24 July 2006
Publication of Report
MPs WARN AGAINST DOWN-GRADING MET OFFICE
The Met Office is a world-leading organisation that requires and deserves the full support of the Ministry of Defence, says a report published today by the House of Commons Defence Committee (Tenth Report of the Defence Committee, The work of the Met Office, HC 823).
The MPs express their support for the Met Office and congratulate its staff for their contribution to the UK's Armed Forces and its international scientific reputation. The Committee is content that the Met Office remains a trading fund owned by the Ministry of Defence, but emphasises the importance of maintaining investment in the technology necessary to maintain the Met Office's standing. The Met Office needs to work harder to generate commercial income and maximize the opportunities afforded by its standing in the meteorological and scientific communities. The down-grading of the Chief Executive post is criticised by the report, which calls on the Ministry of Defence to reverse its decision.
Commenting on the report, Committee Chairman Rt Hon James Arbuthnot MP said "We were impressed by the contribution the Met Office makes to the UK. We need to encourage the Met Office's commercial activities and ensure it is sufficiently funded in the future. We could find no reason for the Ministry of Defence's decision to down-grade the crucial post of Chief Executive and recommend that the decision is reversed."
NOTES TO EDITORS:
1.Committee Membership is as follows: Rt Hon James Arbuthnot MP (Chairman), Mr David S Borrow MP, Mr David Crausby MP, Linda Gilroy MP, Mr David Hamilton MP, Mr Mike Hancock MP, Mr Dai Havard MP, Mr Adam Holloway MP, Mr Brian Jenkins MP, Mr Kevan Jones MP, Robert Key MP, Mr Mark Lancaster MP, Willie Rennie MP, John Smith MP
2.News Release: No. 62
Media Enquiries: Jessica Bridges-Palmer, Tel 020 7219 0724 / 07841 737 349,
email - email@example.com
Specific Committee Information: Tel 020 7219 5745, email - firstname.lastname@example.org
Watch committees and parliamentary debates online: www.parliamentlive.tv
Publications / Reports / Reference Material: Copies of all select committee reports are available from the Parliamentary Bookshop (12 Bridge St, Westminster, 020 7219 3890) or the Stationery Office (0845 7023474). Committee reports, press releases, evidence transcripts, Bills; research papers, a directory of MPs, plus Hansard (from 8am daily) and much more, can be found on www.parliament.uk