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6 Dec 2004 : Column 290W—continued

Endeavour Resources

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, if she will launch an investigation into Endeavour Resources's trading links with Darfur, Sudan. [200649]

Nigel Griffiths [holding answer 30 November 2004]: Sudan is subject to a full EU arms embargo. Under the Trade in Controlled Goods (Embargoed Destinations) Order 2004, implemented under the Export Control Act 2002 on 3 March 2004, it is a criminal offence for anyone in the UK or any UK person anywhere in the world, to seek to trade, without a valid licence, in military equipment to destinations under a full arms embargo imposed by the EU, OSCE or UK (additional extraterritorial controls on trade to destinations subject to UN embargo are in place under the UN Act 1946). The UK Government would only issue a licence for the supply of or trade in military equipment to Sudan in line with the exemptions to the embargo, for example for humanitarian end-use.

Investigations into breaches of UK export control legislation are the responsibility of HM Customs and Excise. Should anyone hold evidence of, or information to, any breach of UK export control legislation, this should be referred to HMCE. For legal reasons, we are unable to comment further on the nature and extent of enquiries relating to the case of Endeavour Resources.

Environmental Contamination

Mr. Caton: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assessment her Department has made of the quantities of cadmium released to the environment from (a) phosphate fertilizer use, (b) iron and steel manufacture, (c) fossil fuel combustion and (d) nickel-cadmium batteries. [199683]

Mr. Morley: I have been asked to reply.

(a) Estimated annual inputs of cadmium to the environment from phosphate fertilizer use have fallen from 7.1 tonnes in 1990, to 4.8 tonnes in 2003. It is likely that levels of contamination were higher 10 years earlier (i.e. 1980), but comparable data are not available for that period.
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(b) and (c) Information on atmospheric emissions of a range of substances is provided by the UK National Atmospheric Emissions Inventory (UKNAEI). Annual emissions of cadmium from iron and steel manufacture fell from less than five tonnes in 1970 to less than one tonne in 2002. Cadmium emissions from fuel combustion were 15.5 tonnes in 1970, falling to 3.5 tonnes in 2002.

(d) The recent targeted risk assessment commissioned by the Belgian Government under the existing substances regulation concluded that 75 per cent. of all refined cadmium (cadmium is a by product of zinc refining) goes into nickel cadmium batteries (NiCd). However, this accounts for only 1 per cent. of all cadmium released into the environment. NiCd batteries account for 0.0055 per cent. of municipal solid waste in the European Union.


Mr. Stringer: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what representations she has received about the operation of the Independent Committee for the Supervision of Standards of Telephone Information Services (ICSTIS) complaint line. [200989]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: The Department has received approximately 80 complaints about Premium Rate Services (PRS) in the past year which have mentioned the operation of the ICSTIS helpline. No complaints about ICSTIS were received in the previous two years. Ofcom's current review of PRS regulation will include an assessment of whether ICSTIS has the right tools and resources to regulate the PRS industry.

Mr. Stringer: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will carry out an inquiry into the operation of the regulation of the premium rate telephone industry. [200990]

Mr. Mike O'Brien [holding answer 2 December 2004]: The Department has asked the communications regulator, the Office of Communications (Ofcom), to review the role and powers of ICSTIS in premium rate regulation. Ofcom is due to report back shortly

Invoice Payments

Michael Fabricant: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, what the average length of time was between the date of invoices issued to her Department from a supplier and payment by the Department of the invoice in the last 12 months for which figures are available; what percentage of these invoices were paid within 30 days of the date of issue of the invoice; what percentage of these invoices remained unpaid after 90 days; and if she will make a statement on the Department's policy on the payment of invoices issued to it. [200613]

Ms Hewitt: During the period a April 2003 to 31 March 2004 the core Department paid supplier invoices, on average, within 27 days (unaudited figure). During this period, the core Department paid 89.6 per cent. of undisputed invoices within 30 days or the agreed credit terms. Data on invoices remaining unpaid after 90 days is available only at disproportionate cost.
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The Government is committed to improving the payment culture in the UK in order to create a fair and stable environment for business transactions. Government departments and their agencies should aim to pay all invoices not in dispute within 39 days or within the agreed contractual terms if otherwise specified. The Department supports this policy.

Pay Bargaining Units

Paul Holmes: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, how many times the appraisal system for each pay bargaining unit in her Department has been changed in the last five years; and how many staff are fully or partly employed in connection with pay negotiations in each pay bargaining unit, broken down by grade. [200346]

Ms Hewitt: The table shows the staff time by grade spent in pay negotiations for DTI HQ, and aggregated totals for DTI agencies and non-departmental public bodies (NDPBs).
Bargaining unitsTime spent on negotiations annually, person days/grade
SCS Grade 5Senior ManagersMiddle ManagersTotal
DTI HQ2.57.52.512.5

The DTI Agencies are: Companies House, Employment Tribunal Service, Patent Office and Insolvency Service.

The NDPBs include: ACAS, the Equal Opportunities Commission, four regional development agencies and five research councils.

In the last five years, the appraisal arrangements DTI HQ have been changed once. In DTI Agencies and NDPBSs, listed above, the appraisal arrangements have been changed once on average, with two organisations changing them no more than three times and another two not changing them in that time.

Regional Development Agencies

Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will make a statement on the change in her Department's contribution to the regional development agencies in 2005–06. [200558]

Jacqui Smith: The Department's contribution to the RDAs in 2005–06 was reviewed as part of Spending Review 2004. The Department's contribution to the RDA budget will increase by £229 million in 2005–06, from £234 million to £463 million. Of that, £169 million has been added to the RDA budget to allow the planned transfer of responsibilities for delivery of the Business Link services in their regions and Grant for Research and Development to the RDAs from April 2005.

Mr. Jenkin: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, what the total Government funding for each of the regional development agencies is for 2004, broken down by contributing Government departments. [201953]

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Jacqui Smith: The total Government funding for each of the Regional Development Agencies (RDAs) for 2004 is £1.847 million.

Five Departments contribute to a single budget which is allocated to RDAs using a funding formula. The funding formula is agreed between DTI and other contributing Departments The breakdown by each contributing Department to the single budget is:
Contributing Government Departments(£million)

(1) Total does not sum due to rounding

Regional Development Agency(£million)
Advantage West Midlands225
East of England Development Agency88
East Midlands Development Agency118
London Development Agency315
North West Development Agency329
One North East213
South East of England Development Agency107
South West of England Development Agency103
Yorkshire Forward253
Central Reserves96

Mr. Jenkin: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what the criteria are for measuring (a) jobs created and (b) jobs safeguarded in assessing regional development agencies' performance. [201960]

Jacqui Smith: The total number of employment opportunities directly attributable to Regional Development Agency (RDA) activity(taking new and safeguarded jobs together(is one of the core output targets that England's RDAs are required to deliver in 2004–05.

As outlined in a Technical Note, the unit of account is a permanent full-time equivalent paid job (FTE). A job is created and is counted, when a post is filled. To be treated as permanent, the job should have a life expectancy of at least one year at the time of the forecast and at the time it is counted. Part-time jobs can be converted to FTE jobs on a pro rata basis with a job over 30 hours treated as full-time or, if the information is not available, two part-time jobs can equal a full-time job.

A job can only be forecast to be safeguarded if it exists at the time of the decision to commit to the project and is forecast by the RDA to be lost to the region within (normally) one year if the project does not go ahead. A job can be counted as safeguarded if it was forecast as at risk at the appraisal stage, is still in existence at the time of counting, and is no longer at risk of being lost within (normally) a year.
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To arrive at the reported total, adjustments for multiple funding and additionality are made the RDAs. In addition, Foreign Direct Investment and Regional Selective Assistance/Selective Finance for Investment in England jobs are included in the reported figure only after the jobs have been delivered and can be counted in the relevant period.

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