HC Deb 08 July 1981 vol 8 c138W
Mr. Michael Spicer

asked the Lord Privy Seal what decisions have been reached on the study of the Directorate of Overseas Surveys carried out as part of the 1980 scrutiny programme.

Mr. Neil Marten

The main conclusions of the scrutiny are that the private sector can now produce maps more cheaply than, and carry out straightforward surveys as cheaply as, the Directorate of Overseas Surveys. The scrutiny report recommends that much of this work should be handed over to the private sector and supervised by the directorate. With other duties, this would require a complement for the directorate of Overseas Surveys of about 40 per cent. of the present staff. I have accepted these recommendations and will make a statement to the House when proposals for implementing the decisions have been worked out after full consultation with the staff.