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Written Answers to Questions

Monday 1 March 2004



Sue Doughty: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if he will make a statement on the management agreement and associated fees between Actis and CDC. [156399]

Hilary Benn: The management agreement will be a five-year commercial contract between CDC Group plc and Actis. The contract will set out the amounts that CDC shall commit to each of Actis's regional and sectoral funds, the minimum service levels that Actis shall provide (for example in terms of overseas office coverage), the management fees to be charged and all the detailed provisions necessary to this complex transaction.

Actis's management fees will be determined as a percentage of the capital committed to each of the new funds that it is establishing. The percentages will vary from fund to fund, depending on the management services to be provided and the market norms (where these exist). The total sum of the management fees has been calculated to equate to the anticipated total operating costs of Actis on an approximately break-even basis over the first five years. The CDC Board has taken independent expert advice on the fee levels appropriate in the circumstances.

Sue Doughty: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if he will make a statement on the (a) valuation and (b) organisational arrangements of Actis. [156401]

Hilary Benn: Actis will be a limited liability partnership between its management and staff, and the Government. Management and staff will have a 60 per cent. controlling interest, providing independence of ownership and investment decision taking. However, under "clawback" arrangements, over the first 10 years 80 per cent. of any profits and proceeds from a sale of Actis would accrue to the Government.

The board of CDC Group plc has an obligation to obtain full value for the sale of any part of CDC. The Independent Committee of the CDC board instructed KPMG to value the new company, as well as the interest to be acquired by management and staff.

Taking into account the clawback arrangements and other obligations to Government, KPMG's opinion was that the market value of the 60 per cent. interest in Actis to be sold to management and staff was some £338,000 to £408,000. The Independent Committee recommended that management and staff should pay £373,000, the mid-point figure, which I have accepted. The Shareholder

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Executive and our financial advisers have endorsed the valuation process and the NAO has been kept informed about this and other aspects of the CDC reorganisation.

Actis will have a supervisory board, and the Government will retain the right to veto on the choice of chairman and two non-executive directors. Corporate governance arrangements will be in accordance with best practice for a public limited company. The other details of the organisation of Actis will be set down in the Partnership Agreement.

Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much is being spent on the refurbishment of the office space of (a) CDC and (b) Actis; and how much is being spent on office space used by the chief executive of each. [157841]

Hilary Benn: Expenditure over the last four months on the preparation of new offices for CDC and Actis is estimated at £0.5 million and £4.9 million respectively. CDC, which now has a staff complement of about 20, moved to their new office in February. Actis, who employ some 150 staff in their UK headquarters, will move later this month.

The offices of the chief executives were part of the overall refurbishment work and were not separately costed.

Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what the cost of corporate entertaining by CDC was for the last seven years; and what the budget for corporate entertainment by (a) CDC and (b) Actis is for the next three years. [157842]

Hilary Benn: The information requested is not immediately available and will be provided shortly.

Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what the projected new investment in sub-Saharan Africa by CDC and Actis is in the next three years. [157843]

Hilary Benn: CDC is required by the Investment Policy to make 50 per cent. of its new investments in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. Under the management contract, CDC will be committing $250 million to Actis's Africa Fund 1 to be drawn-down for investment over the period to 2006. A further $100 million will be committed to the fund for 2005. Actis will launch an Africa Fund 2 in 2006 to which it is intended that CDC will commit $320 million alongside $160 million to be raised from third party investors.

In addition, some of the capital that CDC has committed to the Actis Power Fund and the Small and Medium Sized Enterprise (SME) Funds will also be invested in sub-Saharan Africa.

Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what the (a) salary and (b) bonus and options payments of the 12 highest paid employees of (a) CDC and (b) Actis will be in 2004. [157844]

Hilary Benn: Decisions on the 2004 salary and bonus levels for both CDC and Actis will be the responsibility of the Remuneration Committees of their respective boards, working within guidelines agreed with the Government.

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Bonus payments are dependent on performance, both that of the individual and of the company. It has been agreed that total remuneration for achieving Business Plan targets should move towards the 60th percentile of the nearest equivalent industries.

Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what the (a) length and (b) terms of the contracts of the directors of Actis are. [157845]

Hilary Benn: These matter have not yet been finalised, but will follow best practice for corporate governance.

Extractive Industries

Tom Brake: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if he will support the recommendations of the World Bank commissioned Extractive Industries Review. [156465]

Hilary Benn: The Government have been actively involved in the Extractive Industries Review (EIR).

We support the main conclusion of the review that the World Bank Group should remain involved with the extractive sector. We agree that it is important that social and environmental safeguards are rigorously applied, that human rights are respected, and that efforts are made to improve the governance and transparency of revenue flows from the sector.

In light of the World Bank's existing and planned work to deal with these issues, we believe that the EIR's recommendation to end investments in the oil sector by 2008 is premature. We also believe that the primary responsibility to address climate change should rest with developed countries, and that it would not be appropriate to deny the potential economic benefits of extractive industries to developing countries.


Tom Brake: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much (a) bilateral and (b) multilateral aid his Department plans to offer Swaziland in 2004–05 and 2005–06, broken down by (i) programme type and (ii) amount. [156517]

Hilary Benn: DFID currently funds only two bilateral programmes in Swaziland, both of which are due to end during 2004–05. We expect to spend around £300,000 on a Rural Water Supply Programme, and around £80,000 on a programme of support to the Co-ordinating Assembly of Non-Government organisations.

In addition, DFID will continue to support Swaziland through a number of regional initiatives. In particular we are supporting work on HIV/AIDS through the International Partnership against AIDS in Africa (implemented by UNAIDS and ActionAid), and through a programme implemented by the Southern African Development Community.

I am afraid it is not possible to provide future projections of DFID's share of multilateral aid to Swaziland.

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Northern Ireland Airports

Lady Hermon: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what facilities are available in Northern Ireland for checking the safety and maintenance records of airlines and aircraft using Northern Ireland's airports; and with what frequency safety inspections have been carried out on airlines and aircraft using airports in Northern Ireland in the last 12 months. [156943]

Mr. McNulty: The Civil Aviation Authority is responsible for the safety oversight of UK registered aircraft and aircraft operators. The oversight for Northern Ireland is carried out by CAA Airworthiness Surveyors located at the Regional Office in Irvine and CAA Flight Operations Inspectors based at Stirling. UK operators serving Northern Ireland but based on the mainland will receive oversight from the other CAA Regional Offices.

In the last 12 months CAA maintenance surveyors have visited Northern Ireland approximately once a month, each visit lasting several days. Flight Operations Inspectors have visited and conducted inspections on three separate occasions and have also conducted additional inspections on Northern Ireland operations from the mainland.

A number of foreign airlines also operate services to airports in Northern Ireland. These airlines are subject to oversight and inspection from their national aviation authorities and we require them to be operated in accordance with international standards. If we have reason to suspect that a foreign airline is not meeting international standards we will arrange for it to be inspected by the CAA. Such inspections will take place at the most appropriate airport. It was not necessary to carry out any such inspections in Northern Ireland last year.

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