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FSA News Item, 13 July 2016
FSA announces plans to deliver the two year review of the National Food Crime Unit, under the oversight of external experts.
In her report to the FSA Board meeting today, Chief Executive Catherine Brown gave more details of the plans to deliver the two year review of the National Food Crime Unit (NFCU). This follows the discussion at the Board in May 2016, when Board members agreed to the proposed scope of the review.
The Agency aims to deliver this review efficiently and within the intended timescale, while ensuring that the review is carried out rigorously and with independent oversight.
The review will be carried out within the FSA’s resources. This will take place under the oversight of a steering group, made up of three external experts, representing law enforcement, consumers and industry.
At today’s Board meeting, Chairman Heather Hancock announced that the steering group members will be:
Heather Hancock said “I am delighted that David, Richard and Paul will be bringing their expertise to this review, building on the insight we have gathered from Phase One of the NFCU. We are at a critical stage in deciding what structures, people, skills and resources are needed to achieve specific goals for tackling food crime, and giving the public the protection they expect. I know that all three review members will provide rigour, challenge and independence in the process and we look forward to receiving their conclusions later this year."
The review team is aiming to produce a draft report for discussion at the FSA’s Board meeting in mid-November. The FSA Director responsible for the project will be Rod Ainsworth, Director of Legal and Regulatory Strategy.
The NFCU was created in response to Professor Chis Elliott’s 2014 review into the Integrity and Assurance of Food Supply Networks. Professor Elliott recommended a phased approach to the establishment of the unit with the first phase an evidence gathering and business case development period. Phase two, if taken forward, would put in place the mechanisms required to investigate cases and take action.
The Elliott review recommended (and the government agreed) that a review should take place after two years to determine the need for such expansion based on development of a business case. The NFCU reaches the two year milestone at the end of December 2016 with the review scheduled to be completed by that time.