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Crown Agents Holding and Realisations Board

Volume 470: debated on Monday 7 January 2008

The Crown Agents Holding and Realisations Board (CAHRB) was established by the Crown Agents Act 1979 to separate the assets and liabilities of the realisation account dealing with the 1974 losses of the unincorporated Crown Agents from the business of the newly incorporated Crown Agents for Overseas Governments and Administrations (which since 1996 has been successfully operating under the Crown Agents Foundation).

I thank the chairman of CAHRB, David Probert, CBE and Peter Berry the former chief executive and chairman of Crown Agents for carrying on the work of CAHRB in recent years.

CAHRB’s 2006 accounts were reported to the House of Commons by the National Audit Office on 13 June 2007. The summary of the realisation account in these accounts shows that CAHRB has recovered and repaid £38 million of the £175 million which was provided by the Government against the losses incurred in 1974 by the unincorporated Crown Agents.

There are now no further significant realisations likely to be made. I have therefore concluded, with the agreement of CAHRB, that the responsibilities of the board for realising assets and discharging liabilities have been substantially completed and that there is no longer a need to have a statutory body for this work. I therefore propose to make an order under the Crown Agents Act 1979 to wind up CAHRB as at 31 March 2008; the few remaining assets and liabilities will transfer to DFID. Once accounts for the final accounting year have been compiled and audited the board will be dissolved.