Friends of the Earth takes Treasury to court over OFR decision

The government faces the threat of a lawsuit this week challenging the chancellor’s controversial decision to abandon plans for listed companies to publish Operating and Financial Reviews (OFRs).

Friends of the Earth is expecting its legal case against the government to go ahead after last month threatening Gordon Brown with a judicial review challenge after his surprise U-turn on the planned legislation.

Phil Michaels, legal adviser to the environmental pressure group, told the Times that Friends of the Earth had received a response, but did not accept it.

“In essence they say there was no duty to consult. We say that’s plainly nonsense,” Michaels said. “We are expecting our legal challenge to go ahead.”

In early December, the chancellor announced the turnaround on OFRs, which would have forced listed companies to give a narrative description of their operations and information on environmental issues and their treatment of staff.

The move was criticised by senior HR figures as “an astonishing U-turn” while pensions experts were left “baffled, bewildered and disappointed”.

The Treasury refused to comment.

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