§ Miss Richardson
I beg to move Amendment No. 62, in page 32, line 22, at end insert—(4) Where the Commission has conducted a formal investigation other than on a requirement by the Secretary of State, it shall make available for inspection on request a report of such investigation".1595 The purpose is to ensure that access is available to information about the commission's investigations to the public and the Press and to the individual companies or organisations involved in the investigations—that is to say, directly and not necessarily as a requirement by the Secretary of State.
I take, for example, the position of an organisation which has come under the commission's scrutiny. Supposing that it is found not to be practising discrimination. It might wish to have access to the transcript of the report to the commission in order to show that it is innocent. As far as I can see, there is no provision in the Bill for it to be able to do so except by order of the Secretary of State.
The fact of an investigation having taken place will most likely be known, in the case of a company, to its employees, and, in the case of a union, to its members. If an organisation is innocent, it will wish to show that it is and publicise the findings of the commission. It should have the right to do so.
I am not asking for any major expenditure or for mandatory publication in printed form. I simply suggest that the report should always be available following an investigation by the commission so that the thing is seen to be in the open. It is a reasonable proposition.
§ Dr. Summerskill
Where the commission conducts an investigation at the direction of the Secretary of State, it is also required to deliver a report to him and he is required to have it published. The Bill imposes no obligation on the commission to produce reports of other formal investigations or to make them available.
I would like to consider whether it would be right to impose an obligation on the commission to produce a report of every single formal investigation it undertakes rather than only those which result in the issue of a non-discrimination notice or recommendation, or only those the terms of reference of which have been published. We would like to consider this matter further, so I ask my hon. Friend to withdraw the amendment on the firm understanding that the Government will study the matter further and introduce their own amendment in another place.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.