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Column 573Letter from Jon Cowdock to Mr. Jeff Rooker, dated 29 November 1994:
Charges for information supplied under the Code of Practice on Open Government
I have been asked to reply, in the absence of the Agency's Chief Executive, on behalf of the National Weights and Measures Laboratory to your question concerning charges for open government.
The National Weights and Measures Laboratory applies the same charging policy as DTI. Details of that policy are set out in the reply given by Mr Taylor on 22 November.
Letter from P.R.S. Hartnack to Mr. Jeff Rooker, dated 29 November 1994:
Code of Practice on Access to Government Information
You asked the President of the Board of Trade to make a statement on charging policy for inquiries under the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information. I have been asked to reply in relation to the Patent Office.
The Patent Office provides a great deal of information to the public. This includes explanatory literature, which is free; publications for sale at various prices; information supplied in accordance with statutory requirements and on payment of the relevant fee; and consultancy services, for which charges are made on the basis of database access, document supply and hourly rates. None of these activities is affected by the Code of Practice.
In line with guidance on charging policy produced by the Office of Public Services and Science, which recognised the diversity of cost and operational structure across the range of bodies implementing the Code, the Patent Office has adopted the following scheme of charges. Where an inquirer can be directed to a published document, or free literature is available, there will be no charge. Inquiries requiring further work will be charged according to hourly rates based on the average pay costs of the grades involved, together with any direct costs incurred. However, where the total cost is less than £30, no charge will be made.
Letter from Jim Norton to Mr. Jeff Rooker, dated 29 November 1994:
Code of Practice on Access to Government Information--Charging Policy
The President of the Board of Trade has asked Chief Executive of DTI Agencies to reply direct to your parliamentary question about our charging policy in respect of enquiries under the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information. I am replying in respect of the Radiocommunications Agency of the DTI.
As a net running cost Agency we are wholly funded by licence fees and other charges paid by our customers. Because of this funding regime we have adopted a slightly different charging policy to that of our parent department. We have set a basic "registration" fee of £15 (this is equivalent to the minimum licence fee we charge and will be linked to that level in future) for all requests for information invoked under the Code, ie outside our existing information flow procedures. This registration fee would cover all cases costing up to £100 to deal with. However, for more detailed cases when estimated costs of providing the information exceed the £100 level, we will use the Departmental composite hourly rates--but the initial £15 fee would be used as a deposit, deductible against any higher charge imposed. For cases estimated to cost over £1,000 we will also follow DTI central policy.
Mr. Charles Wardle [holding answer 28 November 1994]: The average price of electricity paid by consumers of 80MW capacity, with an 86 per cent. load factor, in each EC member state for October 1994, and the increase since October 1987, are given in the table.
|Price pence per|Percentage Country |kWh |increase ---------------------------------------------------------------- United Kingdom |3.40 |<1>37.7 Belgium |3.13 |21.3 France |3.20 |33.9 Germany |4.58 |15.1 Italy |3.24 |54.3 Netherlands |3.20 |24.5 Spain |4.43 |<2>- <1> For the United Kingdom there is a decrease of about 2 per cent. when the effect of inflation, as measured by the GDP deflator, is excluded. <2> Data for Spain are not available for October 1987. Data for Denmark, Greece, Ireland, Portugal and Luxembourg, are not available. Source: Energy Advice.
Mr. Sainsbury: To ask the President of the Board of Trade what evidence he has that seasonal adjustment for retail sales statistics gives a more reliable indication of activity than comparisons with a similar period of the previous year.
Mr. Nelson: I have been asked to reply. Both measures are useful. Seasonal adjustment of retail sales statistics, whilst difficult, allows a sensible comparison of activity in the trade across months. Without adjustment, comparisons even with a similar period of the previous year can be distorted by moving holidays such as Easter and comparisons within a year are not possible.
Mr. Alton: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what information his Department has on the reasons for the prevalence of sterilisation as a method of contraception in the developing world; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Denham: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will introduce legislation prohibiting the United Kingdom executive director at the World bank from approving projects which do not have demonstrable local consultation and environmental assessment.
Mr. Baldry: The bank's operational guidelines require adequate local consultation and environmental assessment in project design. Where we are not satisfied that these requirements have been fulfilled, we are ready to withhold approval.
Column 575privatisation, contracting out and civil service and local government reform as part of the overseas aid programme in each year since 1989 and the cost in each case.
Dependent Territories: Montserrat; and Turks and Caicos Islands Ecuador
Information by year showing the cost in each case is not centrally recorded and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
Sir John Stanley: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list all the European Union overseas aid schemes and European Union overseas aid budget headings under which United Kingdom governmental and non-governmental organisations can apply for European Union overseas aid funds, and the amount of European Union funding given to United Kingdom organisations under each European Union overseas aid scheme and under each European Union overseas aid budget heading in the last year for which figures are available.
Column 576non-governmental organisations can participate, are as follows: The Lome Convention for African, Caribbean and Pacific countries;
The Asia and Latin America Programme;
The New Mediterranean Policy;
Phare (for eastern and central Europe);
Tacis (for the former Soviet Union);
The EC Food Aid Programme; and,
The EC Humanitarian Aid Programme.
My right hon. and noble Friend the Minister for Overseas Development will write to my hon. Friend once the data requested on funding for United Kingdom organisations have been prepared.
Mr. Alton: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what statistics his Department has received published by the Chinese Government on contraceptive use; and if he will place copies in the Library.
Mr. Baldry: Statistics about contraceptive use are published in the "Family Planning Statistical Yearbook", produced annually by the Chinese Government. The most recently available yearbook was published in 1993. We will arrange for copies of this to be placed in the Libraries of the House.
Mr. Alton: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if the International Planned Parenthood Federation has made a report separate from its annual report, to his Department, regarding the work of its affiliate the Chinese Family Planning Association in monitoring human rights abuses in China's population control programme; and if he will place a copy of the report in the Library.
Mr. Baldry: We have a continuing dialogue with the International Planned Parenthood Federation on a range of issues, including China's population policy. Such discussions and any information shared are on the understanding that they remain confidential to the IPPF and Her Majesty's Government.
Mr. Alton: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what matters were discussed between representatives from his Department and representatives of the Chinese Government at the Cairo population conference.
Column 577£500,000, and against which expenditure has already taken place, or will take place in the current financial year, are as follows:
|Aid |allocation |£ millions -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Small Enterprise Small Enterprise Awards Scheme |0.5 K-Rep Micro-enterprise Credit |1.0 Barclays Bank Loan Guarantee Scheme |0.7 Policy Implementation and De-regulation |0.6 Health and Children by Choice Isiolo Hospital Immediate Support |0.5 Family Planning Services |2.0 Essential Drugs Supply |1.5 Contraceptive Supply |1.5 Education Faculty of Information Sciences (Completed 1994) |1.0 Kenyatta University Science Staff Development |1.6 Moi University Library |8.3 Strengthening of Primary Education |3.3 Books for Primary Schools |0.6 Renewable Natural Resources Kenya Indigenous Forests Conservation (Completed 1994) |5.0 Kenya Wildlife Service Vehicles |0.8 Kenya Agricultural Research Institute |10.6 Kenya Trypanosomiasis Research Institute |2.4 Efficient Use of Plantation Timber |0.8 Moi Oxford Forestry Link |0.53 Agricultural Information Centre, STEP |0.7 Parastatal Reform Kenya Railways Phase II (Completed 1994) |7.3 Kenya Ports Authority (Completed 1994) |11.4 Good Government Senior Administrators Overseas Programme (Completed 1994) |1.4 Other Molo-Olenguruone and Bomet-Litein roads (Completed 1994) |12.0 Poverty-focused NGO programme |3.0 Bailey Bridging Phase III |2.8
Mr. Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions United Kingdom representatives in Sri Lanka have had with factions, ethnic groups, party and community leaders; what proposal he has to enable the United Kingdom to assist the peace process; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Baldry: I visited Sri Lanka from 15 to 16 November. I met representatives of a wide range of Sri Lankan opinion. Her Majesty's high commission in Colombo also maintains contact with all legitimate political, trade union and human rights groups.
Our standing offer to help facilitate talks, if all parties would find it useful, remains on the table.
Mr. Elletson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment United Nations observers monitoring the border between the Republics of Serbia and Montenegro and Bosnia- Herzegovina have made as to whether the flow of supplies across that border has been limited in accordance with United Nations resolutions; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Douglas Hogg: The latest report of the international conference on the former Yugoslavia--ICFY--mission concludes that the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia--FRY--Government are continuing to meet their commitment to close the border between the FRY and the areas of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina under the control of Bosnian Serb forces.
It is essential that the ICFY mission should be equipped to monitor the border closure effectively. Ten United Kingdom observers have been serving with the ICFY mission since it began work in September 1994. In response to an appeal from the ICFY Secretariat for additional help, we have decided to contribute a further ten observers and to provide five four-wheel-drive vehicles. This makes the United Kingdom the second largest contributor.
Mr. Elletson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations have been made to the Bosnian Government in respect of the recent use of Bihac and other demilitarised zones in Bosnia-Herzegovina to launch their military attacks; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Elletson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what reports have been received by his Department of breaches in the arms embargo in favour of Bosnian-Muslim and Bosnian-Croat forces in Bosnia-Herzegovina; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Douglas Hogg: We are aware of reports, both from the media and other sources, of breaches of the United Nations arms embargo. Evidence of such breaches is taken up with the United Nations Sanctions Committee and the country concerned.
Mr. Elletson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what further measures are being considered to encourage the Governments of Serbia, Montenegro and the Federal Yugoslav Government to continue to co-operate with the international community in implementing United Nations and Security Council resolutions; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Douglas Hogg: The United Nations Security Council decided in its resolution 943 to suspend the ban on international air links, a ferry crossing to Italy and cultural and sporting contacts in response to a decision by Belgrade to support the contact group plan for Bosnia, to cut off all but humanitarian supplies to the Bosnian Serbs and to co-operate with a mission from the international conference on former Yugoslavia.
Column 579Further sanctions relief is envisaged if the contact group plan for Bosnia is implemented. The contact group would also respond positively if Belgrade took other steps towards peace, such as support for a peace plan for Croatia and recognition of the other states of former Yugoslavia.
Mr. Elletson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make representations to the Croatian Government regarding the need to comply with United Nations resolutions on the importation of arms into the former Yugoslavia; what actions Her Majesty's Government propose to take in the event of evidence of Croatian non-compliance; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Douglas Hogg: The Croatian and other Governments have been made aware of our strong views on the need for all member states to comply with United Nations Security Council resolutions. Evidence of non-compliance with United Nations sanctions is taken up with the Government concerned and with the United Nations sanctions committee.
Mr. Elletson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what controls are in place at airports in the Republic of Croatia to ensure that arms shipments, in breach of United Nations resolutions, are not being transported through Croatia to combatants in Bosnia-Herzegovina; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Douglas Hogg: As in other countries of former Yugoslavia and in neighbouring countries, the United Nations have established, under EU/CSCE auspices, a sanctions assistance mission in Croatia, based in Zagreb. This mission has authority to observe and report back its findings to the United Nations sanctions committee.
Mr. Elletson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he has received reports indicating that the Russian Federation is considering unilaterally abandoning trade sanctions against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia at the beginning of 1995; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Wareing: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth affairs what restrictions are in place on the transport and telecommunications industry with regard to the former Yugoslavia; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Douglas Hogg: Since April 1993 transportation owned by or operated from the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia has been subject to impoundment by member states under United Nations Security Council resolution 820. In September this year, some restrictions were suspended for an initial 100 days. Aircraft and civilian flights can operate to and from Belgrade airport, as can the passenger ferry service between Bar in the FRY and Bari in Italy.
Telecommunications are exempt from United Nations sanctions imposition. The only restriction, under UNSCR 820, is that the supply of goods to the FRY, relating to the industry, are subject to UNSC authorisation on a case-by- case basis.