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Mr. Yeo: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, what progress has been made towards the target set in 1998 for achievement in 1999 to 2002 to secure improvement in performance against a set of competitiveness indicators to be developed and published annually from 1999. 
Ms Hewitt [holding answer 26 November 2002]: The most recent 'UK Productivity and Competitiveness Indicators' were published in October 2002. They show that there has been progress in terms of macroeconomic stability, literacy and numeracy, the competitive framework, and the science base. However, weaknesses remain in terms of intermediate skills and innovation performance. This is why the Government has implemented a series of measures to improve performance in both areas, including the R and D tax credit for large firms, extra resources for DTI innovation schemes, the Employer Training Pilots to boost skill development and the review of adult learning.
Mr. Yeo : To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what progress has been made towards the target set in 2000 for achievement in 200104, to deliver a measurable improvement in the business performance of Trade Partners UK customers. 
Ms Hewitt [holding answer 26 November 2002]: Progress towards the target set in 2000 for achievement in 200104, to deliver a measurable improvement in the
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business performance of Trade Partners UK customers will be reported in the Autumn Performance Report to be laid before Parliament in December 2002.
Mr. Yeo: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what progress has been made towards the target set in 2000 for achievement in 200104, to achieve value for money improvements of 2.5 per cent. a year across the Department. 
Ms Hewitt [holding answer 26 November 2002]: The efficiency savings achieved by my Department in 200001 have been calculated at £19.3 million. The figure represented a percentage saving of 4.6 per cent. of administration costs in that financial year. Savings for 200102 are currently being assessed and will be published in the Department's next Expenditure Plans Report in April 2003.
John Austin: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what report ECGD received in 1994 about action taken by the Lesothan Government pending an audit of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project; what representations ECGD made to the Government of Lesotho; what action ECGD took; and if she will make a statement about progress with investigations involving bribery and that project. 
Ms Hewitt: In December 1994 ECGD received advice that the Chief Executive of the Lesotho Highlands Development Authority (LHDA) and the Chief Delegate to the Joint Permanent Technical Committee (JPTC) had been asked to vacate their offices pending the outcome of a Management Audit of the LHDA. ECGD was not called upon to respond nor did it think it appropriate to make direct representations to the Government of Lesotho, as there was no suggestion of illegal acts on the part of these individuals.
As to the current situation, ECGD has contacted the companies who were members of the consortia involved in the project and which benefited from its support. We have sought and received assurances from them that they had no involvement in any unlawful conduct and we have been provided with no information to suggest that they were involved in corruption.
We are aware that there has been a guilty verdict against Acres International Canada, which we understand is subject to appeal. ECGD continues to closely monitor developments in relation to the Court action in Lesotho.
Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (1) what the total cost was to the United Kingdom of sending a team to the WTO mini-ministerial meeting in Sydney on 14 November; and if she will make a statement; 
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Ms Hewitt: The UK, along with the 14 other EU member states, was represented at the mini-ministerial by the European Commission. No UK officials or Ministers attended the mini-ministerial, so there was no cost to the United Kingdom.
Llew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many of the British members of the UNMOVIC inspection team in Iraq have experience with United Kingdom weapons of mass destruction. 
Mr. Mike O'Brien: None. The only Briton in the current team is a biological weapons analyst from UNMOVIC headquarters in New York. This situation may alter if UNMOVIC call on other British experts on their roster.
Llew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has had with the head of the United Nations Monitoring Verification and Inspection Commission on the availability of suitably qualified inspectors for its mission in Iraq; and whether the United Kingdom has assisted UNMOVIC with the provision of monitoring equipment. 
Mr. Mike O'Brien: We have maintained regular contact with the Executive Chairman of UNMOVIC about preparations for the resumption of inspections in Iraq, most recently during his visit to London on 22 November. The issue of the availability of suitably qualified inspection personnel has been an integral part of our on-going dialogue.
UNMOVIC themselves are responsible for ensuring that they have all the necessary equipment to carry out effective inspections. We have, however, recently loaned them chemical agent monitoring equipment pending the delivery of goods procured commercially.
Llew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many UNMOVIC inspectors in Iraq are British; and whether there are plans to increase that number. 
Mr. Mike O'Brien: There is one British member of the inspection team currently in Iraq.
Our most recent information is that there are 16 British citizens on the UNMOVIC inspectors' roster. It is likely that most of them will serve on future inspection teams. The staffing of individual inspection teams is a matter for UNMOVIC.
Mr. Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what reports he has received on support for Al Qaeda in Iraq. 
Mr. Mike O'Brien: We believe that there are Al Qaeda operatives in Iraq. Their links to the Iraqi regime are not clear. We know of no evidence of popular support for Al Qaeda in Iraq.
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Mr. Ben Chapman: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the outcome of the Austrian election. 
Mr. MacShane: The final shape of the new Austrian Government has yet to be announced. I congratulate Dr. Schussel on the success of the Austrian People's Party.
Jeremy Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what income from fishing licences was received in each of the last five years in the British Indian Ocean Territory. 
Mr. Mike O'Brien : Income from fishing licences in the past five years in the British Indian Ocean Territory is as follows:
|Financial year||Income (£)|
Against this, however, should be set the cost of management of the fishery including the fisheries protection vessel. In Financial Year 200001 fisheries expenditure was £1,559,678. For Financial Year 200102 it was £1,438,386.
Mr. Dodds: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on progress in the Convention of the Future of Europe. 
Mr. MacShane: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Rhondda (Mr. Bryant) on 5 November 2002, Official Report, column 139.
Mr. Dodds: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what proposals have been submitted by the Government on a Draft Constitutional Treaty of the European Union. 
Mr. MacShane: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Wales, as the Government's representative on the Convention on the Future of Europe, submitted to the convention a draft constitutional treaty produced by Professor Alan Dashwood of Cambridge University. Although this draft is not Government policy, it is a useful contribution to the debate. A number of other papers on specific tropics have also been submitted to the convention.
Mr. Dodds: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the timetable for the Convention on the Future of Europe. 
Mr. MacShane: The convention remains on target to complete its work in time to report to the European Council in June 2003. The analytical phase will conclude
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before Christmas, with institutional questions due to be considered in the New Year. Discussions on elements of a draft constitutional text will continue, with a consolidated draft likely to appear by Easter.
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