11 February 2000
BSE probe gets six more months

By FWi staff

THE deadline for final report into the BSE Inquiry has been extended by another six months following a request by inquiry chairman Lord Phillips.

Lord Phillips, who was involved in the infamous Maxwell trial, told ministers that he was unable to deliver his final report by the 31 March deadline.

The complexity and size of the report meant that it was taking longer than expected to complete, he said.

“We want to produce a clear and readable account of the BSE story that sets out our key findings, conclusions and recommendations,” said Lord Phillips.

“The rigorous appraisal of complex and detailed evidence that is necessary for sound and fair conclusions is a heavy task and one that is taking us longer than we anticipated.”

The inquiry, set up in December 1997, was initially given a year to complete its work but this was extended in March 1998 and again in February 1999.

The extra time is not expected to take the final cost for the inquiry above its current budget of 16 million.