HC Deb 09 November 1999 vol 337 cc491-2W
Mr. Todd

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what was the cost to the public purse,(a) directly and (b) in terms of the time of officials, of supporting the Defence Systems Equipment International Exhibition; and if he will review the need for future public sector support. [96901]

Mr. Kilfoyle

In reply to my hon. Friend the Member for Newport, West (Mr. Flynn) on 22 February 1999,Official Report, column 33, my predecessor outlined that the principal costs for the exhibition would fall to the organisers, Spearhead Exhibitions Ltd., but that my Department would make a contribution towards the cost of the official missions to be invited by Her Majesty's Government. We estimated the direct costs to MOD for this to be about £250,000. In the event, official delegations from over 50 countries attended and the final cost remains to be established, although we do not anticipate it will exceed the estimated figure. In addition, the Defence Export Services Organisation (DESO) organised a British Army Demonstration Area at the exhibition which featured a range of UK equipment; the estimated direct cost of this was £108,000. MOD officials and military personnel carried out activities associated with the exhibition as part of their duties, but these costs could be fully identified only at disproportionate cost. A number of MOD Agencies and organisations also participated at the exhibition, the costs for which are not held centrally. MOD support for future exhibitions will be considered in the light of our experience of this year's DSEi and plans for 2001.