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24 Jan 2006 : Column 2001W—continued

Renewable Energy

Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what grants are available for (a) domestic and (b) non-domestic micro-renewable energy installations in (i) England and (ii) Wales. [36916]

Malcolm Wicks: Grants are available for domestic and non-domestic micro renewable installations through two programmes. Clear Skies offers grants for the installation of solar water heating, small wind, micro hydro, ground source heat pumps and biomass heating, further details can be found on the website The Photovoltaics Demonstration Programme also offers grant for the installation of photovoltaic panels for the production of electricity, for further details please see the website

Both these programmes will be superseded by a new Low Carbon Buildings Programme, which is due to start in April 2006, subject to EU State Aids approval.

Sunday Trading

Mr. Andy Reed: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what consultants the Government have invited to conduct the analysis of the case for deregulation of Sunday trading hours. [41034]

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Mr. Sutcliffe: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has appointed Indepen Consulting Ltd. to conduct an independent economic cost-benefit analysis of the impact of further liberalisation of Sunday Trading.

Mr. Jenkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry pursuant to the answer of 12 December 2005, Official Report, column 1675W, on Sunday trading, when he expects the cost-benefit analysis report to be (a) completed and (b) published. [43476]

Mr. Sutcliffe: I expect the consultants' report to be submitted in the spring. We will place it on DTI's website shortly thereafter.

UK-registered Companies

Greg Mulholland: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many UK registered companies operate in South and Central America, broken down by country. [44191]

Ian Pearson [holding answer 20 January 2006]: The Department does not record this information.

Greg Mulholland: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry on what dates in 2005 officials from his Department had meetings with British companies working in South America; and what was discussed at each meeting. [44192]

Ian Pearson [holding answer 20 January 2006]: The Department does not maintain a composite record of such meetings.


Departmental Staff

Bob Spink: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster how many disciplinary actions against civil servants employed in his Department (a) were commenced and (b) resulted in a sanction being applied in each of the last five years. [43501]

Mr. Jim Murphy: The following table shows the number of disciplinary actions involving serious or gross misconduct taken against civil servants employed in the Cabinet Office in the years 2001 to 2005. With one exception in 2004, a sanction was applied in each case.
Disciplinary actions

The department's disciplinary process reflects statutory requirements and is available on the department's intranet to all employees.

Data Sharing

Mr. Heald: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if he will list the documents and publications
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on data sharing in the public sector the Cabinet Office and e-government agencies have placed in the public domain since 2001. [43566]

Mr. Jim Murphy: The Cabinet Office does not hold this information centrally. However, a list has been compiled from available records and has been placed in the Library.

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what consultation his Department has undertaken on the privacy of data sharing within the delivery of more secure public services. [44606]

Mr. Jim Murphy: In April 2002, the Performance and Innovation Unit (now the Strategy Unit) published a report Privacy and Data sharing: the way forward for public services" and sought public consultation on some of its key recommendations. Further work on data sharing and the privacy aspect is included in the Government report Transformational Government—Enabled by Technology", (CM6683) published in November 2005. This Strategy as a whole is currently out for consultation which is due to close 3 February 2006. There is also regular consultation with the information technology industry and others on standards within the e-Government Interoperability Framework (e-GIF).

Delivery Unit

Mr. Hollobone: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what have been the main outputs from the Prime Minister's Delivery Unit since its inception. [42527]

Mr. Jim Murphy: The Prime Minister's Delivery Unit (PMDU) was formed in the summer of 2001. Its mission is to help Government to deliver better and more efficient public services. It does this by monitoring and reporting to my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister on delivery of his top delivery and reform priorities, and identifying and working with Departments to overcome the key barriers to improvement.

It remains the responsibility of Secretaries of State to deliver public service outcomes. Since 2001 PMDU has worked most closely with the Department of Health, Home Office, the Department for Education and Skills and the Department for Transport. These Departments have achieved improvements in a number of their public service agreement (PSA) target areas.

External Consultants

Mrs. Villiers: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster how much his Department has paid since 2004 to external consultants who had previously been employed by the Department in any capacity within the previous five years. [41210]

Mr. Jim Murphy: The information requested for the Cabinet Office is not readily available and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

Pension Entitlements

Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what the Government's policy is on pension entitlement for those taking up a public appointment; and if he will make a statement. [44609]

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Mr. Jim Murphy: Most public appointments are not pensionable. Where an appointee receives remuneration and has executive responsibilities he or she may be provided with a pension. It is the responsibility of individual Departments to set the terms and conditions for their own appointments, including pension entitlement. The publication from Her Majesty's Treasury's 'Board Members anvd Public Appointees: Pension and Compensation Guidance Notes' sets out the points that departments need to consider when making any pension arrangements for such appointments. The guidance is available on Her Majesty's Treasury's website at



Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on current levels of inter-community violence in Bangladesh, with particular reference to the Muslim and Hindu communities [43746]

Dr. Howells: The Government of Bangladesh has assured us of its commitment to safeguard the rights and freedoms of all its citizens, and we welcome this. There are, however, continuing concerns about the situation of religious minorities in Bangladesh and acts of repression against them and indigenous groups. In 2005, there were reports of attacks on Hindus and Ahmadiyyas, ranging from serious crimes such as murder and grievous bodily harm, to public order offences and criminal damage. I raised these concerns with the authorities when I visited Bangladesh in November 2005.

The High Commission in Dhaka closely monitors incidents of religious persecution and intolerance and regularly lobbies ministers and officials on these issues. Both bilaterally and with our EU partners we shall continue to encourage the Government of Bangladesh to meet its constitutional and international obligations on human rights.

Most recently, in December, the High Commissioner directly lobbied the Bangladeshi Foreign Minister, Morshed Khan, about a potentially violent demonstration against the Ahmadiyyas from the International Khatme Nabuwat Movement. The Bangladeshi authorities did respond effectively, preventing violence on this occasion.

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