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Mr. Eggar: The Department of Trade and Industry has undertaken no formal research into defence industries diversification during the last 10 years. It will, however, be participating in a NATO advanced studies institute on defence diversification to be held in Scotland in July this year, to which it is contributing £5,662 in support of costs.

Post Offices, London

Mrs. Roche: To ask the President of the Board of Trade what discussions he or anyone in his Department has had on the future of (a) Crouch End and (b) Wood Green post offices with Post Office Counters Ltd.      [16200]

Mr. Page: Decisions about the location and organisation of individual post offices are the responsibility of Post Office management, not the Government. Therefore, neither my right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Trade nor any member of my Department has had any discussions with Post Office Counters Ltd. on the future of Crouch End and Wood Green post offices.

Accounts Service Agency

Mr. McNamara: To ask the President of the Board of Trade what are the costs, in total, to his Department in relation to the contractorisation of the Accounts Service Agency; what is the breakdown of these costs between (a) the annual cost of the CSL Group Holdings Ltd. contract, (b) the annual cost of the contract monitoring unit, (c) the annual cost of the policy work transferred from the ASA to the finance and resource management division, (d) the annual cost of any other department overheads previously borne by the ASA and (e) the cost of the contracting-out process, written off over the contract period in respect of (i) redundancy or early retirement, (ii) solicitors' advice, (iii) consultancy fees and (iv) departmental costs.      [15211]

Mr. Ian Taylor [holding answer 23 March 1995]: The process of contracting out the services provided by the Accounts Services Agency has yet to be completed. At this stage therefore many of the associated financial details can only be estimated. Estimates for the various elements are:

a) the annual cost of the contract with CSL Group Ltd. cannot be determined in advance. It will be a volume contract where the price paid will be determined by the level of services demanded. The schedule of rates cannot be revealed because it is commercially confidential;

b) and c) the policy work to be transferred from ASA to the finance and resource management division of DTI will be undertaken by the accounts services management unit which will also manage the contract. The annual cost of ASMU, including overheads, will be £307, 500 falling to £256,500 after the first year;


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d) as a result of the contracting out of the Department's overhead attributed to accounts services will fall from £99,000 to £45,000 per annum; and

e) a breakdown of the costs of the contracting-out process could reveal information of a confidential nature, both commercial and personal. The estimated annualised total cost of the items requested is £163,000.

Defence Export Licences

Mr. Fatchett: To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he will list the items of surplus Ministry of Defence equipment for which an export licence was granted in the last year for which information is available, giving the total number of items involved and the recipient of the export licences in each case.      [15811]

Mr. Ian Taylor [holding answer 27 March 1995]: It has been the policy of successive Administrations not to disclose details about export licences that have been issued. In any event, it would not be possible to identify all such equipment from records.

Executive Agencies

Mr. Flynn: To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he will list the jobs that have been lost to agencies in his Department in the past two years that have (a) been taken over by contractors and (b) disappeared.

Mr. Ian Taylor [holding answer 15 March 1995]: I have asked the chief executives of the agencies to write to the hon. Member. Letter from John Hobday to Mr. Paul Flynn, dated21 March 1995: I refer to your recent question to the President of the Board of Trade concerning the loss of jobs in the Department of Trade and Industry over the past two years as a result of their being taken over by contractors and subsequently disappearing.

No jobs have been lost for this reason in the Accounts Services Agency.

Letter from David Durham to Mr. Paul Flynn, dated 28 March 1995:

You recently tabled a Parliamentary Question regarding the loss of jobs in agencies over the past two year as a result of contracting out of work.

In Companies House over the past two years there have been no jobs lost due to the employment of contractors.

Letter from Peter Joyce to Mr. Paul Flynn, dated28 March 1995: The President of the Board of Trade has asked me to reply to your question about jobs which have been lost in The Insolvency Service in the past two years.

One post has been lost as a result of work being taken over by a contractor. Forty five posts have been saved through the introduction of a computerised local office information system in The Service's Official Receivers' offices (with a further forty five posts to be saved in 1995 96). Adjustments have been made in the grading of a small number of posts to reflect changing requirements of The Service's work.

Letter from R. D. Worswick to Mr. Paul Flynn, dated 28 March 1995:

The President of the Board of Trade has asked me to reply for the Laboratory of the Government Chemist to your question about jobs lost at Agencies in the DTI during the last two years.

The number of posts in LGC has reduced by 42 since 1 April 1993, of which less than half can be attributed to having been lost due to market tests by customers in Government. During this period, however, LGC has been successful in winning work in other areas.


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Letter from W. Edgar to Mr. Paul Flynn, dated28 March 1995: I would refer to your Parliamentary Question to the President to the Board of Trade concerning the number of jobs in this agency in the past two years which have been taken over by contractors or have disappeared. The only jobs which have been taken over by contractors are those associated with the reprographics unit, this resulted in the loss of 4 jobs. During the period from 1 April 1993 to the present time the reduction in staff numbers, in addition to those lost in the reprographic section has been 126. These staff reductions were found to be necessary to tailor the size of the organisation to match the market demand for our services.

Letter from Dr. Peter Clapham to Mr. Paul Flynn, dated 28 March 1995:

The President of the Board of Trade has asked me to reply to your question about jobs lost to agencies in DTI in the past two years. This reply concerns my Agency, the National Physical Laboratory (NPL).

The number of staff in NPL has reduced from 786 on 1 March 1993 to 666 on 1 March 1995. Over the same period the number of casual employees has increased from 18 to 54 and the Laboratory also currently uses 29 agency or other staff whereas the number was about 10 two years ago. Therefore some 65 posts have been lost in the last two years.

I trust this provides the information you require.

Letter from Seton Bennett to Mr. Paul Flynn, dated28 March 1995 :

The President of the Board of Trade has asked me to reply on behalf of the National Weights and Measures Laboratory to your question about jobs lost to Agencies in DTI during the last two years.

No job in this Agency has been taken over by contractors in this period, although the number of posts in NWML has been reduced from 48 on 1 April 1993 to 46 on the same date this year.

Letter from P.R.S. Harntack to Mr. Paul Flynn, dated 28 March 1995:

I have been asked to reply (with respect to the Patent Office) to a question--number 94--which you recently tabled in The House. Overall numbers in the Patent Office declined from 1,073 end of February 1993 to 964 at end February this year, so 109 posts have disappeared. These totals include staff not directly employed by the Office, but provided through clerical and IT manpower agencies. Their numbers increased from 53 to 76, so an additional 23 jobs have been `contracted out'.

No other work has been taken over by contractors during this period.

I hope that this is helpful.

Letter from Jim Norton to Mr. Paul Flynn, dated28 March 1995: As you know, I have been asked to answer, in relation to the Radiocommunications Agency, your question to the President of the Board of Trade about jobs lost to agencies in the past two years that have (a) been taken over by contractors and (b) disappeared. On 31 March 1993, the Agency had a complement of 565 with 524.5 staff in post. The comparable figures on 31 March 1994 were 580 and 534 respectively. At the present time, RA has a complement of 582 and 552.5 staff in post. During the period, following market testing, ships' radio licensing is being contracted out with effect from 1 April 1995 with the loss of 6 Agency posts.

I should emphasise that the Agency has succeeded in meeting demanding efficiency targets set by Ministers in each of the years in question. The figures reflect strongly growing demand for all the Agency's services and also delegations of management, IT and personnel functions from the Department.

Within the overall totals, posts have been moved in the Agency in response to changes in patterns of workload and in the interests of efficiency and customer service. For example, the licensing of private mobile radio has been decentralised from the Agency's headquarters to its local offices, which has improved service and been much appreciated by customers.

I hope this information is helpful to you.


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HOUSE OF COMMONS

Exhibitions

Mrs. Maddock: To ask the Chairman of the Administration Committee if he has considered an application for an exhibition relating to East Dorset Schools Art to be displayed in the Upper Waiting Hall.      [16932]

Mr. Michael J. Martin: I understand that under procedures agreed by the Administration Committee, arrangements have been made for the exhibition to be held in the Upper Waiting Hall from Monday 26 June to Friday 30 June 1995.

IT Training

Mr. Allen: To ask the Chairman of the Information Committee, pursuant to his answer of 7 March, Official Report, column 283, whether on- site IT training for hon. Members will be provided by (a) employees of the House or (b) outside trainers brought in by hon. Members for non-PDVN training.

Mr. Waller: Details of the training have not yet been finalised. It is not expected that hon. Members will need to engage their own training staff, although it will be open to them--as now--to do so, using their office costs allowance.

Energy Efficiency

Mr. Fisher: To ask the Chairman of the Accommodation and Works Committee, pursuant to his answer of 20 March, Official Report, column 50, if he will place in the Library a copy of the 1994 survey of energy efficiency.

Mr. Ray Powell. : A copy of the report by the Director of Works entitled "Energy Conservation on the Parliamentary Estate" dated 20 June 1994 is available in the Library.

Media (Office Space)

Mr. Peter Bottomley: To ask the Chairman of the Accommodation and Works Committee (1) if he will make an assessment of the relationship between office space in the Palace and the direct reporting of parliamentary speeches and answers;      [16992]

(2) if he will estimate the office space available to the media in the Palace in 1975, 1985 and 1995; and what policy considerations underlie this allocation;      [16991]

(3) if he will arrange for the Committee to review the need for office space for the media and recommend whether the amount should be decreased.      [16993]

Mr. Ray Powell: Office space currently available to the media in the Palace of Westminster is estimated to total some 700 sq m. Comparable figures for 1975 and 1985 are unavailable, but I do not believe that the amount of space occupied has changed markedly in recent years. The Committee currently has no plans specifically to review the requirements of the media, but a study is currently being prepared on the utilisation of space on the parliamentary estate to the end of the century. The offices occupied by the media will be included in that study, which will be considered by the Committee in due course.


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Audio-visual Resources

Mr. Allen: To ask the Lord President of the Council, pursuant to his answer of 9 March, Official Report , column 284 , if he will list the interested parties who are discussing the multi-media presentation of Parliament and British democracy.

Mr. Waller: I have been asked to reply. For reasons of commercial confidentiality, it would not be appropriate to list the companies involved. I shall write to the hon. Member.

TRANSPORT

Trespass (Railway Lines)

Mr. Hardy: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many prosecutions have been commenced during each of the past four years in cases of trespass on railway lines.      [15757]

Mr. Watts: The information is as follows:


Year         |Prosecutions             

             |commenced                

---------------------------------------

1991         |1,513                    

1992         |788                      

1993         |716                      

1994         |691                      

Rail Users Consultative Committee

Mr. Charles Kennedy: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what is the remit of the rail users' consultative committees in respect of the right to call public inquiries into the proposed withdrawal of any ferry service; and if he will make a statement.      [16721]

Mr. Watts: The statutory powers of the central rail users consultative committee and the rail users' consultative committees in respect of ferry services are set out in sections 76 to 79 of the Railways Act 1993.

Uninsured Drivers

Mr. French: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will set out the policy options he has (a) considered and (b) pursued to tackle the problem of uninsured drivers.

Mr. Norris: We are considering various options with colleagues in other Government Departments, the insurance industry and the police; these include the suggestion that drivers should be required to display a windscreen insurance disc. The changes we propose to the vehicle registration and licensing system will provide for a more effective regular check on vehicles and their owners. As well as other benefits they will contribute significantly to combating the problem of motor insurance evasion.

Impact Resistance (Cars)

Mr. Channon: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what action Her Majesty's Government is taking to ensure that the recommendations of the European experimental vehicles committee are included


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in the European Commission's directive on the front and side impact resistance of cars.      [16907]

Mr. Norris: We have taken every possible action to persuade the Commission to propose, and other European Union member states to support, the quickest practical implementation of the recommendations of the EEVC. To that end, we have carried out extensive research programmes and shared all the results with our European partners.

Continuous Agency

Mr. French: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, when he expects the consultation exercise on continuous licensing to be completed.      [16794]

Mr. Norris: I will be issuing consultation documents tomorrow, 29 March, outlining changes to the vehicle licensing and registration system. Copies will be placed in the Library and the Vote Office.

Bridge Works

Mr. Dowd: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when his Department will approve the funding for the bridge works at Southend lane, London SE26, and when he expects the road improvement scheme to commence and finish.      [16175]

Mr. Norris: A scheme including the reconstruction of the bridge was not successful in Lewisham's transport policies and programme bid for 1995 96. The Government office for London are discussing with Lewisham how the proposals might be modified for consideration in next year's submission. Nothing definite can be said at present about the funding or timing of the scheme.

Departmental Report

Mr. Matthew Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what was the cost of producing and circulating the departmental annual report for each of the last 10 years in real terms;      [16610] (2) what was the cost of producing and circulating the last departmental annual report; what was the circulation list; how many copies were produced; how many copies were sold; and at what price.      [16609]

Mr. Norris: Departmental reports were first published in 1991. From 1994, the Department of Transport has published its report in conjunction with the Office of Passenger Rail Franchising and the Office of the Rail Regulator. The cost to the Department of publication by HMSO is as follows:


               |1993-94 prices               

               |£                            

---------------------------------------------

1991           |2,388                        

1992           |3,214                        

1993           |5,554                        

1994           |5,354                        

Costs for 1995 have yet to be finalised. Figures do not include costs of circulation and other internal costs, which are not recorded separately.

There were 2,100 copies of the 1995 transport report--Cm2806, published 7 March--printed. Some 1,300 copies


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were produced for sale by HMSO at a price of £13.20. The remainder were circulated to Parliament and other Government Departments, and internally to staff within the Department, including its agencies.

Driving Tests

Mr. Pike: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make a statement on theory testing within driving tests with particular reference to motorway driving.      [16502]

Mr. Norris: Questions on motorway driving can be included in the session at the end of the current driving test, and will also be among the topics covered by the theory test required by the second EC directive on driver licensing. An announcement on our proposals for the new theory test will be made shortly.

Mr. Pike: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what percentage of drivers passing their test now take voluntary motorway driving tuition; and if he will make a statement.      [16503]

Mr. Norris: Information is not held centrally on the percentage of newly qualified drivers who take motorway tuition. However, motorway driving is one of the elements included in the post-test driver training scheme, "Pass Plus". That scheme was introduced on 6 February and already over 500 certificates of completion have been issued.

Airlines (Overbooking)

Mrs. Clwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what action he intends to take to discourage airlines from overbooking passengers on flights;      [16505]

(2) if he will discuss with British Airways its practice of overbooking passengers on flights.      [16506]

Mr. Norris: It is for each airline, including British Airways, to determine its own policy on booking, according to its commercial judgment. A Council regulation provides for compulsory minimum levels of compensation to be paid to passengers with a valid ticket and a confirmed reservation on a scheduled flight departing from a Community airport who are denied boarding because the flight is overbooked.

Joint Aviation Authority

Mr. Sheerman: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what assessment he has made of the implications for the United Kingdom of adopting joint aviation authority requirements not embodied in present United Kingdom legislation through air navigation orders or other statutory instruments;      [16294]

(2) what assessment he has made of the legal implications of the Civil Aviation Authority's proposals to adopt joint aviation authority regulations.      [16293]

Mr. Norris: The joint aviation authorities are recognised by both the United Kingdom and the European Union as the appropriate body to harmonise European aviation safety requirements. The Civil Aviation Authority participates fully in the development of all joint aviation requirements and makes a thorough assessment of their implications. The UK will not approve a JAR unless the CAA is satisfied that it would enable the UK to maintain its very high level of aviation safety.


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First Aid

Sir Gerard Vaughan: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) if he will consider legislation to require all cars to carry a first aid box;      [16868]

(2) if he will bring forward proposals to require all first-time applicants for driving licences to have a basic knowledge of first aid before being passed for a driving licence.      [16867]

Mr. Norris: We have no plans to make compulsory either first aid training for drivers or the carrying of first aid kits in cars. The "Highway Code" contains basic advice on what to do in emergencies and encourages drivers to learn about first aid from voluntary organisations and to carry first aid kits. However, basic training and equipment are of limited use for dealing with injuries in road traffic accidents and the best course of action is to summon skilled medical help as quickly as possible.

WALES

Family Services Grant Awards

Mr. Sweeney: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will make a statement on the grant awards for1995 96 made under the child and family services grant scheme; what were the figures for 1994 95; and if he will make a statement.      [17149]

Mr. Richards: I am pleased to announce that grant offers totalling £2.635 million have been made for1995 96. This compares with an equivalent figure of £2.1 million in the current financial year. This represents a 25 per cent. increase and reflects the Government's commitment to family life and values. Details of the 84 grant awards have been placed in the Library of the House.

Senior Management Review

Mr. Sweeney: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales when the senior management review of the Welsh Office will be completed.      [17150]

Mr. Redwood: The review is now complete. The review report is being made available to Welsh Office staff today and I have placed copies in the Library of the House.

Historic Buildings Council for Wales

Mr. Sweeney: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales when he intends to present to Parliament the next report of the Historic Buildings Council for Wales.      [17182]

Mr. Richards: The 38th report of the Historic Buildings Council for Wales has been presented to Parliament today. The report covers the financial year 1993 94 and copies have been placed in the Library of the House.

Polling and Public Survey Organisations

Mr. Donohoe: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will make a statement on the employment of polling or public survey organisations by his Department during the current and previous financial years, on the


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organisations employed by his Department, on the values of individual contracts for these services, on the total amounts of money spent and on the purposes of the research undertaken by these organisations.

Mr. Redwood [holding answer 20 March 1995]: The information requested is as follows:

Beaufort Research Ltd. , contracted by Welsh Office 1993 94 Cost: £1,292.50--collection of data for inclusion in 1993 "Digest of Welsh Statistics".

Research and Marketing Ltd. , contracted by Welsh Office 1993 94 Cost: £72,000 --to undertake the 1992 Welsh Social Survey.

Niace Cymru , contracted by Welsh Office 1993 94 Cost: £5, 000--study of adult learning routes in Taff Ely district, Mid Glamorgan.

ERES/Beaufort Research Ltd. , contracted by Welsh Office 1993 94 Cost: £39,921--examined the nature of higher than average levels of economic inactivity in Wales.

Durdle Davies Business Research , contracted by Welsh Office February 1994 Cost: £5,000--measured public awareness of the 1991 patients charter for Wales and sought views on how the 1994 edition could be improved.

Development Unit Community Health Councils Wales , contracted by Welsh Office January 1995 Cost: £5,000--measured public impressions of the 1994 patients charter for Wales and sought views on frequency of updating and communicating contents.

Beaufort Research Ltd. , contracted by Welsh Office 1994 95 Cost: £1,292.50--collection of data for inclusion in 1994 "Digest of Welsh Statistics".

Office of Population Census and Surveys , contracted by Welsh Office 1994 95 Cost: £149,000 --extension of labour force survey to provide data at TEC level on progress of national targets for education and training.

Beaufort Research Ltd. , contracted by Cadw 1993 94 Cost: £11, 392 Cadw visitor survey--the third year of a three year project. Hall Harrison Cowley , contracted by Cadw 1994 95 Cost: £8,800 Cadw visitor profile research--the purpose of both contracts was to establish more information about the requirements of visitors to Cadw monuments.

Surveys are also undertaken as part of the Department's value-for-money evaluation of publicity campaigns. The following evaluation studies have been undertaken since 1 April 1993: Beaufort Research Ltd. , contracted by Central Office of Information 24 26 November 1994 Cost: £6,991-- measured the effectiveness of the parents charter booklet in Wales.

Beaufort Research Ltd. , contracted by Central Office of Information 14 February 1994 30 March 1995 Cost: £12,700--measured the effectiveness of Welsh and English language road safety advertising on bus backs in Wales.

The total cost of employing Research and Marketing Ltd. was £375,000 but £303,000 was invoiced in the 1992 93 financial year. The Welsh training and enterprise councils made a financial contribution.

Welsh training and enterprise councils and the Welsh Development Agency contributed £35,100.


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