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
"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
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
"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."