Departmental Public Bodies

Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform written question – answered on 15th July 2008.

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Photo of Austin Mitchell Austin Mitchell Labour, Great Grimsby

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform if he will introduce legislation requiring all regulatory bodies sponsored by his Department to admit the public to their meetings.

Photo of Gareth Thomas Gareth Thomas Parliamentary Under-Secretary(Department for International Development) (Trade Policy) (also Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform), Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform) (Trade and Consumer Affairs) (also Department for International Development), Party Chair, Co-operative Party

The Department has no plans to introduce such legislation.

However, the regulatory bodies generally have statutory duties under specific legislation e.g. Ofcom operates under the Communications Act 2003 and the Competition Commission's procedures are governed by the provisions of the Enterprise Act. They must abide by their statutory duties in the exercise of their functions. These include requirements to consult and to consider representations before taking decisions. The regulatory bodies can be held to account by Parliament, via the Business and Enterprise Committee and the Public Accounts Committee, for the exercise of their statutory duties.

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