Maintaining the Occupied Royal Palaces: twenty-fourth report of session 2008-09, report, together with formal minutes, oral and written evidence

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The Stationery Office, Jun 2, 2009 - Business & Economics - 48 pages
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The Occupied Royal Palaces Estate (the Estate), which includes Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle, is held in trust for the nation and used to support the official duties of The Sovereign. The Department for Culture, Media and Sport is accountable to Parliament for the upkeep of the Estate, but has delegated day to day responsibility to the Royal Household. The annual grant to maintain and run the Palaces has remained at around 15 million since 2000-01 (a 19 per cent real terms reduction). An increase in running costs over the same period means there has been a 27 per cent fall in maintenance expenditure to 11.1 million in 2007-08. The Department has set the Household an objective which focuses on the condition of the Estate, but none of the key indicators measures performance against it, and the Household does not have a comprehensive analysis of the condition of the Estate. In addition, a 32 million maintenance backlog has built up and important work has been deferred. The Department and the Household have yet to agree criteria for assessing the backlog and develop a plan for managing it. In addition, the Household does not have a strategy for managing its Estate. The Royal Collection Trust (the Trust) manages visitor admission to the Palaces and receives the income generated, which in 2007-08 totalled 28 million. Buckingham Palace is open for 63 days because of the number of official engagements and the costs involved. Other buildings such as the White House and Houses of Parliament manage to open for most of the year, despite similar obligations and security concerns.

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