§ Mr. Maclennan
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what recommendations have been made by the inter-departmental committee set up to consider whether Departments should enjoy a share of benefits accruing from rationalisation schemes and disposals of property declared surplus.
§ Mr. Chope
I have been asked to reply.
At present, receipts from the disposal of Government civil property are in general accounted for by the PSA and accrue to the Exchequer. From 1 April 1990, responsibility for the existing civil estate will be divided between individual Departments and the PSA, as announced in the statement of my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State on 25 May 1988, Official Report, column 339. From that date, individual Departments will account for receipts in respect of disposals from their departmental estates and will seek permission from the Treasury to reapply all or part of proceeds to other parts of their programme offering good 579W value for money. The same arrangements apply to the PSA which will have responsibility for the common user element of the civil estate and could involve assistance to Departments that have had to move in order to create worthwhile rationalisation opportunities. This issue is among the matters kept under review by the official level interdepartmental committee which deals with accommodation matters generally on the Government's civil estate.