HC Deb 15 July 1996 vol 281 c407W
Ms Roseanna Cunningham

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland (1) pursuant to his answer of 4 July,Official Report, column 512, on financial assistance to private estates, if he will list the criteria upon which monitoring conditions imposed on applicants for financial assistance are based; and if he will make a statement; [36771]

(2) pursuant to his answer of 4 July, Official Report, column 511, what options are under discussion for making more transparent the objectives of schemes involving public funds paid to private estates; and if he will undertake a study of the possibility of publishing assessments of whether all conditions attached to such schemes are fulfilled. [36770]

Mr. Raymond S. Robertson

[holding answer 11 July 1996]: In accordance with paragraph 3(ii) of the "Code of Practice on Access to Government Information", we are progressively making available for public scrutiny internal guidelines about the Scottish Office's dealing with the public. This task will take some time to complete, since each document must be scrutinised to ensure that it is comprehensive and does not include any matter which should properly be kept confidential under part II of the code.

The objectives for agriculture schemes apply equally to all applicants whatever their land tenure status, and are set out in the various explanatory leaflets, application and claim forms. Each scheme has its own criteria for monitoring.

Where, as a result of monitoring by departmental officials, it is found that scheme requirements are not being met, steps are taken to withhold assistance or to recover any financial assistance paid, in whole or in part, in accordance with undertakings given. However, I have no plans to publish assessments of the fulfilment of scheme conditions.