HC Deb 17 January 1995 vol 252 cc401-2W
Ms Janet Anderson

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, if he will set out the principal division of the annual budgets of each of the next steps agencies for each year since their formation.

Mr. Robert G. Hughes

Information on the budgets of each of the next steps agencies can be found in their published annual accounts, which are in the Library of the House.

Mr. Kaufman

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if he will set out for each of the next steps agencies, whether they have acquired their own headquarters buildings and, if so, at what purchase cost or annual rental; how many support staff they have required which were not required when their operations were within their parent Government Department; how many of them publish periodical journals and at what annual cost; how many have fleets of executive cars or single executive cars and at what annual cost; how many have specially designed logos and at what cost; how many have corporate clothing and at what cost; and what is the cost of specially designed and printed corporate stationery.

Mr. David Hunt

These are matters for individual departmental Ministers and their agency chief executives.

Agencies operate within the framework of demanding quality standards and tight control of civil service running costs and other financial targets, as set out in the White Paper "The Civil Service—Continuity and Change", Cm 2627. In the usual way, their expenditure is subject to audit by the Comptroller and Auditor General. As tasks are delegated to agencies, staff in departmental headquarters previously performing the task are reduced. Staff in agencies remain, of course, civil servants—total civil service manpower has reduced at the same time as more next steps agencies have been established. The record of agencies in improving effectiveness and efficiency in government is summarised in the "Next Steps Review 1994", Cm 2750.