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Departmental Public Expenditure

Volume 506: debated on Monday 22 February 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the written ministerial statement of 10 February 2010, Official Report, columns 54-58WS, on Foreign and Commonwealth Office finances, how the planned foreign exchange adjustment account will operate; and in what ways it will (a) resemble and (b) differ from the Overseas Price Mechanism. (317625)

The foreign exchange adjustment account will be a departmental unallocated provision (DUP) which the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) will draw on as necessary to manage the impact of foreign exchange fluctuations. It is not a return to the Overseas Price Movements Mechanism under which the FCO budget was adjusted from the Treasury Reserve to reflect foreign exchange rate movements.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the written ministerial statement of 10 February 2010, Official Report, columns 54-58WS, on Foreign and Commonwealth Office finances, which assets he expects to sell in order to raise the sum intended in the statement; and what the (a) current book value and (b) estimated market value is of each such asset. (317627)

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office publishes details of disposals quarterly in a letter to the Foreign Affairs Committee. For commercial reasons and in order to realise maximum value from disposals, we do not publish details of planned disposals in advance.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the written ministerial statement of 10 February 2010, Official Report, columns 54-58WS, on Foreign and Commonwealth Office finances, what the (a) original agreed budget for 2010-11 and (b) budget reduction agreed in consequence of the effect of changes in the value of sterling is for (i) the British Council, (ii) the BBC World Service, (iii) Foreign and Commonwealth Office Services and (iv) each other agency and non-departmental public body for which his Department is responsible. (318025)

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) grant in aid to the BBC World Service for 2010-11 is £267 million in resources and capital. The FCO grant in aid to the British Council for the same period is £194 million in resources and capital. The BBC World Service will make available £7.7 million to the FCO including an underspend of £4 million in 2009-10. The British Council will make available £5 million to the FCO. These contributions will not result in permanent reductions in their baseline, but are for 2010-11 only.

FCO Services Trading Fund will make a special dividend payment to the FCO of £3 million in financial year 2010-11.

No other non-departmental public bodies or agencies for which the FCO is responsible plan to make similar contributions to the FCO budget in 2010-11.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the written ministerial statement of 10 February 2010, Official Report, columns 54-58WS, on Foreign and Commonwealth Office finances, how much his Department expects to save in 2010-11 as a result of each of the measures set out in the statement. (318026)

The value of the contributions from the British Council and the BBC World Service to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) budget for 2010-11 are expected to be £7.7 million and £5 million respectively, while FCO Services Trading Fund will make a special dividend payment of £3 million to the FCO. Details of the FCO programme of streamlining have yet to be finalised.