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Mr. Cousins : To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he will place in the Library returns showing for each country of the OECD, for each country of the European Union and for Jordan, Iraq, Iran and Saudi Arabia, the imports and exports of postal services as defined in the Standard International Trade Classification for each year between 1982 and 1993.
Mr. Needham : The only postal services recorded within the Standard International Trade Classification are SITC 911.0--mail not classified by kind. The information is not readily available for all the countries listed over the period requested and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost. Information for some of the countries is published in the relevant country volumes of the "United Nations Commodity Trade Statistics", copies of which are available in the Library of the House.
Mr. Cousins : To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he will list the projects approved under, and the regional distribution of expenditure incurred within, the environmental best practice programme since its inception.
Mr. Cousins : To ask the President of the Board of Trade what are the reasons for the closure of the advanced technology programme and support for innovation ; and what evaluation of these programmes was carried out before their closure.
Mr. McLoughlin : The support for innovation scheme was withdrawn as a result of the decision, announced in the 1988 White Paper, "DTI--the Department for Enterprise", Cm 278, to end DTI support for near-market research and development through grants to individual companies. An evaluation of the scheme was carried out in July 1987. The advanced technology programmes were closed in September 1993 following a further review of DTI's science and technology policy and programmes in the context of the White Paper on science, engineering and technology, "Realising our potential" (Cm 2250). The review decided that the balance of DTI's innovation support should be shifted away from generating new technology, on which DTI spend was less than 2 per cent. of industry's own research and development spend, towards technology transfer and exploitation and the promotion of innovation. Two programmes were evaluated ; gallium arsenide in May 1991 and wealth from the oceans in December 1992.
Mr. Cousins : To ask the President of the Board of Trade what is his policy on granting export credit cover on long-term project costs which include (a) initial design and other fees preparatory to the award of any contract or (b) any commissions or brokerage fees ; what written guidance on such matters is available to ECGD or exporters ; and if he will place a copy in the Library.
Mr. Needham : Initial design and other preparatory fees can in principle be covered provided these are part of the overall export contract. Commissions and brokerage payments may also be eligible for export credit support if these form part of the exporter's overall costs of the contract.
There are no specific internal instructions in ECGD on cover for design and other preparatory fees. The internal instructions on cover for commission payments have been placed in the Library of the House. There is no written guidance for exporters on either issue ; advice is usually given in the context of the contract being considered for ECGD support. Copies of ECGD's information guides for exporters are also being placed in the Library of the House.
Mr. Cousins : To ask the President of the Board of Trade whether the Exports Credits Guarantee Department observes any rules, or guidance similar, or equivalent to, the "good government" rule of the Overseas Development Administration.
The ECGD's function is to support United Kingdom exporters bidding for commercial contracts overseas by providing insurance and guarantees against the risks of non payment. In assessing these risks ECGD takes account of the economic and political circumstances of the markets in question as well as the credit worthiness of the individual buyers and borrowers concerned. It is a condition of the ECGD's guarantees that the exporter must obtain all necessary licences and authorisations for the exports to proceed.
Mr. Cousins : To ask the President of the Board of Trade what amount of Export Credits Guarantee Department cover (a) has been offered and (b) is outstanding in relation to the Saudi Arabia offset programme.
Mr. Bryan Davies : To ask the Secretary of State for Education what will be the role, remit, funding and governance of the new development agency for further education ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Boswell : The Government have accepted the broad thrust of recommendations from the further education funding councils, to establish a new body to support and develop the quality and delivery of further education. This new body will supersede the further education unit and the Staff college, and will build on the valuable contributions that both have made. Arrangements for the transition to the new body will be finalised in the light of discussion with the funding councils, the further education unit and the Staff college.
Mr. Bryan Davies : To ask the Secretary of State for Education what percentage of the costs of the new development agency for further education will be met by is Department in each of the first three years of its existence.
Column 112its income direct from colleges. It will be funded at the outset through a combination of block grant from the further education funding councils, and income from other sources including charges for services. The balance between these will depend on the needs and wishes of the customers, and the potential for attracting income.
Mr. Walden : To ask the Secretary of State for Education what are the reasons for not including heads and governors of grant-maintained schools in the consultative processes which set the local management of schools formula for their schools.
Mr. Forth : Since 1 January 1994, local authorities have been required by law to consult heads and governors of grant-maintained schools in their area, as well as those of the schools which they maintain, about proposed amendments to their schemes of local management where these amendments constitute "significant variations" which require the Secretary of State's approval.
Mr. Jamieson : To ask the Secretary of State for Education what measures his Department intends to take to ensure that HMI/Ofsted reports on private and independent schools which receive public funds are sent to parents of children at those schools.
Mr. Forth : All independent schools are monitored regularly as part of a programme of inspections by the Office for Standards in Education-- Ofsted. Schools which are the subject of a published report are supplied with a stock of copies for distribution to parents, and are made aware that further copies may be obtained free from Ofsted. Ofsted also sends copies to the national and local press, thus alerting parents to the existence of the report and their right to obtain a copy.
Mr. David Young : To ask the Secretary of State for Education if he will make it his policy to provide adequate funding to ensure seat belts are fitted to minibuses used by schools for the transportation of children.
Mr. Forth : The Department of Transport is currently reviewing the full technical and cost implications of fitting seatbelts to all minibuses and coaches, including those used for the transportation of school children. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Transport will be publishing his conclusions shortly.
Mr. Cousins : To ask the Secretary of State for Education when his Department's survey of student income and expenditure was published for 1990, 1991 and 1992 ; when he expects the survey for 1993 to be published ; and what expenditure was incurred on the preparation of each of these surveys.
Mr. Boswell : The report of the student income and expenditure survey for the 1992-93 academic year was published by Research Services Limited on 16 December 1993. The cost of the survey funded by the Department for Education was £181,000. The previous survey covered the 1988-89 academic year. There were no such surveys in the intervening years.
Mr. Milburn : To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to his answer of 23 March, Official Report, column 269, if he will list the firms of consultants employed by his Department and the number of contracts they have undertaken.
1989 |Contracts ------------------------------------------- BIS Ltd. |3 Peat Marwick Mclintock |3 Coopers and Lybrand |2 CMG Ltd. |1 Digitus |1 Fearnhart |1 Illston and Crowcroft |1 Scoll Ltd. |1 |------- Total |13 |------- Value |£555,000
1990 |Contracts --------------------------------------------- Coopers and Lybrand |6 BIS Ltd. |3 ICL Ltd. |3 PE International |3 Butler Cox |2 KPMG |2 Oracle Ltd. |2 Peat Marwick Mclintock |2 Touche Ross |2 Amtec Consulting |1 CMC Ltd. |1 CMG Ltd. |1 Elizabeth Braiden |1 Ernst and Young |1 F. Parrott |1 FI Group |1 Henley Consultants |1 Hoskyns Ltd. |1 Intac Ltd. |1 J. Broadbent |1 Kinesis Computing |1 Lalcrest Ltd. |1 LBMS Ltd. |1 Oxford Computer Training |1 Peter Pierce-Price |1 Radius Ltd. |1 RML Ltd. |1 SCOLL Ltd. |1 Tranrate Ltd. |1 Tunnock and Parish |1 Two B Ltd. |1 |------- Total |47 |------- Value |£974,000
1991 |Contracts --------------------------------------------------- Coopers and Lybrand |7 Sema Systems |6 LBMS Ltd. |5 PE International |4 Touche Ross |4 Duhig Berry |3 Kinesis Computing |3 Admiral Ltd. |2 BIS Ltd. |2 EIS Ltd. |2 Express Consultancy |2 Forvus Ltd. |2 Hugh Whiteside |2 Insight Consulting |2 Price Waterhouse |2 Thorn EMI |2 WS Atkins |2 BBT Ltd. |1 Brown Associates |1 CSL Ltd. |1 Dataflex |1 Derek Etherington |1 Ernst and Young |1 Howard Whiteside and Partners |1 Kingsley Lord |1 KPMG |1 London University |1 Mcneil Robertson Partnership |1 Michael Gill |1 Microsoft Ltd. |1 MSL Ltd. |1 MTA Ltd. |1 National Computing Centre |1 Neville Russell |1 Oracle Ltd. |1 Oxford Computer Training |1 PA Consulting |1 Peat Marwick Mclintock |1 Poplar Consultants |1 Radius Ltd. |1 Research Machines Ltd. |1 Robert Young |1 Robson Rhodes |1 ROCC Computing Ltd. |1 SC Scicon |1 SCS Ltd. |1 Software Sciences |1 Sybase Ltd. |1 |------- Total |83 |------- Value |£1,517,000
1992 |Contracts ----------------------------------------------- KPMG |4 BIS Ltd |3 Coopers and Lybrand |3 Ernst and Young |2 Insight Consulting |2 Price Waterhouse |2 Admiral Ltd |1 Aid to Industry |1 Alan Marshall |1 Audit Consultancy and Training |1 BBT Ltd |1 Central Office of Information |1 CSL Ltd |1 Duhig Berry |1 Express Consultancy |1 Forvus Ltd |1 Granada Computer Services |1 Kinesis Computing |1 MFT Computer Systems |1 MSL Ltd |1 Oxford Computer Training |1 Oracle Ltd |1 Peter Kemp |1 PE International |1 Richard Ellis |1 Saxton Bampfylde |1 Sema Systems |1 Shreeveport Ltd |1 Thomas Henley |1 Touche Ross |1 |------- Total |40 |------- Value |£1,994,000
1993 |Contracts ------------------------------------------------- Coopers and Lybrand |8 KPMG |5 Ove Arup |3 PA Consulting |3 Price Waterhouse |3 Arden Business Consultants |2 Express Consultancy |2 Touche Ross |2 Uden Consulting Ltd. |2 Alan Wilkinson |1 AMP Systems |1 Barony Consulting |1 Beard Dove Ltd. |1 BIS Ltd. |1 BUPA Occupational Health |1 Capita Ltd. |1 CMG Ltd. |1 CSL Ltd. |1 David Medd |1 DEGW London |1 Dr. J. Haskell |1 Eric Granshaw |1 Ingres Ltd. |1 J. Holdsworth |1 J. Huskins |1 Kinesis Computing |1 Kingdom Technology |1 KPG Ltd. |1 Loretta Franklin |1 Lorraine Stout |1 Microsoft Ltd. |1 Morgan Harris Burrows |1 N. M. Rothschild |1 Oxford Computer Training |1 Peter Kemp |1 Sophie Jackson |1 Steven Jackson |1 Terry Kinnard |1 Trackit Systems |1 W. S. Atkins |1 |------- Total |61 |------- Value |£1,629,000 |------- Grand Total |244 |------- Value |£6,669,000
Column 116(2) how many graduates became liable from 1 April to make repayments to the Student Loans Company Ltd. ; what is the average debt ; and what have been the changes in these figures since April 1993.
Mr. Forth : The effectiveness of educational provision in schools for pupils with special educational needs, including autism, which may include the effects of special educational needs support services, is inspected as part of the continuing inspection programme of the Office for Standards in Education.
Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Education (1) how many local education authority school inspections have so far been awarded, despite a cheaper bid from the private sector ; if he will total the differences between the value of the contract and the level of the lowest private bid in each of those cases ; and if he will make a statement ;
(2) what was the total of the differences between the value of the private sector contract, and the local education authority sector contract lowest bids submitted to Ofsted for each school inspection to date ; and if he will make a statement ;
(3) how many Ofsted inspections have currently been awarded to (a) the private sector and (b) the local education authority sector ; and what was the amount of each bid.
Mr. Win Griffiths : To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to his answer of 28 March, Official Report, columns 520-21, what evaluation he has made of the literacy programmes mentioned in his answer.
Mr. Robin Squire : As I said in my answer of 28 March, the reading recovery trial is still in progress, as is the independent research project sponsored by the School Curriculum and Assessment Authority. We will evaluate the programme once the trial and the research project have been completed.
Of the other GEST-funded literacy projects, some have only just been completed ; others will not finish until March 1995. They will be evaluated in due course.
The adult literacy and basic skills unit is responsible for monitoring and evaluating the family literacy initiative. The unit will report to my right hon. Friend when the initiative has concluded.
The increased grant to the volunteer reading help--VRH--organisation is to help it expand its operation,
Column 117particularly in the north of England. The organisation provides regular information to the Department on numbers of volunteers trained and placed with schools. The evidence provided by VRH is that its work provides an effective contribution to the raising of reading standards.
Mr. John Marshall : To ask the Secretary of State for Education what was the level of funding by the Further and Higher Education Council to Hampstead Garden Suburb Institute in 1993-94 ; and what is the planned level in 1994-95.
Mr. Boswell : In 1993-94, the Further Education Funding Council made available funding of £15,855 for the Hampstead Garden Suburb Institute. In 1994-95, provisional funding from the council, excluding any additional money for growth, will be £98,576.
Mr. Cousins : To ask the Secretary of State for Education if he will publish a table showing the fees charged for overseas students for each of the last five academic years, including the current academic year ; and what proposals he has for levels of fees over the future public expenditure planning period.
Mr. Boswell : The Government do not set the level of fees charged to overseas students originating from outside the EC. Further and higher education institutions are expected to recover the full cost of the courses that they provide to overseas students. The establishment of fee levels therefore falls outside the public expenditure planning process.
The tables show the illustrative minimum fee levels circulated by the Committee of Vice Chancellors and Principals and the Council of Local Education Authorities over the last five academic years as guidance to institutions in determining their fee levels.
Higher Education Institutions |Arts degree |Science degree|Clinical years |(medicine, |dentistry, |veterinary |science |£ |£ |£ --------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1989-90 |4,300 |5,700 |10,500 1990-91 |4,560 |6,050 |11,150 1991-92 |5,000 |6,630 |12,210 1992-93 |5,320 |7,055 |12,990 1993-94 |5,550 |7,360 |13,550
Further Education Institutions |Arts degree |Science degree|FE courses |£ |£ |£ ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ 1989-90 4,107 no level set 1990-91 3,000 to 5,670 no level set 1991-92 5,019 2,778 1992-93 5,319 2,946 1993-94 5,547 3,072
Column 118existing specific programmes to improve reading skills among young children beyond 1995 ; and what plans he has to ensure that the expertise gained by those involved in reading recovery programmes will be utilised after 1995.
Mr. Robin Squire : No decisions have been taken about specific programmes beyond 1995. As I said in my answer of 28 March, we will consider what further action might be taken on reading recovery in the light of evidence from the trial and the independent research project, both of which have yet to be completed.
(2) how many educational visits to schools have been made by dog wardens and other agencies with interest in dogs since 1988 ; (3) what measures the Government intend to take to end the promotion of dog ownership to primary school children.
Mr. Boyes : To ask the Secretary of State for Education what was the total cost of official entertaining in his Department in each year since 1990-91 ; if he will list the receptions held in each year at his Department's expense ; and what was the cost of each reception.
|£ thousands ------------------------------------ 1990-91 |57 1991-92 |86 1992-93 |96
The cost of official entertainment in each of these years is included in the running cost expenditure for the Department which is published every year in the annual report ; figures for 1993-94 are not yet available. The entertainment budget is used for a variety of functions including receptions. Separate figures are not kept for individual functions.
Mr. Boyes : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what was the total cost of official entertaining in his Department in each year since 1990-91 ; if he will list the receptions held in each year at his Department's expense ; and what was the cost of each reception.
Year |£ ---------------------- 1990-91 |65,123 1991-92 |62,800 1992-93 |94,385 1993-94 |49,805
Expenditure on hospitality is included within the running cost expenditure for my Department which is published each year in the annual report. The hospitality budget is used for a variety of functions including receptions but providing details of individual events would incur disproportionate costs.
Mr. Wallace : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland which bodies he has consulted regarding possible changes to the Highland and Islands veterinary services schemes following the completion of consultants reports on the scheme ; and when he issued any consultation guidelines.
British Veterinary Association
Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons
Scottish Crofters Union
Highlands and Islands Enterprises
Convention of Scottish Local Authorities
Strathclyde Regional Council
Highland Regional Council
Mr. Maclennan : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland (1) what proportion of the land area in (a) Scotland and (b) Highland region is covered by the proposed list of special areas of conservation which he has received from Scottish Natural Heritage ; (2) what proportion of the sites of special scientific interest in (a) Scotland and (b) Highland region are included in the proposed list of special areas of conservation which he has received from Scottish Natural Heritage.
Sir Hector Monro [holding answer 31 March 1994] : Scottish Natural Heritage, in conjunction with the Joint Nature Conservation Committee, has submitted to the Government a preliminary and confidential list of sites from which candidate special areas of conservation under the EC habitats directive, 92/43/EEC, may be chosen. This list does not constitute a list of proposed special areas of conservation, but merely a contribution to the Government's consideration of what sites may be proposed as candidate special areas of conservation.
The Government expect to publish for consultation later this year proposals for candidate special areas of conservation.
Mr. Maclennan : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will take advice from the local authorities on the economic and social needs of those areas contained in the proposed list of special areas of conservation he has received from Scottish Natural Heritage prior to its issue for public consultation.
Sir Hector Monro [holding answer 31 March 1994] : The preliminary advice received from Scottish Natural Heritage does not constitute a list of proposed special areas of conservation. The Government believe that when a list of candidate special areas of conservation has been prepared, the owners and occupiers of those sites should be the first to be informed. Nonetheless, the Scottish Office
Column 120would be interested in any advice which local authorities might care to give about areas which they consider suitable or unsuitable for proposal as special areas of conservation.
Mr. Salmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will give numbers, ranks and departments within Scottish Office of those civil servants who work exclusively on EC affairs ; which are monitoring EC activities ; and which are administering and advising on grants.
Mr. Lang : The number of staff from grade HEO to grade 5 who spend a significant proportion of their time on EC business in each of the departments of the Scottish Office is set out in the table. Figures are not available for grades other than those listed.
The figures indicate the overall percentage of time which officers spend on EC work ; information on the proportion of time spent on the different aspects of EC business is not available.
Scottish Office officers involved in EC business Percentage of time spent on EC work Grade |100-60 |60-25 |25-10 |per cent.|per cent.|per cent. ----------------------------------------------------------- The Scottish Office Agriculture and Fisheries Department 5 |4 |3 |1 7 |13 |6 |2 SEO |3 |1 |1 HEO(D) |2 |- |- HEO |19 |8 |2 Senior Prof Grades |8 |2 |1 The Scottish Office Education Department Senior Prof Grades |2 |1 |1 The Scottish Office Environment Department 5 |- |- |2 6 |- |1 |1 7 |- |- |5 HEO(D) |- |- |1 HEO |- |1 |4 Senior Prof Grades |- |7 |3 The Scottish Office Home and Health Department HEO |- |- |1 The Scottish Office Industry Department 5 |1 |- |1 6 |1 |- |- 7 |3 |- |- SEO |4 |1 |- HEO(D) |1 |- |- HEO |7 |1 |1 Senior Prof Grade |- |- |3 Central Services 5 |- |- |1 7 |- |2 |- HEO |- |1 |-
Mr. McMaster : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what scientific evidence he has that fox destruction clubs are actually reducing lamb losses ; how the extent of economic loss compares with expenditure on funding fox destruction clubs ; and if he will make a statement.
Sir Hector Monro : Studies carried out by the Scottish Office and others indicate that between 1 per cent. and 2 per cent. of viable lambs may be predated by foxes. Losses at the level of 1 per cent. would represent some £1.2 million per annm compared with grants amounting to £70,068 in 1993-94. If foxes are numerous, predation on lambs may increase. The fox destruction clubs have been successful in reducing the numbers of foxes by between 3,500 and 4,000 a year mainly before and during the lambing period. A further study of this matter is neither necessary nor would it be practicable at reasonable cost.
Mr. Stewart : Information on specific skill shortages remedied by Government training schemes is not held centrally. It is the responsibility of Scottish Enterprise and Highlands and Islands Enterprise, through their respective networks of local enterprise companies, to deliver Governnment training schemes, with the aim of providing young people and unemployed adults with the skills, vocational qualifications and work experience to help meet the needs of local labour markets.
Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will list the contracts currently being worked on for his Department by Coopers and Lybrand, Ernst and Young, Price Waterhouse, BDO Binder Hamlyn, KPMG Peat Marwick, Grant Thornton, Robson Rhodes, Levy Gee, Hacker Young, Pannell Kerr Forster and Stoy Hayward.
Mr. Lang : My Department does not maintain a central record of all current contracts and it would be disporportionately costly to compile the information sought. Information is available for the 1993-94 financial year and the details are as follows.
Name of company and contract
1. Finance Group Review
2. Milk Marketing Reorganisation
3. Commercialisation review of a Development Corporation 4. Computer System for FE Colleges
Coopers and Lybrand--
1. Financial Health Checks on FE Colleges
2. IT Strategy Studies
3. Computerised Financial and Management Information Systems Project for an Executive Agency
4. Managing the migration of an Executive Agency's IT System to a new building
5. Preparation of Annual Accounts for an Executive Agency