29 Mar 2004 : Column 1139W

Written Answers to Questions

Monday 29 March 2004


Departmental Buildings

Mr. Llwyd: To ask the Leader of the House what (a) renovation and (b) maintenance projects on buildings (i) owned and (ii) rented by his office were undertaken in each of the last five years; and what the associated costs were of each. [163953]

Mr. Woolas: The Office of the Leader of the House of Commons was established in June 2003 and does not own or rent building space.

The Privy Council Office provides the office with accommodation at 2 Carlton Gardens, and it is responsible for all renovation and maintenance projects.

Temporary Staff

Matthew Taylor: To ask the Leader of the House (1) how many staff his Office employs on a temporary basis through employment agencies; what percentage this is of total staff employed; and how much the Office paid employment agencies to supply temporary staff in (a) 2001–02, (b) 2002–03 and (c) 2003–04 to the most recent date for which figures are available; [158253]

Mr. Woolas: The Office of the Leader of the House of Commons was established in June 2003 and the information is set out in the list below.

Staff are employed through employment agencies on a temporary basis to cover vacancies during recruitment.

The agencies used were Adecco (UK) Limited and Josephine Sammons Ltd.



John Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assessment her Department has made of the effect of fees charged for the migration of broadband customers on (a) competitiveness in telecommunications and (b) broadband take-up. [162057]

29 Mar 2004 : Column 1140W

Mr. Timms: According to Oftel's "International benchmarking study of Internet access (dial-up and broadband)" for October 2003, the percentage growth in broadband subscriber numbers in the UK remains strong. The UK market is more competitive in terms of service providers and infrastructure competition than either France or Germany. Although take-up in the UK is behind other countries benchmarked, this is at least partly explained by the later launch date of broadband in the UK and the availability of unmetered services.

These factors along with increasingly competitive broadband prices, present a positive picture for broadband development in the UK and in the six months prior to the study, the UK had reached penetration levels similar to France and was catching up on Germany.

In December 2003, Oftel and the incoming Communications Regulator Ofcom agreed a joint draft decision on the regulation of the UK's wholesale broadband access market, which concluded regulatory obligations remained necessary to ensure fair and effective competition. UK individuals and organisations with an interest in the wholesale broadband market were given until 6 February to comment. The EU is also considering the proposals.

Oftel and Ofcom also found that BT should be required to provide its Datastream products on a retail minus basis to allow a sufficient margin between the price it charges for its IPStream products and the price charged for the Datastream products. The actual retail minus margin will be set following consultation in the first quarter of 2004.

Computer Misuse

Mr. Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many cases of computer misuse there were in her Department in (a) 1997 and (b) 2003, broken down by category of misuse; and how many of those cases resulted in disciplinary action. [163247]

Ms Hewitt: In 2003 there were four cases of computer misuse notified to the DTI Human Resources and Change Management Conduct and Discipline Team. Three of these cases involved the distribution of inappropriate material and the fourth the accessing of inappropriate internet sites. Disciplinary action was taken in all four cases.

Figures for 1997 are not available. 1997 information is not maintained as this is outside the normal retention period for disciplinary cases.

House Sharers

Mr. Leigh: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will give the same rights to house-sharers not living as a couple as is proposed for same-sex couples in the Civil Partnerships Bill. [163519]

Jacqui Smith: The Government will make clear its detailed proposals on introduction of the forthcoming Civil Partnership Bill. The rights of house-sharers are a separate issue to those of same-sex couples who are unable to marry and there are currently no plans for changes to the law in that area.

29 Mar 2004 : Column 1141W

Regional Funding

Mr. Goodman: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what funding has been allocated to (a) European regional development fund areas, (b) Frameworks for Regional Employment and Skills Action, (c) Phoenix Fund and (d) regional centres for manufacturing excellence and (e) warm zones in (i) 2004–05, (ii) 2005–06 and (iii) total. [163722]

Ms Hewitt: In accordance with the Spending Review 2002 settlement the Government plan to spend:

£ million

(a) European Regional Development Fund -ERDF (DTI-related expenditure cover)(c) Phoenix Fund(d) Regional centres for manufacturing excellence

(b) In relation to Frameworks for Regional Employment and Skills Action, which is the responsibility of DfES: these are the way in which key regional partners led by the RDA develop and deliver an agreed plan to address skills and employment needs of employers and individuals within the region. The

29 Mar 2004 : Column 1142W

resources which partners bring to the table in respect of agreed priorities in the FRESA will vary from region to region.

(e) Warm zones: no DTI funding has been allocated to Warm Zones in 2004–05 or 2005–06.


Mr. Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what secondments (a) PricewaterhouseCoopers, (b) Deloitte and Touche, (c) Ernst and Young and (d) KPMG have made to her Department since 2001; for what (i) periods and (ii) tasks the secondments were made; whether secondments of staff from her Department have been made to those firms; and for what (A) periods and (B) tasks. [156927]

Ms Hewitt: Secondments are part of the Interchange Initiative which promotes the exchange of people and good practice between the Civil Service and other organisations. Before an Interchange can occur all parties must be satisfied that no conflict of interest arises.

Inward Secondments

There have been three secondees from (a) PricewaterhouseCoopers, two from (b) Deloitte and Touche, five from (c) Ernst and Young and one from (d) KPMG to the Department since 2001.

The following table shows the period of each secondment and the position of each secondee.

CompanyStart dateEnd datePosition
PricewaterhouseCoopers25 March 200231 March 2004Deputy Director in UK Trade and Investment (Entrepreneurial Inward Investment)
PricewaterhouseCoopers4 November 200229 October 2004Assistant Director in Industrial Development Unit
PricewaterhouseCoopers15 June 19999 May 2001Investigator in Company Law and Investigations
Deloitte and Touche2 September 200231 July 2003Director in Business Relations
Deloitte and Touche26 July 200031 August 2001Assistant Director in Nuclear Industries Directorate
Ernst and Young3 February 20032 February 2005Assistant Director in UK T and I
Ernst and Young14 January 200413 January 2006Assistant Director in Industrial Development Unit
Ernst and Young15 April 200216 April 2004Deputy Director in Industrial Development Unit
Ernst and Young2 September 20021 September 2004Deputy Director in Industrial Development Unit
Ernst and Young15 April 200221 March 2004Director, Internal Audit
KPMG16 July 20011 March 2002Manager in Engineering Industries Directorate

Outward secondments

There have been no secondments of DTI staff to (a) PricewaterhouseCoopers, (b) Deloitte and Touche, (c) Ernst and Young and (d) KPMG since 2001.

Next Section Index Home Page