It is a relief to get to clause 2, which sets out that the board will
“exercise its functions on behalf of the Crown.”
Consequently, the board’s property, rights and liabilities will be those of the Crown. The idea that the new board and its staff should be a Crown body was almost universally accepted and supported in our public consultations and in the Treasury Committee’s recent report. Therefore, the clause should stand part of the Bill.
Will my hon. Friend tell me what will be the copyright and use position of Crown statistics produced by the board, as provided for in clause 6(1)(a)(i), as the board itself will produce statistics? We had an earlier debate about the desirability of dissemination and use.
The copyright status of the statistics produced by the board is likely to be precisely as it is for those produced by the ONS. In a sense, the board will formally become responsible for the functions currently carried out by the ONS.