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Carillion - Statement

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 5:06 pm on 15th January 2018.

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Photo of Lord Young of Cookham Lord Young of Cookham Lord in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip), Lords Spokesperson (Cabinet Office) 5:06 pm, 15th January 2018

That is quite a complicated question. One can make a good argument for having subcontractors—namely, people who specialise in a particular discipline and compete against each other for contracts, rather than one company trying to cover the whole spectrum of services. Many very successful industries are built on a structure of contracts and subcontracts. Noble Lords need look only to the airline industry to see a whole range of contracts: companies lease the aeroplanes and subcontract baggage handling and catering and so on, and, on the whole, it is a satisfactorily run industry. I would not want to get drawn into conclusions about what structure is the right one for a particular industry. On the question of accounting, I should have said that the FCA and the FRC are both conducting their respective inquiries—one, I think, into audit, and the other into statements that were made or not made about the company’s prospects. These particular aspects are being looked at by the relevant authorities.