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Mr. Pollard: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he has received the 1999 annual reports of the recognised supervisory bodies for company auditors under Part II of the Companies Act 1989; and if he will make a statement. 
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Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, Scotland and Ireland, and one each from the Association of Certified Chartered Accountants and the Association of Authorised Public Accountants. Copies of the reports have been placed in the Libraries of both Houses.
Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many unfilled vacancies for permanent staff his Department has; what percentage of staff positions in his Department are vacant; what the monthly cost would be to his Department of employing civil servants in these positions; how many and what percentage of staff his Department employs on a temporary basis through employment agencies; how much his Department paid employment agencies to supply temporary staff in each of the last 12 months; and how much he expects to pay employment agencies to supply temporary staff in each of the next 12 months. 
Dr. Howells: On 1 June 2000, some 240 temporary workers were engaged within DTI headquarters. This is equivalent to 5.7 per cent. of the number of staff in post. Information on vacant posts is not collected centrally.
In 1999-2000, around £6 million was spent on the hiring of temporary workers. It is not possible to estimate the difference in cost between permanent and temporary staff, given the wide variation in the cost of the latter. The cost of temporary workers is carried on salary cost budgets: it is not, therefore, possible to anticipate the likely expenditure on the hiring of temporary workers during the current financial year.
Mr. Alan Johnson: The 2000 Spending Review includes a provision for ring-fenced funding of £270 million as the first stage of the investment in a range of measures to modernise the post office network. The Government have also made clear that they are prepared to add significantly to this investment over the next few years. The amount of further financial support will be determined once viable proposals have been drawn up and approved.
Sir Sydney Chapman: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what proposals in the report of the UK Competition Commission on car pricing in the UK published on 10 April (a) have been and (b) will be implemented. 
Dr. Howells: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry made clear in his announcements of 10 April 2000, Official Report, columns 39-41W, and 12 June what action he was taking in response to the Competition Commission report on the supply of new cars. The order under the Fair Trading Act 1973 implementing the remedies will be made when the responses to the public consultation, which closed on 14 July, have been considered.
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Mrs. Ray Michie: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what share of the Government's programme of capital investment for science will be allocated to the National Environment Research Council to fund programmes which were developed by the Scottish Association for Marine Science at the Dunstaffnage Marine Laboratory. 
Ms Hewitt: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry expects to announce the allocations of the Science Budget to individual Research Councils, including the Natural Environment Research Council, in the autumn, after taking advice from the Director General of Research Councils. It will then be for NERC to determine the balance of its priorities for funding including the funding of programmes at the Dunstaffnage Marine Laboratory.
Mrs. Ray Michie: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assessment he has made of the implications for marine science in Scotland of the closure of the Centre for Coastal and Marine Sciences at Dunstaffnage. 
Ms Hewitt: NERC has decided to disband the overarching Centre for Coastal and Marine Science (CCMS), not to close the CCMS laboratories themselves. The crucial role of the Dunstaffnage Marine Laboratory, in delivering core strategic and applied marine science for NERC and other customers, will continue in different ways involving local and regional collaboration.
Mr. Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, pursuant to his answer of 20 June 2000, Official Report, column 145W, on public holidays, when he will announce the date of the bank holiday in 2002 to celebrate the Queen's Golden Jubilee. 
Mr. Alan Johnson: Appropriate consultation is being undertaken with regard to the proposed bank holiday to celebrate the Queen's Golden Jubilee. As soon as the consultation is complete and a final decision has been taken, I shall make a formal announcement to the House.
Sir Richard Body: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what plans he has to give assistance to those industries affected by the US-EU dispute over farmers; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Caborn: There are currently two high profile disputes between the EU and US involving agricultural products--bananas and hormone-treated beef. A number of sectors are currently affected by US retaliation over the banana dispute, with further sectors threatened by the US move to carousel retaliation. The only way to alleviate the burden being borne by the companies facing US sanctions is to find a solution to the banana dispute that is satisfactory to all parties. UK companies are not affected by the hormone-treated beef dispute. I have no plans to make a statement on this issue.
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Pension Scheme Actuarial Review; for what reason it has been delayed; and when he expects it to be completed. 
44. Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the President of the Council if it will be a condition of appointment to the House of Lords by the Appointments Commission to attend the House on at least a specified number of sitting days per year. 
47. Mr. Ian Bruce: To ask the President of the Council what proposals she has made to the Select Committee on Modernisation of the House of Commons regarding the use of computers by hon. Members during Committee proceedings. 
48. Mrs. Anne Campbell: To ask the President of the Council if she will make a statement on the implementation of the recommendations of the Committee on Modernisation of the House of Commons since 1997. 
Mrs. Beckett: Details of implementation up to April this year will be found in the First Special Report from the Committee of this session "Work of the Committee: Second Progress Report" (HC865). Since then the Committee has successfully worked with the Administration Committee to ease restrictions on the work of journalists and has reported on programming legislation and the timing of votes. The House will have an opportunity to debate this report in the normal way.
50. Mr. Bercow: To ask the President of the Council if she will make a statement on the recent proposals by the Select Committee on Modernisation of the House of Commons concerning programming of business. 
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51. Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the President of the Council if she will make a statement on Government policy relating to amending the law on the rights of Scottish hon. Members to vote on legislation affecting England. 
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