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Technical Co-operation

Mr. Streeter: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if she will list the 20 United Kingdom companies which have received (a) the largest number of technical co-operation consultancy contracts and (b) the highest value technical co-operation consultancy contracts with her Department in the last financial year. [85965]

Clare Short: The tables list details of contracts let in the UK by DFID for 1998-99, namely:

(a) the 20 companies which have been awarded the largest number of technical co-operation contracts.

CompanyNumber of contracts
The British Council78
Natural Resources International Ltd.48
Health and Life Sciences Partnership46
Options Consultancy Services43
International Family Health34
Institute for Health Sector Development33
International Institute for Environmental Development25
Oxford Policy Management25
Bannock Consulting24
Overseas Development Institute23
London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine22
Centre for Development Studies21
Crown Agents20
Office for National Statistics19
Empower18
PricewaterhouseCoopers15
Wolverhampton Polytraining Ltd.15
Institute of Development Studies14
KPMG14
HR Wallingford12

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(b) the 20 highest value consultancy contracts awarded to companies.

£
CompanyValue
Population Services International11,021,782
Hunting Technical Services Ltd.9,000,000
Joint Education Trust/Crown Agents/Independent Training and Education Centre7,281,036
The British Council7,281,036
The British Council5,446,527
Arthur Anderson4,996,560
Maxwell Stamp PLC3,968,933
The British Council3,385,276
Hunting Technical Services Ltd.3,322,325
Helm Corporation2,905,676
National Economic Research Associates2,747,985
The British Council2,622,497
Crown Agents2,500,000
The British Council2,433,080
LTS International2,380,948
University of Birmingham2,307,824
Institute for Health Sector Development Ltd.2,226,330
Hunting Technical Services Ltd.2,051,903
BBC Marshall Plan of the Mind Trust (BBC MPM Ltd.)2,028,529
The British Council1,946,400

Bilateral Aid

Mr. Streeter: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what proportion of United Kingdom bilateral aid is provided to developing countries in the form of UK-sourced goods, services and contracts. [85966]

Clare Short: We notified the DAC of the OECD of the status (tied or untied) of all of our o.d.a., excluding technical cooperation and administrative costs. In 1997, 28 per cent. of such commitments were tied. In the same year, we awarded technical cooperation, management, and consultancy contracts in the UK totalling £241 million, mostly to UK companies. Contracts for goods totalling £14.5 million, were again mostly from the UK. awarded by our procurement agents.

Aid Programme

Mr. Streeter: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what action her Department is taking to build up private sector capacities in poor countries through the aid programme. [85967]

8 Jun 1999 : Column: 241

Clare Short: As our White Paper makes clear, a thriving private sector is essential for sustainable and equitable economic growth. Since 1997, we have strengthened our collaboration with business to tackle the constraints faced by the private sector. We seek to promote a stable and attractive operating environment for business, both domestic and foreign. We seek, often through work with business intermediary organisations, to improve the capacity of local companies by improving access to sustainable financial services, training, market information and appropriate technology. And by bringing forward the Commonwealth Development Corporation Bill, we seek to enable CDC to mobilise higher levels of investment, which will help create and develop viable long term businesses in the poorer countries.

Mr. Streeter: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what discussions she has had with representatives of the business community on untying British aid in the past six months. [85968]

Clare Short: I have discussed the issue informally with various representatives of the business community. We have also nominated representatives from the British Consultants Bureau, Crown Agents and Mott Macdonald to take part in the international discussions on aid untying at the Development Partners Forum, organised by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development's Development Assistance Committee in December 1998.

8 Jun 1999 : Column: 242

PRIME MINISTER

Pupil/Teacher Ratios

Fiona Mactaggart: To ask the Prime Minister if he will make a statement regarding the overall pupil/teacher ratio in maintained schools in England. [86113]

The Prime Minister: The overall pupil/teacher ratio in maintained schools in England fell from 18.9 to 18.8 between January 1998 and January 1999. Over the same period, the ratio in primary schools changed from 23.7 to 23.5 and that in secondary schools from 16.9 to 17.0. As a result of our policy to reduce the size of infant classes, the number of children in large infant classes fell by some 130,000 from 485,000 in January 1998 to 356,000 in January 1999.

AGRICULTURE, FISHERIES AND FOOD

Genetically Modified Seeds

Mr. Baker: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will list each application for national seed listing of genetically modified varieties, indicating the (i) application number, (ii) company name, (iii) approximate date of proposed decision, (iv) release consent number, (v) date consent was granted and (vi) if different from the national list applicants, the applicants' names. [85934]

Mr. Rooker: The information is given in the table.

8 Jun 1999 : Column: 241

Genetically modified plant varieties
National list applications under consideration at 4 June 1999

Application number and species NL applicant Earliest date of proposed decisionDETR release consent/marketing consent reference (and holder if different from NL applicant) and date granted
35/959--Spring Oilseed RapePlant Genetic Systems, BelgiumTest and Trials Complete(13)1996-95/R15/15--Application 20/11/95
Granted 3/1/96
1997--Marketing Consent--94/M1/1
Granted 28/2/96
35/960--Spring Oilseed RapePlant Genetic Systems, BelgiumTest and Trials Complete(13)1996-95/R15/15--Application 20/11/95
Granted 3/1/96
1997--Marketing Consent--94/M1/1
Granted 28/2/96
35/1174--Winter Oilseed RapePlant Genetic Systems, BelgiumNovember 1999(14)1997-97/R15/20--Application 9/6/97
Granted 1/8/97
1998-98/R15/24--Application 16/2/98
Granted 10/7/98
35/1175--Winter Oilseed RapePlant Genetic Systems, BelgiumNovember 1999(14)1997-97/R15/20--Application 9/6/97
Granted 1/8/97
1998-98/R15/24--Application 16/2/98
Granted 10/7/98
35/1184--Winter Oilseed RapeMonsanto Crop Protection, UKNovember 1999(14)96/R22/6--Application 20/6/96
Granted 6/8/96
35/1185--Winter Oilseed RapeMonsanto Crop Protection, UKNovember 1999(14)96/R22/6--Application 20/6/96
Granted 6/8/96
35/1210--Spring Oilseed RapePlant Genetic Systems, BelgiumNovember 1999(14)1998-97/R15/23--Application 8/12/97
Granted 19-3-98
1999-98/R19/18--Application 4/12/98
Granted 22/3/99 (Agrevo)
35/1211--Spring Oilseed RapePlant Genetic Systems, BelgiumNovember 1999(14)1998-97/R15-23--Application 8/12/97
Granted 19/3/98
1999-98/R19/18--Application 4/12/98
Granted 22/3/98 (Agrevo)
35/1222--Spring Oilseed RapePioneer Hi-Bred International Inc., USANovember 1999(14)97/R24/2--Application 5/1/98 Granted 1/4/98
35/1316--Winter Oilseed RapePlant Genetic Systems, BelgiumNovember 2000(14)98/R15/24--Application 16/2/98
Granted 10/7/98
35/1318--Winter Oilseed RapePlant Genetic Systems, BelgiumNovember 2000(14)98/R15/24--Application 16/2/98
Granted 10/7/98
35/1335--Spring Oilseed RapeAdvanta Seeds UKNovember 2000(14)97/R13/7--Application 31/7/97
Granted 13/3/97
35/1336--Spring Oilseed RapeAdvanta Seeds UKNovember 2000(14)97/R13/7--Application 31/1/97
Granted 13/3/97
35/1343--Spring Oilseed RapePioneer Hi-Bred International Inc., USANovember 2000(14)97/R24/2--Application 5/1/98 Granted 1/4/98
35/1346--Spring Oilseed RapePlant Genetic Systems, BelgiumNovember 2000(14)98/R19/18--Application 4/12/98
Granted 22/3/99 (Agrevo)
35/1347--Spring Oilseed RapePlant Genetics Systems BelgiumNovember 2000(14)98/R19/18--Application 4/12/98
Granted 22/3/99 (Agrevo)
45/774--Sugar BeetNovartis Seeds AB, SwedenTest and Trials Complete(13)96/R21/4--Application 24/12/96
Granted 5/2/97
45/798--Sugar BeetKWS Kleinwanzlebener Saatzucht AG, GermanyApril 2000(14)97/R19/13--Application 20/1/97 Granted 17/3/97 (Agrevo)
45/813--Sugar BeetDanisco Seeds, UKApril 2000(14)96/R21/4--Application 24/12/96
Granted 5/2/97 (Novartis)
45/850--Sugar BeetKWS Kleinwanzlebener Saatzucht AG, GermanyApril 2001(14)97/R19/13--Application 20/1/97 Granted 17/3/97 (Agrevo)
45/865--Sugar BeetNovartis Seeds AB, SwedenApril 2001(14)96/R21/4--Application 24/12/96
Granted 25/2/97
45/877--Sugar BeetDanisco Seeds, UKApril 2001(14)96/R21/4--Application 24/12/96
Granted 25/2/97 (Novartis)
51/833--MaizeVan Der Have, NetherlandsFebruary 2000(15)96/R13/6--Application 23/2/96
Granted 2/4/96 (Sharpes)
Marketing Consent C/F/95/12/07
Published 5/8/98
51/886--MaizeVan Der Have, NetherlandsFebruary 2001(15)Marketing Consent C/F/95/12/07
Published 5/8/98
132/533--Fodder BeetDLF Trifolium, DenmarkTest and Trials not startedNo National List tests or trials will be sown in 1999

(13) Test and trials complete, awaiting promulgation of marketing consents under Directive 90/220.

(14) Subject to promulgation of marketing consents under 90/220 and satisfactory completion of tests and trials.

(15) Subject to satisfactory completion of tests and trials.


8 Jun 1999 : Column: 243

8 Jun 1999 : Column: 243

Mr. Baker: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many test sites there have been in each relevant year for each of the national list applications of genetically modified seed varieties. [85946]

Mr. Rooker: The information is given in the table.

The number of national list test and trial sites planted each year for genetically modified varieties currently under consideration is as follows:

Species--Test/trialNumber of sites
Winter Oilseed Rape
VCU trial sites7
DUS test sites1
pathology test sites (VCU)2
vernalisation test sites1
Spring Oilseed Rape
VCU trial sites2
DUS test sites1
vernalisation test sites1
Maize
VCU trial sites4
Reserve VCU trial sites(16)2
DUS test sites(17)--
Sugar Beet
VCU/DUS sites4
Reserve VCU/DUS sites2

(16) 2 sites sown in 1999, none in 1998

(17) Conducted in France


8 Jun 1999 : Column: 244


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