HC Deb 12 December 2002 vol 396 cc434-5W
Mr. Lidington

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will place in the Library a list of those assets identified by the National Asset Register, Cm 5221, as belonging to(a) the former Department of Environment, Transport and the Regions and (b) the former Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, and their respective agencies, non-departmental bodies and public corporations, which now belong to her Department, together with the current value of each such asset. [85011]

Margaret Beckett

The National Asset Register (NAR) was last updated for March 2000 and published in June 2001. Our understanding is that it is updated every five years.

Defra has a Departmental Asset Register (DAR) which lists all assets held currently for its core activities with current values. This does not include details of assets held by its agencies and NDPBs. It does include assets transferred from the former Department of Environment, Transport and Regions (DETR) to Defra in June 2001.

With the changes to the machinery of government, to provide the information requested considerable work would have to be done on the DAR to reflect and reconcile with what was listed in the NAR Cm 5221. We would also have to request detailed lists from all of our agencies, NDPBs and public corporations of assets included in the NAR with current values.

The compilation of the information requested could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

I will arrange for a copy of the Defra DAR, which is currently being updated to be placed in Library of the House in early January.