Role of non-exec directors under review

Government has launched a consultation document looking at the role of
non-executive directors as part of an independent review.

Higgs, who was appointed to head the review by the Chancellor Gordon Brown and Trade
and Industry Secretary Patricia Hewitt, is inviting the views of business.

the role of non-executive directors should help identify what sorts of people
would be best for the job, how the pool of non-executives can be widened, and
how we can ensure they are as effective as possible," said Higgs.

is inviting views on a variety of key areas including:

The role non-executive directors should perform and how this compares to
present practice.

What knowledge, skills and attributes are needed and what can be done to
attract, recruit and appoint the best people to non-executive roles.

Whether existing structures and procedures facilitate effective performance by
non-executive directors.

Whether existing relationships with shareholders or others need to be

How non-executive directors can best be supported to perform their role.

Ways in which the position is different for smaller listed companies.

What can be learned from international experience.

very much hope that the issues I have raised will be debated widely and will
help identify tangible steps to add value in UK boardrooms," added Higgs.

By Ross Wigham

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