asked the Secretary of State for Energy if he has any plans for an outside scrutiny of the efficiency of the British Gas Corporation.
My hon. Friend the Financial Secretary to the Treasury announced on 30 November 1981—[Vol. 14, c. 48–49]—that the efficiency of each nationalised industry is in future to be subject to outside scrutiny at least once every four years. Such scrutinies are to be carried out either by the Monopolies and Mergers Commission or by management consultants.In the case of British Gas, I have agreed with the corporation that my Department and the corporation will jointly commission an independent study by management consultants of the corporation's efficiency.The consultants who will be carrying out the study have yet to be selected, but it is my intention that they should begin their examination this year.