Future of Health and Safety Executive called into question

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The future of the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has been called into question after the ­Government announced in April that it was launching a review of the role and function of the organisation.

Employment minister Mark Hoban stressed that the move was part of a process begun in 2010 whereby all public-sector bodies are subject to regular reviews every three years.

He added: “In 2010, we acted to close down unnecessary public bodies and ensure that those that ­remained were fit to ­deliver public services efficiently and effectively.

“Routine reviews… ensure that bodies such as the HSE continue to be fit for purpose, and that they are providing the value for money that the taxpayer expects.”

The first stage of the review will be to identify and examine the key functions of the HSE, how these contribute to the core business of the executive and the Department for Work and Pensions and whether these functions are still needed.

If it concludes these functions are still required, the review will then examine whether the HSE as currently constituted “remains the best way to perform those functions, or if another delivery method might be more appropriate”, the Government added.

An independent “challenge group” will also be set up to “rigorously and robustly” challenge the findings of the review.

In response, HSE chair Judith Hackitt said the executive welcomed the opportunity to contribute to the review, “which we expect to provide robust and helpful scrutiny of HSE and its responsibilities”.

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