Howard defends HMIP chief

Suggestions by an MP that the Director of HM Inspectorate of Pollution (HMIP), Dr David Slater, had shares in an environmental consultancy which received a "lucrative" contract from the Department of the Environment (DoE) were dismissed in a parliamentary answer by Environment Secretary Michael Howard in July.1

The potential conflict of interest was highlighted by the Liberal Democrats' environment spokesman, Simon Hughes. Dr Slater became HMIP's Director on 1 May 1991. In August, the DoE let a contract to DNV Technica to report on abatement methods for nitrogen oxides. The contract was not subject to competitive tender.

Dr Slater was a director of Technica Ltd, which was acquired by DNV after his departure and established as a wholly owned subs

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