HC Deb 17 November 1995 vol 267 cc10-1W
Mr. Jessel

To ask the President of the Board of Trade what financial arrangements have been put in place with Serco consequent upon the transfer of the National Physical Laboratory to private sector management. [1137]

Mr. Ian Taylor

Payments to Serco will be made for work carried out for DTI customers; there is no separate management fee. However, certain non-recurring costs were taken out during the negotiating process and were paid at the start of the contract. This involved my Department making a payment of £1.55 million to Serco. This arrangement offered significantly better value for money for my Department than the alternative of including these costs in the prices that will be charged to DTI customers.

Approval of this new service will be sought in a winter supplementary estimate for the Department of Trade and Industry's programmes and administration vote (class IV, vote 1). Pending that approval, urgent expenditure of £1.55 million has been met by repayable advances from the contingencies fund.