The Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury (Angela Eagle): Jointly with the Cabinet Office, I am today publishing Limiting Pre-Release Access to Statistics: a Consultation Document, copies of which have been deposited in the Libraries of both Houses. This fulfils the commitment I made to Parliament on 2 July that the Government will consult publicly on the rules and principles for pre-release access to official statistics in their final form.
The consultation document sets out how, as a part of the Governance of Britain programme of constitutional renewal, the Government are proposing to tighten the rules and principles under which pre-release access can be granted.
The Government welcome views on the proposals set out in the consultation document by 3 March 2008. The consultation responses will be used to inform the rules and principles for pre-release access that will then be laid before Parliament by the Minister for the Cabinet Office, for approval under the affirmative procedure.
Angela Maxwell achieved prominence as one of the regions most dynamic entrepreneurs after she powered Fracino, the UKs only manufacturer of espresso and cappuccino coffee machines, from a £400,000 turnover in 1995 into todays £2 million world-class leading brand. Industry awards include a millennium product award for design excellence in 2000 and recognition as an Inner City 100 company in 2001.
Earlier this year, Angela was one of just 200 businesswomen honoured by the Queen at Buckingham Palace, in recognition of her outstanding contribution to UK trade and industry. A former European adviser to UK Trade & Investment and, a finalist in Businesswoman of the Year 2005. Angela recently accepted an invitation to become a regional ambassador for the Womens Enterprise Network.
Acuwomen, her latest enterprise, is the UKs first company to bring an all-women group of entrepreneurs under one roof. Angelas hand-picked team encompasses strategic development, sales and marketing, design, PR, and telemarketing. The companys client-base includes Coors Brewery, Talk Talk and the Probation Service.
Jas has spent his career in a variety of roles in local government and housing associations. Appointed chief executive in 2003 he has successfully helped transform Ashram Housing Association into a national award winning organisation.
He brings knowledge and experience of housing, regeneration and leadership of a large third sector organisation. A strong advocate of social cohesion and innovative in championing the needs of under represented groups. His main areas of economic interest are with improving economic prosperity for all and with embracing the opportunities afforded by globalisation, He is a founder member of the Wolverhampton India Trade Partnership.
He has held a number of non-executive board positions in the charities and public sector. Jas is a lifelong Wolves fan and season ticket holder. He has not undertaken any political activity during the last five years.
Michael Seals has been chairman of the National Fallen Stock Company Ltd since 2003, a DEFRA initiative designed to assist farmers in fulfilling obligations under European Regulation. He has held various posts in the National Farmers Union, and is currently their Food Law spokesman. Previously he was a member of the BBC National Rural Affairs Advisory Committee.
Dolores Byrne has spent over 25 years working in the high technology sector, both in Government and in industry and is currently MD Innovation in QinetiQ, an international defence and technology company.
Dolores graduated in Physics from Queens University Belfast and also holds a MBA from Southampton University. She is a Fellow of the Institute of Engineering and Technology, a Fellow of the Institute of Physics and has served as Vice-president of the Institute of Physics. Dolores was a member of the national WISE Board (Women in Science and Engineering), a member of the board of the MOD Defence Engineering and Science Group and was a school governor for seven years. She is currently a member of the board of AIRTO (Association of Independent Research and Technology Organisations) and of the Science, Engineering and Technology Advisory Council of SEEDA. Dolores has not undertaken any political activity in the last five years.
Keith Riley is managing director, Group Technical Services of Veolia Environmental Services plc and has a wide experience in recycling and waste management, particularly working with local authorities. Notably, he
worked with the Hampshire local authorities as Managing director of Hampshire Waste Services, the private sector partner in Project Integra that put the county and cities of Portsmouth and Southampton at the forefront of good practice in the UK.
Keith holds degrees in engineering from Queen Mary College, University of London, and in social sciences from the Open University. He is a Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, a Member of the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management and is a Chartered Mechanical Engineer. Prior to joining Veolia he worked within both large and small companies, including holding senior positions in some blue-chip engineering companies such as Babcock and Rolls-Royce, where he gained extensive experience working overseas.
Keith is Chairman and Trustee of the Resource Recovery Forum, a Trustee of the Veolia Environmental Trust and Trustee of Hampshire Natural Resources Trust. He also serves as an industrial advisor to several universities on resource and wastes management.
Imtiaz Farookhi joined SEEDAs non-executive board on 14 December 2004. Imtiaz is chief executive of NHBC which provides warranty, risk management and regulatory services to the UK house building and wider construction industry. He has been chief executive at NHBC since 1997. He was born in Washington DC, and was educated at the Universities of Kent and London. He has a track record of improving corporate and operational efficiency and effectiveness.
A former board member of the Environment Agency and of the Learning and Skills Council, Imtiaz has substantial experience in both urban regeneration and post-16 education policy. He has also served on the Further Education Funding Council, on several public private partnerships and as a non-executive on a Training and Enterprise Council and on a Business Link. He is currently Chairman of the National Skills Forum for Construction and the Built Environmental, and a Board Member of CITB - ConstructionSkills.
As NHBCs chief executive, Imtiaz plays a key role in highlighting issues facing UK house building such as skills shortages, sustainable development and customer service. He has developed and extended NHBCs range of services and restructured its operations with sustained growth in turnover and balance sheet strength. He has also instigated a review of NHBCs services and a restructuring of its operations.
Professor Bill Wakeham was appointed to SEEDAs non-executive board on 14 December 2004. A chemical engineer by training, Bill has been vice-chancellor of the University of Southampton since October 2001. He is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, the Institution of Chemical Engineers, the Institution of Electrical Engineers, and the Institute of Physics. He is a chartered engineer and a chartered physicist. Bill joined the University of Southampton from Imperial College, where he was deputy rector from 1997. In a career spanning 30 years at Imperial College he was
appointed pro-rector (research) in 1996, and pro-rector (resources) in 1999. He oversaw the colleges merger with a series of medical schools and stimulated its activities in entrepreneurship.
Bill was Chair of SEEDAs South East Science, Engineering and Technology Advisory Committee (SESETAC) until 1995, and plays a leading role on the board of the Southampton Strategic Partnership. Among other professional activities, he is a non-executive director of COGENT, the sector skills council for chemicals, nuclear, oil and gas, petroleum and polymers; a non-executive director of Meridian TV, and an executive member of the Worldwide Universities Network. He is also a member of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council. Bill has also authored, co-authored or edited seven books and published over 350 papers in the open scientific and engineering literature in the research fields of thermophysical properties of fluids, intermolecular forces and thermodynamics.
He has an honorary degree from the University of Lisbon, was awarded the degree of Doctor of Science by Exeter University, and is a Fellow of Imperial College. In 1997 he was awarded the Touloukian Medal of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. He was Rossini lecturer at the International Conference on Chemical Thermodynamics, Halifax, Nova Scotia, in 2000; and Ared Cezairliyan lecturer at the International Thermal Conductivity conference in 2001.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (Mr. Gareth Thomas): I would like to bring the House up to date on a number of matters connected to the collapse of Farepak:
The Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reforms companies investigation branch conducts investigations into companies where there is concern over the way the companys business has been conducted (usually a suspicion of fraud, misconduct or sharp practice). That is why an investigation was instigated into the collapse of Farepak, within days of the appointment of administrators.
Whilst the companies investigation branch completes 90 per cent. of its investigations within six months, the investigation into Farepak has regrettably taken longer because of the huge number of documents that have had to be analysed, the inter-company relationships and the numerous parties to be interviewed. The investigators (CIB staff with long experience of these types of investigations) have compulsory powersthose facing questions must answer them or face court proceedings. These powers are certainly wide enough to embrace all those who have had dealings with Farepak, including its bankers and advisers. It is anticipated that the investigation will be completed early next year.
As a proportionate and acceptable balance against these compulsory powers, the Companies Act requires that these investigations be accorded a limited disclosure regimeinformation obtained can only be disclosed through legal gateways and the report cannot be directly published.
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