Performance of Companies and Government Departments (Reporting) Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 2:10 pm on 30th January 2004.

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Photo of Eric Forth Eric Forth Conservative, Bromley and Chislehurst 2:10 pm, 30th January 2004

The Minister's analysis is very helpful to the House, not only today but when we consider the measures to be introduced in the future. Will he comment on clause 9, which puzzles me and, I suspect, might puzzle the Minister as well? Clause 9(1)(a) states that the director of a company must

"act . . . in good faith" in a way that

"would be most likely to promote the success of the company for the benefit of its members as a whole".

I wonder whether the phrase

"of its members as a whole" has a particular legal meaning. Does it, in other words, mean the shareholders? Or does the term "members" encompass shareholders, employees, directors and anyone else we can think of? Language such as that strikes me as somewhat problematic in the drafting, if not in the philosophy behind the Bill.