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Departments: Public Expenditure

Volume 465: debated on Thursday 25 October 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland on what dates his Department breached its (a) resource, (b) near-cash, (c) administration and (d) capital budgets since 2001; what the total value of each breach was; and what the reason was for each breach. (160319)

Since 2001 the Northern Ireland Office (NIO) Department has not had any breaches of its (a) resource budget, (b) Near-cash budget, (c) administration budget and (d) capital budget.

However, in 2001-02 the Department did have an excess vote relating to the funding of the grant to the Northern Ireland Consolidated Fund, which is a stand-alone RfR (request for resources) within the Department’s supply estimates. The excess against the RfR was £285.2 million which in turn lead to an excess of £148.7 million over the total voted net cash requirement for the Department.

The reason for the breach was due to a breakdown in communication between the Department of Finance and Personnel, the NIO and HM Treasury during the spring supplementary estimates of that year.