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13 Feb 2006 : Column 1641W—continued

Departmental IT Systems

Mrs. Villiers: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how much his Department has spent on IT systems in each year since 1997; what the purpose of each system is; what the outturn against planned expenditure of each system was; and what the (a) planned and (b) actual date of completion was of each system. [41323]

Alan Johnson: Due to a change in the Department's accounting system during 2003–04 and the devolved nature of the Department's ICT up until 2006, consistent information as requested cannot be obtained without disproportionate cost.

However, since 1997 the Department's IT services have been provided through a PFI agreement with Fujitsu Services covering desktop services, web infrastructure services, document management and HR systems. The annual running costs for 2004–05 was £32 million.

Departmental Property

David T.C. Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will list the items valued at over £100 that have been reported as stolen from buildings occupied by his Department in the past 12 months. [43439]

Alan Johnson: Thirty items of small portable equipment which have a value of £100 or above (21 Laptops, one monitor and eight data projectors) have been reported as missing or stolen from all DTI buildings in the last 12 months.
 
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Departmental Recruitment

Mrs. Villiers: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many job advertisements were placed by his Department (a) in total, (b) in print newspapers and magazines and (c) on a recruitment website in each year since 1997; and at what (i) total and (ii) average cost in each case. [50743]

Alan Johnson: When placing job advertisements, my Department uses the most appropriate advertising media, be it national, regional, local, trade magazine or website, depending on the nature of the posts to be filled. Any combination of these may be used in each exercise. Data on the total number of advertisements placed is not collected centrally.

The costs of recruitment advertising are generally met from individual management units from their own delegated budgets and there are no centrally held records of the breakdown of advertising costs.

Departmental Staff

Mr. MacNeil: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many staff work in his Department's (a) the Employee Relations Directorate, (b) the European World Trade Directorate, (c) Finance and Resource Management and (d) the Energy Resources and Development Unit; and what the total salary costs in each case were in the last year for which figures are available. [49686]

Alan Johnson: The number of staff in post, taken from DTI's headcount monitoring system, as of 1 February 2006, and the full pay cost (including superannuation and employers NI contributions) for the financial year 2004–05, in the requested directorates are as follows:

Staff
Full pay cost 2004–05 (£)
Employee Relations Directorate944,379,519.96
European World Trade Directorate794,614,225.83
Finance and Resource Management1244,741,095.77
Energy Resources and Development Unit1416,356,625.11

Departmental Website

Mr. Jenkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what the cost of maintaining his main departmental website was for the last year for which figures are available; and how many visitors there were to the site in each of the last 12 months. [46308]

Alan Johnson: The support costs for the Department's websites is included in the overall service charge paid monthly under the IT service contract in place since 1 April 1999. There is no separation of website costs in this charge. The number of visits to dti.gov.uk in the last 12 months was as follows:
Number of visits
February 2005975,173
March804,671
April790,981
May915,573
June667,124
July671,397
August795,329
September786,446
October1,121,153
November833,252
December602,885
January 2006 (2–13)925,430

 
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Early Retirement

David T.C. Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many departmental employees have taken early retirement due to ill-health in each of the past five years for which figures are available. [46774]

Alan Johnson: The number of staff who have taken early retirement due to ill-health in each of the past five years are as follows:
Number of ill-health retirements
200111
200211
20038
20046
2005(35)


(35) Fewer than five, so information not provided on grounds of confidentiality.

Electricity Generation Licences

Mr. Crabb: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (1) what discussions he has had with Ofgem regarding a review of electricity generation licences; [50771]

(2) what discussions he has had with Ofgem regarding a review of SLC 14 and SLC 15 with regards to electricity generation licences; [50772]

(3) if he will place a moratorium on applications for compulsory purchase powers by electricity generating companies until Ofgem has completed its review of SLC 14 and SLC 15; [50773]

(4) when Ofgem will undertake its reviews of (a) SLC 14 and SLC 15 and (b) the electricity generation licence. [50774]

Malcolm Wicks: I understand that Ofgem are anticipating publishing a consultation document in relation to SLCs 14 and 15 in April. The review will consider whether or not the Gas and Electricity Markets Authority should bring SLCs 14 and 15 into effect in all Electricity Generation Licences in order to allow Electricity Generation Licence holders to seek compulsory purchase powers from my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State.

Ofgem does not have any immediate plans to publish a consultation document in relation to a wider review of the generation licence.

DTI officials are in touch with Ofgem and expect to be fully involved in the review process. There are no plans for a moratorium on applications for compulsory purchase powers in the interim.
 
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Employee Pension Schemes

Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will introduce legislation under which large companies, as defined in the Companies Act 1985, would be required to contribute at least 5 per cent. of their profits to employees' pension schemes. [49733]

Mr. Timms: I have been asked to reply.

We have no plans to do so. The Pensions Commission published their report on 30 November 2005 containing recommendations for reform. This includes a recommendation that employers should make a financial contribution to the pensions of employees who are themselves contributing to a workplace scheme. The Government are now reflecting on the report and are committed to consulting with the public and stakeholders on the key issues as part of the national pensions debate. There is much to be discussed and decided on the detail of the recommendations and our response must meet the five tests we have set out—that is that the overall package of reforms must promote personal responsibility; must be fair, affordable, simple and sustainable.

As far as the specific recommendations are concerned, the Government are ruling nothing in and nothing out. Ministers have asked the Pensions Commission to continue their involvement in the public debate over the next few months.

The Government plan to publish a White Paper in the spring in response to the Pensions Commission's report. The White Paper will set out what legislation will be needed and a planned timetable for reforms.

Energy Review

Mr. Chope: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assessment his Department has made of the impact of the projected increases in the population of England upon demand for energy. [50794]

Malcolm Wicks: Work to update UK energy and emissions projections is ongoing and includes a review of all key assumptions on fossil fuel prices and economic growth (including demographic projections on population and the number of households). The latest projections will be published shortly.

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry for what reason evidence submitted to the Energy Review is not available on a publicly accessible Department of Trade and Industry website. [50806]

Malcolm Wicks: All responses that are not subject to a confidentiality provision will be published on the DTI website together with a summary of the responses.

Peter Law: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry whether the National Assembly for Wales Government's energy strategy of March 2003 is being considered as part of the Energy Review. [50250]

Malcolm Wicks: In bringing forward policy proposals to help the UK meet its medium and long-term energy policy goals, the Review will be working closely with the Devolved Administrations. My officials are meeting their counterparts from the Welsh Assembly Government on a regular basis and will be engaging directly with stakeholders in Wales.
 
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