Select Committee on Treasury Minutes of Evidence

Letter to the Clerk of the Sub-committee from Gill Eastabrook, Chief Executive, Statistics Commission


  When Sir John Kingman gave evidence to the Treasury Sub-Committee on 16 October, he agreed to provide further evidence after the Statistics Commission had received and considered the promised joint statement on Network Rail from the Comptroller and Auditor General and the National Statistician.

  As you know this statement was issued on 24 October and did not address all the points raised by the Commission in Sir John's letter to Len Cook of 26 July. This was on the agenda for the Commission's 14 November meeting and as promised I am writing to update you following that.

  In the meantime Sir John has discussed this with Len Cook, who explained that he felt it was not appropriate to address the Commission's points because it would put him in the position of defending the decision on how Network Rail was set up. Len Cook has followed up that discussion with his letter of 18 November. The Commission has concluded that, nevertheless, there remains a need for a clear statement of the position and the risks to the taxpayer. Sir John is writing today to Sir Andrew Turnbull to seek his assistance in taking this forward.

  I attach copies of Sir John's letter to Sir Andrew and the associated press release, and of Len Cook's letter of 18 November.

25 November 2002

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