Below is the text of Mr Major’s written Parliamentary Answer on Valuation Services on 15th December 1989.
Mr. Dykes To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what plans the Government have for valuation services; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Major In the light of studies carried out by an interdepartmental group of officials, the Government have taken the following decisions affecting the Government’s valuation services and the management of Government property.
First, a project team under Treasury leadership will investigate how best to set up consistent and compatible databases for each of the Government’s main property estates, to be used both for purposes of capital asset management and for assessment of Government contributions in lieu of rates. The team will begin work shortly.
Secondly, Departments will by April 1991 be “untied” for valuation work which does not need to be undertaken in-house. Such work will be considered for market testing and contracting-out. Valuations for the purposes of assessing liability to business rates and other taxes will continue to be done in-house.
Thirdly, in general valuation services provided by Government valuers, whether to Government Departments or to other bodies, should be charged for. The aim is to introduce charging from April 1991.
Finally, the deployment of Government valuers will continue broadly as now, except that the Inland Revenue will take over from April 1991 responsibilities for valuation of the Government’s estates for rating purposes from the Treasury’s rating of Government property department, which will cease to exist from that date. Consideration will be given to establishing parts of the Government’s valuation services as executive agencies.