§ Mr. Hanley
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what progress has been made in developing the Royal Mint as an executive agency.
§ Mr. Ryder
I am pleased to announce that the Royal Mint will today become an executive agency under the "next steps" initiative. The present Deputy Master of the Mint, Mr. A. D. Garrett will be chief executive of the agency.
The mint has been a Government trading fund since 1975 and since that time has consistently achieved a high level of profitability. Its contribution to exports has been recognised by the Queen's Award on four occasions.
As an executive agency the mint will have greater management freedom to develop its thriving business on 391W sound commercial lines in accordance with best private sector practice, and to maximise the efficiency, effectiveness and profitability of its operations. This is reflected in the framework document governing the operation of the agency, copies of which are being placed in the Library of the House today.
A Treasury minute setting the new financial target for the mint of an average 12½ per cent. current cost return on assets for the period 1990–91 to 1992–93 was laid on 27 March 1990 in accordance with section 4(1)(b) of the Government Trading Fund Act 1973.
I wish the deputy master and chief executive and his staff every success in achieving their objectives.