Mozambique: Emergencies, Charges for helicopter use


Written Answers

Thursday, 30th March 2000

Mozambique Emergency: Charges for Helicopter Use

Lord Alton of Liverpool asked Her Majesty’s Government:

    (a) Why the Ministry of Defence sought £2 million remuneration from the Department for

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    International Development for the use of helicopters in Mozambique; (b) whether the Prime Minister and the Chancellor of the Exchequer were consulted before reimbursement was requested; and (c) why this financial requirement was not met from central contingency funds.[HL1406]

Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: An initial cost estimate of about £2 million was provided to the Department for International Development in accordance with the principles of Government Accounting, under which we recover the additional cost of any goods or services provided to other government departments. As these principles are well established between departments, neither the Prime Minister nor the Chancellor of the Exchequer was consulted.

At the time, DfID was still funding the UK’s response to the emergency in Mozambique from within its existing resources. The Chief Secretary to the Treasury agreed that if and when these are exhausted, the Secretary of State for International Development will be allowed access to the Reserve to continue funding the emergency rescue effort. This has been fully understood throughout the crisis and officials from the Treasury and DfID have been keeping in close touch.