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Home Affairs Committee 

Oral evidence: Appointment of the Chair of the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority, HC 814

Wednesday 3 November 2021

Ordered by the House of Commons to be published on 3 November 2021.

Watch the meeting

Members present: Yvette Cooper (Chair); Ms Diane Abbott; Andrew Gwynne; Adam Holloway; Dame Diana Johnson; Tim Loughton; Stuart C McDonald; Gary Sambrook.

Questions 1 - 35

Witness

I: Julia Mulligan, Government’s preferred candidate.


Examination of witness

Witness: Julia Mulligan.

Q1                Chair: Welcome to this evidence session for the Home Affairs Select Committee. This is our pre-appointment hearing for the chair of the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority, and we are very pleased to welcome Julia Mulligan before us today.

Can I begin by asking you the most obvious question? Why do you want to be the chair of the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority?

Julia Mulligan: The first thing to say is that over the last 10 years or so I have developed a real commitment to helping vulnerable people and victims. The GLAA, of course, helps vulnerable workers who have been exploited and also victims of modern slavery. The core mission of the organisation is something I feel strongly about. I have been a non-executive director for about a year, but I specifically wanted the chair role because I like to get my teeth into something. The GLAA has a lot of change ahead of it over the coming few years, and I am relishing that challenge.

Q2                Chair: Do you have any conflicts of interest or any business, financial or other commitments that might create any kind of conflict of interest in this work?

Julia Mulligan: Not that I know of, Chair, no.

Q3                Chair: What would you do if such a conflict arose?

Julia Mulligan: I would declare it. We have a process. We have to declare all of our interests as board members, and I would do that immediately.

Q4                Chair: You do hold a whole series of other different advisory positions: the Independent Office for Police Conduct, the Parole Board, and so on.

Julia Mulligan: Yes.

Chair: Do you expect to continue with all of those other posts? Do you see any tensions or difficulties in combining all of those roles?

Julia Mulligan: There are two aspects to that. The first thing is whether there are any inherent conflicts of interest between the GLAA and those roles. I have had those roles at the same time as I have been a non-executive director of the GLAA, so we have worked through any potential conflicts of interest over that period of time and nothing has arisen.

There is also a practical aspect to that, and that is whether I have enough time to do the role. I have totted up the number of days that are expected of me out of the various different roles that I have. If I take the maximum number of days, it would be 18 working days in a month and there are 20 working days in a month. I like to try to give myself a bit of breathing space on a Friday.

Q5                Chair: In terms of any tensions that might arise in futureeither time commitments or conflicts between any of those roleshow would you handle them?

Julia Mulligan: I have thought quite a lot in particular about the demands of the Parole Board. There is quite a lot of work involved with the Parole Board. We are listed three months in advance, so it will be quite straightforward for me to reduce the workload around that and to manage that if I need to. I have been managing these roles now for about six months and I have a feel for it. I think that it is doable. The advantage, of course, is that because I am an internal candidate, if you like, for the GLAA, most of the meetings are already in my diary. I know the people. I have been inducted into the organisation, and all of that sort of thing.

Q6                Dame Diana Johnson: Good morning. I would like to ask you some questions about your leadership style. When I was preparing for the hearing, I noted that in 2018 a police and crime panel found evidence that you bullied staff while working as the police, fire and crime commissioner for North Yorkshire. Could you explain to the Committee what steps you have taken after that finding?

Julia Mulligan: Sure. There was a lot going on at the time and it was also one of the most challenging times of my professional career, so forgive me; I hope that I am not going to sound a little bit defensive about my answer.

First, I am on record as saying at the time that were there the processes in place to challenge that, I would have done, but unfortunately those processes do not exist. I have been very grateful to the Government to have been able to give evidence to the review that they are doing at the moment around police and crime commissioners, police and the panels to make sure that the processes and the powers that the panels have are fair to everybody. I think that is important.

Obviously, when something like that happens, you do have to reflect, and reflect long and hard, which I did. The first thing is that I wanted to ensure that people in my office had the proper support, systems and processes in place to make sure that they were happy in their work. We did a piece of work following on from that to make sure that that was the case. Nobody wants staff to be unhappy.

The second thing is that you think about yourself. I am now very conscious about my own personal leadership style and I try hard to be very measured in the way that I go about things. I think that it has helped me to develop as a leader. Experiences like that do teach you things.

Q7                Dame Diana Johnson: The subcommittee recommended, I think, that you should take a management development programme. Did you do that?

Julia Mulligan: It was coaching that they recommended, and I did do that. It was actually one of the most interesting and rewarding things I have done in my career. Very often, politicians do not have the opportunity to do that sort of thing, so it was a really good thing to have done.

Q8                Dame Diana Johnson: What are the lessons that you are going to take into this new role from that experience?

Julia Mulligan: I have a particular interest around equalities and diversity. You will see that from my CV. I have done a lot of work in that area, and I am particularly interested in the culture of organisations. I currently chair the people committee, if you like, for the GLAA and we have been doing a lot of work around our equality and diversity work and policies, making sure that the learning I have from that, but also much more broadly, is integrated into that work. I am also part of the people committee for the IOPC, so I have taken an active interest in trying to ensure a healthy and positive culture in the organisations I work for.

Q9                Dame Diana Johnson: Do you intend to survey the staff around issues of bullying in your new role?

Julia Mulligan: Yes, we absolutely routinely do that. We have just had a staff survey for the GLAA. In every staff survey there are issues that arise out of these sorts of things, and we are doing a lot of work around that. The chief executive, for example, is taking personal leadership of the EDI work within the organisation, and all of the staff have had EDI training. We are taking it very seriously.

Q10            Dame Diana Johnson: Thank you. You have been before the Committee before and we know that you have a lot of experience in policing and providing leadership at board level, looking at your CV. Before joining the GLAA in 2020, it seems to me that you did not have any experience of licensing regimes and their enforcement. I wanted to flag also that the new chief executive does not come from a background of enforcement. Could you say something about what your plans are in terms of being able to provide effective leadership in this role?

Julia Mulligan: As you say, the GLAA has a number of core roles within its remitthe licensing and compliance side, and the enforcement sidebut prevention is also important. That is something that we are developing as well. Of course, we are a team, and within my non-executive team we have another individual who has a huge amount of experience around regulation. Indeed, she has been working very closely with the senior leadership on our new strategy for compliance, which I think is positive and strong.

Together, the team has a lot of experience in this area. We have some new board members as well, who have come in with different experience; some with real depth of knowledge, for example, in the food sector, but also health and safety. The combination of the skillset within the board is complementary.

Adam Holloway: Given that there are some people watching this who do not have the benefit of our brief, would it be reasonable to point out that when we refer to bullying here, this is something that was perceived by someone, and she was accused of the following things: making negative comments, interrupting them, and avoiding eye contact during meetings? That is the bullying that we are talking about here: negative comments, interrupting people and avoiding eye contact.

Chair: Are you asking for a comment from Julia Mulligan?

Adam Holloway: No, I am just pointing it out to anybody who is watching this, who could easily perceive that she was some sort of bully. That is the nature of the bullying that we are talking about.

Chair: Thank you.

Q11            Andrew Gwynne: Good morning. I would like to follow up with some questions on leadership but also the independence of the body. Of course, the chair of the GLAA must show political impartiality during their time in the role. You have been a Conservative candidate for the post of police and crime commissioner. I understand, and it would be good to hear this for the record, that you have resigned as a member of the Conservative Party. Is that correct?

Julia Mulligan: Yes. I was elected as the police and crime commissioner, and I served as a Conservative police and crime commissioner for nine years. I previously stood for Parliament in 2010 in Leeds North West, and I was a Conservative councillor. My political affiliations, if you like, are fairly obvious.

I do not really perceive there is an issue with being a member of a party. Indeed, many people who have these types of posts are members of political parties. The most important thing is to be independent in the way that you work. For me, in these types of roles, it is all about acting in the public interest. That is what you are there to do, to act in the public interest. If you use that as your guiding light, then you will not go very far wrong.

I will give you a couple of examples. As a police and crime commissioner, of course, you have to swear an oath of independence. Within that role, you have to navigate that complexity, and I did that for nine years. For the Parole Board, some of those decisions are potentially quite controversial and difficult. We absolutely have to act on the evidence and act in an impartial way. We are trained to do that. I think that it is really important to understand that.

Finally, I chair something called the Police Advisory Board for England and Wales. I know that some of the police staff associations on that body expressed some concerns early on, but I had the pleasure of talking to them recently and they said that those concerns have completely been allayed and they do not have them any more. I hope that demonstrates that I am able to act in that independent way.

Q12            Andrew Gwynne: Absolutely, and, of course, protecting your personal independence is an important factor of the role. It is not just about being seen to be non-partisan. There may be occasions where in your role you have a conflict with a Government Minister and a Government policy and you are of the same political persuasion. How would you respond if you felt that Government policy or, indeed, the actions of Government Ministers were undermining the effectiveness of the GLAA?

Julia Mulligan: I think it is important to go back to that point about acting in the public interest. That is what this is all about. I will give you an example of how I might have navigated that problem when I was police and crime commissioner. A few years ago, Members may remember there was a review of the police funding formula, which was withdrawn. Myself and a number of other police and crime commissioners, cross party, believed that the proposals for that funding formula had been poorly drafted. We did challenge the Minister effectively and the proposals were withdrawn. That is a practical example of how if I feel something is not right, I am quite happy to act in the public interest.

Q13            Andrew Gwynne: Finally, in protecting your personal independence and managing any tensions that might arise between your responsibility to take account of Government objectives and the requirement to maintain effective partnerships with other key bodies and stakeholders, how do you see yourself managing those tensions?

Julia Mulligan: It is horrible jargon, but I am good at stakeholder management. I think that is borne out in the roles that I am doing at the moment. There are a lot of tensions. Members will be aware of the tensions around police pay and pensions at the moment. It is a bit of a fraught environment. I am right in the thick of it, chairing the police pension advisory board and trying to encourage people to come to the table to discuss it and to look at the way that we work practically, and I have had conversations with officials and Ministers around some of those matters.

As an independent person, you are there to facilitate, to try to keep things going and working, and to problem solve. I have some experience of doing that in other roles at the moment.

Q14            Tim Loughton: We have heard quite a lot about you. Can I ask you some questions about the job that you are doing and the board itself? Do you think it has functioned well since it was set up 13 years or so ago? How do you think it could operate better and how might you seek to change it?

Julia Mulligan: The board itself or the organisation?

Tim Loughton: The organisation. Obviously, you are there to oversee the running of the organisation, but you will have views on whether the organisation is doing its job well or could be doing it better.

Julia Mulligan: All organisations have their strengths and challenges, and the GLAA is no different. You will be aware, of course, that it changed from the GLA to the GLAA and with that came new powers and a widened and broadened remit. That created some challenges for the organisation. It goes back to the earlier point that I talked aboutculture. It is important that the GLAA has a strong culture that is focused on its core mission; that is, protecting vulnerable workers and victims. We are doing a lot of work around that at the moment, so that is one piece of work.

I think there are going to be some significant financial challenges in the coming two or three years. It is not clear yet what the financial settlement is going to be. We do not have that yet, but we have been asked to prepare for various scenarios. The GLAA is a small organisation. Its budget is about £7 million and we have about 120 people. A significant reduction in funding is really challenging for us because we do not have very far to go. We will have to think about what we can and can’t deliver in those types of circumstances. There are going to be some challenges around that.

We also have, as I mentioned before, a new compliance strategy. That, I hope, will prepare us for the single enforcement body that is on the horizon. I think there is a desire for greater enforcement around the compliance side, and our new strategy is more focused on that rather than the initial licensing, if you like, of gangmasters, of businesses. We also have some IT systems issues that we need to focus on, which have a big impact on the way that the organisation works together within its own departments but also how potentially it works with partners, which will be really important when the SEB comes on the horizon.

Q15            Tim Loughton: Can I ask you about the problem of illicit gang working? Do you think that problem is worse now than, say, 10 years ago? I noticed that the figure for the number of successful prosecutions that have come out of this is only about 140. Given that we hear a lot about modern-day slavery and terrible cases, that seems to me quite low over a 12-year period. Is that a reflection that the organisation could be doing better? Is it down to limited powers or limited resources? If you get your way in shaping this organisation in your tenure, do you think that that 140 figure should be much higher? Would that be a measure of your success, potentially?

Julia Mulligan: That is a very complex question. The reason is that the GLAA, because it is so small, has to work in partnership with other organisations. We work very closely with the police, for example, and also local authorities and a whole range of different partners. Increasing prosecutions is important, but I do not think it is the only measure that we need to look at. I mentioned before my commitment to victims. I have a lot of experience around services for victims, and I think we really need to start looking at the outcomes for victims, making sure that they are as good as they can be but also, as the GLAA, what our core responsibilities are to those victims and how we fulfil them properly.

We are busy going through a process at the moment looking at our future strategy for the next three years and trying to define what those measures will be. We have been very focused on actual numbers. Particularly given the problems in the courts at the moment, that might mean we need to look at other indicators around what our successes are.

To answer your question, it is very difficult to tell whether we have seen an increase or a decrease in labour exploitation and modern-day slavery. The data is challenging around that.

Q16            Ms Diane Abbott: You say that there is not the data to tell us whether there is an increase or a decrease in modern-day slavery. What could be done to improve data collection?

Julia Mulligan: You will be aware that HMICFRS published a report recently around policing’s response to modern-day slavery, which highlighted some challenges for policing. There are a lot of concerns around whether the victims have the confidence to come forward. We saw through the work in Leicester a lot of challenges around community engagement and people’s confidence in the authorities. It is important that we try to build confidence in the authorities so people will come forward and report and feel safe doing so. That is a big challenge for everybody involved in this space. Only with that confidence will we be able to start to get a better picture of what is going on and the extent of it.

Police forces and the GLAA I think could use intelligence better to understand the picture. A lot of forces have done problem profiles around this because it has been identified as an area for development for them. There is a lot of work that needs to be joined up to try to get a better picture. Dame Sara Thornton at the anti-modern-day slavery commission does a lot of work in this space and works with academics to try to understand what is going on. I sit on her advisory board, so I have the advantage of getting some insight into some of the work that she is doing as well.

Q17            Ms Diane Abbott: With respect, your argument is a little bit circular. One of the reasons why people do not report people to supervisory bodies or whatever is that they think nothing is going to happen to the people they are complaining about. Looking at the figures for the prosecutions being so low, wouldn’t your average victim of a gangmaster or modern-day slavery be right in thinking that not much is going to happen, because you have a very low level of prosecutions?

Julia Mulligan: As I said before, it is really important to prosecute bad people doing these things. The GLAA also uses some of the other powers that it has in respect of this. Of course we want to see prosecutions increase, but the most important thing is to make sure that people also get the support they need, because if they are not supported, they won’t go through the criminal justice process to end up in a prosecution. One of the things that we are seeing at the moment, which is really quite troubling, is people falling out of that process because the criminal justice process is taking so long. There are lots of things that need to improve to increase that number of prosecutions and I don’t think we should just be focused on that as an outcome for victims.

Q18            Ms Diane Abbott: I think it is important to look at, though, and the most important thing you can do for victims is to prosecute more abusive gangmasters and modern-day slavery proponents. Do you have any ideas about how you could increase the level of prosecutions?

Julia Mulligan: The use of intelligence and information by both the police and the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority needs to improve. I think that is important because, without that, you do not have the evidence to identify those people and do the prosecutions. I do think that that support needs to be there, because people will fall out of the process if it takes too long. These are very complex investigations and, as I said before, we are limited in the resources that we have. We have to work in partnership with the police and others in order to make these prosecutions successful. We cannot do it on our own.

Q19            Adam Holloway: To follow up on what Diane was asking, it strikes me that a lot of people who would end up in these circumstances would be illegally in the country so, of course, they are not going to go and report themselves. Should we have some sort of mechanism whereby that does not come into it if they report it, or whatever else? You are not going to do it if you are going to be deported, are you?

Julia Mulligan: There are a lot of issues around all of that, and people feeling exactly that. That is one of the barriers that prevents people coming forward to report what is going on. That is a big policy question perhaps for Parliament to consider and think about.

I have a particular area of concern for those individuals who do not go into something called the national referral mechanism. There is something called the NRM, which victims of modern-day slavery can be referred into and get support. Quite a lot of victims at the moment are choosing not to go into the NRM. The Government have a review of the NRM going on at the moment and they are going to be publishing a new modern-day slavery strategy in the new year. It is important that they get that strategy right and that the NRM is working effectively.

At the GLAA, the numbers of modern-day slavery victims that we support is quite small. The majority of the victims that we support are people who would fall outside of the category of modern-day slavery and are exploited and vulnerable workers. They do not meet the criteria for the NRM. There is a bit of a gap around those victims in particular and how we support them. I would like to see some work done around how victims’ services are provided for those workers who do not, for whatever reasonperhaps because of their immigration statuswant to go into the NRM or might not quite meet the criteria for it. I think there is a gap there.

Q20            Dame Diana Johnson: This question is on what you said about victims, and wanting to support victims of modern-day slavery. One of the Government’s proposals in the nationality Bill going through Parliament at the moment is that if someone does not declare themselves as a victim of modern-day slavery at the beginning, as soon as they come to the attention of the authorities, that can be a problem, in terms of the credibility that is given to that declaration if it is made later. I wondered what your thoughts were on that. Do you think that will assist people wanting to come forward and declare themselves as a victim of trafficking and modern-day slavery or not?

Julia Mulligan: There is a debate going on around some of the clauses in the Bill at the moment. As chair of the GLAA, my role would be to ensure that people are aware of any concerns that we have. It is then obviously down to Parliament to decide what to do with that Bill. I am aware that representations are being made around some of the clauses in the Bill and that there are some concerns around that, and they need to be listened to.

Q21            Gary Sambrook: Thank you, Julia, for coming today. Do you think that there is a need to expand the areas in which the GLAA license? I am thinking in particular of nail bars, car-washing facilities and textiles.

Julia Mulligan: That is a really interesting question, and we do discuss this quite a lot. The position, first of all, is around self-regulation. Businesses need to make sure that they are operating voluntarily in a way that does not exploit anybody. A good example would be the good car wash scheme, which was developed with the GLAA but also with the police and with some of the NGOs in the sector to try to encourage car washes to pay their staff properly, and not to have any employment practices that were either illegal or poor practice. That is the starting point, I think; self-regulation. If there is evidence that more legal regulation needs to be implemented, then that should be considered, but I am not aware of any proposals at the moment to broaden that.

At the GLAA we do a lot of work in this space, but they are not our regulated sectors and it falls particularly into the prevention activity that we do, which is really important and sometimes gets lost in the priorities. For example, we have been working to create a level 1 qualification in exploitation that young people and vulnerable people can take—we did the pilot with Boston College—which will help inform people of their employment rights and the signs of exploitation. That is starting to be rolled out more widely now. That is a really good example of some of the work that we can do in the prevention space, but the good car wash scheme is another one of those.

Q22            Ms Diane Abbott: I am sorry to interrupt you, Gary, but I think I heard you say that it is initially about self-regulation. If your whole business model is premised on being able to super-exploit people whose immigration status is often a bit dodgy, how are those people going to self-regulate?

Julia Mulligan: What we have in place at the moment is a statutory framework around regulated sectors. That is the GLAA’s core mission at the moment. If there is a requirement for regulation of more sectors, then as the GLAA, if that comes in, we will respond to that and we will deal with that. We will also make people aware of the work that we are doing. Operation Tacit in Leicester is a good example of that. The GLAA led the taskforce in Leicester and there are a lot of learnings and recommendations that came out of that that will feed into the creation of the single enforcement body as we go forward. We are very active in that space, and we will contribute to that debate and provide evidence should Parliament seek to take further steps.

Q23            Gary Sambrook: Going back to the work on prevention, you mentioned the Responsible Car Wash Scheme, the qualification and the construction protocol. How effective do you think these prevention methods are? Is there anything that takes place at the moment that you would like to try to change, or anything that could be tweaked to make it more effective?

Julia Mulligan: That is a difficult question to answer, because properly evaluating those schemes is challenging for the GLAA because of our size and our resources. We have to work with our partners to help us do that. The qualification for me is an interesting initiative because the more people we can roll it out to, the more people who have those skills to be able to understand what their rights are. To measure the impact of that is quite challenging. What we really need to do is encourage our partners to get as many people to take that qualification as we possibly can. We are trying hard to do that and it is starting to get some momentum now, which is good to see. It has gone beyond the initial pilot and we are starting to roll it out. It is a challenge for us, but we will do the best we can within the resources and the remit that we have.

Q24            Gary Sambrook: I have one final question. From your personal priorities for the future, how would you balance out the need and allocation of resources when it comes to prevention on the one side, and investigation on the other?

Julia Mulligan: We are going through a process of trying to determine that at the moment. We are looking at our strategy and trying to determine where best to put our resources. At the moment, prevention is a much smaller resource than enforcement. Arguably, the licensing scheme and the compliance scheme that we run is prevention in itself, and we must not lose sight of that, because that allows us to set a level playing field for the businesses operating in those sectors. That is a significant part of the prevention work that we do. The board is very keen to encourage the organisation to put more resources and focus on prevention.

Q25            Stuart C McDonald: Thank you for your evidence so far. This will be quite a challenging time to take up this post, and one challenge will be the absence of a Director of Labour Market Enforcement for pretty much all of this year. What problems has that caused the GLAA and how would you address them?

Julia Mulligan: The DLME published the Good Work Plan, which you will be aware of, which led to the Government consultation on the single enforcement body. We have been focused on what that means for the GLAA at the moment, and the DLME’s plan is still in place. It is my understanding that they will be announcing who the new DLME is in fairly short time, so I will be looking forward to working with them when they come into post.

Q26            Stuart C McDonald: You have spoken a couple of times about the challenge that the organisation faces in terms of its scale and budget, and you have made several mentions of the importance of working with stakeholders and a reliance on stakeholders. Who would you regard as your main stakeholders and how will you build those relationships?

Julia Mulligan: We obviously have the organisations that will become part of the single enforcement body, so the minimum wage team in HMRC and also the EAS team. More broadly, of course, the police are key partners in the enforcement activities. Businesses are key partners for us as well. For example, again with Leicester we did quite a lot of work with the likes of Boohoo and the NGOs in the sector; organisations like Unseen, for example. We have a very wide range of partners that we need to engage with.

Q27            Stuart C McDonald: You have mentioned the single enforcement body a couple of times as well. How do you even begin to take forward work to put that in place? How does that process work?

Julia Mulligan: We are obviously waiting to hear further detailed plans from the Government as to how that is going to manifest itself, but in the meantime we have seen some of the intent indications and goals for the SEB that were published in the Government’s response to the consultation. A good example of what we are doing would be the new compliance strategy that I talked about, which is focusing more on enforcement. Previously, the GLAA has been focused on initial licensing and it has been recognised that we need to have a greater emphasis on enforcement. One of the SEB’s goals is that enforcement element of it around labour exploitation, as distinct from modern slavery. That will be a good example of how we are already anticipating what is required of us in the single enforcement body and how we are moving towards it.

Q28            Stuart C McDonald: You do not see any danger that part of the remit of the GLAA may be lost or given less attention as part of this process?

Julia Mulligan: We were concerned about that and in our submissions to the consultation we made strong representations that the enforcement arm, the modern-day slavery element of our work, needed to be included in the single enforcement body. We were very pleased to see that that is the case. In fact, in the Government’s response it is highlighted in bold, so we were pleased to see that the Government took that seriously.

It is going to be a complicated period of time. You cannot underestimate the different cultures of different organisations coming together and the challenges that that is going to face. We saw some of the issues around data sharing through the partnership work that we did in Leicester, so BEIS is doing a lessons learnt from Leicester that will help to inform the SEB going forward. There is also a new programme board starting later this month. I think the momentum is starting to come back to that, which is welcome.

Q29            Stuart C McDonald: Since the 2016 Act, the remit of the GLAA is slightly different in England and Wales than it is in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Julia Mulligan: Yes.

Stuart C McDonald: Does that create complications, and how significant is the GLAA’s footprint in Scotland and Northern Ireland now?

Julia Mulligan: The GLAA has made it clear that it would like to see a level playing field across all of the members of the United Kingdom.

Stuart C McDonald: You regard that as slightly challenging in the way it is set up at the moment?

Julia Mulligan: We would like to have a consistency across the country.

Q30            Stuart C McDonald: This is my final question. Say you are in post in two years’ time and you are back before this Committee. How would we measure success?

Julia Mulligan: First, I would like to be able to point to evidence of better support for victims and that, in turn, would lead to more prosecutions. I would like to see our new compliance strategy properly embedded and more enforcement taking place against those organisations that do not adhere to the rules. I would like the organisation to be, as I suppose I would describe it, match fit for the single enforcement body and able to play its full role in that new organisation.

Q31            Chair: I have a few final follow-up questions. Do you think that the GLAA is high profile enough?

Julia Mulligan: One of the reasons for the single enforcement body is to try to create an organisation that has a clear brand and people know where to go for help and support. I would fully support that. I think the GLAA’s profile has increased as a consequence of leading the taskforce in Leicester, and that was something that we were pleased to be able to do. You can always do more around that, and it goes back to my comment about confidence and people’s knowledge of where to go for help. That is one of the reasons why I think the new qualification that we have helped to develop is important. It tells people where to go and how they can get support.

Q32            Chair: Do you have any sense of how many, or what proportion, of the intelligence tipoffs, the information or the complaints that the GLAA gets are from the public, as opposed to referrals from the police or from other government organisations?

Julia Mulligan: I don’t have that to hand, Chair, but I could probably get that information for you if you are interested in it.

Q33            Chair: The question I am probing is along the lines, frankly, of whether anybody who has any concerns knows who the GLAA is, where it is, what it does and so on, and whether there is a case for the new chair being much more high profile about investigations that have taken place and the work that the GLAA is doing in order to be able to inform people where to complain to. My sense is that most people do not know at all.

Julia Mulligan: Yes, I would concur with that. I do think there is an opportunity for us. We have had some successes in recent months and I think we need to build on those successes and make the most of them as evidence of what we are doing, how we are supporting people and how we are prosecuting people. I definitely think we could do more along those lines.

Q34            Chair: Is there anything else that you would like to put to the Committeeanything that we should have asked you about or should have raised with you?

Julia Mulligan: No, but I would like to thank the outgoing chair, if I may, for all of the work that she has done, and also the board. We have a changing board, and I would like to thank those people who have borne with the public appointments process. It has been a little bit drawn out. I would like to thank them and, of course, all of my colleagues at the GLAA for doing the work that they do. We had some very powerful presentations from operational colleagues at the last board meeting, which really confirmed all of our commitment to their core mission.

Chair: Thank you very much. If there are no further questions from anybody else on the Committee, thank you, Julia Mulligan. We very much appreciate your time. That concludes our public evidence session today.

Julia Mulligan: Thank you.