Government Trading Funds Act 1973

JurisdictionUK Non-devolved
Citation1973 c. 63


Government Trading FundsAct 1973

1973 CHAPTER 63

An Act to enable certain services of the Crown to be financed by means of trading funds established in pursuance of orders made by the responsible Minister with Treasury concurrence; to make consequential provision (in the event of a trading fund being established for the Mint) as to sums received by, or due from, the Treasury in respect of the coinage; and to amend the Coinage Act 1971 in respect of the establishment and operations of the Mint.

[25th October 1973]

Be it enacted by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

S-1 Establishment of trading funds for certain services of the Crown.

1 Establishment of trading funds for certain services of the Crown.

(1) In the case of any of the Crown services to which this Act applies, the responsible Minister, if it appears to him expedient in the interests of the improved commercial operation and public accountability of that service, may by order direct that, as from a day appointed by the order, the operations of the service or such of its operations as the order prescribes shall be financed by means of a trading fund established with public money, instead of by means of annual votes and appropriations.

(2) The making of an order under this section shall require the concurrence of the Treasury.

(3) This Act applies to the following Crown services, namely—

(a ) the Royal Ordnance Factories;

(b ) the Royal Dockyards;

(c ) the Royal Mint;

(d ) Her Majesty's Stationery Office;

(e ) the service which is known at the passing of this Act as the Supplies Division of the Property Services Agency of the Department of the Environment and is concerned with the provision of goods and services to government departments and other agencies in the public domain; and

(f ) any other service, managed by a Minister of the Crown or a government department, in whose case the responsible Minister and the Treasury are satisfied that its operations consist of or include trading operations or operations in the nature of trading (whether with the public at large or with government departments, or otherwise) and are suitable to be financed by means of a trading fund.

(4) Where, in accordance with subsection (1) above, the responsible Minister proposes to direct that any of the operations of a service falling within subsection (3)(f ) above shall be financed by means of a trading fund he shall, if he considers that those operations consist substantially of the provision of goods and services in the United Kingdom otherwise than to government departments, consult such persons as appear to him to be appropriate.

(5) In accordance with section 2 below, the capital of a trading fund shall be provided by way of loan from the National Loans Fund, subject to the provision made—

(a ) by section 2(2) and (6) with respect to public dividend capital and the return on it; and

(b ) by section 3, as to the payments which are to be made into and out of the trading fund.

(6) For the purposes of this Act, ‘the responsible Minister’ in relation to any Crown service, is the Minister of the Crown who is for the time being responsible for the administration of the service; and, in relation to a trading fund, ‘the funded operations’ are the operations which are to be financed by means of the fund.

S-2 Finances.

2 Finances.

(1) With a view to the establishment of a trading fund for any service, or to the making and implementation of any further order extending the funded operations, the responsible Minister shall with Treasury concurrence determine what Crown assets and liabilities are properly attributable to those operations and provide for their appropriation as assets and liabilities of the fund at values determined by him in accordance with Treasury directions.

(2) The amount of the difference between the values of assets and liabilities appropriated to the fund from time to time, less such amount (if any), as the order establishing the fund, or any such further order, may designate as public dividend capital ranking as an asset of the Consolidated Fund, shall be deemed to have been issued to the trading fund by way of loan from the National Loans Fund; and this shall be the originating debt of the trading fund or, on the making of any such further order, shall be added to the amount of that debt.

(3) There may be issued out of the National Loans Fund, by way of further loan, any sums required for the funded operations; but the order establishing the trading fund shall limit the amounts to be issued under this subsection by specifying the maximum amount by which the total indebtedness of the trading fund to the National Loans Fund in respect of principal (whether indebtedness under subsection (2) above or this subsection) may at any one time exceed the originating debt of the trading fund.

(4) The limit imposed for the purposes of subsection (3) above may be increased (but not reduced) from time to time by order made by the responsible Minister with Treasury concurrence; but the aggregate of the limits in force in respect of all trading funds shall not exceed 250 million at any one time.

(5) The amount of any loan from the...

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