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Open letter from Simon Flemington, CEO of LSE Enterprise, in response to the Woolf Inquiry

LSE Enterprise is the wholly owned commercial arm of LSE, existing to put the social sciences into action and enhance the reputation and income of the School and its academics.

In 2007 LSE Enterprise successfully bid to undertake training programmes for the Libyan Economic Development Board. We created a programme in public management, leadership and change for Libyan doctors, teachers, engineers and civil servants who were identified as having leadership potential. We taught a five-week course in Libya covering approaches to public administration, public sector strategy, budgets and other topics. The top performers then undertook an advanced course at LSE in London, which concentrated on practical managerial skills, leading through change, public management and strategy, crisis management and more.

The recent inquiry into LSE's links with Libya included an in-depth review of our work with the country. In particular, it covered our training programme for Libyan professionals contracted through the Economic Development Board. I am happy that Lord Woolf concurs that this work was "clearly of merit". He noted the comment of one submission he received that "education makes people free... LSE Enterprise focuses on making a positive contribution to a civil society with clients primarily drawn from government and the public sector worldwide".

On the company's processes he praised our "particularly well developed ethical code" and recommended that we consider extending it to cover contracts involving current students. This has now been done. Lord Woolf summarised by saying that, when considered in isolation "I see no grounds whatsoever for criticising the work done by LSE-E in Libya".  

We stand by the need to educate civil servants across the world in effective public administration. LSE's Director, Professor Judith Rees, has said: "I would like to reaffirm the LSE's commitment to undertake the difficult task of educating and training people in crisis states or states in turmoil".

I am in no doubt that an LSE education, particularly when enabling participants to experience living abroad in central London, gives them the skills to benefit their country and exposes them to international perspectives on good governance, civil society, leadership and political economy.

I would like to thank the numerous colleagues within and beyond LSE who submitted their views to the Woolf Inquiry about the programme and our engagement in Libya.  

Simon Flemington
Chief Executive Officer
LSE Enterprise Ltd