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23 Feb 2004 : Column 68Wcontinued
23 Feb 2004 : Column 69W
European Conference for Renewable EnergyIntelligent Policy Options, held in Bonn on 19 to 21 January; and what response she plans to make to the recommendations and conclusions of the conference. 
We note the conclusions and recommendations of the conference, which will form the basis of a more detailed discussion at the upcoming International Conference for Renewable Energies, Bonn, 1 to 4 June, 2004, the preparations for which are already under way. The Government support efforts at the international level to strengthen commitment to achieving progress on the penetration of renewables in the energy market.
Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how much her Department has spent on implementing (a) the OECD convention on combating bribery in each year since 1997 and (b) Part 12 of the Anti-Terrorism Crime and Security Act 2001 in each year since it came into force. 
Mr. Mike O'Brien: The Department's main role in implementing the OECD convention and the relevant part of the Anti-Terrorism Crime and Security Act is promoting awareness of them among UK businesses and liaising with the OECD on policy development and implementation. As a result, the majority of DTI expenditure in implementing these instruments has been on human resources, with a number of officials contributing. Their time is equivalent to at least one full time post. Our expenditure is not recorded in such a way as to permit a precise analysis of the year-by-year spend against-implementing these specific instruments.
Nigel Griffiths: DTI responsibilities where there is a right of entry relevant to small businesses include the following; Export Control, Employment Agency Standards, Trading Standards (enforced through local authorities). I encourage all appropriate enforcement authorities to sign up to the Enforcement Concordat to ensure that inspections are carried out fairly.
Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry pursuant to her answer of 2 February 2004, Official Report, column 650W, on the Small Business Service, what the cost was of the programmes delivered by the Small Business Service for each year between 2000 and 2003. 
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Nigel Griffiths: The Programme cost of Small Business Service for each year between 2000 and 2003 are shown below. These figures are available in the Small Business Service Annual reports deposited in the Libraries of the House.
|Programme cost (£ million)|
Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry pursuant to her answer of 2 February 2004, Official Report, column 650W, on the Small Business Service, what the running costs of the Small Business Service were for 2000, including agency staff and secondments. 
|Financial year||Number of awards(10)||Value of awards(10)|
(10) Offers of grant.
(11) To end of Q3.
The figures are for offers of grant made under the Smart scheme between 1 March 1998 and 31 December 2003. Smart formally closed to applications on 31 August 2003. The new Grant for Research and Development which replaces the Smart scheme, began accepting applications on 1 June 2003.
Mr. Bellingham: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what representations she has received from British business on the possible effects of the collapse of the euro area stability and growth pact. 
Ms Hewitt: I have received representations from several members of the business community. The Government support a prudent interpretation of the Stability and Growth Pact, taking into account the economic cycle, sustainability and the important role of public investment.
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Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what recent consultation she has undertaken on raising the statutory audit threshold; and if she will make a statement. 
Jacqui Smith: In July 2003 the Department published a consultation document on the proposal to increase the thresholds below which most small companies can be exempt from audit. A copy of the consultation document is available for reference in the Libraries of the House. Copies of responses to the consultation are available from the DTI library.
Llew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will make a statement on the operation and effectiveness of the Sustainable Energy Policy Network since its establishment under the Energy White Paper of February 2003; and how many times the Sustainable Energy Policy Advisory Board has met since its inception. 
Mr. Timms: The Sustainable Energy Policy Network (SEPN) was established to drive forward the implementation of the Energy White Paper and will be judged on that basis. It comprises Government Departments, regulators, agencies and regional organisations which have a direct role to play in delivering the White Paper's commitments. The Government will report on progress in 200304 shortly after the Easter recess.
Mr. Clapham: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry when she last met the administrators of T&N Ltd. to discuss compensation for former employees suffering from asbestos-related illnesses; and if she will make a statement. 
Jacqui Smith [holding answer 11 February 2004]: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry has not had a meeting with the Administration of T&N Ltd. to discuss this issue, as the payment of compensation to the former employees does not fall within her areas of responsibility.
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Mr. Clapham: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how much has been paid for the services of the UK administrators of T&N Ltd. since they were appointed; and what the weekly fee paid to (a) them and (b) their solicitor is. 
Jacqui Smith [holding answer 11 February 2004]: Administration is a collective insolvency procedure and it is for creditors to determine the administrators' remuneration. Insolvency legislation provides that creditors who consider an administrator's remuneration to be excessive can apply to the court for it to be reduced.
Mr. Clapham: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what the latest estimate is of when Federal Mogul are likely to be out of administration; what is being done to protect the interests of the former T&N employees suffering from asbestos-related illnesses in the meantime; and if she will make a statement. 
Jacqui Smith [holding answer 11 February 2004]: T&N went into administration when Federal Mogul a US-based manufacturing group filed for bankruptcy in the US. T&N's discharge from administration is dependent on Federal Mogul's discharge from bankruptcy.
A Global Reorganisation Plan for Federal Mogul, which includes a Trust Distribution Plan to handle payments to all asbestos claimants in the group, is to be put before the US Bankruptcy Court this week. If the plan is approved the Administrators hope to be in a position to apply for the discharge of the administration order against T&N in the final quarter of 2004.
Asbestos claimants of T&N were represented on a committee established in the US bankruptcy proceedings that have been involved in negotiating the Trust Distribution Plan. The Administrators have negotiated to improve the treatment of UK asbestos claimants within the Plan and have taken legal proceedings against T&N's Employer Liability insurers, which, if ultimately successful, will directly benefit T&N's employee claimants.
Administration is a collective court-based insolvency procedure and it would be inappropriate for my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry to make a statement regarding this administration.
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