Select Committee on Public Accounts Minutes of Evidence


Supplementary memorandum submitted by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (PAC 00-01/167)


  This note provides further clarification about the locus of sport within Government in other EU countries. The evidence I gave is based on paragraph 199 of the Health Committee's second Report "Public Health (HC 30) Session 2000-2001, page lviii-lix. The table indicates that five nations (Ireland—Department of Tourism Sport and Recreation, Italy—CONI, Greece—The General Secretariat for Sport, Spain—Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport, Denmark—Ministry of Cultural Affairs, Ireland—Department of Tourism Sport and Education), have sport within departments that have all or some of the responsibilities of the Department of Culture Media and Sport.

  According to the list, only two countries—the Netherlands and Belgium—have accommodated sport within their health ministries, and as I mentioned, it is more popular to place sport within Departments which are also responsible for education (Finland, Spain and Luxembourg). In fact I am advised that the entry in the Europa Year Book is incorrect and that the Netherlands is the only EU country where sport resides with the Health Ministry. In the case of Belgium, there is no single Federal Government Department with responsibility for sport. Instead, responsibility for sport is shared between the three Belgian linguistic communities, namely the French-, Flemish- and German-speaking Communities, which fall under devolved government arrangements.

  Within the UK, sport has in the past been at times the responsibility of the Department for Education and Science (DES, now DfEE) and the Department of the Environment (DoE now DETR). When it was in DES, the Sport and Recreation Division had a complement of only 18 civil servants compared with the current total of 25 in DCMS.

  During the time that sport has been a part of DCMS (formerly DNH) we have seen an increase in funding for sport, a higher profile in government for sport, a greater prominence given to sport and physical education in schools, and more medals at international competition.

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