HC Deb 21 October 1987 vol 120 cc816-7W
Mr. Steen

asked the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (1) if he will set out in tabular form in the Official Report all the different types of ship radio licences, the cost of each and whether he intends to reduce the numbers and rationalise the fees;

(2) how many officials have been employed in each of the last three years in administering the different types of ship radio licences; what has been the cost of this in each of the last three years; and if he will review the procedures and rationalise the administration.

Mr. Butcher

The different ship radio licences and the appropriate fees collected are:

Licence Fee
Ship Radio 50.00 pa
Ship Radio (VHF) 17.50 pa
Ship Radio (emergency only) 20.00 every 5 years
Ship Radio (transportable) 25.00 pa
Ship Radio (receive only) No charge (valid until revoked)

The number of officials employed directly on the issue of ship radio licences and their costs for each of the last three years, were:

Number of Staff
Year Licensing Others Costs
1984–5 11 3.65 197
1985–6 10 3.65 226
1986–7 7 3.45 186

My Department has a commitment to review licence types, procedures and fees on a regular basis. This has resulted in a reduction, in the last few years, in the number of different licences issued and the simplification of the administrative procedures necessary to issue such licences. The procedures involved in issuing ship radio licences were revised at the end of 1986 and have resulted in a considerable reduction in the time taken to issue a licence (five to six weeks down to one to two weeks), and a doubling of the number of licences dealt with per officer over the three-year period. Despite this significant improvement my Department is currently exploring the possibilities of further reducing licensing administration, by merging licences, or exempting particular uses of radio.