Select Committee on Public Accounts Minutes of Evidence

Note by the Treasury


  1.  The Treasury guidance produced in July 1998, Selling Government Services into Wider Markets—Policy and Guidance Note, set out the framework within which departments are encouraged to pursue wider markets initiatives, and flagged up the issues they needed to consider. The Treasury followed this up with a number of well-attended seminars designed to highlight best practice. It has also, with the assistance of the NAO, clarified the right of trading funds to undertake joint ventures and enable departments to take out commercial insurance for commercial ventures under the wider markets initiative.

  2.  Working closely with the Treasury Taskforce, the body established to advise on PFI transactions, the Treasury also provided support to Departments in the development of their wider markets activities including commercial advice on individual projects.

  3.  It is now intended to step up the pace of advisory activity with the creation of Partnerships UK. The Treasury's framework agreement with PUK provides for a three-person unit tasked with providing wider markets policy advice and support to the Treasury, as well as help desk and advisory services to departments, agencies and trading funds. There will be a particular emphasis on commercialisation of science from public sector research establishments, in line with the Government's wider growth agenda. This unit will take a pro-active approach, seeking out possible deals and making its services known widely to potential users amongst departments and PSREs. An early priority will be the creation of further guidance including a step by step route map for those considering wider markets initiatives and on joint ventures, taking account of the lessons learned from experience to date. We intend, as on the initial wider markets guidance, to consult the NAO on this.

previous page contents

House of Commons home page Parliament home page House of Lords home page search page enquiries index

© Parliamentary copyright 2001
Prepared 12 July 2001