Byers orders inquiry into the collapse of TransTec

The engineering firm is in receivership after being locked in a dispute with Ford over £11.25m the motor company claims it is owed.

The inspectors have been asked to concentrate their investigation on the accounting treatment of a claim against the company for £18m and the extent to which the claim and other matters were disclosed to shareholders and the public – and on the reasons for the downfall of the group.

Byers said: ‘There are clearly a number of serious issues regarding the collapse of TransTec which the public interest requires to be investigated by independent inspectors. I have emphasised to the inspectors that their prime objective must be to provide me with a full report as quickly as possible consistent with the need to undertake a fair, thorough and professional investigation. I have also asked the inspectors to report in a form which will enable the report to be made public.’

Robinson was non-executive chairman of the engineering group until May 1997, when he was made a minister. He insists he played no part in the Ford dispute. Robinson left the government a year ago following the emergence of a £373,000 home loan he made to fellow minister Peter Mandelson.

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