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18 Apr 2002 : Column 1080W
Dr. Moonie: The Active Off-Board Decoy System is expected to reach operational service in the Royal Navy from early 2004 once sufficient Active Decoy Rounds have been produced. It will be fitted to all major Royal Navy warships, improving their ability to counter anti-ship missiles.
Mr. Gray: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the latest in-service date for the new Surface Torpedo Defence system is; and if he will make a statement on progress on the programme. 
Dr. Moonie: The planned in-service date for Surface Ship Torpedo Defence is 2004. Following competition, a lead-in contract was placed with Ultra Electronics, Greenford, Middlesex in November 2001. The contract includes an option for the development, manufacture and support of ship systems.
Dr. Moonie: The Submarine Acoustic Warfare Command System is planned to be fitted to all Vanguard, Trafalgar and Astute class submarines and those Swiftsure submarines with sufficient remaining life. This capability enables the deployment of defensive countermeasures and will be operational from mid-2002.
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Adam Price: To ask the Prime Minister what initiatives he has taken since January 2001 to persuade British companies to invest in Romania; and how many letters he has written for this purpose which were published in the United Kingdom. 
Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Prime Minister which Department has responsibility for maintenance of air and sea transport links (a) between those parts of the United Kingdom with devolved Assemblies and (b) between those areas and England. 
The Prime Minister: The Department of Transport, Local Government and the Regions is responsible for air and sea transport policy in the United Kingdom. There is a liberalised air and sea transport market within the European Community and the Government do not normally intervene to maintain services, except in the case of certain economically vital 'lifeline' services which would not be commercially viable without subsidy. Any subsidies paid, subject to state aid rules, are the responsibility of the relevant devolved Administrations or local councils.
Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Prime Minister if he will list the occasions since May 1997 when he has benefited from the hospitality of an overseas Government (a) when on official business and (b) otherwise. 
Mr. Gray: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions how many contracts his Department has with consultants; what level of professional indemnity insurance is standard in contracts with small consultants; whether he can make exceptions to the level of professional indemnity insurance; and what recent discussions he has had with other Government Departments about the level of professional indemnity insurance. 
DTLR's contracts require contractors (including consultants) to take out and maintain such insurance as is necessary to cover their liabilities under the contract. The Department has been involved in interdepartmental
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discussions with the Office of Government Commerce (OGC), who issued guidance in April 2001 to all Departments. The guidance encouraged a more flexible approach to contractors' (including consultants) total liability when undertaking Government contracts. DTLR has adopted this approach and either sets a realistic cap on liability (relative to the risks involved) when inviting tenders or is prepared to consider caps proposed by tenderers.
Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions when he will publish his Department's annual report; and if he will make a statement on the timing of publication. 
Mr. Byers [holding answer 17 April 2002]: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by my right hon. Friend the Chief Secretary to the Treasury to the hon. Member for Buckingham (Mr. Bercow) on 15 April 2002, Official Report, column 774W.
Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions on what date his Department expects to publish its annual report for 2002; and if he will make a statement. 
Dr. Whitehead: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to the hon. Member for Buckingham (Mr. Bercow) by my right hon. Friend the Chief Secretary to the Treasury on 15 April 2002, Official Report, column 774W.
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions, pursuant to his answer of 26 March 2002, Official Report, column 984W, regarding creche facilities, when the review of child care provision in his Department will be concluded; and when its recommendations will be announced. 
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what have been the total salary costs of each of the non-departmental public bodies for which he is responsible in each of the last five years. 
|Health and Safety Commission||0.23||0.23||0.25||0.27||(7)0.28|
|Health and Safety Executive||94.56||96.94||100.27||104.37||(7)109.24|
|Housing Action Trusts:|
|Northern Lighthouse Board||5.48||5.17||5.57||5.66||(7)5.92|
|Standards Board for England||||||||||0.99|
|Strategic Rail Authority||||||||13.6(8)||(7)107.00|
|Trinity House Lighthouse Service||9.50||9.65||9.53||9.63||9.89|
|Rent Assessment Panels||1.65||1.64||1.68||1.55||1.85|
(5) The Audit Commission's financial year ends on 31 October.
(6) English Partnerships is a national body for regeneration and development bringing together the Urban Regeneration Agency and the Commission for New Towns for which salary costs is provided.
(8) The Strategic Rail Authority was created on 1 February 2001. The figures also cover the Rail Passengers' Council/Committees and the British Transport police.
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