Previous Section Index Home Page

Information Security

Mr. Clapham: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will make a statement on progress with the report referred to on 28 March 2001 by the then Minister of State, Home Office on confidence in the information security consultancy sector. [60375]

Ms Hewitt: I will place in the Libraries of the House copies of a report commissioned by Department on this subject. The report concludes that there are issues facing the sector and its customers and makes recommendations to both Government and the industry on how confidence in the industry may be enhanced. We are happy to take forward those recommendations which fall to the Department of Trade and Industry. The report does, however, conclude that there is no evidence to support the view that there is a serious problem in relation to confidence in the supply of information security consultancy services.


Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what recent measures have been taken to foster entrepreneurship in Coventry. [59008]

Alan Johnson: The Small Business Service, working through its restructured national network of Business Links, provides information, advice, and access to experts on all aspects of starting and running a business.

24 May 2002 : Column 638W

Additionally, it has this month launched a consultation on "A Comprehensive Strategy for Start-Ups" which looks to strengthen and increase the UK's business stock.

Business Link Coventry and Warwickshire directly assist around 300 companies a year to start trading. Recognising the need to have a more proactive and coordinated approach they convened a meeting of local partners, Local Authorities, the University Science Park, and Local Development Agencies, in February of this year. As a result of this meeting, they have agreed to work more closely together, and to adopt measures to increase the number of Start ups in Coventry and the surrounding areas.

Two of the partners, Coventry and Warwickshire Co-operative Development Agency, and the Women's Business Development Agency with the support of the Business Link have both received funding from the SBS's Phoenix Fund. Over £500,000 has been awarded to these two projects to help support Women Entrepreneurs across the Region and Social Entrepreneurship in the most deprived wards in the Coventry area.

Government Agencies (South-East)

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what were (a) the cost of establishing, (b) the running costs since it was established and (c) the

24 May 2002 : Column 639W

costs this year of (i) the South East England Development Agency and (ii) the Government Office for the South East. [59550]

Alan Johnson: Central Government expenditure of £12,800,000 in support of Regional Development Agencies administration is recorded for 1998–99—the year prior to the establishment of the RDAs on 1 April 1999—of which £461,000 was allocated to the South East of England Development Agency (SEEDA).

The administration costs of the Agency for the following three financial years are set out below:

SEEDA: Administration Costs (£000s)

Financial YearCost (£000s)

Running costs for 2002–03 onwards were subsumed into the RDAs' Single Programme when it was introduced on 1 April 2002, and are no longer allocated separately. This was one of a number of flexibilities that underpin the Programme, and is intended to give the RDAs the freedom, and the responsibility, to determine their running costs so as best to achieve their objective and targets, within the confines of prudent financial management. However, the RDAs' financial management framework does include a requirement on each RDA to specify its running costs budget in its corporate plan, which has to be approved by Ministers. The running costs identified in SEEDA's approved corporate plan are £11,200,000 for the current financial year.

The Regional Coordination Unit of the Cabinet Office have provided information in respect of the Government Office for the South East (GOSE). There is no record of the costs of setting up the Government Office, which was established in 1994, and there are no running costs figures available for the financial year 1994–95.

The running cost of GOSE for the following seven financial years are set out below:

GOSE: Administration Costs (£000s)

Financial YearCost (£000s)

For 2002–03, the initial running cost allocation for the financial year is £9,798,000.


David Hamilton: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions, when he last met representatives of the Irish Government to discuss safety at the Sellafield plant. [58575]

24 May 2002 : Column 640W

Mr. Wilson: I have had no such meeting. The relevant regulatory bodies from the UK and Ireland have regular contacts, and arrangements are in place under which officials from my department meet Irish counterparts on a range of regulatory issues.

Government Online Procurement

Mr. Spring: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what proportion of Government procurement is done online; and if she will make a statement. [57554]

Mr. Andrew Smith: I have been asked to reply.

This information is not held centrally.

However, the Office of Government Commerce collects information on the proportion of low value purchasing transactions which are carried out electronically by central government departments and agencies. 57 per cent of low value purchases were undertaken electronically in the quarter October–December 2001 (the most recent figures analysed). This percentage includes online procurement over the Internet of low value goods & services, but specific figures for online procurement are not separately identified.

Plans for further development of e-procurement in government purchasing will be announced later this year.


Annual Report

Brian White: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when her Department's Annual report for 2002 will be published. [60264]

Margaret Beckett: The Annual Report for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs 2002 is published today.

Greenhouse Gas Emissions Trading Scheme

Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how she intends the UK Greenhouse Gas Emissions Trading Scheme 2002 will relate to the Clean Development Mechanism in the Kyoto Protocol. [48982]

Mr. Meacher [holding answer 15 April 2002]: My right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State, intends to allow in principle companies within the UK Emissions Trading Scheme to use CDM related credits to help them meet their domestic obligations, and will make a final decision on the role of CDM credits within the scheme once the detailed rules on CDM have been agreed at international level. These rules are currently under discussion at the CDM Executive Board. We understand that the European Commission also intends to make a proposal on the project mechanisms, including the CDM, and their relationship to the European Emissions Trading Scheme early next year.

Coastal Byelaws

Mr. Simon Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when she will

24 May 2002 : Column 641W

introduce legislation to implement the recommendations of the Review of Byelaws for the Coast published in 1998. [58360]

Alun Michael: Many of the recommendations arising from the Review of Byelaws for the Coast published in 1998 do not require legislation and we have given them priority. For example, we wrote earlier this year to local authorities encouraging them to implement those involving voluntary action on their part. Sport England is writing to the relevant sports governing bodies encouraging them to continue to promote good practice among their members. We are also planning to produce a comprehensive guide for local authorities on their powers and responsibilities. The guide will include examples of successful mixes of voluntary and legislative action by local authorities to regulate recreational activity on the coast. We shall take forward the recommendations requiring legislation after that.

Illegal Timber

Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment has been made by the Government of the potential for legislation at a European level to combat the trade in illegally harvested timber; and if he will make a statement. [56675]

Mr. Meacher: In its communication to the Council and the European Parliament of 13 February 2002 on a global partnership for sustainable development, the Commission stated that it will develop an European Union (EU) action plan by end 2002 on forest law enforcement, governance and trade and to strengthen international co-operation to address violations of forest law.

An international workshop on Forest Law Enforcement Governance and Trade, including measures to combat illegal logging, was hosted by the European Commission in Brussels on 22–24 April 2002 to help develop its action plan. The workshop discussed what measures could be taken by wood-producing and importing countries to combat illegal logging and the associated trade in illegally logged wood products.

We supported the conclusions of the workshop that recognise the need for legislation to enforce the control of access to the EU market of illegally logged timber and timber products. The EU plan of action will include consideration of legislative requirements.

Next Section Index Home Page