Letter from Chair of the Committee to
Sir John Chadwick, 10 September 2010
As you will know, following the Minister's statement
on 22 July about how he intended to proceed with regard to Equitable
Life, the Ombudsman wrote to Members of Parliament on 26 July
expressing her concern that your proposals would be an "unsafe
and unsound basis on which to proceed".
Our predecessor Committee took a very close interest
in this matter and shared her apprehension about the way in which
the previous Government had responded to her recommendations.
As you are no doubt aware there is also much concern
among Members of Parliament on behalf of those of their constituents
who have been adversely affected by the events surrounding Equitable
It would help Members, in advance of announcement
in the Spending Review next month, if you were to come before
us and explain the approach you took in coming to your views and
the reasons for it. We also need to you to set out in exact terms
the specifics of your disagreements with the Parliamentary Ombudsman.
It would be helpful too if, in advance of that
session you could briefly set this out in writing. In particular
the Committee would be interested to hear your views about her
concern that you have misinterpreted central parts of her conclusions
in her report of July 2008 which form the basis of some of the
central parts of your own report and to what extent you have sought
to resolve that difference with the Ombudsman.
Can you tell us whether you have met Ann Abraham
to discuss your differences?
The Clerk of the Committee will be in touch
with you shortly with a formal invitation for early October.
I am also writing Ann Abraham and the Minister
with a similar invitation.