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Government Department is confused & confusing say local Directors


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Leaders of Cambridgeshire companies have backed a report which describes the government's Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) as being "confused about its role, pursuing contradictory policies and having overly ambitious objectives."

The Institute of Directors (IoD) research paper on the operation of the DTI is highly critical of the department. Stephanie Smye, chairman of the Institute of Directors Eastern Region which represents more than 1,000 company directors in Cambridgeshire, said:

"The DTI is both confused and confusing. On the one hand, it is supposed to be promoting a productive and competitive economy. On the other hand, it is creating more and more red tape for businesses.

"The cost to business of new employment legislation alone since 1977 totals 5 billion per year."

The IoD says that poor management is to blame for many of the DTI's failings in particular, the fact that it has had four Secretaries of State in five years.

Miss Smye said: "Thank heavens the department was not touched in the latest government reshuffle. The constant changes at the top have not helped to develop consistent policy and a clear focus.

"And lack of focus is why the DTI has no fewer than 183 different programmes to help businesses. There are so many that none of them can get much senior management attention.

"And all of this is being run on a relatively small budget of 5 billion per year, with which the DTI is expected to make a major impact on the economy. The resources just do not match up with the ambitions."

November 2002

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