Ministry of Defence: Assets

House of Lords written question – answered on 14th January 2004.

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Photo of Lord Vivian Lord Vivian Conservative

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What is the total of Ministry of Defence resource assets in cash terms; how much the Ministry of Defence pays for these assets; and what is the surplus or shortfall in the Ministry of Defence budget in cash terms.

Photo of Lord Bach Lord Bach Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Ministry of Defence, Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence) (Procurement)

The value of the Ministry of Defence's assets is set out each year in its annual report and accounts. The most recent information is set out in the annual report and accounts for 2002–03 (HC 1125 of 30 October 2003), Schedule 3 (page 93) of which provides balance sheet values at 31 March 2003. Supporting information on how asset values are derived is provided in notes 1.10 to 1.36 to the accounts on pages 98 to 102.

The primary costs to the department of holding its assets for that year comprised the notional cost of capital charge, depreciation charged in year on tangible fixed assets and amortisation charged in year on intangible assets. Details are set out at Schedule 2 to the accounts on page 92 and notes 7 and 8 on pages 110 and 111.

Surpluses and shortfalls in the detailed allocation of resources to particular programmes or budgetary areas identified in the first six months of the financial year were remedied through the department's winter supplementary estimates (HC 15 of 27 November 2003). Further adjustments will be made as necessary in spring supplementary estimates.

Copies of both publications are available in the Library of the House. Both include a table describing the cash consequences of resource provision voted by Parliament (Schedule 1 on pages 88–89 of the accounts, and the resource to cash reconciliation on page 208 of the winter supplementary estimates).

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