Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Committee

1 February 2008 (PN 18)

COMMITEE LAUNCHES INQUIRY INTO COMPANIES HOUSE

The Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Committee today announced a one-off evidence session on the performance of Companies House. This forms part of the Committee's programme of investigations into non-department government bodies affiliated to the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform.

Last year there were over 7,795,000 documents filed with Companies House and nearly 9,000,000 company searches. The agency has been subject to criticism after delays to the implementation of the Companies House Information Processing System led to the write-off of £12.1 million over two years and delays to the implementation of parts of the Companies Act 2006.

The Committee intends to focus on:

€ how Companies House performs its statutory functions;

€ satisfaction with the services provided by Companies House
among its users; and

€ the causes, consequences and cost of delays to the Companies House Information Processing System.

The Chairman of the Committee, Peter Luff MP, said:

"The Companies Act is supposed to make it simpler for companies to meet their legal obligations and we want to make sure Companies House is providing an effective service and fulfilling its role in promoting corporate accountability."

The Committee invites written submissions. These should be sent, as an MS Word document, by e-mail to [email protected] with a single hard copy sent to the Clerk of the Committee at the address above by 5.00pm on 5th March 2008.

Once submitted evidence is the property of the Committee and should not be published without the Committee's consent. The Committee will usually publish evidence it receives, both in printed form and on the internet. If anyone wishes their submission to remain 'confidential' please contact this Office for guidance. Please also read the guide to submission of written evidence at http://www.parliament.uk/parliamentary_committees/witness.cfm before submitting evidence.

Further Information:

As a consequence of machinery of government changes announced in June 2007, the Department for Trade and Industry ceased to exist and the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform was created. Following this decision, the Trade and Industry Committee was dissolved and a successor committee has been created, with the following membership:

Chairman: Peter Luff MP (Con) (Mid Worcestershire)
Mr Adrian Bailey (Lab) (West Bromwich West)
Roger Berry (Lab) (Kingswood)
Mr Brian Binley (Con) (Northampton South)
Mr Michael Clapham (Lab) (Barnsley West and Pen.)
Mr Lindsay Hoyle (Lab) (Chorley)
Mark Hunter (Lib Dem) (Cheadle)
Miss Julie Kirkbride (Con) (Bromsgrove)
Anne Moffat (Lab) (East Lothian)
Mr Mike Weir (SNP) (Angus)
Mr Anthony Wright (Lab) (Great Yarmouth)

Media Enquiries: Laura Humble, Tel 0207 219 2003/ 07917 488 489, email: [email protected]

Specific Committee Information: Tel 020 7219 5777, email: [email protected]