§ The Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport (Tessa Jowell)
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 ending 31 March, the following undertakings to indemnify were given under section 16 by the relevant Departments for objects on loan to national and non-national institutions. The Department for Culture, Media and Sport issued 687 undertakings, the Scottish Executive Education Department issued 179 undertakings and the National Assembly for Wales issued 229.16WS
The value of contingent liabilities in respect of undertakings given at any time under section 16 and which remained outstanding as of 31 March for the Department for Culture, Media and Sport are £3,177,492,071. The value of section 16 contingent liabilities as of 31 March for the Scottish Executive Education Department are £607,547,273 and £76,817,843 for the National Assembly for Wales.
The value of non-statutory Government indemnities to cover loans handled by the Government art collection and which remained outstanding as of 31 March are £4,975,000.
The value of non-statutory undertakings given to Her Majesty in respect of loans from the royal collection and which remained outstanding as of 31 March are £170,937,987.