Previous Section Index Home Page

Butler Review

The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (Mr. Jack Straw): My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister told the House in his statements on 14 July, Official Report, column 143 and 20 July, Official Report, column 195, that the Government fully accept the conclusions of Lord Butler's review of intelligence on weapons of mass destruction. A detailed programme of work is now underway to take forward work dealing with those conclusions.

As part of this work, Sir David Omand, the Security and Intelligence Co-ordinator, has established a committee of senior officials that will meet regularly to oversee the various strands of work under-way to implement the recommendations of the Butler review.

In addition, a dedicated study team led by a senior FCO official is considering Lord Butler's specific recommendations relating to the role, size and shape of the central assessments staff and wider analytical support the intelligence community receives. The study team will present its final report in the new year.

The Intelligence and Security Committee is being kept informed of the progress of this work.


Supplementary Estimates

The Secretary of State for Health (Dr. John Reid): Subject to the necessary supplementary estimate, the Department of Health's element of the departmental expenditure limit (DEL) will be increased by £757,138,000 from £71,541,721,000 to £72,298,859,000 and the administration cost limit will be increased by £7,194,000 from £250,776,000 to £257,970,000. The Food Standards Agency DEL will be increased by £12,803,000 from £139,675,000 to £152,478,000. The overall DEL including the Food Standards Agency will increase by £769,941,000 from £71,681,396,000 to £72,451,337,000. The impact on resource and capital are set out in the following table.
£ million

Department of Health
Resource DEL651.95069,411.276 -242.715 69,168.561
Capital DEL105.188 248.3652,881 .933 3,130.298
Total Department of Health DEL757.13869,659.6412,639.21872,298.859
Depreciation* 0.045 -510.381 -44.477 -554.858
Total Department of Health spending (after adjustment)757.18369,149.2602,594.741 71,744.001
Food Standards Agency
Resources12.803151.831 0151.831
Capital 0 0.647 0 0.647
Total Food Standards Agency DEL12.803152.478 0152.478
Depreciation* 0 -2.004 0 -2.004
Total Food Standards Agency spending (after adjustment)12.803150.4740150.474

15 Nov 2004 : Column 55WS

*Depreciation, which forms part of resource DEL, is excluded from the total DEL since the capital DEL includes capital spending and to include depreciation of those assets would lead to double counting.

The change in the DEL arises from the take up of end year flexibility £826,367,000 (£7,014,000 administration costs) for capital, revenue and administration budgets as set out in table 6 of the Public Expenditure 2003–04 Provisional Outturn White Paper Cm 6293 published in July 2004. A transfer to the Department for Education and Skills of £29,945,000 (£15,000 administration costs) mainly for pay and pension indexation, contributions to the healthy schools programme and a project to widen access to health care professions. A net transfer to the Home Office of £25,537,000 mainly for the substance misuse planning grant, offset by funding for prison healthcare and a contribution to the work of the national oversight group and drug action teams. A net transfer to the Scottish Executive of £2,777,000 for out of area treatments and health publicity material, offset by a contribution for the high security infectious disease unit. A transfer to the National Assembly for Wales of £11,160,000 for out of area treatments and health publicity material. A transfer from the Office of National Statistics of £200,000 (£195,000 administration costs) for a contribution to the data development work of the neighbourhood statistics programme. A transfer to the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister of £10,000 for older people's services.

The administration cost limit has increased by £7,194,000 from £250,776,000 to £257,970,000 as detailed above.

The changes to the Food Standards Agency resource element of the departmental expenditure limit arise from a claim for end year flexibility of £12,803,000 (£9,444,000 programme and £3,359,000 administration costs) to fund on-going FSA activity including a publicity campaign to raise salt awareness with consumers and the transfer of £2,700,000 from the FSA to the Meat Hygiene Service, an executive agency of the FSA.

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) administration cost limit has increased by £3,359,000 from £50,335,000 to £53,694,000 as a result of incorporating administration cost EYF.
15 Nov 2004 : Column 56WS

Medicines Act Advisory Committees

The Minister of State, Department of Health (Ms Rosie Winterton): My noble Friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Warner) made the following written ministerial statement on 11 November 2004.

Following a public consultation earlier this year on proposals to restructure the advisory committees laid down in the Medicines Act 1968, I am pleased to inform the House of the new structure that the Government have decided to put in place. I am also informing the House of proposals to revise the code of practice on interests that will be applied to them.

In summary, the new advisory committee structure will comprise:

The new structure will closely align the advisory bodies established under the Medicines Act with the structures being established in the European medicines regulatory system. This will allow the Department's medicines and healthcare products regulatory agency (MHRA) to continue to play a highly effective role in that system. There will be greater public and patient involvement in the regulatory process that will strengthen the agency's ability to take account of the public interest. As patients become increasingly knowledgeable about healthcare we want to ensure that there is a means to enable them to advise on the safety and efficacy of their medicines.

Today a public consultation is being launched on proposals to revise the code of practice on interests that applies to chairmen and members of the advisory bodies established under the 1968 Medicines Act. This is part of a wider programme of restructuring the advisory bodies that advise Ministers on matters relating to the Act, the exercise of powers under it and otherwise relating to human and veterinary medicines.

These proposals will also provide the means to comply with new EU legislation dealing with the financial and other interests of experts concerned with the authorisation and surveillance of medicinal products. Indeed our proposals go further than the requirements set out in the EU legislation.

The proposals cover the financial and non-financial interests of the chairmen and members of the new commission, the Section 4 Committees established under the Medicines Act (except the British Pharmacopoeia Commission), the sub committees and expert advisory committee and any experts co-opted onto the committees. We are also proposing that chairmen and members must declare interests of immediate family of which they are aware, and any other matter that may affect, or may reasonably be perceived as affecting, their impartiality.
15 Nov 2004 : Column 57WS

A wide range of bodies, representing patients, industry and healthcare professionals is being consulted. I am placing a copy of the consultation document—LX316—in the Library, together with today's press release announcing these new measures. The consultation document can also be obtained from the MHRA website.

The Government are committed to ensuring that the MHRA operates in a transparent and open way. Because medicines form such an essential component of effective healthcare delivery, we are also committed to ensuring that patients and the public have an effective role to play in the regulatory process.

Next Section Index Home Page