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Bletchley Park Trust

Mr. Brady: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if she will provide financial assistance to the Bletchley Park Trust. [3744]

Tessa Jowell [holding answer 13 July 2001]: I recognise the work of the Bletchley Park Trust in commemorating the vital code-breaking work of those who worked at Bletchley Park during the second world war. I am not in a position to provide financial assistance, as the trust is not among the museums and galleries that are sponsored by my Department.

Television (Consumer Choice)

Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport when consumers will be able to choose the specific television channels they wish to purchase without having to take other channels as part of a package; and if she will make a statement. [4731]

Dr. Howells: As stated in the White Paper "A New Future for Communications", the Government are committed to ensuring that public service television channels are available to everyone, as now, free at the point of consumption, both before and after the switchover to digital television.

However, for other channels, it is up to the providing company to determine the arrangements for sale, subject to normal competition law.

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Private Finance Initiative

Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many (a) PFI and (b) PPP contracts have been agreed by her Department in the last five years; how many have been satisfactorily completed; and in how many has compensation been (i) paid and (ii) claimed for performance failure. [4604]

Tessa Jowell: My Department has not itself entered into any PFI or PPP contracts over the last five years. The Royal Parks Agency, which is an Executive Agency, has entered into one PFI contract in the last five years, which has yet to be completed. To date there has been no compensation claimed or paid in respect of this project.

Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many PFI transactions have been overseen by her Department and its predecessors in each of the last 10 years; what her estimate is of the cost savings made in each of these transactions in comparison with the public sector alternative; what are the outstanding payments to be made in relation to these transactions for each of the next 15 years; and if she will make a statement. [5793]

Mr. Caborn: My Department has not itself entered into any PFI contracts. The Royal Parks Agency, which is an Executive Agency, has signed one PFI contract, which took effect in 1997, and the British Library, which is an NDPB, has signed two contracts, one of which took effect in 1997, the other is yet to begin.

My Department does not hold full details of these arrangements. I have contacted the RPA and the British Library for more information, and I will write to the hon. Member as soon as it is available, placing a copy of my letter in the Libraries of both Houses.

Published guidance on public sector comparators (PSC) notes that:


As agreed with the National Audit Office, payments to contractors under PFI contracts are commercially confidential. Aggregate figures of estimated payments under all PFI contracts for the years 2000–01 to 2025–26 were published in table C18 of the Budget 2001 "Red Book".

Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if she will list the economic penalties imposed on private sector firms in each of the last five years for failures to deliver in relation to key performance indicators in projects involving the Private Finance Initiative; and if she will make a statement. [5794]

Mr. Caborn: I refer to the answer given by my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer.

Ministerial Duties

David Maclean: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if she will list for each week from Monday 23 July to Monday 8 October which Departmental Ministers will be on duty (a) in the United Kingdom and (b) in London. [4889]

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Tessa Jowell: In line with the Ministerial Code, a DCMS Minister will be on duty throughout the summer recess.

Departmental Events

David Maclean: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what (a) national and (b) international awareness events her Department has participated in since June 1997 in the form of (i) sponsorship, (ii) departmental attendance, (iii) similar departmental activities and (iv) a message of support. [5033]

Mr. Caborn: Ministerial colleagues and I attend and support a great number of national and international events in support of DCMS policies. So too do my officials. To provide a full list of such events would incur disproportionate costs; however, I have listed a number of them to give a flavour of the type of awareness events in which the Department participates.

















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