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Alan Johnson: I have today published a consultation document on certain aspects of the draft regulations. After the end of the consultation period on 1 November 2002, I intend to lay the draft regulations, subject to any final amendments, with a view to bringing them into force in the first half of 2003. Copies of the consultation document have been sent to those who responded to the previous consultation and I have also placed copies of the document in the Libraries of the House and on the DTI website.
The Government's response to the recent fixed-term public consultation on the draft Fixed-term Employees' (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations 2002 was also published today. We intend the fixed-term regulations to come into force on 1 October 2002.
Mr. Timms: Following extensive consultation with interested parties, I intend to award licences by auction later this year for the provision of public fixed wireless access at 3.4 GHz. There will be seven metropolitan and
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seven provincial licences for England, Scotland and Wales and a single licence for Northern Ireland. Each licence will have a forward and return channel both of 20 MHz. There will be no roll-out obligations included in the licences and the proposed service restrictions have been removed. Licences will be for a term of up to 15 years.
Regulations providing for the running of the auction have been made and will be laid before the House this week. I will issue a notice under the regulations that will set out the procedures to be followed during the auction. Once the regulations have come into force, I expect to invite applications for licences in September so that the auction may begin by early October.
Dr. Iddon: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry whether consultation documents published by her Department in 2001 carried the consultation criteria as recommended in the Cabinet Office Code of Practice on Written Consultations. 
Ms Hewitt: Consultation documents published by the Department are required to comply with the Cabinet Office Code of Practice on Written Consultations. Internal DTI guidance also enforces the compliance requirements in the code.
Dr. Iddon: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how long her Department allowed for consultation on each consultation document it published in 2001 in (a) electronic and (b) printed form. 
Ms Hewitt: Criterion 5 of the Cabinet Office Code of Practice on Written Consultation requires that 12 weeks should be the standard minimum period for a consultation. If the period is less than 12 weeks, the document should state Ministers' reasons for departing from the code, and what special measuresfor example advance notice of at least the broad issues coveredhave been taken to ensure that consultation is nevertheless as effective as possible.
The Department is committed to the code and makes every effort possible to ensure that its consultation exercises comply with criterion 5. Data on the Department's performance in complying with the code is
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Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (1) what assessment her Department has made of the time horizons for the likely impact of hydrogen fuel cell technology on road vehicles; 
(3) what funding her Department is providing for development of hydrogen fuel cell technology. 
Mr. Wilson: In support of the objective to promote productivity and competitiveness, the DTI part funds collaborative R&D in the Foresight Vehicle programme to help accelerate the transfer of technology from the science base and promote its subsequent exploitation by industry. Foresight Vehicle is open to all UK-based companies and universities to submit proposals which if successful may receive grant funding. The programme does not commission research and therefore does not invite tenders from any company either in the UK or elsewhere in Europe. No DTI contracts have been awarded to TNO, IAV, AVL, FEV or IKA. Foresight Vehicle, as the national automotive R&D programme, issues calls for proposals based on rigorous technology road mapping conducted in partnership with industry. The latest technology road map, which has a 20 year time horizon, is in preparation and takes account of various options for powering future vehicles, including hydrogen fuel cells. The road map, which we hope to publish in the autumn, identifies enabling technologies and stages in the development of hydrogen fuel cells that are seen as prerequisites for the successful introduction of fuel cell road vehicles. The DTI is also a partner in the "Powering Future Vehicles" strategy and I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Transport.
The Department of Trade and Industry has been supporting work on fuel cells and hydrogen under the DTI Advanced Fuel Cells Programme since 1992. The total DTI spend is £12.2 million, and the current expenditure approximately £2 million pa. The programme supports work related to both stationary power generation and transport applications for fuel cells. It is estimated that approximately £6 million of the expenditure to date has been on transport-related fuel cell work.
The Engineering and Physical Science Research Council (EPSRC) also supports fundamental research in universities on topics that relate to fuel cell/hydrogen research. Funding in these areas amounts to £15.7 million in the period 199293 to 200203.
Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry when the EU Accounting Directives Contact Committee is next due to meet; whether representatives of the Scottish Executive (a) have been and (b) are members of it; and if she will make a statement. 
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Miss Melanie Johnson: The EU Accounting Directives Contact Committee is next due to meet on 10 and 11 October 2002. Company accounting is not a devolved issue and therefore members of the Scottish Executive are not members of the Committee.
Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry when the EU Advisory Committee on opening up public contracts is next due to meet; whether representatives of the Scottish Executive (a) have been and (b) are members of it; and if she will make a statement. 
Ms Hewitt: The Advisory Committee on opening up public contracts is next due to meet on 8 November 2002. The Committee is composed of independent experts appointed by the European Commission after consultation with business and industry. There are no Government officials on the Committee.
Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry when the EU Committee for the adaptation to technical progress of directives on the removal of technical barriers to trade in the sector of electromedical equipment used in human or veterinary medicine is next due to meet; whether representatives of the Scottish Executive (a) have been and (b) are members of it; and if she will make a statement. 
I announced the first phase of this major Photovoltaics Demonstration Programme (PV MDP) on 26 March. The £20 million made available under the first phase is expected to increase tenfold the number of domestic PV installations in the UK by 2005.
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