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Public Bodies Reform

Volume 531: debated on Tuesday 12 July 2011

Today I have laid before Parliament a public consultation document; “Consultation on reforms proposed in the Public Bodies Bill—Reforming the public bodies of the Ministry of Justice”.

The consultation details our reform proposals in relation to those Ministry of Justice bodies included in the Public Bodies Bill, which is currently before this House. While clause 10 of the Bill requires consultation of certain specified groups, I have decided that this should be a public consultation to ensure details of my Department’s proposals are available to as many interested parties as possible.

Reducing the number and costs of public bodies is a key Government commitment and the proposals in this consultation build on previous announcements relating to public bodies reform. All Ministry of Justice public bodies have been reviewed over the last year. We have considered whether particular bodies and their associated functions are still needed and assessed our public bodies against agreed criteria for reform. These criteria were intended to increase Government accountability; eliminate duplication of activity and discontinue activities that no longer need to take place.

I am confident that the proposed reforms set out in the consultation document will address these aims and enable the Ministry of Justice to make a significant contribution to the Government’s reform of public bodies.

I will carefully consider the consultation responses before bringing forward any order in relation to any of the Ministry of Justice bodies in the Bill.