Bletchley Park Trust
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if she will provide financial assistance to the Bletchley Park Trust. 
[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)
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. 
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.
20 Jul 2001 : Column: 741W
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. 
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.
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. 
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:
"Accounting Officers should not rely solely on a straight comparison of a PSC bid to its PSC, which should never be regarded as a pass/fail test, but instead as a quantitative way of informing judgment." (Treasury Taskforce Technical Note No. 5: How to construct a public sector comparator).
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 200001 to 202526 were published in table C18 of the Budget 2001 "Red Book".
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. 
I refer to the answer given by my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer.
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. 
20 Jul 2001 : Column: 742W
In line with the Ministerial Code, a DCMS Minister will be on duty throughout the summer recess.
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. 
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.
In October 1999, the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport and the Ministers for Sports and for the Arts hosted a conference to discuss a report by policy action team 10 on the impact of sports and the arts on social exclusion.
In July 2000, the Minister for the Arts hosted a seminar to discuss the impact of the Disability Discrimination Act on DCMS sectors.
In November 2000, the Secretary of State hosted the "Culture Culture" conference to promote the value of culture to a wide audience.
(ii) Departmental Attendance
In July 1997, the Minister for Sport attended the world cerebral palsy games in Nottingham.
In March 1999, the Minister for Sport attended the launch of the south-east rugby academy.
In October 1999, the Minister for Sport attended the launch of the English Federation for Disability Sport.
In October 1999, the Minister for Sport launched the England and Wales Cricket Board's Inner City Project at Lords.
In April 2000, the Minister for Sport opened the London Marathon Exhibition.
In May 2000, the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport and the Minister for the Arts accompanied the Queen to the opening of the Tate Modern.
In May 2000, the Secretary of State was the keynote speaker at the Call to Action breakfast launch for the second nationwide careers festival, organised by Springboard, which aims to raise the profile and promote the image of careers in the tourism and hospitality industry.
In December 2000, the Secretary of State and the Minister for the Arts accompanied the Queen to the opening of the British Museum Great Court.
In 2000, the Minister for Sport attended the Olympic youth and education initiatives.
In May 2001, the Secretary of State launched museums and galleries month at the National Portrait Gallery.
20 Jul 2001 : Column: 743W
(iii) Similar departmental activities
In 1999 and following the publication of "Tomorrow's Tourism", DCMS has held two tourism summits to demonstrate the Government's commitment to the tourism industry and provide a good example of joined up Government.
In May 1999, the Department participated in the international anti-doping arrangement (IADA) which was hosted by the Minister for Sport.
In December 2000, the Secretary of State supported Sport England's "Sport and HealthWorking Together" conference.
In April 2001, the Secretary of State chaired the tourism forum in April 2001 and launched the national recovery strategy following the outbreak of foot and mouth disease.
Ministers deliver many messages of support to a wide range of organisations. For example, many go directly to the tourism industry, such as at events organised by the British Incoming Tour Operators Association, the Association of British Travel Agents, the British Hospitality Association and other trade bodies. Messages are also provided to arts and sport organisations engaged in national events. Additionally messages aimed at, for example, the audiovisual industry will be provided for specific events.
In 1998, DCMS made a particular effort to involve the public in the UK Presidency of the EU and to highlight broader EU cultural links. We produced a widely-distributed publication to promote UK cultural events with a European element; also a booklet of European poetry and a summary of the Department's presidency-related meetings and their conclusions.
With sponsorship from DCMS, poems by European poets appeared on London Underground and Eurostar trains, and on postcards and other media distributed around the country.
Ministers and officials have participated in a number of events linked to the national lottery, including the annual lottery monitor conferences and events organised by the Coalfields Communities Campaign. My Department sponsored a national lottery coalfields conference in 1998.
In November 2000, the Minister for the Arts hosted a seminar for cultural attachés at the House of Commons. The meeting was part of the visiting arts cultural attachés training and briefing programme, designed to familiarise the cultural attachés with policies and trends in the UK. Around 50 cultural attachés attended, representing a wide cross section of countries and experience.
In February 2001, the Minister for Broadcasting hosted a dinner, in conjunction with DTI at Lancaster house. The event allowed the Minister to emphasise Government support for improving UK television export performance to key figures in the broadcasting industry.
DCMS Ministers recognise the importance of boosting the UK tourism industry and promoting Britain's contemporary image abroad. For that reason, they have also attended many events aimed at supporting Britain's tourist industry at home and abroad. This has included giving a presentation on tourism policy in Berlin during the UK's Presidency of the EU in 1998 and promoting Britain and the Commonwealth games, which will take place in Manchester during the golden jubilee year 2002.
20 Jul 2001 : Column: 744W
(ii) Departmental Attendance
In October 1997, the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport addressed English Heritage's international conference on world heritage at the Queen Elizabeth conference centre in London. The Conference was held to mark the 25th anniversary of UNESCO's world heritage convention.
In 1998, the Minister for the Arts attended the European composers seminar, as part of the UK's EU Presidency.
In September 1998, the Minister for Sport met the President of the International Olympic Committee in Switzerland.
In October 1998, the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport gave the keynote speech at an international conference in Bath on world heritage cities.
In February 1999, the Minister for Sport attended the International Olympic Committee conference on doping in sport.
In July 1999, the Minister for Sport attended an event relating to the 2006 world cup bid which incorporated anti-doping discussions in Washington.
In November 1999, the Heritage Minister delivered a speech at the inaugural meeting of a new international archaeological bodythe Europae Archaeolgiae Consiliumat an event hosted by the Council of Europe in Strasbourg.
In November 1999, the Minister for Sport attended the Royal Society of Medicine conference on medicine, sport, ethics and the law.
In June 2000, the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport visited the USA and Canada where, among other engagements, he discussed tourism satellite accounts with the Canadian Minister of Trade.
In June 2000, the Minister for the Arts spoke at the Royal Commonwealth Society about the contribution of the contribution of the Commonwealth communities to British culture.
In July 2000, the Minister for the Arts hosted a reception at the Royal National theatre. The exhibition was opened by President Eduard Shevardnadze of Georgia and featured works by the Georgian artist, Petre Otskheli.
In October 2000, the Minister for Tourism visited Sweden and Finland as part of the Prime Minister's step change initiative. In addition to her other engagements she visited the local offices of the British Tourist Authority and met the Swedish Minister for Tourism. She also received the French Minister for Tourism in London.
In October 2000, the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport and the Prime Minister hosted a US museum of television and radio international conference event in London. The event was aimed at strengthening co-operation with the US and promoting UK broadcasters' growing imports overseas.
In November 2000 the Minister for Sport participated in the international consultative group on anti-doping in sport (ICGADS).
In February 2001, the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport spoke in Strasbourg at an international conference on the benefits of involving the arts in the healthcare environment. The conference was arranged and attended by the French Ministers of Culture and Health.
More recently, and in light of the effect on tourism of the foot and mouth disease (FMD) outbreak, Ministers visited New York and Toronto to get across the message that Britain is still open for business.
DCMS sports directors, or a representative, attend regular meetings of EU members states, approximately three per year.
Ministers attend a wide range of events arranged by successive EU Presidencies. These can include informal meetings to discuss issues related to tourism, sport, culture, audiovisual and other issues.
DCMS officials attend official level EU working groups and meetings of the Council of Europe.
20 Jul 2001 : Column: 745W
(iii) Similar departmental activities
In February 2000, the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport met the Brazilian Ambassador to discuss the Brazil 500 festival.
In June 2000, the Minister for Sport met Danish Sports Minister to discuss Euro 2000.
In June 2000, DCMS and other UK bodies took part in a cross-sectoral study on the management of cultural diversity undertaken by the Council of Europe.
In March 2001, the Minister for the Arts signed a declaration initiated by Sweden, then EU Presidency, on behalf of all EU Ministers of Culture. The declaration condemned the Taliban for its decision to destroy all statues and non-Islamic shrines in Afghanistan.
In March 2001, the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport and the Minister for the Arts met Julian Nida Rumelin, the German Minister of State in the Federal Chancellery with responsibility for Culture and Media. One of the subjects discussed was the issue of German tax on visiting artists.
In order to promote British art and culture and to support the international role of the DCMS and FCO and their Ministers, the Government Art Collection (GAC) has displayed works of art for UK/international events such as the British-French summit at Canary wharf (1997), the G8 summit in Birmingham (1998) and the European enlargement conference at Lancaster house (1998). Additionally, the GAC has worked closely with the FCO to display works of art by contemporary British artists in the new British embassies in Moscow and Berlin (both opened in 2000), works of art which demonstrate important cultural links between the UK, Russia and Germany.
In addition to attending events overseas, Ministers and officials have met a number of tourism representatives including from China, Spain, Belgium, the Ukraine, Poland, Japan, Kyrgyzstan, Croatia, Malaysia, Yemen and South Korea.
Ministers send many messages of support to a wide range of organisations, too numerous to list here.
The Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport sends many messages of support to art and cultural organisations, including a message of support each year to the European Union Baroque
20 Jul 2001 : Column: 746W
orchestra, which is a training initiative of the European Commission, and was founded in 1985. It aims to give pre-professional orchestral experience to young baroque musicians.
Messages of support issued by the Sports Minister have included to the Robert Clack school, for their South Africa rugby tour; the Lincolnshire Schools Cricket Association under-16 team for their forthcoming tour of South Africa; hockey and netball teams from the King Henry VIII school for their tour of South Africa; the national hockey champions of England 2000 under-14s and under-16s' forthcoming tour of Malaysia and Australia and Brighouse high school's football club's forthcoming tour of South Africa.