Mr. Alan Williams
To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage on which date her Department first became aware of the flights taken by the Director General of Oflot; who was the most senior person to be aware of the flights prior to 11 December; for what reasons no member of her Department notified(a) the National Audit Office and (b) the Committee of Public Accounts prior to 11 December; in what circumstances her Department became aware of the flights; and when, thereafter, the first meeting took place between the director general and departmental officials or Ministers. 
[holding answer 9 January 1996]: The brief prepared by the Office of the National Lottery for the director general's appearance before the Committee of Public Accounts on 11 December stated that the GTech corporate jet was used on occasions when it made operational sense to do so. My Department was first aware of this when the grade 3 head of arts, sports and lottery group read this brief on 4 December 1995. Full reports on the visits and travel arrangements were on Oflot's files and thus open to inspection by the National Audit Office from November 1994. It was for the director general as accounting officer, rather than for my officials, to answer any questions raised by the Committee about these matters.
The subsequent meetings at which the subject was discussed were on 12 December at one of the director general's regular informal liaison meetings with my officials; on 15 December, when the director general submitted to my Department his draft report to me; and on 18 and 19 December, when first the permanent secretary, and then I, discussed the report with the director general.