1 Introduction |
1. Each year we conduct an inquiry into one of the
executive agencies and associated public bodies of the Department
for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR). Throughout
this year our focus has been on the challenges facing businesses
and individuals caused by the economic downturn. There has been
an alarming increase in the number of companies entering liquidation
and unprecedented numbers of people are being made bankrupt.
In light of this we decided to review the work of the Insolvency
Service; rarely in its history has there been a greater need for
its functions to be performed with efficiency and effectiveness.
2. We decided to hold an oral evidence session with
the Insolvency Service and in preparation we invited interested
parties to submit written evidence on the way in which it is performing
its duties. We are grateful to all those who took the time to
respond by offering us the benefit of their detailed and thoughtful
comments. We are also grateful to Mr Stephen Speed, Inspector
General and Agency Chief Executive at the Insolvency Service together
with his deputy, Mr Grahame Horne, for giving oral evidence and
responding to our further inquiries.
1 Insolvency statistics for the third and fourth quarters
of 2008, available at http://www.insolvency.gov.uk/otherinformation/statistics/insolv.htm