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Meteorological Office and Hydrographic Office

Volume 450: debated on Wednesday 11 October 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what progress has been made on the review into the structure of the Meteorological Office and the Hydrographic Office; and if he will make a statement. (89672)

Our examination of the future structure and ownership arrangements for the Meteorological Office has concluded that it should remain a trading fund for the present. In the longer term, we will keep open the option of possible conversion into a Government-owned company, but for now the priority for the Met Office is to build on its existing success, by delivering further improvements in its public sector services, and driving commercial growth.

I expect to reach a conclusion about possible changes to the future structure and ownership of the UK Hydrographic Office (UKHO) in the autumn.

It has, however, been decided that the two organisations should not be merged, although the possibility of co-location with the Met Office at Exeter is one of a number of options under examination for the future location of UKHO.