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Valuation Office: Overseas Visits

Volume 487: debated on Monday 9 February 2009

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what overseas conferences have been attended by representatives of the Valuation Office Agency at public expense in the last 12 months; (252430)

(2) with reference to the answer to the hon. Member for Bromley and Chislehurst, of 17 March 2008, Official Report, column 899W, on the Valuation Office: visits abroad, which overseas destinations have been visited by Valuation Office Agency staff since March 2008; how many visits were made to each destination; and what the purpose of each visit was.

The Valuation Office Agency (VOA) receives a number of requests to provide advice overseas. Where VOA participation is expected to be beneficial at an overseas conference or seminar some or all of the costs incurred are normally borne by the conference organisers.

Since March 2008 staff from the Valuation Office Agency have made the following visits:

Fully paid for by the event organisers;

One person visited Moscow as a Keynote speaker at Russian Society of Appraisers Conference; and

One person visited Kansas City to attend a meeting of the International Association of Assessing Officers to review mass appraisal courses and textbooks.

Costs paid by the VOA:

Five visits, consisting of one person each time, were made to Dublin to discuss valuation practice and procedures across England, Wales, Ireland and Scotland;

One person visited Toronto to attend the Mass Appraisal Valuation Symposium, partly paid for by the organisers;

One person visited Warsaw as a Keynote speaker at the European Valuers Conference;

One person visited Beijing to attend an International Property Tax Institute Conference, partly paid for by the organisers;

One person visited Adelaide as a Keynote speaker at the Australian Valuer General, Registrar General and Surveyor General's Conference, partly paid for by the organisers; and

One person visited Cannes to attend Gartner's Symposium / ITxpo 2008.