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A minute had been laid before Parliament regarding the Department of Health’s £15m investment into the Dementia Discovery Fund (DDF) and specifically in relation to incurring a contingent liability. A copy of the minute is attached.
The DDF was publicly announced on 21 October and is an investment fund that currently stands at $100million for the discovery of new approaches to dementia research and drug development.
The Limited Partnership Deed for the DDF includes clauses relating to indemnification. The majority of indemnifications are made by the DDF itself rather than the investors and is therefore limited to £15m. However, there is also a direct indemnification made by all the investors, including the Department of Health. The direct indemnification is triggered in certain circumstances largely relating to where the Department of Health has provided inaccurate or misleading information. Such circumstances are highly unlikely and most are within the Department’s own control. The Department was advised by external legal advisers that it is not possible to quantify any potential liabilities. The Department has taken steps to mitigate the risks of the liability being realised. A senior Department of Health civil servant has been allocated as the Senior Responsible Owner (SRO) for the Government’s investment into the DDF. The SRO, amongst other things, has responsibility for final sign off for providing any information to the DDF on behalf of the Department.
If the liability is called, then provision for any payment will be sought through the normal supply procedures. The Treasury has approved the proposal.