SUPPLEMENTARY MEMORANDUM BY ENTRUST (DSW
Having received and read their submissions to
the Committee, I felt it important to place on record ENTRUST's
response to the points made by The Guardian in the published
memoranda, so that the Committee is able to take an informed and
balanced view of the allegations made.
I therefore, attach two documents:
(i) an introductory note about ENTRUST and
the Landfill Tax Credit Scheme which may help clarify some general
misunderstandings about the role of the regulator and the status
of the scheme;
(ii) a briefing note about ENTRUST's findings
following our investigation to The Guardian's specific
As you may already be aware ENTRUST, as regulator
of the scheme, made a conscious decision not to publicly debate
the rights and wrongs of the dossier produced by The Guardian.
However, having investigated all those allegations which fell
within the purview of ENTRUST, it was found that ALL projects
were compliant with the Landfill Tax Regulations 1996. This means
the allegations were unfounded. We have not investigated areas
mentioned in the dossier which were outside ENTRUST's responsibility
We have continually briefed and up-dated Ministers
on the situation, through HM Customs & Excise.
Many of the allegations made by The Guardian
demonstrated a basic misunderstanding and misinterpretation of:
the fundamentals of the scheme;
how it was designed to operate;
the job of ENTRUST as regulator.
ENTRUST was not approached by The Guardian
for any information or advice during their year long investigations.
The first call we received from The Guardian was the day
before their articles were published. We were never asked any
specific questions about the landfill tax credit scheme projects
mentioned in their dossier prior to its publication.
There are other issues mentioned in The Guardian
memoranda which I feel are more relevant answered when we give
our oral evidence on 28 November 2000.
Dr Richard Sills
It is an extremely successful scheme, a success
far beyond its originators aspirations. First year contributions
of £67 million were more than the receipts we predicted for
the first three years. Since the scheme starting in October 1996
environmental bodies have received more than £300 million
in contributions. There is great demand for the funding and it
is estimated that the scheme is over-subscribed by a factor of
The diversity of the scheme is matched only
by the variety of partnerships that have been built-up between
landfill operators, environmental bodies, local communities and
The successful promotion, provision of information
and availability of one-to-one help from ENTRUST, to those involved
with the scheme has been a major catalyst in its success. For
More than 500 presentations, seminars and other
information-provision events have been held or attended since
the start of the Scheme. These include:
Ten presentations of the Scheme's
Issue management eventsthree
Object C conferences to enhance value-for-money in sustainable
waste management projects; and the setting up or facilitation
of six regional fora, with support given to many county events.
As the national regulator, ENTRUST has four
offices around the United Kingdom with a team of 25 full-time
staff, dealing with all aspects of the ENTRUST duties as required
under the terms of approval set by HM Customs and Excise.
ENTRUST as regulator of the scheme has specific
duties, which include:
Enrolment of environmental bodies;
scrutiny of projects for compliance
with the "approved objects";
audit and monitoring of EBs' expenditure
on the "approved objects";
revocation of non-compliant EBs (seven
have been compulsorily revoked);
promotion of the Credit Scheme;
making recommendations to HM Customs
& Excise for beneficial changes to the scheme;
interpreting the Regulations.
ENTRUST does not receive landfill operator contributions
or allocate or direct contributions to projects. We have no power
to alter the regulations, or to judge the quality of projects,
value for money or the environmental bodies efficiency.
ENTRUST has grown into a professional and competent
organisation, able to regulate and administer the regulations
and is flexible enough to adapt to changes to the regulations.