Scope of the inquiry
Maxwellisation is the process whereby those subject to criticism in a public report are given an opportunity to respond to such criticism prior to publication of the report.
In December 2015, the FCA and PRA published their report into the collapse of RBS and HBOS. Evidence taken by the Treasury Committee in the last Parliament suggested that this process was unnecessarily long.
The Treasury Committee felt, given such a considerable amount of time had been spent on Maxwellisation in the case of the HBOS report, it warranted further parliamentary scrutiny. Although the Committee’s focus was on the use of Maxwellisation in reports produced or commissioned by the financial regulators, it was aware that the process had also been a source of controversy in other inquiries, particularly the Iraq Inquiry.
Accordingly, in March 2016 the Treasury Committee commissioned Andrew Green QC, and a team of barristers from Blackstone Chambers, to conduct a review into the use of Maxwellisation and its use in public inquiries. The review would set out what the law requires and the problems that arise from Maxwellisation.