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Brian Cotter: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many members of her Department have been seconded to small businesses in the past five years; and what proportion of total placements these secondments account for. 
Ms Hewitt: In recording information on the secondment of DTI staff to the private sector we have not, historically, included an indication of the size of the companies involved. It is not therefore possible to give the information requested. However, I have placed in the Library of both Houses information on the number of secondments commenced in each of the past five years and the companies involved. The total number of secondments to the private sector since 1997 has been 112.
We have recently introduced a new system for recording information on secondments and in future, where it is available, we will be recording within three ranges the size of the companies to which we send staff.
Hywel Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what steps the Government have taken to reduce the level of regulations affecting small businesses in the last three years; and what further plans she has in this respect. 
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Announced in April 2000 an increase in the statutory audit threshold for companies from £350,000 to £1 million. This measure will relieve up to 150,000 small firms from the burden of a statutory audit, saving small companies up to £180 million a year.
We have exempted small shops from the new EU unit pricing requirements.
We have exempted employers with 20 or fewer employees from the trade union recognition procedures in the Employment Relations Act.
The Small Business Service has produced clear guidance on a number of complex regulations.
The Business Link Website is now attracting 80,000 users per monthand businesses can register to receive alerts about regulations automatically.
A 12 weeks period between regulations has been agreed and implemented allowing owner managers time to adapt to the new regulations.
Ensured that the view of small business influenced Patrick Carter's review of payroll administration, a copy of which is in the Libraries of the House.
In February we published the regulatory Reform Action Plansetting out over 250 proposals for better regulation and reform.
Regulatory Impact Assessments (RIAs) have to be produced for all regulations setting out clearly the costs and benefits with full recognition of small business concerns. The Department's policy is to 'think small first': the Small Business Service has to be consulted on all RIAs to ensure that the impact on small firms is not disproportionate.
Following the recent review of the DTL, the regulatory challenge function within the Department has been strengthened. A new team has been created specifically to consider how the Department should challenge existing and future legislation as well as to how to ensure all policy makers fully consider alternatives to regulation at the outset of the policy making process.
Mr. McNamara: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many members of HM armed forces have been brought before courts martial in each of the past eight years charged with violent offences against (a) male and (b) female (i) members of HM armed forces and (ii) civilians. 
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break down the cases involving violent crime by (a) severity of offence, (b) sex of victim and (c) whether the victim was a member of HM armed forces. 
Mr. Ingram: Available information on cases in the three services presented to courts martial during the year 2000 involving violent crime are as follows. The services do not employ a formal ranking of severity for violent offences, and so the offences are presented by type.
The Army statistics presented show individual cases that may include the individual being charged with more than one charge. In such cases, the more severe charge is listede.g, cases involving GBH and AOABH have been listed under GBH.
Mr. Jenkin: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the net loss of people per month was for the (a) Army, (b) RAF and (c) Navy in each of the last 12 months; and if he will make a statement. 
|Month of flow||Naval service||Army||RAF|
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Figures are for UK regular forces (including both trained and untrained personnel) and therefore exclude Gurkhas, full-time reserve personnel, the Home Service battalions of the Royal Irish Regiment, mobilised reservists and activated reservists.
Mr. Jenkin: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if the manning targets for the three services have been redefined since the publication of the Strategic Defence Review; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Ingram: Manpower targets for each of the three services reflect the outcome of the strategic defence review and are set out in the current public service agreements. The target for each service is as follows:
The Army to reach 97 per cent. of its manning requirement in 2004;
The Royal Air Force to reach full manning against the requirement within a tolerance band of +12 per cent. by 2004.
The manpower requirement for each service reflects the necessity to deliver the capabilities and meet the commitments that were identified in the strategic defence review. The requirements, and the performance in meeting them, are reported by the Defence Analytical Services Agency both annually in UK defence statistics and quarterly under national statistics arrangements. Copies of these publications can be found in the Library of the House.
The Services' manpower requirements are dynamic and subject to annual review in light of evolving doctrine, new technology and equipment, and possible changes to the operating environment. For example, a review of the Army's future manpower requirement has recently been concluded, resulting in a revised manning target of 106,978.
Mr. Ingram: I refer the hon. Member to Tri-Service Publication 5: UK Regular Forces Premature Voluntary Release. This publication is available in the Library of the House and is updated on a quarterly basis.
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Mr. Jenkin: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the manpower shortages against trained establishment were in (a) 1998, (b) 1999, (c) 2000 and (d) 2001; and if he will make a statement. 
Due to rounding methods used totals may not always equal the exact sum of the parts.
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