Select Committee on Public Accounts Minutes of Evidence


Memorandum submitted by the Comptroller and Auditor General

  This Memorandum updates the Report by the Comptroller and Auditor General (HC 25, June 2001) to include data from Royal Household's 2000-01 accounts.

Page 14

Figure 5: Grant-aided expenditure on royal air and rail travel, since April 1997

  
1997-98 budget
1997-98
actual
1998-99
actual
1999-2000 actual
2000-01
actual
  
£m
£m
£m
£m
£m
Air travel
17.2
15.9
11.7
7.5
4.5
Rail travel
1.9
1.2
0.8
0.8
0.6
Administration and other costs
0.3
0.2
0.3
0.3
0.3
Total net expenditure charged to the grant-in-aid
19.4
17.3
12.8
8.6
5.4


  Note 1:  These figures include reimbursements, repayments and bank interest, which have been deducted from expenditure.

  Note 2:  Charges by Ministry of Defence for use of military helicopters for royal travel in Northern Ireland of £74,000, £76,000 and £81,000 are included in air travel expenditure for 1998-99, 1999-2000 and 2000-01 shown above.

  Source:  Royal Household's annual reports.

Page 14

Figure 6: Miles travelled and cost per royal mile, since 1997

  
1997-98 budget
1997-98
actual
1998-99
1999-2000
2000-01
Air
Royal miles1 travelled
390,158
390,158
355,945
368,261
244,248
Expenditure per royal mile travelled
£43
£41
£33
£20
£18
Rail
Royal miles1 travelled
8,854
8,854
15,644
19,599
14,838
Expenditure per royal mile travelled
£152
£135
£52
£39
£42


  Note 1:  Cost per royal mile travelled is the total expenditure on air and rail travel by the Royal Family and Household each financial year divided by the total air and rail miles travelled by members of the Royal Family in that year.

  Note 2:  Miles travelled by air excludes the use of military helicopters for royal travel in Northern Ireland.

  Source:  The Royal Household.

PAGE 16

Figure 7: Trends in air travel, 1996-97 to 2000-01

Mode of travel
Flying hours Under the new arrangements
1996-97
1997-98
1998-99
1999-2000
2000-01
BAe146
645
335
183
191
142
BAe125
114
191
188
198
149
Helicopters
409
258
466
566
1475
Total
1168
784
837
955
766
  
Royal miles travelled
Scheduled aircraft
Not available
156,067
151,194
118,953
101,981
Chartered aircraft
Not available
77,443
72,928
82,437
45,547


  Note 1:  1998-99 to 2000-01 helicopter flying hours include the Household's helicopter, plus chartered helicopters.

  Note 2:  Helicopter flying hours exclude the use of military helicopters for royal travel in Northern Ireland.

  Source:  The Royal Household.

PAGE 17

Figure 8: Fixed and variable charges to the Household for use of 32 Squadron fixed-wing aircraft (amended layout)

  
1997-98 budget
1997-98 actual
1998-99
1999-2000
2000-015
Reduction1
  
£m
£m
£m
£m
£m
Fixed charges2
9.2
9.4
38.5
3.8
11.8
59%
Variable charges4
2.6
0.9
0.5
0.4
Y
85%
Total charges
11.8
10.3
9.0
4.2
1.8
64%
UNIT CHARGES
BAe 146
Fixed charge per planned hour
n/a
£10,763
£12,868
£10,428
1£7,962
3%
Variable charge per actual hour
n/a
£1,706
£1,952
£1,213
Y
29%
BAe 125
Fixed charge per planned hour
n/a
£5,131
3£6,760
£4,662
1£3,956
9%
Variable charge per actual hour
n/a
£800
£653
£622
Y
22%


  Note 1:  The reductions in the final column for total fixed charges and total variable charges are calculated by comparing the 1999-2000 outturn with the 1997-98 budget, which represents the best estimate of charges before the Household assumed full responsibility for royal travel arrangements. Reductions in the charges per planned and actual hour are calculated by comparing the 1999-2000 outturn with 1997-98 actual expenditure. Due to the change to a composite charge by the Ministry of Defence reductions to 2000-01, compared with the 1997-98 budget, cannot be provided on a fixed and variable basis.

  Note 2:  Fixed charges have been apportioned by the Ministry of Defence on the basis of planned flying hours.

  Note 3:  1997-98 fixed charges included an additional one-off VAT charge of £200,000 which has been excluded from the calculation of hourly rates, for the purposes of comparison.

  Note 4:  The variable charges total for each year also includes handling, landing and subsistence charges which are excluded from the hourly rates shown in the Figure.

  Note 5:  From 1 April 2000 the Ministry of Defence charged an hourly composite rate, to cover both fixed and variable costs.

  Source:  The Royal Household.

PAGE 17

Figure 9: Fixed-wing flying hours purchased and used, 1997-98 to 2000-01

  
1997-98
1998-99
1999-2000
2000-01
Total
BAe146
Hours planned
799
545
250
180
1774
Hours used
335
183
191
142
851
BAe125
Hours planned
109
215
250
100
674
Hours used
191
188
198
149
726
Percentage of planned hours
used (both aircraft types)
58
49
78
104
64


  Source:  The Royal Household.

PAGE 18

Figure 10: Scheduled and chartered flights, 1997-98 to 2000-01

  
1997-98
1998-99
1999-2000
2000-01
Chartered flights
Expenditure
£915,000
£991,000
£1,144,000
£426,000
Miles travelled
77,443
72,928
82,437
45,547
Scheduled flights
Expenditure
£473,000
£370,000
£304,000
£263,000
Miles travelled
156,067
151,194
118,953
101,981
Cost per mile
£3.03
£2.45
£2.55
£2.58
Total costs
£1,388,000
£1,361,000
£1,448,000
£689,000


  Note:  No cost per mile is computed for chartered flights since the itinerary, size of aircraft and size of party will depend on the nature of the visit, the programme for which is determined by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

  Source:  The National Audit Office.

PAGE 20

Figure 11: Trends in rail travel, 1997-98 to 2000-01

  
1997-98 budget
1997-98
actual
1998-99
1999-2000
2000-01
Expenditure
£1.9m
£1.2m
£0.8m
£0.8m
£0.62m
Miles travelled
12,500
8,854
15,644
19,599
14,838
Cost per mile travelled
£152
£135
£52
£39
£42
  
Number of royal journeys
Royal train
32
19
16
24
17
Other rail services
24
60
58
60
Total
32
43
76
82
77
  
Average miles per journey
Royal train
600
567
601
602
550
Other rail services
111
169
168
149


  Source:  The Royal Household.

PAGE 21

Figure 12: Fixed and variable charges to the Household for use of the royal train

  
1997-98
budget
1997-98
actual
1998-99
1999-2000
2000-01
  
£
£
£
£
£
Fixed charges
995,000
824,000
506,000
366,000
312,000
Variable charges
861,000
330,000
273,000
364,000
284,000
Total charges
1,856,000
1,154,000
779,000
730,000
596,000
Number of journeys
32
19
16
24
17
Average cost per journey
£58,000
£60,737
£48,687
£30,417
£35,059
Average variable cost per journey
£26,906
£17,368
£17,063
£15,167
£16,706


  Source:  The Royal Household.

  The Royal Family has used the Royal Train on 76 occasions since 1997-98. In addition it was hired out on one occasion in May 1998.

National Audit Office

January 2002


 
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