Select Committee on Environmental Audit Minutes of Evidence



Examination of Witnesses (Questions 240-259)

RT HON MICHAEL MEACHER, MR BOB ANDREW AND MR BOB FORD

THURSDAY 4 JULY 2002

Sue Doughty

  240. Can I continue on that. I think on some of the things that we have concerns about there has been considerable recognition about the issues. Before going back to what you are going to do, I was concerned particularly about the comments that were made earlier about this almost endemic approach to this doesn't matter for us" and some of the comments you made about the Office of Government Procurement. We do have a situation where until Greenpeace blew the whistle, and I assume we are right in thinking that was the impetus that has actually made you, Minister, decide to take this by the scruff of the neck and really implement it firmly, is that right?
  (Mr Meacher) I think it is fair to say that the media coverage which was given to this incident and the very fact that it was located right within the heart of Government has undoubtedly given a big impetus to this policy. I wish it had not required that but it has certainly produced a change of tempo, there is no doubt about that.241. So over the last year we have been talking to you on a regular basis about sustainable objectives, all the different forms of reporting of Government departments into your Ministry as the lead Department. Is there a case for auditing some of the other areas where we have expressed concern in the past about impact assessment of all the other things that are really pulling together with you to deliver these sustainable objectives? The whole thing worries me. Are there other things around the corner that may not be fridges but may be televisions, may not be timber but may be something else? Are you actually able to undertake a health check before somebody does it for you?
  (Mr Meacher) I wondered if I was now going to get through a Committee without the word fridges" being mentioned but that is obviously not the case. These are all totally different issues. For reasons I will not go into, because it is outside the brief today, there is waste, electronic and electrical equipment and end of life vehicles, both are very, very different from the fridges issue. I am absolutely clear about what went wrong on the fridges issue and it was not Government policy, but I do not want to dwell on that. We are talking today about illegal logging. What you are asserting is perfectly reasonable, that I need support in terms of ensuring that the policy is integrated across Government. I look to the Environmental Audit Committee as an ally, maybe you are going to savage me as well but I look to you as an ally in achieving the integration of that policy. There is no reason why the EAC could not organise some audit of other Government departments' timber procurement. I hope you will do that. Rather than me defending other Government departments to you, I hope that you might consider asking them directly, partly because no doubt you will get fuller and more accurate answers. I feel that I have the same objective as you. In any large and vast and ramified organisation where you introduce a new dimension of policy, the great problem is getting it accepted by everyone in the manner that was intended. It is never 100 per cent at the start. The more pressure that can be brought to bear by the EAC, the better as a result of the report that you are going to produce. I am sure all of that will be helpful.242. I think this is an interesting line, and I can see why you are saying it, but it worries me slightly that with quality systems generally the audit of a quality system is to look at the processes, check who is monitoring what and look at certain examples of it to see that the monitoring is being done appropriately, and I do worry whether we should be responsible for auditing departments or whether we should be auditing agreed processes that the Green Minister has in place. We do our best with it but, again, we have limited resources. I find it quite challenging to say that we should undertake all these audits. We will do as much as possible but we are really asking you as the top of the tree.
  (Mr Meacher) I was not for one moment suggesting that you would substitute for me or that you would take over my responsibility. I am not trying to slough off my responsibility, absolutely not at all. All that I am saying is that you can perfectly properly ask me, given my intentions which I have made very clear to get this policy integrated and distributed right across Whitehall. We are doing our best. It is working better. The Cabinet Office incident will undoubtedly accelerate that process. You do, I think, have some role. I think we share an objective. It is not just a question of engaging Ministers and criticising Ministers, all of which is your perfect right to do, it is playing a positive role towards the same objective, that is all that I am saying.

  Chairman: There is certainly no institutional resistance to that, I can assure you.

Sue Doughty

  243. Moving forward from this, because I think that was quite an interesting line of discussion but we have done that now, when we are looking at real changes in procurement policy, and we touched on this earlier today and thank you very much for the positive words you were saying, what would be very interesting to know is if purchasers are getting involved in the supply chain at every level? Are people like the OGC and other people going to get the resources that they need because when we have looked to take guidelines from private organisations certainly it has been quite clear that resources are required if you are going to look at that supply chain up and down, you cannot necessarily do it from an office in Whitehall? There is a cost to doing this. Have you got any certainty about how resources will be allocated to deal with this?
  (Mr Meacher) That is, again, one of the issues which I imagine will derive from the ERM Report which we will get in a couple of months' time. We propose to produce an action plan following that ERM Report and to seek the resources and the authority necessary to implement it. I think that is the answer to your question. The Treasury, together with DEFRA, obviously has a lead role. The OGC is responsible for Government procurement, it is the lead department in negotiations with the EU. Treasury also leads on, for example, the Achieving Excellence Initiative which features sustainable construction and on best practice within PFI and PPP and, of course, the Treasury is in the best position to ensure that resources are there to make that policy work. The OGC has also produced a document called Buying Solutions which set up contracts for other Government departments to use, including in regard to furniture, construction timber and paper contracts.[3] So there is an attempt to put other departments in a position to be able to do these things efficiently, to meet the procurement rules which the Treasury is custodian of, but also to meet the wider environmental requirements.

  244. Thank you, Minister. One of the problems we have when we have been looking at OGC is that they have got a cost saving target of a billion pounds by 2002-03. Do we think, in fact, that that will be in conflict with the need for sustainable purchasing? In your view is there going to be a tension here?
  (Mr Meacher) We are, of course, just about to get the results of Spending Review 2002. I hesitate to make any predictions about distribution of expenditure post that. I take the point that you make that there is constant pressure, of course, on Government departments, NDPBs and all the rest, to be more efficient and to cut out unnecessary expenditure, let alone waste. I would not expect that any such savings would cut against this policy, particularly given the salience that it now has.

Joan Walley

  245. Could I just go back to something Mrs Doughty said just now about the role of Greenpeace in all of this. It does seem to me from what you have said that Greenpeace have effectively, if you like, exposed what needed to be done to make the vision that I think your Department had a reality. Would you concur with that? Would you like to perhaps comment on the role of Greenpeace in this?
  (Mr Meacher) I hope that we can take credit for the fact that we set down this policy, I think as a first within the EU or within the Western nations. I think it is good that we did that. I only repeat myself when I say that it was not as rigorously and comprehensively implemented at all levels as it should have been. We under-estimated the complexity of the whole framework of timber procurement. It is true, I acknowledge, that Greenpeace did a service in making clear that the policy was not working. I do not think anyone in Government thanks them for the fact that they chose the Cabinet doors to do it but they did, quite rightly, draw attention to the deficiencies of Government policy and we are now trying positively to respond to that.

246. So now really we can move on and we can move on to the implementation of all of this. What I really wanted to ask was when we had your officials to our previous session of the Committee they told us that the Building Research Establishment Environment Assessment Methodology, which is in fact mandatory for all Government construction projects, is incompatible with the actively seek to buy" from sustainable and legal sources. My question really is why has it taken a long time for that to bed down and from where you sit at the top of the tree in terms of all of this work, do you feel that that contradiction has now been resolved and, if so, how because it is quite clear that we have got to have all aspects of Government policy working together? Have you actually identified how that and other mechanisms may be contrary to what you want to achieve in all this?
  (Mr Meacher) I entirely agree that there should be consistency of policy objectives and of all key organisations such as the BREEAM, British Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Methods for offices which was issued in 1998. That needs to be entirely consistent with Government policy. I do not think there was ever a contradiction. I think there were some areas where it was obviously less consistent than it should be and we are trying to correct that, a revised version will be published in September of this year. I have here the details of the document which in all formations, even in 1998, we would accept and I do not think need change. All softwood timbers and temperate hardwoods are to be from sustainable sources. Tropical hardwoods in timber are generally avoided, they are only to be allowed where the Contractor has provided information on (a) the species and country of origin of each hardwood timber. (b) the name of the concession/plantation within each of the countries of origin which supply these timbers/products, (c) copies of each of the forestry policies pursued by the concession/plantations that must confirm that a sustainable resource policy is followed, (d) relevant shipping documents confirming that the UK supplier has actually obtained these timbers from the given plantation/concession. None of the relevant material should be ordered before confirmation of the acceptability of this documentation etc." That is a pretty clear, precise and, I would say, comprehensive statement of the requirements. That was published in 1998. We are reviewing Government policy now, as we keep on saying. If that needs to be updated, changed, made more consistent, we will produce a revised version that does that. I do not want to give the impression that you have two parts of Government drawing in different directions, the overlap is overwhelming.

247. On that I would just like to ask if you could make sure the implementation of that or when considering whether something further may be necessary, where you have architects and surveyors and building contractors dealing with all aspects of what needs to be purchased in respect of a contract, that you could make sure that timber gets embedded into that whole supply chain because it does not appear to be the case at the moment, it is the last thing that they think about.
  (Mr Meacher) I think your last sentence overstates the position rather but of course I entirely agree with—

248. Perhaps it was not at the Cabinet Office.
  (Mr Meacher) Even over the Cabinet Office, if I can just briefly comment on that because I know it has already had considerable discussion but there are some facts about that which I do think need to be taken into account. The project began before the model timber policy became a binding commitment and the consultant project manager was not under instruction to obtain independent verification of the timber source, that is point one. Secondly, one of the buildings is a Grade 1 listed and the planning consent required new wood to match", that was the word used, the original mahogany.

249. Was it the case that that wood was going to be painted?
  (Mr Meacher) I am not aware of that but I will check on that.[4]

250. It would be very helpful to know.

  251. If I could just move on to the Advisory Committee on Consumer Products and the Environment in the recent report on Action for Greener Products. It did conclude, and I think we explored this with Mr Andrew at our previous hearing, because the Government has not been used to joining up its policies and machinery for environment and procurement, there are disjunctions which are preventing the achievements of results on the ground". What I wanted to do was to ask if you agree with that assessment and ask you how you are tackling that problem? In asking you that I would like to refer you to the further letter which Mr Andrew gave to our Committee when, perhaps through you, Minister, I asked him for his response to those recommendations and whether or not it might be a positive response because I feel that can be a way of really joining up Government across all the departments. Mr Andrew's response, if I can just share it with you, was I hereby confirm that in my view the recommendations reported in Chapter 6 merit further consideration and so my response is positive to that extent." What I want to ask is how can we move on to really being proactive and how can we make this joined up a reality?

(Mr Meacher) Mr Andrew, I am sure, can respond himself. Officials are cautious people, Ministers tend to be a bit more proactive.

252. I understand, that is why I am asking you.

(Mr Meacher) I certainly take the point that you are making. We have got to make real, clear and quantified progress. No doubt you may return to this in a year or two's time and we have got to have a system up and running which really works well and where holes or gaps in the policy are hard to find. That does mean that we have to be much more proactive in ensuring that other Government departments right down the line to the point at which the procurement is made in terms of the training of buyers, the implementation and supervision within each Government department of the progress being made and of any gaps, that is seriously in place. That is what I am committing, through Mr Andrew, he will be the one who does it, that this actually happens. I am never sure if I am supposed to say this about Government committees and I can never understand why they are so secretive, but we are intending to have a discussion about this in Green Ministers, it would be amazing if we were not. The matter is going to be explored and I want to make sure that all my colleagues are very well aware of what I expect of them and of what will happen if these are not delivered because the media and Parliament is now on to this.

253. Can I thank you for that. I am not going to put Mr Andrew on the spot, I appreciate what you just said. In terms of that discussion in the Green Ministers Group, can I refer you in terms of procurement rules to two submissions that we have had from Blue Line Office Furniture and from Kingfisher, from Dr Alan Knight acting in a present capacity, because it seems to me that rather than reinvent the wheel, a lot can be gained from looking at the experience that the private sector, particularly Kingfisher, have had and embedding all of this right the way down the line.

(Mr Meacher) I agree with that. Alan Knight, who I know well, and he has chaired ACCPE and I think does very well, he was previously at B&Q. He has been extremely active and extremely proactive within private business in ensuring that these policies are put in place. I am sure he will be doing the same in Kingfisher. Obviously we want to collaborate precisely with people like him.

254. Finally, just on this issue of procurement and how to get the necessary rules or guidance in place and following on monitoring and so on. Can I just ask you to really share with us what your views are about the role that the Treasury has in all of this. Do you think that it is coming down to a question of the most inexpensive woods and that it is really the Treasury that is calling the tune perhaps rather than your own Department or even the EU or the even the EU or the WTO?

(Mr Meacher) I did in a previous answer refer to the triple aspect of the Treasury role. Obviously they have responsibility for Government procurement, they are involved in a number of timber or sustainable construction projects_I mentioned the Achieving Excellence one_and with the OGC they have set up contracts, buying contracts, for other Government departments to use in order to ensure that their buying units, by the right approach, innovate where necessary and balance the criteria in the proper way. They have tried proactively to do that. Obviously the procurement rules are designed to get value for money, no-one disputes the fact that that should obviously continue, it is a question of how far if you look at the life cycle analysis. Value for money does not always mean buying what in the short term may be the cheapest option. The procurement rules in this case do allow consideration of other criteria such as quality criteria, certification, FSC. They are not excluded. The point that I was making to Mr Thomas was that the procurement rules are not fixed on FSC but must allow a potential supplier an opportunity to say that his products do meet another standard which fully meets the quality criteria technical requirements of FSC. So whether it is FSC or an equivalent standard, they are compatible with the procurement rules. I do not want to give the impression that the Treasury by insisting on value for money prevents sustainability objectives being achieved, that is not the case.

255. Finally, can I take it from that then that when you do have that item on the agenda at the Green Ministers meeting you can define a standard set of criteria against which certification schemes could be assessed when purchasing timber? This seems to me to be at the root of it all.

(Mr Meacher) That is obviously one of the considerations, yes.

256. That will be an agenda item?

(Mr Meacher) I think having already indicated, which is probably beyond what I am supposed to do, that we will even be discussing it, I do not think I should go into details on the agenda. Obviously it is precisely that kind of issue that we would expect to discuss.

Mr Francois

  257. Could we focus for a minute just on exactly where we are today and the current practice in terms of procurement by the Government. What proportion of the Government's demand for timber and timber products is currently sourced from the United Kingdom?
  (Mr Meacher) Mr Andrew is saying about 15 per cent.
  (Mr Andrew) But that is a very crude estimate.258. 15 per cent.
  (Mr Meacher) We had better confirm that.[5]

258. 15 per cent.

(Mr Meacher) We had better confirm that.[6]

(Mr Andrew) From the UK forests?

259. Yes?

(Mr Andrew) Based on the fact that the UK forests produce about 15 per cent of the UK's timber, it is just a straight extrapolation.

 


3   Buying Solutions is in fact an agency within OGC (formerly known as The Buying Agency). It is Buying Solutions that have set up contracts. Back

4   Please see supplementary memorandum.

(Mr Meacher) The third point is that the OGC guidance at the time was to minimise rainforest depletion. We would use rather different and stronger language today but that was what applied then. Fourthly, the specification was based on the RIBA standard which refers to timber from a sustainable yield". Fifthly, at the time the timber trade, through their Forests Forever Campaign, advised against specifying independent certification until there was an international recognition as to what that meant. Sixthly, the architect decided that the term renewable source" was the best compromise and that was the term used. I am not making excuses, I am not trying to wish away what happened, I am saying it is not quite as simple as it looks. The original specification and the range of conditions underlying this particular contract were not those that would be laid down today. It is not the case that there was a wild assumption that we would go off into the wide blue yonder and just buy what on earth we liked, there was a serious attempt to deal with the issues but the contract specification was not as clear and precise as it would be today.251. If I could just move on to the Advisory Committee on Consumer Products and the Environment in the recent report on Action for Greener Products. It did conclude, and I think we explored this with Mr Andrew at our previous hearing, because the Government has not been used to joining up its policies and machinery for environment and procurement, there are disjunctions which are preventing the achievements of results on the ground". What I wanted to do was to ask if you agree with that assessment and ask you how you are tackling that problem? In asking you that I would like to refer you to the further letter which Mr Andrew gave to our Committee when, perhaps through you, Minister, I asked him for his response to those recommendations and whether or not it might be a positive response because I feel that can be a way of really joining up Government across all the departments. Mr Andrew's response, if I can just share it with you, was I hereby confirm that in my view the recommendations reported in Chapter 6 merit further consideration and so my response is positive to that extent." What I want to ask is how can we move on to really being proactive and how can we make this joined up a reality?

(Mr Meacher) Mr Andrew, I am sure, can respond himself. Officials are cautious people, Ministers tend to be a bit more proactive.252. I understand, that is why I am asking you.

(Mr Meacher) I certainly take the point that you are making. We have got to make real, clear and quantified progress. No doubt you may return to this in a year or two's time and we have got to have a system up and running which really works well and where holes or gaps in the policy are hard to find. That does mean that we have to be much more proactive in ensuring that other Government departments right down the line to the point at which the procurement is made in terms of the training of buyers, the implementation and supervision within each Government department of the progress being made and of any gaps, that is seriously in place. That is what I am committing, through Mr Andrew, he will be the one who does it, that this actually happens. I am never sure if I am supposed to say this about Government committees and I can never understand why they are so secretive, but we are intending to have a discussion about this in Green Ministers, it would be amazing if we were not. The matter is going to be explored and I want to make sure that all my colleagues are very well aware of what I expect of them and of what will happen if these are not delivered because the media and Parliament is now on to this.253. Can I thank you for that. I am not going to put Mr Andrew on the spot, I appreciate what you just said. In terms of that discussion in the Green Ministers Group, can I refer you in terms of procurement rules to two submissions that we have had from Blue Line Office Furniture and from Kingfisher, from Dr Alan Knight acting in a present capacity, because it seems to me that rather than reinvent the wheel, a lot can be gained from looking at the experience that the private sector, particularly Kingfisher, have had and embedding all of this right the way down the line.

(Mr Meacher) I agree with that. Alan Knight, who I know well, and he has chaired ACCPE and I think does very well, he was previously at B&Q. He has been extremely active and extremely proactive within private business in ensuring that these policies are put in place. I am sure he will be doing the same in Kingfisher. Obviously we want to collaborate precisely with people like him.254. Finally, just on this issue of procurement and how to get the necessary rules or guidance in place and following on monitoring and so on. Can I just ask you to really share with us what your views are about the role that the Treasury has in all of this. Do you think that it is coming down to a question of the most inexpensive woods and that it is really the Treasury that is calling the tune perhaps rather than your own Department or even the EU or the WTO?

(Mr Meacher) I did in a previous answer refer to the triple aspect of the Treasury role. Obviously they have responsibility for Government procurement, they are involved in a number of timber or sustainable construction projects-I mentioned the Achieving Excellence one-and with the OGC they have set up contracts, buying contracts, for other Government departments to use in order to ensure that their buying units, by the right approach, innovate where necessary and balance the criteria in the proper way. They have tried proactively to do that. Obviously the procurement rules are designed to get value for money, no-one disputes the fact that that should obviously continue, it is a question of how far if you look at the life cycle analysis. Value for money does not always mean buying what in the short term may be the cheapest option. The procurement rules in this case do allow consideration of other criteria such as quality criteria, certification, FSC. They are not excluded. The point that I was making to Mr Thomas was that the procurement rules are not fixed on FSC but must allow a potential supplier an opportunity to say that his products do meet another standard which fully meets the quality criteria technical requirements of FSC. So whether it is FSC or an equivalent standard, they are compatible with the procurement rules. I do not want to give the impression that the Treasury by insisting on value for money prevents sustainability objectives being achieved, that is not the case.255. Finally, can I take it from that then that when you do have that item on the agenda at the Green Ministers meeting you can define a standard set of criteria against which certification schemes could be assessed when purchasing timber? This seems to me to be at the root of it all.

(Mr Meacher) That is obviously one of the considerations, yes.256. That will be an agenda item?

(Mr Meacher) I think having already indicated, which is probably beyond what I am supposed to do, that we will even be discussing it, I do not think I should go into details on the agenda. Obviously it is precisely that kind of issue that we would expect to discuss.

Mr Francois Back

5   Please see supplementary memorandum.

(Mr Andrew) From the UK forests?259. Yes?

(Mr Andrew) Based on the fact that the UK forests produce about 15 per cent of the UK's timber, it is just a straight extrapolation.260. Did you say 15 or 50?

(Mr Andrew) 15 from within the UK.261. In other words, from domestic sources we are meeting less than a fifth?

(Mr Andrew) Possibly, the Government may buy more than 15 per cent. I think we import into the UK 80 to 85 per cent of our timber requirements.

(Mr Meacher) That seems quite consistent.262. Ms Walley has referred already to Dr Alan Knight who I think was former Head of Sustainability, that was his title when he was at B&Q. He pointed out in his evidence supplied to this Committee the scale of the challenge. I think he talked about a remarkable level of commitment and involvement needed to change procurement practices. Given, Minister, you acknowledge already that he is something of a specialist in the area, are revisions to the model contract for procurement, letters to senior officials and Green Ministers enough to combat the cultural resistance to implementing sustainable development through procurement" which is something that your own Department identified in its own memo to this inquiry?

(Mr Meacher) I do think in view of the attention that this has had publicly, Government departments will treat this issue very differently. I think that is the case, certainly. It is the case, also, that we in DEFRA will be demanding more detailed information and will be making it clear that we will be publishing it. That was the purpose of my letter to Green Ministers. As I indicated, when we have the ERM consultancy report in a couple of months' time, we will be looking at resources, we will be looking at targets and we will be looking at timescales. We are tightening this policy quite significantly.263. Right. If we talk about delivery, over a year ago the Prime Minister said that as a Government we will purchase timber only from legal and sustainable sources". How long do you think it will be before as a Government you can say you have achieved that objective only from legal and sustainable sources"? We are in 2002 now, he said it last year, when do you think you will be able to say you have done it?

(Mr Meacher) Well, it is probably the case that we are importing some illegally logged timber. Precisely how much I cannot say because obviously we take very careful account of the export permit before allowing the import of the timber into the UK. We cannot get access to the question of whether it is legally or illegally harvested. That must apply to every other Member State within the EU, so we are not alone in that. I have to say that even if to some degree we did import illegally logged timber, that is not illegal under international law unless there is a CITES contravention. It is undesirable and we are trying to stop it in order to protect sustainable forests but it is not actually illegal, let us be quite clear about that.264. I take the point, Minister, but the reason I asked the question that I did is I do not think anyone is claiming that the Government have acted deliberately illegally in a sense but when the Prime Minister made this commitment he did not say it was an issue of law, I think he was saying it was an issue of environmental performance. Let me give it to you again as a Government we will purchase timber only from legal and sustainable sources". My simple question is when will you be able to say we have achieved that? If you cannot achieve it surely the Prime Minister should not have said it.

(Mr Meacher) I think we can achieve it but the evidence on which we can be absolutely certain in every case, which includes not just the legal exporting of the timber but the legal logging of it in the first place is information data, data capture, which is not entirely in our hands. Therefore, to say to you that in six months I can be absolutely one hundred per cent would be very ill advised when the information on which that is based may not, even by then, be wholly and fully known to us. What the Prime Minister meant was in the light of the information available to us we will only buy from legal and sustainable sources. I do not see what Government can do more. Our policy is to make sure that happens. In the case of the Cabinet doors it did not because there was not independent verification, that is the key point. Over that particular episode, if one goes back to what actually happened, the contract required Balfour Beatty to provide certificates to show that the Sapele-that is West African mahogany-came from a renewable forest. Balfour Beatty were unable to provide such certificates but they claim to have done all they could to trace the timber sources.265. Minister, I appreciate that. I will give you one more go. The Prime Minister has made what appears to be on the face of it pretty clear commitments. You have explained already to the Committee that you have chased other Government departments on this issue and when you asked them to report back on it only about a third of the departments and Government bodies bothered to reply. It would appear there is still a considerable way to go. It is one thing to argue about monitoring these things internationally if the Government cannot even bother to itself.

(Mr Meacher) This was in 2000/01, we are now a year on.266. Okay. You can go further years on if you want. I am just asking you, shall we say, when will it be beyond reasonable doubt that the Government is complying with what the Prime Minister said? That is the last chance I am going to give you.

(Mr Meacher) I am grateful because I think the dialogue has somewhat ceased between us because I have answered your point.267. You have not given me a date.

(Mr Meacher) With great respect, I think I have and I will try briefly to do so again. I am transmitting a message which you do not want to take on board. What I am saying is that we will only buy from sources which are legal and sustainable. We will make every effort, including independent verification which is a crucial gap over the Cabinet episode. We will not let that happen again.268. Understood.

(Mr Meacher) We will take every step we can to ensure the accuracy of the claim that we are buying from legal and sustainable sources but if in six months or 12 months' time you were to find that we had imported an item into this country where the exporting country had not or could not confirm that it had been legally logged, you would say that we had broken our pledge. Now I am saying we cannot at any point be completely protected against that. All that we can be protected against is that we have made all the inquiries that we reasonably can. We have got firm, clear and positive answers on that. They are not just what somebody said but they are independently verified. They need internationally accepted standards. We will do all of that and I would insist that we are doing those from now on.

Mr Thomas Back

6   Please see supplementary memorandum. Back

 
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