DEF061016 - No. 71

Session 2005-06, 16 October 2006

Publication of Government Response

Publication of Government Response


The Defence Committee today publishes the Government's Response to the Committee's report on the work of the Met Office as its Eleventh Special Report of Session 2005-06 (The work of the Met Office €” Government Response to the Committee's Tenth Report of Session 2005-06, HC 1602).

The Government's response welcomes the Committee's report, and its recognition of the Met Office's international excellence in weather-forecasting and climate research. It gives assurance that the MoD's interests as a customer will not unduly influence investment decisions by the Met Office and that new controls on the management of joint ventures will not discourage commercial activity.

It agrees to a number of recommendations designed to improve the accessibility of information and performance data on the Met Office and other MoD agencies.

It acknowledges the instability caused by changes in senior management, but does not accept the Committee's recommendation that the MoD reverse its decision to down-grade the post of the Chief Executive of the Met Office to two-star rank.

Commenting on the Government Response, Committee Chairman Rt Hon James Arbuthnot MP said "It is disappointing that the MoD has not seen the force in our argument that the downgrading of the post of Chief Executive is damaging both to the prospects of recruiting a candidate of international standing and to the interaction of the Met Office with other organizations. But overall, the Government's response is positive. We will be continuing to press for the greater accountability of MoD's executive agencies through a programme of targeted inquiries scrutinizing individual agencies. Next in line is the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory."

The Committee has announced that it will be taking evidence on the work of the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL), as part of the Committee's programme of scrutiny of the Ministry of Defence's Agencies (see Press Notice, No 69, 7 September 2006). It has invited written evidence by 10 November 2006.


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. 71


Media Enquiries: Alex Paterson, 020 7219 1589, email -

Specific Committee Information: Tel 020 7219 5745, email -

Committee Website:

Watch committees and parliamentary debates online:

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