Workshy Lady Judge: can only manage a two-day week
Ministers have been urged to intervene after it emerged that Lady Judge, who is paid £60,000 by the Government for a two-day week as chairman of the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA), has 30 other directorships. Last week the authority announced checks on the medical records of 20,000 deceased workers after the disclosure that the Sellafield site had secretly stored and tested body parts of some of its workers between 1962 and 1991.
Labour MPs are unhappy that Lady Judge, who took over at the UKAEA in 2004, holds so many posts, including directorships of companies in America and Hong Kong.
Last year the UKAEA was fined £2 million by the nuclear industry watchdog - the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority - after 58.5 gallons of radioactive fluid spilled at Dounreay in Scotland.
No employees were exposed to radiation during the incident but it led to the plant being closed.
Lady Judge, 60, is on the board of the New York-based Planet Group, an adviser to Hill & Associates in Hong Kong, and chairman of the advisory board of LoSoNoCo which is based in Florida. She is also chairman of Private Equ-ity Investor, a public company, the deputy chairman of Friends Provident, and the senior independent director at Quintain Estates.
In addition to more than 20 other posts, she is also the chairman of the School of Oriental & African Studies and on the board of an American and a Turkish university.
Lady Judge is also deputy chairman of the Financial Report Council, which monitors whether British companies are being run properly. Although there is no suggestion that she neglects her duties, a key element of the council's code is that "non-executive directors should undertake that they will have sufficient time to meet what is expected of them".
Lady Judge, a lawyer who carries out some of her other work engagements over the telephone, said: "I give considerably more than two days a week to the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority. I am passionate about its mission which is decommissioning the United Kingdom's nuclear power plants. I am sure the Department of Trade and Industry will tell you it is satisfied with my work." Lindsay Hoyle, a Labour MP on the Commons trade and industry select committee, is pressing for ministerial action. She said: "I am astonished. Ministers have to intervene to examine whether, because of the importance of the organisation, Barbara Judge is able to devote sufficient time to the job. It is hard to imagine how she can be with all those other interests.
"The UKAEA is a major player in decommissioning of nuclear sites and other safety issues. Frankly, it is outrageous that the chair of this authority is allowed to have so many other jobs."
A spokesman for the UKAEA, which employs more than 2,000 people, said: "I do not know how many days a week she does. That is a matter for the Department of Trade and Industry which appointed her."
A DTI spokesman said: "The department is more than satisfied that Lady Judge gives sufficient time to perform her role alongside her other duties."
By Andrew Pierce