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Disposal Sales Agency

Lord Hardy of Wath asked Her Majesty's Government:

Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: Since its launch in October 1994 the agency has positioned itself as the market leader in the disposal sales of surplus equipment and goods in the public sector. The key targets which have been set for the chief executive of the Disposal Sales Agency for this financial year are aimed at securing disposal receipts from the sale of surplus capital assets and inventory items from both the Ministry of Defence and a range of public sector organisations. The chief executive of the agency has been set the following key targets for the financial year 2000-01. Key Target 1: To achieve disposal sales gross income from sales of surplus government owned equipment and stores of £40m. Key Target 2: To achieve a unit cost of generating £1m of sales of £87.5K. Key Target 3: To agree customer supplier agreements (CSAs) based on the transfer to DSA of ownership of assets declared for disposal. Key Target 4: To establish performance measures for DSA based on added value and to set targets for 2001-02. Key Target 5: To refine the agency's web-site and establish the feasibility of e-commerce for disposal business.

Civil Service: Industry and Commerce Secondments

The Earl of Northesk asked Her Majesty's Government:

27 Sept 2000 : Column WA150

The Minister of State, Cabinet Office (Lord Falconer of Thoroton): (a) The Modernising Government White Paper and Sir Richard Wilson's report to the Prime Minister on Civil Service reform made it clear that this Government are keen to promote the exchange of people and good practice between the Civil Service and other organisations. Such opportunities can take many forms, ranging from temporary secondments (lasting more than 3 months), to short term attachments (less than 3 months)-- to job sharing and joint training. In the year ended 31 March 1999, there were 345 secondments from industry and commerce to the Civil Service. A breakdown of this figure by department is attached. Figures from 1 April 1999 to 31 March 2000 are not yet available.

Industry & Commerce Secondments - Inward Only

Cabinet Office358
Charity Commission000
Crown Office000
Employment Service161127
Govt. Actuary's Department000
Govt. Office for the Regions16319
Health & Safety Executive202
HM C&E011
HM Land Registry000
HM Treasury16521
Home Office000
Inland Revenue011
Intervention Board000
Legal Sec. to Law Officers000
National Savings000
Northern Ireland Office000
Northern Ireland Court Service000
Ordnance Survey000
Privy Council Office000
Public Record Office000
Registers of Scotland000
Royal Mint000
Scottish Office7815
Serious Fraud Office000
Treasury Solicitors Dept000
War Pensions Agency000
Welsh Office448

(b) Information as to which individual commercial companies secondees come from is not held centrally and can only be obtained at disproportional cost.

(c) It is difficult to quantify the cost to the taxpayer of any secondments as each secondment is negotiated separately. The most usual arrangement is for the secondee to continue to be paid by his or her employer, which in turn seeks reimbursement from the receiving organisation. This also applies to any civil servants being seconded out to other organisations.

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Good Friday Agreement Releases: Re-arrests

Lord Tebbit asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether any persons granted early release from prison under the Good Friday arrangements have been re-arrested in connection with crimes of violence.[HL3789]

Lord Falconer of Thoroton: To date a total of 11 early release licensees have been arrested and charged with further offences. Out of the eleven, eight were charged in connection with crimes of violence. One of the eight was acquitted and the charges were not proceeded with against another. Three licensees have been charged for non-violent offences.

Good Friday Agreement: Deaths and Injuries

Lord Tebbit asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Waht are the number of (a) killings, (b) woundings, and (c) persons exiled by terrorists in Northern Ireland since the signing of the Good Friday Agreement.[HL3670]

Lord Falconer of Thoroton: During the period 10 April 1998 to 25th July 2000 the Royal Ulster Constabularly recorded 53 deaths and 2,882 injuries due to the security situation in Northern Ireland. No figures are available which might indicate the number of persons forced to leave the Province by paramilitaries.

Millennium Dome

Baroness Anelay of St Johns asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What sum will be paid to English Parterships as a consequence of the sale of the Millennium Dome to Dome Europe, a wholly owned subsidiary of Nomura; and[HL3783]

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    When they will publish the full terms and conditions of the sale of the Millenium Dome to Dome Europe, a wholly owned subsidiary of Nomura.[HL3780]

Lord Falconer of Thoroton: The proposed terms of the sale of the Dome to Dome Europe must remain commercially confidential at present, while negotiations with Nomura as preferred bidder continue. Details of the sale will be made available once it has been completed.

On 27 July, Hilary Armstrong and I announced that some £53 million should be paid to the New Millennium Experience Company from total expected early payments from the competition of the £105 million. There is also provision for additional payment for land value in certain circumstances and a share of the profits if the business changes hands. The remainder of this total amount, after meeting third party commitments, will go to English Partnerships. I enclose a copy of my answer to the House reporting this decision.

Baroness Anelay of St Johns asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether the projected visitor numbers for the period up to and including 31 December 2000, set by the latest business plan published by the New Millennium Experience Company, can be achieved.[HL3782]

Lord Falconer of Thoroton: Four million people have already visited the Dome, making it the most successful pay-to-visit attraction in the UK. Both NMEC and the Millennium Commission keep the revised target of 6 million paying visitors under review on an ongoing basis.

The Earl of Northesk asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What agreement has been reached between Nomura and the Government with regard to the warranties and indemnities which will form part of the contract of sale of the Millennium Dome.[HL3779]

Lord Falconer of Thoroton: The proposed terms of the sale of the Dome to Dome Europe must remain commercially confidential at present, while negotiations with Nomura as preferred bidder continue. Details of the sale will be made available once it has been completed.

Baroness Seccombe asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Further to the Written Answer by the Lord Falconer of Thoroton on 29 June (WA 15-16), whether he will publish a table showing for each month of 2000 the percentage of visitors admitted free to the Dome, the percentage admitted on a reduced price ticket and the absolute number of visitors in each category.[HL3144]

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Lord Falconer of Thoroton: The table below outlines the information requested:

Total Free 1 Total Discounted 2 Total Sponsors from Discounted 3
Jan 20008,69348,53614,586
Feb 200069,57754,8549,169
Mar 200098,34857,7544,892
Apr 200062,478104,83412,077
May 2000104,937143,80513,456
Jun 2000121,004151,83014,052

(2) This includes free school visits, carers of disabled people, sponsor ticket allocation, accompanying teachers on paying school visits, coach drivers, Greenwich residents, NMEC guests and VIPs.

(3) These reflect a range of promotions and offers which are normal for visitor attraction businesses and are factored into the company's business strategy and planning. For example, NMEC has and will run a number of offers and promotions with its sponsors for customers; and NMEC has and continues to run a special price ticket for entry after 4 pm. A key promotion with Marks and Spencer concluded on 30 June and this is likely to be evident in subsequent month's data.

(4) There are several issues in terms of the data integrity regarding the number of Free Sponsor admissions in the attendance months to date. Due to the fact that NMEC ticketing and admission systems are different we are unable to establish non-attendance vs. bookings. This is obviously more likely in the case of free issue tickets, i.e., sponsors and passholders.

The admission system does not differentiate between free and paying attendance at a sufficiently detailed level to provide accurate analysis, i.e., it will show that an admission is from an Enta booking, but not that it is a sponsor voucher.

The redemption of sponsor vouchers via the ticketing system (Enta) does not differentiate between a free sponsor voucher being redeemed for a specific attendance date and a sponsor voucher purchased via a bulk purchase agreement (e.g. Tesco's 50,000 vouchers at £10 each). Passholders of platinum, gold, silver and bronze passes are able to bring up to five guests. These are invariably not booked in advance via the ticketing system and are not noted in the admission system.

The above and several other issues mean that we are unable to provide any form of reasonably accurate analysis.

The numbers attached are an approximation and as such should ideally be used for review purposes. Clearly, there is insufficient accuracy for them to be regarded as audited or validated information.

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