much indeed. We have had a fascinating
couple of hours, and I think we have found it a very stimulating
session. I hope you have not found it too gruesome. Thank you
very much indeed for coming before us.
(Mr Astling) Thank you for seeing us. We do have some
documents here which people may feel they would like to look at
Chairman: Thank you very much indeed.