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Mr. Simmonds: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment her Department has made of reports from Zimbabwe that maize earmarked for starving Zimbabweans is unaccounted for; what representations she (a) has made and (b) plans to make to the World Food Programme on this matter; what assessment she has made of the impact this will have on the people of Zimbabwe; and if she will make a statement. 
Clare Short: A recent report by the Zimbabwe National Vulnerability Assessment Committee notes an apparent discrepancy of around 200,000 tonnes of maize available from all sources for the period April to December 2002 and the actual distribution of food in the country. It is important to be clear that this discrepancy relates to government distributed food,
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there is no discrepancy in donor funded imports and food distributions made through non-governmental organisations.
The discrepancy may partly arise from ill judged official price controls that make maize more valuable to the producer if exported. We expect that a proportion of the domestic maize harvest will have been smuggled out of Zimbabwe. It is not possible to quantify this with any accuracy.
The Government of Zimbabwe reports that it has imported 650,000 tonnes of maize in the period and has distributed it through the national Grain Marketing Board. The UN has offered to assist in the validation of GMB figures, and has sought clarification of food kept for strategic purposes such as feeding the armed forces, or sold at port of entry to pay for transport and milling. The UN is seeking clarification on behalf of the international community and to help ensure that adequate levels of assistance reach vulnerable Zimbabweans.
Llew Smith: To ask the Prime Minister what the basis is of his assertion in his statement on Iraq on 3 February that the disarming of South Africa of its nuclear weapons, along with the verification of this action, took a matter of weeks. 
The Prime Minister: The reference in my statement of 3 February was intended to illustrate that the process of disarmament of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction need not be a long drawn out one, provided Iraq gives full co-operation with the UN inspection teams, as required under UNSCR 1441. It need only be a matter of weeks for the UN inspectors to be able to report that Iraq is demonstrating a firm commitment to full and active co-operation with UN inspectors.
In March 1993 the South African Government invited the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to report on the status of their former nuclear weapons programme. An IAEA technical team visited South Africa for this purpose from 22 April to 4 May and its preliminary assessment was reported to the board that month. A final assessment was made to the board in September 1993.
Mr. Prisk: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what research she (a) commissioned and (b) plans to commission into the effectiveness of the Accountancy Foundation in regulating the accountancy profession; and if she will make a statement. 
Miss Melanie Johnson: The review of the regulatory regime of the accountancy profession was announced by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State on 24 July 2002. Its remit was to review the current arrangements for the regulation of the accountancy and audit professions; to consider whether revised arrangements
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and structures are necessary to provide assurance to the public that these are effective; and, if so, to recommend what form they should take. The review, which was the subject of a wide public consultation, focused on the role of the Accountancy Foundation and its related bodies in overseeing the regulatory functions of the professional accountancy bodies.
In her statement to Parliament on 29 January my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State said that the Financial Reporting Council will assume the functions of the Accountancy Foundation. The Government has no further plans to commission research into the effectiveness of the Accountancy Foundation.
Mr. Prisk: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry when the investigation and discipline board of the Accountancy Foundation will be established; and what research she will be commissioning into its effectiveness. 
Miss Melanie Johnson: The Department of Trade and Industry is chairing a steering group to drive forward implementation of all the recommendations of the review of the regulatory regime of the accountancy profession, including transferring the functions of the existing Investigation and Discipline Board (IDB) within the new regulatory body. The new arrangements will be brought into operation as quickly and effectively as possible.
One of the recommendations of the review is that the Financial Reporting Council should make appropriate formal arrangements to account to stakeholders for delivery of its objectives. The Government currently has no plans to carry out its own research into the effectiveness of the IDB.
Mr. Spring: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what recent discussions she has had with the (a) Bar Council and (b) Law Society on the European Commission's proposal for a directive to harmonise national laws on the means of enforcing intellectual property rights and to establish a general framework for the exchange of information between the responsible national authorities; and if she will make a statement. 
Miss Melanie Johnson: The Commission adopted a proposal for a directive on measures and procedures to ensure the enforcement of intellectual property rights on 30 January (a provisional text can be found at http://www.europa.eu.int/comm/internal/market/en/intprop/news/index.htm). We will consult interested parties including the Bar Council and the Law Society when the Commission makes the final text available. In the absence of a finalised proposal my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry has not had any recent discussions with the Bar Council or Law Society.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what her estimate is of her Department's financial support for arms exports in each year from 199293 to 200405; and if she will make a statement. 
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Alan Johnson: The Department does not offer financial support for arms exports. This is a matter for the Ministry of Defence and its Defence Exports Service Organisation.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what her estimate is of her Department's total expenditure on defence research and development in each year from 199293 to 200405 (planned); and if she will make a statement. 
Alan Johnson: The Department does not fund defence related research. Expenditure on R&D to meet the UK's defence needs is a matter for the Ministry of Defence. I understand that the Ministry's Defence Analytical Services Agency, whose website is at http://www. dasa.mod.uk produces defence related statistics, including information on defence R&D expenditure.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what her estimate is of her Department's total spending on space programmes in each year from 199091 to 200405 (planned); and if she will make a statement. 
Ms Hewitt: The figures below list the total spending on space programmes for the financial years 199091 to 200405 by the DTI and the Office of Science and Technology, which funds the space activities of the Natural Environment Research Council and the Particle Physics and Astronomy Research Council (and funded the latter's predecessor, the Science and Engineering Research Council, until 1993). The Secretary of State for Trade and Industry assumed responsibility for the Office of Science and Technology in 1995.
|Financial Year||Civil Space Expenditure £million||Financial Year||Civil Space Expenditure £million|
Notes: Expenditure 199001 to 19992000 on a cash basis
Expenditure for 200001 onwards on a full resource accounting and budgeting basis.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what her estimate is of the cost of the Manufacturing Advisory Service for each year from 19992000 to 200405 (planned). 
Alan Johnson: The total financial liability for the Department (funded from the Innovation Budget) is £14.2 million (£800,000 within budget) as summarised by year in the following table.
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