§ Lord BOYD-CARPENTER
asked Her Majesty's Government:
Whether it is their intention to move the Underwriting Division of the Export Credits Guarantee Department to Cardiff; and if so, for what reason.
The dispersal of about 800 out of 1,700 London posts to Cardiff affects only one of the seven underwriting divisions of the Export Credits Guarantee Department and is part of the general dispersal programme of about 30,000 Civil Service posts resulting from the Hardman Report of 1973 which successive Governments have accepted. The report embodied the results of an exhaustive survey analysing contact between the public and officials and thereby identified the parts of each London-based Department (including ECGD) which could function satisfactorily away from London. Day-to-day dealings between industry and the Cardiff-bound part of ECGD have since been still more concentrated on ECGD's 10 regional offices by continuing decentralisation of work. The purpose of the Government's dispersal policy is to achieve cost savings and to benefit regions in need of greater opportunity for local employment. ECGD is always ready to discuss the ramifications of dispersal with exporters.