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Mr. Fatchett : To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he will publish the guidelines used to ensure political impartiality in relation to the Adam Smith Institute's "Economy in Government" competition ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Heseltine [holding answer 13 April 1994] : The Department of Trade and Industry has no connection with the competition. Members of staff wishing to enter in a private capacity are still subject to the normal rules of conduct applying to civil servants including the duty of confidentiality and the need to avoid political controversy.
Mr. George : To ask the President of the Board of Trade how many private security firms have been employed by his Department for each of the last 10 years ; what has been the annual value of the contracts ; and if he will estimate how many guards have been employed for each of those years.
Mr. McLoughlin [holding answer 21 April 1994] : I published the statistics for firework injuries for 1993 on 20 April in answer to a written question from my hon. Friend the Member for Southport (Mr. Banks), Official Report, column 518.
Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the President of the Board of Trade how he secured the secondment of Professor Peter Moizer ; what are the terms of the secondment, its objectives and its cost to his Department ; whether Professor Moizer will seek public evidence or hold public hearings in making his report ; and if his final report will be made public.
Mr. Neil Hamilton : Professor Moizer was engaged after a normal competitive tendering process to assist my Department in its review of the monitoring regimes of the recognised supervisory bodies for company auditors. The professor accepted a standard DTI contract of service ; it is not my Department's policy to reveal the cost of individual contract engagements. Professor Moizer has submitted his report to the Department. I believe that it will be useful to all concerned if, in due course, as much of the report as possible is made public.
Mr. Tipping : To ask the President of the Board of Trade what discussions he has had with the chairman of British Coal about future redundancy payments for mineworkers after 30 April ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Eggar : Both my right hon. Friend, the President of the Board of Trade and I meet the chairman of British Coal as necessary to discuss a wide variety of matters affecting the coal industry, including the funding of British Coal's redundancy arrangements. I understand that British Coal has told the unions that it will inform them as soon as possible of its proposals for redundancy arrangements for industrial workers to apply after 30 April.
Mr. Tipping : To ask the President of the Board of Trade what plans he has to extend redundancy schemes and payments for mineworkers after the privatisation of British Coal ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Eggar : Any redundancy arrangements after the privatisation of British Coal, including any in excess of the statutory requirements, will be a matter for private sector employers. Under the Coal Industry Bill, the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 1981 will apply where there is a transfer of an undertaking or part of an undertaking. In such circumstances, the terms and conditions under contracts of employment at the time of transfer will transfer to the successor companies.
In accordance with TUPE, British Coal will consult trade union representatives about any proposed transfers. The details about what will, or will not transfer, including redundancy terms in excess of the statutory requirements, depend on the specific facts of each case, and are best pursued in the course of those consultations.
Mr. Wigley : To ask the President of the Board of Trade what are the planned payments to the Coal Industry Social Welfare Organisation for the next 10 years and comparable payments made during the last five years expressed at constant prices ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Eggar : The Government's proposals for the Coal Industry Social Welfare Organisation involve assured funding of £15 million--£5 million taking the form of an annual payment of £1 million for five years, and £10 million taking the form of a capital endowment, the income of which would be available for current expenditure. The funding of CISWO for the past five years has been a matter for British Coal.
Mr. Tipping : To ask the President of the Board of Trade what financial assistance he plans to make available to companies that buy collieries after the privatisation of British Coal to fund redundancy payments.
Mr. Meale : To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he will refer the recent acquisition by the Racecourse Holdings Trust of United Racecourse (Holdings) Ltd. to the Monopolies and Mergers Commission.
Column 711President of the Board of Trade announced on 25 February 1994 his decision not to refer the proposed acquisition by Racecourse Holdings Trust Ltd. of United Racecourses (Holdings) Ltd. to the Monopolies and Mergers Commission because it did not raise competition or other relevant concerns warranting scrutiny by the MMC.
The Attorney-General : No member of my chambers attended the Commonwealth law conference in Cyprus in May 1993. However, the Director of Public Prosecutions and the Director of the Serious Fraud Office both attended.
Mr. Hunter : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the implications of the United Kingdom's membership of the European Union for the command and deployment of United Kingdom forces.
Mr. Hanley : The United Kingdom's membership of the European Union has no direct implications for the command and deployment of United Kingdom forces, as the EU has no current jurisdiction in the defence field. The EU has placed responsibility for developing and implementing its decisions which have defence implications upon the Western European Union. The WEU is an autonomous organisation, and not all members of the EU are full members of the WEU. The WEU is being developed as the defence component of the EU and as a means of strengthening the European pillar of NATO, which remains fundamental to ensuring European security and stability. Development of the WEU is likely to have implications for the command and control of United Kingdom forces involved in operations with other European allies. In future such operations may take place under the control of the WEU, using assets shared with NATO.
Mr. Hanley : The responsibility for such matters lies with the National Air Traffic Services with which my Department works closely in order to ensure that all aspects of civil and military flight safety are fully taken into account. There are currently no such proposals, but the use of airspace is kept under continuous review.
Mr. Aitken : As part of our ongoing programme to maintain an up-to- date Royal Fleet Auxiliary, we invited tenders on 6 April for certain aspects of the feasibility studies for new auxiliary oilers. These vessels are planned to replace the "O" class front-line tankers around the turn of the century.
Mr. Nicholas Winterton : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what discussions he has had with ex-service men's organisations about financial barriers faced by veterans to participation in celebrations of the 50th anniversary of D-day ; what proposals he has to make financial assistance available to such vererans ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Hanley : My Department has no formal responsibility for ex- service men's or widows' organisations, which are privately funded, and we are not therefore in a position to provide financial assistance to those who wish to travel to the 50th anniversary commemorations.
There is, however, separate provision in the form of the widows grant-in- aid scheme which has been running for 10 years. The scheme provides financial assistance to those widows who lost their husbands overseas between 1914 and 1967 to make one visit to the grave or memorial as appropriate.
Mr. Nicholas Winterton : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what estimate he has made of the numbers of veterans of D-day who are currently living ; what assessment he has made of the numbers of those vererans who would welcome the opportunity to visit the site of their involvement ; and what specific action he is taking to facilitate such visits.
Mr. Hanley : The number of D-day veterans who are currently living is not known. There are some 9,000 to 10,000 members of the Normandy Veterans Association, but there will be other D-day veterans who are not members of the NVA.
The level of interest in those events being managed by my Department, both in the Portsmouth area and in Normandy, is high. We have had over 12,000 applications for tickets for the ceremonies in Normandy. The numbers in the Portsmouth area are difficult to judge because one of the events--the Drumhead service on Southsea common on the morning of 5 June 1994--is open to the general public. Although veterans and veterans' organisations should make their own arrangements for transport and accommodation, my Department is liaising with the appropriate authorities in Portsmouth and in Normandy to ensure they have a successful visit.
Mr. Cohen : To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when he expects to publish the new regulations in respect of the treatment of homosexuality in the armed forces ; and what is the rationale behind these proposed new regulations.
Mr. Hanley : As foreshadowed in my closing speech during the debate on discipline in the armed forces on 21 June 1993, Official Report, column 143, new tri-service guidelines have been drawn up to reflect current policy and
Column 713procedure. These new guidelines, a copy of which have been placed in the Library of the House, were distributed down the services' chain of command in March 1994.
Mr. Matthew Taylor : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what information technology consultants his Department has employed and for what purpose and at what total cost for each of the last five years.
Sir John Wheeler : The information requested is listed.
Year 1989-90--Total cost £1,646,805
Consultant and Purpose
DE Barnard Systems
To devise a common Information Technology strategy for the Countryside and Wildlife, Historic Monuments and Buildings Branches Capita
Local Area Network at Newforge, Science Service
To provide a management accountant, acceptance testing manager and script writer to advise on the Integrated Computer System in Roads Service
Word Processing Systems
Unix Operating Systems
To develop a telecommunications strategy for the expansion of the Ordnance Survey for NI topographical database system into a multi user Province wide network
To provide advice and support during design and development of the Works Service MAIS project using the ORACLE relational database and toolset.
Butler Cox Foundation
Butler Cox Foundation
VME Series 39
IT Strategy Systems and Data Architecture Study
DPP UK Ltd.
Examine Data Communications system--Animal Health
P E Computers
CISD Market Test
Coopers and Lybrand
NI Emigration Database
Computerisation of Social Security Benefits
Departmental IT Strategy Plan
Local Area Network Study
General Ledger System
Consultant employed by Wang (U.K.) Ltd.
Scoping Study of E Mail System in NIO
Telecoms Service Project
Review Telecoms Draft Statement
Financial computerisation study
University of Ulster
General Accounting and Financial Information
Identify options for linking cattle markets to the Animal Health System
CAPITA Muir and Addy
Development work on IT Strategy
BIS BEECOM (International) Ltd.
To advise on specialised communication aspects of the Integrated Computer Project in Roads Service
To advise on the organisation, management and job changes required as a result of the Integrated Computer System in Roads Service. Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy Ltd. Advice on Management Accounting aspects of the Integrated Computer Project in Water Service
Metron TEC Ltd.
Equipment Performance Monitoring
Unix Operating Systems
Unix Operating Systems
Local Area Network Study
Elite Consultancy Services
Project Cost Monitoring System
Computer Aided Design Systems
T. Morris and D. Shaw
Job Satisfaction Survey
Course Booking System
Year 1990-91--Total cost £1,287,809
IS Strategy Review
Review of Departmental IT Strategy
Oracle UK Ltd.
To assist in the quality assurance of completed software products for the Works Service MAIS system
Butler Cox Foundation
Land Procurement Project
Management/IT, acceptance testing manager and script writers for Roads Service Integrated Computer System
Giro Reconciliation Project
Transaction Processing for POP Census 1991
Roads Service Geographical Information System
Coopers & Lybrand
Implementation of IT Strategy Plan
Implementation of Operational Strategy Projects
1991 Population Census
Financial Information Systems
Local Area Network Cabling in DHSS