Mr. Hollobone: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps he is taking to develop a rapidly deployable reserve of tentage and medical supplies with associated aerial lift capability for future emergencies (a) unilaterally and (b) multilaterally following the recent experience in Kashmir. 
Mr. Thomas: DFID has warehouses in three locations containing relief supplies including tents, plastic sheeting, tarpaulins and jerry cans. The warehouses are located in Marchington (UK), Dubai and Miami to ensure rapid deployment to disaster prone areas. DFID do not stockpile medical supplies because this is best managed by specialist agencies such as the World Health Organisation and suppliers of medical relief items which keep stockpiles that are readily available and can be used following a disaster. DFID's own stockpiles augment those of multilateral agencies such as the UN and Red Cross Movement.
DFID has an existing arrangement for airlift capacity through an air charter brokerage service. The recent UN Humanitarian Response Review Report includes consideration for improving airlift capacity. We are discussing with other agencies, our response to this report.
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales pursuant to the answer of 18 October 2005, Official Report, column 852W, on council tax revaluation, if he will list the (a) addresses of the properties that have moved up six bands and (b) local authority areas in which they fall. 
Nick Ainger: It would not be appropriate to list the private addresses of such properties. However, information about the valuation history of an individual property can be found on the Valuation Office Agency website: http://www.voa.gov.uk/. A local authority breakdown is in the following table:
|Number of properties|
moving up six bands
|Isle of Anglesey||3|
|Rhondda Cynon Taff||4|
|Vale of Glamorgan||2|
|Neath Port Talbot||0|
Nick Ainger: Since the Wales Office was established in July 1999 we have not procured any vehicles. For information on the use of retread tyres in vehicles made available to us by the Government Car and Despatch Agency, I refer the hon. Member to the letter of 11 October 2005 written to him by the Chief Executive of the GCDA, reference UIN15087 and UIN15088. Copies of the letter are available in the Library.
The Wales Office is a separate entity within the Department for Constitutional Affairs (DCA), and owns one building in London and leases office space in Cardiff. The DCA Estates Management Manual is being reviewed and will have notable impact on the Office's operations, and how they support sustainable development.
1 Nov 2005 : Column 859W
Nick Ainger: In June 2003 the Wales Office became a separate entity within the Department for Constitutional Affairs (DCA). Progress with the relevant Strategy Plan is shown on DCA website, www.dca.gov.uk/dept/sustaindev/sustaindev.htm with publication of the final document planned for this autumn.
Mr. Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what the cost was of insuring each nuclear plant in the UK in each of the last five years; what the projected costs are for each of the next three years; and if he will make a statement. 
Malcolm Wicks [holding answer 31 October 2005]: While current legislation requires nuclear operators to cover their liabilities through insurance (the Nuclear Installations Act 1965), the actual insurance costs for the nuclear industry are a private commercial matter between the operators and their insurers.
Charlotte Atkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what criteria the Office of Fair Trading uses (a) to prioritise the investigation of cases referred to it and (b) to decide which cases not to investigate. 
[holding answer 31 October 2005]: The funding of UK merger cases takes priority over other anti-trust work in Competition Enforcement Division because of the OFT's statutory responsibilities in
1 Nov 2005 : Column 860W
relation to merger work. Where necessary in managing demand, staff are reallocated to merger work from other parts of the division. The division also gives priority to defending appeals against its anti-trust and merger decisions.
Anti-trust investigations are prioritised by considering a number of factors. These include: identification of possible consumer detriment, whether there is a reasonable prospect of the OFT being able to find sufficient further evidence to reach an infringement decision, the type of alleged infringement, aggravating or mitigating factors due to the conduct of the undertakings, the precedent value in taking such a case (including whether or not the potential breach is within one of the OFT's published priority themes) and whether the division is best placed to take the case forward.
We open over 1,200 preliminary enquiry cases each year. The above criteria may also be used as a framework to decide whether or not a case should be rejected. A lack of resource would not, in itself, be a determining factor in deciding whether or not to investigate a case.
|UK mergers examined||References|
to the CC
|January 2002 to March 2003(1)||414||21|
|April 2002 to March 2003||318||13|
|April 2003 to March 2004||270||12|
|April 2004 to March 2005||257||18|
Charlotte Atkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what the average length of time taken by the Office of Fair Trading was to complete a case investigation in the last period for which figures are available. 
We do not measure the average time to complete an investigation. Pre-notified mergers are considered under a statutory deadline for completion of 20 days. This can be extended by a further 10 days. Informally notified cases have an administrative deadline of 40 working days. Our published target is to achieve the latter in 90 per cent. of cases. Completed mergers have a four-month statutory deadline. In 200405 we met our statutory target in all cases, and our administrative target in 84 per cent. of cases.
As each investigation is unique, there is no useful average length of time taken to complete an investigation under the Competition Act 1998, although some guidance can be given about the timescale for an investigation depending upon the outcome in each case:
investigations that result in an infringement decision can be very lengthy, the lengthiest investigation to date has taken five and a half years; the largest group (about 40 per cent.) of investigations took between two to three years from the date of opening the case to the date of decision;
Charlotte Atkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many cases the Office of Fair Trading decided not to investigate on the basis of availability of resources in each of the last 10 years. 
Mr. Sutcliffe [holding answer 31 October 2005]: All merger cases notified to the OFT are examined. Resources are allocated from other parts of the division to handle merger cases where necessary to manage demand.
For all other anti-trust work, the Competition Act 1998 did not come into force until March 2000. The new regime is fundamentally different in character to the previous competition enforcement regime. This answer is therefore confined to the current regime.
Available resources are only one factor taken into consideration when deciding which cases should be investigated. The response to PQ No. 20382 answered today explains the other considerations. A lack of resource would not, in itself, be a determining factor whether or not to investigate a case.
For all other anti-trust work, available resources are only one factor taken into consideration when deciding which cases should be investigated. The response to PQ No.20382 answered today explains the other
1 Nov 2005 : Column 862W
considerations. A lack of resource would not, in itself, be a determining factor whether or not to investigate a case.
Charlotte Atkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many cases were investigated by the Office of Fair Trading in each of the last 10 years; and how many staff were employed by the Office of Fair Trading in each year. 
|Complaint cases opened (including cartel cases)||Investigations launched||Decisions made|
|January 2002 to March 2003(3)||1,382 (55)||70||17|
|April 2002 to March 2003||1,141 (31)||54||14|
|April 2003 to March 2004||1,140 (46)||41||8|
|April 2004 to March 2005||1,173 (27)||17||9|
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