Social Audit Ltd
P O Box 111 London NW1 8XG
Telephone/Fax 44 (0)171 586 7771


Richard Shepherd MP
House of Commons
LONDON SW1A OAA 16 February 1999

Dear Richard Shepherd,

Many thanks for forwarding the PCA's letter of 12 February.

There has certainly been some progress since you referred our complaint to the Ombudsman. It is true that the Medicines Control Agency and Committee on Safety of Medicines have released some pieces of information since the Ombudsman intervened, and it is encouraging to anticipate the possible need for fewer running jumps at closed doors and brick walls.

If the MCA/CSM are to report on all outstanding complaints in the very near future, it seems quite reasonable to back off and give them some breathing space - and I look forward to studying the Ombudsman's report in due course.

I wonder if it will include comment on the wider issue of open government and what it takes to get it. Over 100 letters have passed between Social Audit and the MCA/CSM since our website was launched, one year ago today, and I imagine some of our 50,000-odd visitors will be as curious as I am to know whether there might be better routes to public trust and understanding.

Thank you so much for all your help.

Yours sincerely, 
Charles Medawar


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