Mr. Gareth R. Thomas
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many indemnity undertakings were given by departments under section 16 of the National Heritage Act 1980 for the six month period ended 31 March; and what was the value of(a) any contingent liabilities in respect of such undertakings given at any time under that section which remain outstanding as at 31 March, (b) non-statutory Government indemnities in respect of loans handled by the Government Art Collection which remain outstanding as at 31 March and (c) non-statutory undertakings to Her Majesty in respect of loans from the Royal Collection which remain outstanding at 31 March. 
§ Mr. Chris Smith
The provision for the Government Indemnity Scheme is made by the National Heritage Act 1980. The scheme facilitates public access to loans of works of art and other objects for public display made to museums, galleries and other such institutions by private owners and non-national institutions. It does this by indemnifying lenders against loss or damage to their loan. Loans covered by the scheme must be for public benefit. The scheme also covers loans of such objects for study purposes within borrowing institutions where this would contribute materially to the public's understanding or appreciation of the loan. Examples of this are enhancing interpretation or explanation to the public of objects or bringing into the public domain, the conclusions of any study.
In the six month period ended 31 March 2000, the following undertakings to indemnify were given under section 16 by the relevant Departments for objects on loan to national and non-national institutions:
Department Number Department for Culture, Media and Sport 626 Scottish Executive Education Department 102 The National Assembly for Wales 59 Department of Education for Northern Ireland 11
The value of contingent libilities in respect of undertakings given at any time under section 16 and which remained outstanding as at 31 march 2000 is:
Department £ Department for Culture, Media and Sport 1,829,371,639 Scottish Executive Education Department 795,068,302 The National Assembly for Wales 54,029,174 Department of Education for Northern Ireland 4,727,317
The Value of non-statutory Government indemnities to cover loans handled by the Government Art Collection and which remained outstanding as at 31 March 2000 is:Value: £5,475,000.
The value of non-statutory Undertakings given to Her Majesty in respect of loans from the Royal Collection and which remained outstanding as at 31 March 2000 is:Value: £227,307,975.