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13 Jan 2003 : Column 438Wcontinued
Mr. Wilson [holding answer 8 January 2003]: British Energy has submitted a plan to Government for the solvent restructuring of the company. The Department and its financial advisers have assessed the implications and have decided to support it in allowing the company to attempt solvent restructuring.
In respect of BNFL, it is for its Board to assess the Company's solvency. In doing so the company comply with relevant corporate governance and financial accounting requirements. This is independently reviewed by the company's auditors.
BNFL reported a net asset deficit in 2002. However the company has significant cash resources which, coupled with the ongoing proposals relating to the management of the UK's civil nuclear liabilities, means that the company can continue to trade.
This Government's policy is to ensure rapid progress is made in developing a single EU energy market to the benefit of UK consumers and business. As is the case with other industries in this country, our policy is to ensure that all companies, regardless of ultimate ownership, are strictly regulated in the interests of the consumer and the environment. All utilities are subject to legal regulatory and environmental obligations and controls.
Mr. Djanogly: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how much will be spent on (a) entertaining, (b) Christmas decorations and (c) other festive activities this Christmas season by his Department and
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government agencies answerable to his Department; and of this sum how much will be spent in ministers' (i) private offices and (ii) official residences. 
Ms Hewitt [holding answer 19 December 2002]: It would not be possible to provide a detailed answer without incurring disproportionate cost, but any such expenditure would be for official purposes only, and would be in accordance with the Department's guidance on financial procedures and propriety, based on the principals set out in Government Accounting.
Mr. Heathcoat-Amory: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, pursuant to her reply of 19 December 2002, Official Report, column 902W, which industry and user groups were consulted about the Convention on the Future of Europe; and in what terms. 
Miss Melanie Johnson [holding answer 7 January 2003]: Officials have been in contact with a broad range of copyright and other intellectual property rights interests to draw their attention to the work of the convention, particularly in relation to EU competence for intellectual property rights.
Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what (a) percentage and (b) amounts of savings on her Department's running costs have been achieved in each year since 1998; and if she will make a statement. 
Ms Hewitt [holding answer 7 January 2003]: Progress towards meeting with the Department's PSA target of annual savings of 2.5 per cent. of its administration costs has been published in its expenditure plans report since 2001.
In 19992000 the Department achieved a saving of 2.6 per cent. (#10.6 million) on projected costs of #406.6 million including savings from the introduction of the ELGAR and MANDRIN IT systems, from case handling in ACAS and the ETS and from savings relating to staff costs, postage and stationery and the re-scheduling of international payments.
In 200001 the Department achieved a saving of 4.6 per cent. of #19.3 million) on projected costs of #418.8 million including savings from better procurement procedures and from the development of IT systems.
Fiona Mactaggart: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, on how many occasions in each of the last three years an employment tribunal has used its powers under Rule 14 of the Employment Tribunal Rules of Procedure (SI 2001/1171) to make an order for costs against a respondent who has acted vexatiously, abusively, disruptively or otherwise unreasonably in
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conducting the proceedings; and how many of these orders have been for failure to disclose to an applicant documents as previously directed by the tribunal. 
Alan Johnson: In the previous three financial years, the number of occasions where an employment tribunal has used its powers to make an order for costs against a respondent is recorded in the following table:
|Year||Number of cost awards|
Employment Tribunals Service
The database of the Employment Tribunals Service does not distinguish between an award made against the respondent company/individual or their representative, nor does it record the reason for the award of costs being made
Mr. Simon Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what applications have been received by the Export Credit Guarantees Department relating to (a) mining projects and (b) logging operations in the last 12 months. 
Mr. Simon Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry which UK companies have received Export Credit Guarantees Department support for (a) the development of logging operations and (b) mining projects, since 1997; and what the locations of those operations were. 
|Main UK exporter||Project type||Location|
|Cementation Skanska||Coal mine||Iran|
|NSG Exports Ltd.||Quarry||Saint Kitts and Nevis|
|Continental FSW Ltd.||Coal mine||Mexico|
ECGD also provided Overseas Investment Insurance in respect of three other projectsa copper/gold mine in Argentina, a coal mine in Kazakhstan and a limestone quarry in Jamaica. Details of Investment Insurance support are commercially confidential.
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approval by Parliament; and if she will make a statement on the role of Parliament in the ratification process. 
Ms Hewitt: The GATS negotiations are part of the Doha development agenda of the World Trade Organisation, in which the United Kingdom negotiates through the European Community. The Government will continue to keep Members informed of developments throughout the negotiations. In respect of the GATS, copies of a recent consultation document were deposited in the Libraries of both Houses last October, and we will also deposit there a summary of the responses received.
The Government has and will continue to keep Parliament informed of developments in the negotiations on the Doha development agenda, including on GATS. After the Doha ministerial meeting in November 2001 I made a detailed statement of the results of the meeting and the United Kingdom's position. The Government will ensure that both Houses will have an opportunity to scrutinise the outcome of the Doha development agenda negotiations as they have the results of previous multilateral trade negotiations.
Mrs. Helen Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry whether her Department and its agencies have met the commitment arising from action point 13 of the June 2000 strategy Statement on Revitalising Health and Safety to summarise health and safety performance and plans in Annual Reports from the year 200001 onwards. 
Ms Hewitt: My Department has published its first annual report on health and safety, which includes information on its performance in 200001. Departmental agencies have for some time included health and safety in their annual reports. They are now reviewing those inclusions to ensure their reported performance and plans reflect the requirements of the Revitalising Health and Safety initiative.
Mrs. Helen Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry which senior officials within her Department and its agencies take responsibility for health and safety at board or equivalent level; and where their names are publicised. 
Ms Hewitt: My Permanent Secretary has overall responsibility for health and safety for my Department and its Agencies. For my Department this responsibility has been delegated to the Director General Services. Both are members of my Department's Executive Board.
Agency Chief Executives are responsible for health and safety matters in their Agency. In addition, in the Insolvency Service the Director of Finance and Corporate Resources, in the Patent Office the Director of Corporate Services, and in the Employment Tribunals Service the Estates Director are the Directors responsible for health and safety. All are members of Agency Steering Boards.
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Mrs. Helen Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what information she has collated on the application to her Department and its agencies of the checklist, circulated by letter by Sir Richard Mottram, referred to under action point 12 of the revitalising health and safety strategy statement; and if he will make a statement. 
Ms Hewitt: My Department has reviewed its governance arrangements for managing health and safety risks based on the checklist circulated by Sir Richard Mottram. This exercise has identified some actions, including revision of the Departmental Health and Safety Policy Statement to reflect the requirements of the Revitalising Health and Safety Strategy Statement.
Departmental agencies have reviewed their arrangements against the ministerial checklist published in the Revitalising Health and Safety Strategy Statement. They will be looking to extend their reviews to take into account the checklist circulated by Sir Richard Mottram.
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