Examination of Witnesses (Questions 180
THURSDAY 13 JUNE 2002
180. Could I just ask, possibly through you,
Chair, Governor, we had the discussion early on about the relationship
between the Minutes of the MPC meetings, the comments made at
the press conference and the Inflation Report. Roger Bootle described
this as a somewhat under explored area as well when we had our
discussion with him earlier this week. I wonder whether, through
the Chair, I could ask if it would be possible to get a note from
the Bank just explaining the relationship between these three
documents in terms of how they are drawn up and what the approval
mechanism is within the MPC?
(Sir Edward George) I will be very happy to provide
such a note. It is a fairly short note, Chairman.
Mr Cousins: No Tower of London for you
181. Could I finish with a structural question,
Governor. The MPC remit provides for its performance and procedures
to be viewed by the Court on an ongoing basis with particular
regard to ensuring the Bank is collecting proper regional and
sectoral information. How does the Court go about this business,
with what frequency? What comments has the Court made to the MPC
most recently on the performance and procedure?
(Sir Edward George) This is reported on in the Bank's
Annual Report and perhaps we could draw your attention to the
relevant passages in the Annual Report. David, you are much closer
to that than I am. There is a statement by the non executive members
of Court to the effect of what they have been doing, is that right?
(Mr Clementi) There is. Under the Act they are required
to look at the manner in which we go about our task. It is a separate
non executive report in the Annual Report.
182. I see it on page 33. The frequency therefore
is once a year in the Annual Report, nothing more than that?
(Mr Clementi) I think that would mislead you. Regularly
at monthly intervals, because the Court meets every month, they
will be exploring one individual aspect or another. They look
carefully, for example, at our recruitment policies in the monetary
policy area. They have been looking at our relationships with
the agents. They regularly go out and visit agencies themselves.
The report is, yes, annually but their work is on a fairly continual
183. We would like maybe a better feel, that
is what I am getting at, maybe more frequent contact ourselves
would be helpful. Thank you very much. Can I thank you for your
appearance this morning. Mr Clementi, I realise that your term
of appointment is up on 31 August. Now, I make no judgment whether
you will be here next time or not, but if you are not here can
I thank you very much for the assistance you have brought to the
Committee in the past and wish you every success in the future,
if indeed you are going to have another future after 31 August.
I think that is pretty diplomatic. Can I thank Mervyn King in
particular because I know you were under the weather this morning,
you have had flu, but you did respond very vigorously to some
of the questions and I thank you for that as well. One comment
was made that the central banks are paid to worry, well if that
is the case I think you all have put on a very, very brave face
this morning. Thank you very much.
(Sir Edward George) Thank you very much, Chairman.
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