Written Question
Postal Services
26 Oct 2020, 4:56 p.m.

Questioner: Chi Onwurah

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the effect of the installation of automated parcel sorting machines at Royal Mail centres on jobs.

Answer (Paul Scully)

The installation of automated sorting machines is an operational matter for Royal Mail, a private company.


Written Question
Bounce Back Loan Scheme
26 Oct 2020, 4:55 p.m.

Questioner: Chi Onwurah

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what estimate he has made of the number of businesses unable to access the bounce back loan scheme due to their bank not participating in that scheme; and what steps he is taking to help businesses access that scheme.

Answer (Paul Scully)

As of 20th September, 1,260,940 applications have been approved for Bounce Back loans, at a value of £38.02bn.

The Bounce Back Loan Scheme is currently being delivered through 28 accredited lenders, including several non-banks and alternative lenders. If a business is unable to access the scheme because their bank is not a participant or is unable to process their application, they may also consider approaching other Scheme accredited providers.

Several lenders are allowing applications from new customers. The Government have always made clear to lenders that they should open to new customers as soon as it is operationally possible for them to do so.


Written Question
Small Business Grants Fund: Newcastle Upon Tyne
26 Oct 2020, 4:54 p.m.

Questioner: Chi Onwurah

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what discussions he has had with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on the recall of undistributed covid-19 business support grants provided to Newcastle City Council.

Answer (Paul Scully)

The Small Business Grants Fund (SBGF), the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grants Fund (RHLGF) and the Local Authority Discretionary Grants Fund (LADGF) were part of an unprecedented package of support for businesses in recognition of the disruption caused by Covid-19. My department worked with HM Treasury on the design and delivery of these funds.

We have been clear with local authorities throughout that any unspent funds would need to be returned to the Exchequer. The schemes closed on 28th August 2020, with all payments made by 30th Sept. Local authorities have now received guidance on the reconciliation process.


Written Question
Infrastructure: Finance
26 Oct 2020, 2:19 p.m.

Questioner: Alexander Stafford

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will take steps to set up a new green investment bank to finance clean and resilient infrastructure projects throughout the UK.

Answer (Kwasi Kwarteng)

Our (2019) Green Finance Strategy sets out how we intend to support progress towards Net Zero by 2050 by combining a focus on mobilising and accelerating flows of private finance into key clean growth sectors, using public funds to leverage private capital, whilst providing good value for taxpayers.

Infrastructure is central to our economic strategy, and the Government will publish a National Infrastructure Strategy setting out further details on its long-term ambitions in due course.


Written Question
Industry: Carbon Capture and Storage
26 Oct 2020, 2:15 p.m.

Questioner: Alexander Stafford

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to ensure that UK industries reduce the release carbon through extraction techniques.

Answer (Kwasi Kwarteng)

The Government is committed to bringing all greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050. A key part of this is closing all unabated coal-fired power stations in Great Britain by 2024. The reduction of demand for coal in the UK will mean a reduction in domestic mining activity and therefore of the emissions associated with extraction.

The National Policy Statement is clear that planning permission should not be granted for the extraction of coal unless the proposal is environmentally acceptable or the national, local or community benefits outweigh its likely impacts. The Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government leads on planning policy for coal mines in England.


Written Question
Renewable Energy
26 Oct 2020, 2:11 p.m.

Questioner: Alexander Stafford

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to support (a) skills and (b) research and development in (i) low emission oil and gas extraction and (ii) hydrogen production; and what assessment he has made of the potential contribution of those technologies to export industry.

Answer (Kwasi Kwarteng)

We will support the offshore oil and gas sector with a transformational North Sea Transition Deal, which we have committed to deliver within this Parliament. The focus of this deal will be on ensuring the sector can support the energy transition and anchor the supply chain to the UK.

The oil and gas sector has an important part to play in sustaining our energy security of supply, and in the energy transition to support net zero, having many of the essential skills and capabilities in its world class supply chain to support emerging technologies such as carbon capture and storage, hydrogen production, and infrastructure to reduce its production emissions. Developing this capability will help provide significant export opportunities as the world moves towards clean energy.

In 2016, the Oil & Gas Technology Centre was established with £180 million funding, supported by the UK and Scottish Governments. The Centre aims to encourage, accelerate, and deliver innovation and innovative technologies in the North Sea as we transition to net zero.

We are committed to exploring the option of hydrogen as a strategic decarbonised energy carrier. In line with this we are currently investing up to £121 million in hydrogen innovation, supporting a range of projects exploring the production and potential of low carbon hydrogen across the value chain.

In November 2019, we published the Energy Innovation Needs Assessment for hydrogen and fuel cells. This identified that the future market for all hydrogen technologies could yield around £5.3bn of gross value added and create nearly 50,000 jobs by 2050 to meet demand in export and domestic markets.


Written Question
Remote Working: Conditions of Employment
23 Oct 2020, 1:17 p.m.

Questioner: Sir Mark Hendrick

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps the Government is taking to ensure people who work remotely are not being required to accept a loss in (a) pay, (b) job stability, and (c) opportunities for promotion.

Answer (Paul Scully)

ACAS has produced comprehensive guidance on the key employment issues for when people are working at home during the pandemic. This covers practical issues such as pay and insurance, as well as offering training on managing people who work remotely – the link to the relevant section of the ACAS site can be found here https://www.acas.org.uk/working-from-home.

There is also a legal framework in place that grants all employees with 26 weeks’ continuous service with their employer the statutory Right to Request Flexible Working, where employees can request a change to their hours, working patterns or to work from home. There is supporting guidance currently available online which explains both eligibility and the process for making a request to work flexibly on GOV.UK – this can be found here https://www.gov.uk/flexible-working.

Employers should not dismiss or treat staff unfairly because they have made a flexible working request or intend to make a flexible working request, which can include working remotely. To treat staff unfairly means to cause them detriment such that they are worse off than they were previously. Examples of unfair treatment include employers reducing the hours of staff, overlooking individuals for promotions or development opportunities, and saying no to training requests without good reason.

If an employee feels they have experienced detriment because of a flexible working request, they may qualify to make a claim to an employment tribunal.


Written Question
Remote Working: Conditions of Employment
23 Oct 2020, 1:15 p.m.

Questioner: Sir Mark Hendrick

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what plans his Department has to publish guidance on worker's rights for people working from home.

Answer (Paul Scully)

ACAS has produced comprehensive guidance on the key employer considerations for when people are working at home during the pandemic. This covers health and safety and insurance – the link to the relevant section of the ACAS site can be found here https://www.acas.org.uk/working-from-home.

There is also a legal framework in place that grants all employees with 26 weeks’ continuous service with their employer the statutory Right to Request Flexible Working, where employees can request a change to their hours, working patterns or to work from home. There is supporting guidance currently available online which explains both eligibility and the process for making a request to work flexibly on GOV.UK – this can be found here https://www.gov.uk/flexible-working. In addition, there is the ACAS Code of Practice on making and responding to flexible working requests, which can be found here https://www.acas.org.uk/acas-code-of-practice-on-flexible-working-requests.


Written Question
Nuclear Power: Finance
23 Oct 2020, 1 p.m.

Questioner: Dr Alan Whitehead

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, when he plans to publish the results of his Department's June 2019 consultation on a Regulated Asset Base model for new nuclear projects.

Answer (Nadhim Zahawi)

The Government is looking at options for the financing of new nuclear projects. In 2019, we consulted on a Regulated Asset Base as a possible funding model that could improve value for money and reduce the cost of capital of future nuclear projects. We will respond in due course.


Written Question
Renewable Energy: Employment
22 Oct 2020, 5:59 p.m.

Questioner: Gareth Thomas

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to create jobs in renewable energy as the UK recovers from the covid-19 outbreak; and if he will make a statement.

Answer (Kwasi Kwarteng)

The UK has over 460,000 jobs in low carbon businesses and their supply chains and many of the actions we need to take to reach our target of net zero emissions by 2050 will support the future growth of our economy.

In his Summer Economic Statement, my Rt. Hon. Friend Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer emphasised the Government’s intention to make this a green recovery with concern for our environment at its heart and announced a package of over £3 billion to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from buildings, which will support up to 140,000 green jobs.

On 6th October, the Government set out new plans to Build Back Greener by making the UK the world leader in clean wind energy. Under these plans, a target has been set to support up to double the capacity of renewable energy in the next Contracts for Difference auction; £160 million is to be made available to upgrade ports and infrastructure; and a new target was announced for floating offshore wind to deliver 1GW of energy by 2030. This will enable the sector to support up to 60,000 jobs directly and indirectly by 2030 in ports, factories and associated supply chains, manufacturing the next-generation of offshore wind turbines and delivering clean energy to the UK.

The Government will also establish a £40m Green Recovery Challenge Fund to help halt biodiversity loss and tackle climate change through local conservation projects, connecting more people to the outdoors by delivering up to 5,000 jobs.


Written Question
Business: Energy
22 Oct 2020, 5:57 p.m.

Questioner: Matt Western

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent discussions he has had with manufacturers on energy costs for businesses.

Answer (Kwasi Kwarteng)

The Government is committed to minimising energy costs for businesses to ensure our economy remains strong and competitive. Details of meetings held by Ministers in the Department are recorded in our transparency data, which is published at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/beis-ministerial-gifts-hospitality-travel-and-meetings.


Written Question
Green Homes Grant Scheme
22 Oct 2020, 5:50 p.m.

Questioner: Bill Wiggin

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether he plans to publish a review of the Green Homes Grant scheme after that scheme has ended.

Answer (Kwasi Kwarteng)

There will be an evaluation of the processes and outcomes of the Green Homes Grant voucher scheme, with an independent research organisation due to commence work later this year.


Written Question
Hydrogen
22 Oct 2020, 5:50 p.m.

Questioner: Alexander Stafford

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking with the Secretary of State for Transport to co-ordinate policy on a UK hydrogen strategy.

Answer (Kwasi Kwarteng)

We have committed to publish a UK hydrogen strategy in early 2021 and development is well under way.

BEIS ministers and officials work across government departments, including the Department for Transport, to coordinate on hydrogen, both bilaterally and through governance arrangements at various levels.

This includes the Climate Action Implementation Cabinet Committee (CAI), chaired by the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy which covers issues relating to net zero and hydrogen; the Climate National Strategy Implementation Group, reporting to the Cabinet Secretary involving Directors General across Whitehall, chaired by the DG Energy Transformation & Clean Growth; and the Hydrogen Advisory Council, co-chaired by myself as Minister of State for Business, Energy and Clean Growth, and Sinead Lynch, UK Country Chair of Shell launched in July 2020.


Written Question
Solar Power and Wind Power: Finance
22 Oct 2020, 5:49 p.m.

Questioner: Caroline Lucas

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how much Government funding has been spent on subsidising (a) offshore wind, (b) onshore wind and (c) solar for electricity generation in each of the last three years; and what volume of electricity was generated by each of those modes of generation as a result of those subsidies.

Answer (Kwasi Kwarteng)

Subsidies for generating electricity from wind and solar PV are paid under three low carbon electricity schemes: the Renewables Obligation (RO), the Feed-in Tariffs (FIT), and Contracts for Difference (CfD) schemes. The Renewables Obligation does not pay a direct subsidy but instead support is provided through tradeable certificates.

The table below provides a breakdown of payments made to wind and solar PV electricity generators under the RO and CfD schemes in the last three financial years where figures are available[1].

The figures in the tables below refer to Great Britain only. CfD and FIT are not available in Northern Ireland.

Table 1: Breakdown of payments made to offshore wind, onshore wind and solar PV electricity generators by low carbon electricity support scheme:

Scheme

2017-18 (£m)

2018-19 (£m)

2019-20[2] (£m)

Offshore wind

RO2 [3]

2,009

2,221

2,212

CfD[4]

295.8

587.6

1,275.9

Onshore wind

RO2

1,256

1,335

1,271

CfD4

0.0

11.3

88.7

Solar PV

RO2

471

549

460

CfD4

0.8

0.8

1.4

In addition, the following amounts have been spent in total on FITs. The breakdown for wind and solar PV is not available but solar PV accounts for around 79% of total FIT capacity and onshore wind accounts for around 14%[5].

Table 2: Total spending on FITs:

2017-18 (£m)

2018-19 (£m)

2019-20 (£m)

Total FIT spending – all technologies

1,375.1

1,409.0

1,414.7

The amount of electricity generated by these schemes is given in the table below.

Table 3: Generation supported by RO, CfD and FIT for offshore wind, onshore wind and solar PV in Great Britain:

Generation (GWh)

2017-18

2018-19

2019-20

Offshore wind

RO2

20,661

21,381

24,150

CfD4

2,621

5,359

9,952

FIT[6]

-

-

-

Total

23,281

26,739

34,101

Onshore wind

RO2

25,409

25,379

27,599

CfD4

-

279

1,539

FIT6

1,851

1,720

1,920

Total

27,260

27,377

31,058

Solar PV

RO2

6,409

7,003

6,710

CfD4

20

28

28

FIT6

4,407

4,983

4,952

Total

10,836

12,015

11,689

Total generation for all renewable technologies is published by BEIS in Energy Trends in 6.1 at: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/energy-trends-section-6-renewables

[1] Figures are not available broken down by technology for the FITs scheme.

[2] RO figures for 2019/20 are provisional as not all the certificates have been issued yet and the full notional value of each certificate is not yet known.

[3] RO figures are based on Ofgem’s certificate report as at 4 August 2020 from their Renewables and CHP Register.

[4] CfD figures are taken from the Low Carbon Contracts Company (LCCC) CfD dashboard, which is available on LCCC’s website.

[5] Taken from OFGEM’s annual report: https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/environmental-programmes/fit/contacts-guidance-and-resources/public-reports-and-data-fit/annual-reports

[6] Estimated


Written Question
Green Homes Grant Scheme
22 Oct 2020, 5:41 p.m.

Questioner: Bill Wiggin

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many people have applied for the Green Homes Grant scheme to date.

Answer (Kwasi Kwarteng)

As of 15:00 on 14 October, the Green Homes Grant voucher scheme had received 17,218 grant applications.


Written Question
Business: Coronavirus
22 Oct 2020, 5:27 p.m.

Questioner: Sir Mark Hendrick

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what support he is providing to businesses that are (a) closed and (b) trading with reduced capacity as a result of covid-19 lockdown restrictions.

Answer (Paul Scully)

The Government has announced there will be further funding to support businesses that are required to close due to localised restrictions being put in place to manage the spread of coronavirus and save lives.

The Local Restrictions Support Grant is now in place, which offers a helping hand to businesses in Very High Tier areas as they close their doors to help save lives. Businesses in these areas in England can receive up to £3,000 per month and payments will kick in after two weeks of closure. My Rt. Hon. Friend Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer announced on 22nd October that further funding will be put in place to support businesses in High Local Alert Level area restrictions. Funding will be provided via local authorities to support businesses, including hospitality and leisure businesses, that have had their trade affected by the restrictions but have not been required to close.

Where government has not required that businesses close, other support has been provided to help businesses through difficult trading conditions. In addition to the Small Business Grants Fund and the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund which provided support from April to September this year, the Government has extended the deadline for the Coronavirus Business Interruption Scheme, the Bounce Back Loan Scheme and the Future Fund until 30th November 2020.

We will work with lenders and business representatives to introduce a new, successor loan guarantee scheme, set to begin in January 2021. In addition, the Job Support Scheme will run from 1st November to help support viable jobs in businesses facing lower demand in the winter months.


Written Question
Paternity Leave: Fathers
22 Oct 2020, 5:24 p.m.

Questioner: Jonathan Reynolds

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what progress his Department is making on making it easier for fathers to take paternity leave.

Answer (Paul Scully)

The Conservative Manifesto included a commitment to make it easier for fathers to take Paternity Leave, and the Government fully intends to deliver on this commitment.

In 2019, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy consulted on high-level options for reforming parental leave and pay and is currently analysing the responses it received. We separately commissioned large scale, representative, surveys of parents and employers to gather further information on the barriers and enablers to employees taking parental leave, including Paternity Leave, and data on how parental entitlements are used in practice.

The results of this and our analysis of the consultation responses will inform policy developments on Paternity Leave which will be shared in due course.


Written Question
Paternity Leave and Pay: Public Consultation
22 Oct 2020, 5:22 p.m.

Questioner: Jonathan Reynolds

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what progress his Department is making on its consultation on parental leave and pay which closed on 29 November 2019.

Answer (Paul Scully)

In 2019, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy consulted on high-level options for reforming parental leave and pay and is currently analysing the responses it received. We separately commissioned large scale, representative, surveys of parents and employers to gather further information on the barriers and enablers to employees taking parental leave, including Paternity Leave, and data on how parental entitlements are used in practice.

Information gathered through the consultation and the evaluation of Shared Parental Leave and Pay will inform Government policy on parental leave and pay going forward – including the Manifesto commitment to make it easier for fathers to take Paternity Leave.

The findings of the evaluation and Government Response to the consultation will be published in due course.


Written Question
Parents: Coronavirus
22 Oct 2020, 5:21 p.m.

Questioner: Jonathan Reynolds

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether his Department plans to provide additional parental pay entitlements for new parents who have recently changed or left their jobs as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.

Answer (Paul Scully)

Statutory Maternity Leave, Adoption Leave, and Parental Bereavement Leave are ‘day 1’ rights which means that an employee will qualify for these entitlements even if they have recently changed jobs.

In order to qualify for Statutory Paternity Leave and Shared Parental Leave, an employee must have been continuously employed by their current employer for 26 weeks at the ‘relevant date’.

In order to qualify for Statutory Maternity Pay, Adoption Pay, Paternity Pay, Shared Parental Pay and Parental Bereavement Pay, an employee must have earned at least the lower earnings level (currently £120 a week) in an 8 week reference period and worked continuously for their employer for 26 weeks at the ‘relevant date’. Additional qualifying criteria attach to Paternity, Shared Parental and Parental Bereavement Pay.

The ‘relevant date’ differs depending on whether the employee is a ‘birth parent’, a bereaved parent or an ‘adopter’. But in the case of Statutory Maternity Pay and Statutory Adoption Pay an employee will qualify for pay if they have 26 weeks continuous service at the ‘relevant date’ even if they subsequently leave their job or are made redundant. They will, however, cease to qualify if they end their parental leave to start working for a new employer.

Further information is on the eligibility criteria for parental leave and pay is on GOV.UK.


Written Question
Retail Trade: Coronavirus
22 Oct 2020, 5:19 p.m.

Questioner: Dr Luke Evans

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the increase in the level of covid-19 cases, what steps he is taking to encourage (a) supermarkets and (b) other retail stores to consider re-introducing measures to support vulnerable shoppers such as dedicated shopping hours.

Answer (Paul Scully)

The Government remains engaged with key stakeholders in public health, the retail industry, and trade unions to ensure the sector can continue to operate safely. Guidance issued to employers and employees is helping them take all the necessary precautions to limit the spread of the virus in working environments including shops.

The Government welcomes efforts by supermarkets and other retail stores to ensure vulnerable groups and older people can shop safely but this is a decision for each business.


Written Question
Motor Vehicles: Hydrogen
22 Oct 2020, 5:17 p.m.

Questioner: Alexander Stafford

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Transport on ensuring that the roll-out of hydrogen vehicles keeps pace with the rapid growth in hydrogen fuel production.

Answer (Nadhim Zahawi)

Low carbon hydrogen is one of a handful of critical options needed to deliver net zero, given its potential to help decarbonise heavy industry and flexible deployment across heat, power, and transport. We will be setting out our approach to growing the UK hydrogen economy early next year in the UK Hydrogen Strategy.

The Department regularly engages with the Department for Transport on tackling climate change and delivering our net zero commitments.

On 30 September, it was announced that Tees Valley will be the UK’s first Hydrogen Transport Hub, bringing together industry, academia, and the Government to accelerate the UK’s take-up of green hydrogen. This aligns with wider plans to drive forward transport innovation by funding 19 new hydrogen-powered refuse trucks in Glasgow and starting trials for Britain’s first hydrogen-powered train. We are committed to exploring all options for low carbon hydrogen across freight, buses, trains, maritime, and aviation to ensure that the UK can lead the world in its deployment and use across the economy.


Written Question
Health Services: Coronavirus
22 Oct 2020, 5:16 p.m.

Questioner: Marsha De Cordova

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what support he has made available to (a) private dental practices and (b) other healthcare providers during the covid-19 outbreak.

Answer (Paul Scully)

The Government’s ultimate priority has been to act to reduce the high levels of Covid-19 infection and we are taking many steps to protect the long-term financial future of all businesses during the current economic emergency.

The Government has introduced an unprecedented and comprehensive package of support to help as many individuals and businesses during this difficult period. This includes the small business grants, the coronavirus loan guarantee schemes, the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS), the deferral of VAT and income tax payments, and more.

On 24 September, my Rt. Hon. Friend Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer announced his Winter Economy Plan, setting out how current support will evolve and adapt as we move to the next stage of our economic plan. This includes extending and amending the coronavirus loan guarantee schemes to allow businesses more time and greater flexibility to repay their loans, the extension of the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) grant, and the introduction of a new Jobs Support Scheme. These new measures are in addition to those announced in the Chancellor’s summer statement on 8 July, such as VAT rate cuts, the £1,000 Jobs Retention Bonus, and the Kickstart Scheme.

Businesses can also access tailored advice through our Freephone Business Support Helpline, online via the Business Support website or through their local Growth Hubs in England. Furthermore, the Recovery Advice for Business scheme, supported by the Government and hosted on the Enterprise Nation website, offers small firms access to free, one-to-one advice with an expert adviser to help them through the coronavirus pandemic and to prepare for long-term recovery. Further information can be found at: https://www.enterprisenation.com/freesupport/.

The Government will continue to work closely with local authorities, businesses, business representative organisations, and the financial services sector to monitor the implementation of current support.


Written Question
Astrazeneca: Coronavirus
22 Oct 2020, 4:06 p.m.

Questioner: Chi Onwurah

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of (a) when the not for profit price commitment made by AstraZeneca as part of the deal with Oxford University to develop a covid-19 vaccine will expire and (b) the effect of the expiration of that commitment on the affordability of that vaccine for the NHS.

Answer (Amanda Solloway)

The timings of the not for profit price commitment are for the two parties involved, AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford to agree.

The NHS is preparing for the initial deployment of a safe, effective COVID-19 vaccine as soon as possible.


Written Question
Companies: Fraud
21 Oct 2020, 5:08 p.m.

Questioner: Chi Onwurah

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what discussions he has had with the Financial Reporting Council on the potential scope of a UK equivalent to the US Sarbanes-Oxley Act 2002; and if he will publish his strategy for audit reform.

Answer (Paul Scully)

The Independent Review of the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) recommended that consideration be given to the case for a strengthened internal control framework, learning any relevant lessons from operation of the Sarbanes-Oxley regime in the US. Sir Donald Brydon’s review of the quality and effectiveness of audit also made suggestions for enhancing the role of the board and the auditor in a strengthened internal control system.

The Government will publish and seek views on its proposals on audit reform in due course, including in response to these particular recommendations. The Government has been working closely with the FRC in developing these proposals.


Written Question
Companies: Fraud
21 Oct 2020, 5:08 p.m.

Questioner: Chi Onwurah

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether his Department plans to consult on the introduction of a UK equivalent to the US Sarbanes-Oxley Act 2002.

Answer (Paul Scully)

The Independent Review of the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) recommended that consideration be given to the case for a strengthened internal control framework, learning any relevant lessons from operation of the Sarbanes-Oxley regime in the US. Sir Donald Brydon’s review of the quality and effectiveness of audit also made suggestions for enhancing the role of the board and the auditor in a strengthened internal control system.

The Government will publish and seek views on its proposals on audit reform in due course, including in response to these particular recommendations. The Government has been working closely with the FRC in developing these proposals.