E-mail from the Department for Work and Pensions
to the Inquiry Manager of the Committee
I refer to your letter emails dated 13 February regarding
the above. In answer to your queries:
1. Legal query - The provision referred to is section
14(5) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. Section 14
enables the Commission to direct persons to conduct investigations
and inquiries, and to make reports on them to the Commission,
and subsection (5) enables the Commission to cause such a report,
"or so much of it as the Commission thinks it, to be made
public at such time and in such manner as the Commission thinks
fit." The draft Order would replace this subsection with
a new section 14(5) which has the equivalent effect but confers
the power on the Executive.
2. Commissioners - As I mentioned in my letter dated
12 February all HSC Commissioners are appointed through open competition
in accordance with guidelines set down by the Office of the Commissioner
of Public Appointments. A wide range of bodies are informed of
vacancies when they arise. The type of organisation consulted
at shortlist stage depends on the appointment Listed below are
the current Commissioners, who they represent, who was consulted
on the shortlist and current employment:
- John Spanswick - represents larger employers,
during his appointment the CBI, EEF- the manufacturers' organisation,
the Construction Confederation and the Chemical Industry Association
were consulted. John is Chairman of Bovis Lend Lease.
- John Longworth - represents larger employers,
during his appointment the CBI was consulted. His current employment
is Group Company Secretary of Asda Wal-Mart.
- Judith Donovan - represents small employers,
during her appointment the CBI and the Federation for Small Businesses
were consulted. Judith is self employed.
- Hugh Robertson - represents employees, during
his appointment various trade unions were consulted. Hugh is employed
as a policy officer by the TUC.
- Liz Snape - represents employees, during her
appointment various trade unions were consulted. Liz is Head of
Policy at Unison.
- Danny Carrigan - represents employees, during
his appointment various trade unions were consulted. Danny is
retired; he was previously Assistant General Secretary of Amicus.
He was recently elected Councillor of North Lanarkshire Council.
- Sandy Blair - represents local authorities,
during his appointment the Local Government Association and the
Local Authorities Co-ordinators of Regulatory
Services were consulted. Sandy is now retired
but he was Chief Executive of Newport Unitary Authority.
- Dr Sayeed Khan - represents professional interests,
during his appointment the Institute of Occupational Safety and
Health, Rospa and the Faculty of Occupational Medicine were consulted.
Sayeed is the Chief Medical Adviser of EEF, the manufacturers'
- Robin Dahlberg - represents the wider public
interest. No consultation took place other than taking up his
references. Robin is Vice Chair of the Security Industry Authority,
a Lay Member on the Advisory Panel on Standards for the Planning
Inspectorate and a Board member of the Local Better Regulation
The Legislative Reform Order proposes a governing
board consisting of a Chair and up to eleven other members, this
is an increase in two from the current arrangements. This increase
is to allow flexibility to bring in skills (eg financial and performance
management) which may be weak or lacking on the Board.
I think it might be useful to briefly touch upon
why a model of wholly "non executives" was chosen. In
short this was considered to have an advantage in providing a
clear separation between governing and executive functions as
well as providing clear lines of accountability. The closer relationship
between executive and non-executive with a "mixed" model
was felt could result in reluctance on the part of non-executive
members to provide the robust scrutiny of performance. Local Authorities
felt strongly that a "mixed" Board provides an unequal
relationship with HSE as it would be unhelpful to have a "mixed"
board overseeing Local Authorities health and safety activity.
On balance the "non-executive" model was
considered to deliver the best fit for a merger and is ultimately
achievable. The model works successful elsewhere in the public
sector, the Food Standards Agency and Environment Agency being
If you have any further queries do not hesitate to
14 February 2008