Supplementary Memorandum submitted by
the Genetic Testing and Insurance Committee (GAIC)
Responses to Questions from the Clerk of
1. What resources does GAIC currently have
at its disposal in terms of finance, staff and facilities?
The Committee is served by a Secretariat based
in the Department of Health, supported by contributions from devolved
GAIC's total budget for 2000-01 is £84,349
of which £39,740 is devoted to servicing the Committee (members'
expenses, catering), printing, reviewers' fees and other sundry
The Secretariat is provided from within the
Genetic Science Policy Unit. The staff budget allocated to GAIC
is approximately £44,600 which corresponds to:
0.4 x 1 IP4 (Grade 7 equivalent)
0.7 x IP3 (SEO equivalent)
0.25 of an IP1 (AO equivalent)
2. Do you feel that these resources are sufficient
to effectively carry out the role assigned to you by government?
If they are not, what further resources would your require?
The resources allocated to GAIC have proved
to so far to be sufficient to allow the Committee to function
To date, GAIC has completed its review of the
use of tests for Huntington's Disease in life insurance risk assessment.
The Committee is expected to consider further Huntington's Disease
application for other forms of insurance as well as applications
from insurers for approval of tests covering two further conditions,
(Hereditary Breast/Ovarian Cancer & Early Onset Alzheimer's
Disease) by the end of 2001. It is part of GAIC's terms of reference
to report to Health, Treasury and Department of Trade and Industry
Ministers, not only on proposals received by GAIC from insurance
providers but also the subsequent level of compliance by the industry
with the recommendations of GAIC. In fulfilling this remit, should
the work-load of the GAIC increase significantly, it is not clear
whether current resources (in terms of support staff and funding)
would be adequate to meet requirements. There may also be merit
in extending the current membership of the committee but this
would again be difficult with the currently available resources.
There have been to date problems procuring independent
expert actuarial review for applications to GAIC. These are currently
being provided by actuaries nominated by the Faculty and Institute
of Actuaries. We are, however, aware that should the individuals
concerned ask for their normal rate for the task this would greatly
exceed the fee levels normally paid for committee members and
clinical reviewers (£134 per day) and would not be achievable
within GAIC's existing budget.