HC Deb 01 March 1991 vol 186 cc656-7W
Dr. Bray

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will list any statutory operating restrictions that exist on the work of the British Technology Group relating to(a) borrowing, (b) overseas operations and (c) payments to inventors.

Mr. Leigh

[holding answer 26 February 1991]: Section 6(1) of the Development of Inventions Act 1967 provides that the National Research Development Corporation may borrow up to £250,000 with Treasury consent.

Paragraph 1 of schedule 2 to part 1 of the Industry Act 1975 provides that the National Enterprise Board may borrow for current or capital purposes. Section 8(2) of that Act limits general external borrowings of NEB, aggregated with loan guarantees and public dividend capital, to £750 million.

There are no specific statutory restrictions relating to overseas operations or payments to inventors.

Dr. Bray

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what directives or other written operational guidance his Department has issued since 1 July 1981 to the British Technology Group; and if he will deposit such material in the Library.

Mr. Leigh

[holding answer 26 February 1991]: Since 1 July 1981 the following directions have been issued to the British Technology Group's constituent bodies;

National Research Development Corporation:

  • Accounts Direction 1981, 82, 83, 84, 85, 86, 87, 88, 89, 90, and

National Enterprise Board:

  • Publication of Measurement of Performance against Financial Duty Direction—25 November 1981.
  • Financial Duties determined by Secretary of State for Industry Direction—25 November 1981.
  • Accounts Direction 1982, 83, 84, 85, 86, 87, 88.

The above directions have been published in the NRDC and NEB annual reports and accounts and previously laid before Parliament.

Since 1984 the NRDC has been directed annually to remit surplus revenue to the Exchequer. Revenue surplus directions are reproduced in the relevant annual accounts of the corporation previously laid before Parliament.

The NEB was directed to pay a dividend to the Exchequer, in respect of retained public dividend capital, in 1988 and 1989. These directions are noted in the relevant annual accounts of the board previously laid before Parliament.