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Labelling (Animal Testing)

Mr. Hilary Benn: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what plans he has to require manufacturers clearly to label any product which has been tested, or contains ingredients which have been tested, on animals; and if he will make a statement. [102992]

Dr. Howells: As far as cosmetic products are concerned, the European Commission are currently drafting labelling guidelines for manufacturers who wish to voluntarily label their products in respect of animal testing.

I have no plans to make such labelling compulsory, beyond the provisions already set out in the Cosmetic Products (Safety) Regulations 1996.

Departmental Computers

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry on how many occasions in each of the past five years computer systems in his Department have been illegally accessed by computer hackers (a) within and (b) outside the Department. [102834]

Ms Hewitt [holding answer 15 December 1999]: Over the past five years there have been two reported occasions on which my Department's computer systems have been illegally accessed by computer hackers. One incident reported in 1996 was external and the other in 1999 was internal and both were classified as minor incidents. There was also one minor incident reported in 1999 which, technically speaking, did not involve access by computer hackers but where one of my Department's systems was illegally used as a redistribution point for e-mail traffic. There have also been five reported unsuccessful hacking attempts over the past five years. These figures include next step agencies.

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many cases of computer (a) hacking, (b) fraud, including fraudulent use of computer chips and (c) theft his Department has recorded in the last five years. [102835]

Ms Hewitt [holding answer 15 December 1999]: Records of IT security incidents reported within my Department for the period in question show:

YearHacking incidents (excluding minor incidents of computer misuse)Fraud (all computer chip thefts)Theft (excluding computer chips)

Two of the hacking incidents were successful but of a minor nature.

One of the 1999 hacking incidents, technically speaking did not involve the hacking into a computer. In this particular incident, an e-mail server was illegally used to

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redistribute e-mail messages. The incident was the result of a temporary configuration error which was then corrected.

These figures include next step agencies.

Manufacturing (Worcestershire)

Mr. Michael J. Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will estimate the amount of EU subsidies paid to manufacturing industry within Worcestershire for (a) the calendar year 1998 and (b) the financial year 1998-99. [103308]

Mr. Alan Johnson: There are no direct operating EU-funded subsidies available to Worcestershire businesses. However, a number of grant schemes, each with specific purposes, operate with EC approval and some are supported in part by EU funds. The most significant to firms in Worcestershire are: Regional Selective Assistance, which is available in the Redditch and Bromsgrove areas; local schemes delivered as part of the Marches Objective 5b programme, which covers some western parts of the county; and SMART, which operates throughout the county.

Three offers of Regional Selective Assistance were made to firms in Worcestershire during the 1998 calendar year and the 1998-99 financial year. The total amount of grant aid offered in these cases was £137,000.

It is estimated that Worcestershire companies benefited from ERDF funding of approximately £250,000 and ESF funding of approximately £75,000 through the Marches Objective 5b programme in 1998. These sums represent grants to individual companies through delegated grant schemes delivered through Business Links and co-financing measures. The ERDF and ESF totals for the financial year 1998-99 were of similar magnitude.

SMART offers totalling £534,384 were made to Worcestershire firms in calendar year 1998 and £428,880 in financial year 1998-99.

Manufacturing Job Losses

Mr. Jim Marshall: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what steps he plans to take to prevent further job losses in textile, clothing and footwear manufacture. [103643]

Mr. Alan Johnson: Employment and output in the UK textiles and clothing industry depends upon its global competitiveness. The Department of Trade and Industry helps the industry achieve the necessary levels of competitiveness in a variety of ways, including through the provision of support to around 25 individual competitiveness projects.

In addition, an industry-led group (the Textiles and Clothing Strategy Group) has been established to consider the strategic issues affecting the industry. My Department has been facilitating the work of this Group and I look forward to seeing the Group's final report in the New Year.

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White Zone

Mr. David Stewart: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will make a statement on the timing of the next round of licensing in respect of the White Zone. [103479]

Mrs. Liddell [holding answer 20 December 1999]: I hope to be in a position to invite applications for licences in the White Zone by the middle of next year. In relation to future licensing we are committed to ensuring that our processes are consistent with the provisions of the Habitats Directive.

Vaccine Exports (Iraq)

Dr. Tonge: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will make a statement on his policy on the export of diphtheria, tetanus and yellow fever vaccines for Iraqi children. [103212]

Dr. Howells [holding answer 20 December 1999]: While the export from the United Kingdom of diphtheria, tetanus and yellow fever vaccines is not normally subject to control, the export from the UK to Iraq of any goods, unless under authority of an export licence, is prohibited by the Export of Goods (Control) (Iraq and Kuwait Sanctions) Order 1990 [SI 1990/1640], which came into force on 9 August 1990. All applications for a licence to export goods to Iraq are considered very carefully.

Vaccines for yellow fever and diphtheria vaccines are also covered by the Import and Export (ImpEx) mechanism established under United Nations Security Council Resolution 1051. This mechanism requires certain goods, as specified in a UN agreed list, to be subject to special controls, including the monitoring of their end use in Iraq by UNSCOM because they are capable of being used in weapons of mass destruction programmes; tetanus vaccines are not covered by the ImpEx mechanism.

Since UNSCOM officials left Iraq in December 1998, they have been unable to monitor the importation and end use of goods covered by the ImpEx mechanism. Applications for licences to export such goods to Iraq are therefore processed on a case-by-case basis and will be granted only if the Government is satisfied that the particular export would be subject to appropriate controls and monitoring in Iraq.

TUPE Regulations

Mr. Gordon Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many breaches of the TUPE Regulations there have been in the last 12 months. [103644]

Mr. Alan Johnson: Employees or employee representatives who consider that their rights under these Regulations have been infringed may seek legal redress. In 1998-99, the most recent year for which statistics are available, 505 complaints were made to the Employment Tribunals alleging unfair dismissal by reason of a transfer of an undertaking, and 886 alleging breach of the requirements relating to information and consultation of employee representatives about a transfer of an

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undertaking. Statistics are not available to show what proportion of these complaints were upheld; some of the cases are still ongoing. Redress for unlawful changes to terms and conditions by reason of a transfer of an undertaking may be sought either from the civil courts or, in certain circumstances, the Employment Tribunals. These are not identified separately from other breach of contract complaints in the available statistics.

Mr. Gordon Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what mechanisms exist to monitor the observance of the TUPE Regulations by private sector employers. [103645]

Mr. Alan Johnson: The TUPE Regulations, like other aspects of the employment rights legislation, provide for those who consider that their rights have been infringed to seek redress through the Employment Tribunals or, in appropriate cases, the civil courts. The number of cases brought gives an indication of the extent to which private sector employers are observing the Regulations.

Mr. Gordon Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what plans she has to amend the TUPE Regulations. [103716]

Mr. Alan Johnson: My Department intends to publish shortly a public consultation document setting out detailed proposals for the amendment of these Regulations. The Government's aim in putting forward the proposals will be to improve the Regulations operation and to implement requirements of a revised EC Acquired Rights Directive successfully negotiated last year as a social affairs priority under the UK Presidency. This will be to the benefit of employers, employees and the economy as a whole.

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