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Jim Fitzpatrick [holding answer 1 March 2007]: In view of the fact that the office holders of Britannia Lift Limited will be reporting to my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State under the provisions of the Company Directors Disqualification Act it would not be appropriate to meet with the directors of DBT Holdings Limited.
Jim Fitzpatrick [holding answer 1 March 2007]: In view of the fact that the responsible insolvency practitioners of Britannia Lift Limited will be reporting to the Secretary of State under the provisions of the Company Directors Disqualification Act it would not be appropriate to meet with the Home Office.
Jim Fitzpatrick [holding answer 1 March 2007]: Britannia Lift Limited went into creditors' voluntary liquidation on 9 February 2007. The company is a wholly owned subsidiary of DBT Holdings Ltd. which is owned by members of the Dougal Family.
Limited companies are separate legal entities from those who own and manage them. Those who deal with such companies are not contractually engaged with the individual directors, who will be liable only if, for example, they have given personal guarantees. However, when a company fails, the insolvency law provides a variety of measures to deal with those who abuse the privileges of limited liability.
When a company goes into administration, insolvent liquidation or administrative receivership, the responsible insolvency practitioner or official receiver has a duty under the Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986 to report to my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State if he/she forms a view that the conduct of any of the directors makes them unfit to be concerned in the management of a company. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State then has a discretionary power to seek the director's disqualification, where he believes it to be in the public interest. In deciding whether or not there has been unfitness, all the circumstances of the case are taken into account including matters specifically referred to in Schedule 1 of the Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986. A disqualification can run for between two and fifteen years and contravention can result not only in criminal sanctions but also in the director becoming personally liable for the debts of any new company.
If the hon. Member and/or his constituents have any reason to believe that the conduct of the directors of Britannia Lift Limited is such as to amount to justify the bringing of disqualification proceedings, they should make those concerns known to the liquidator so that he can take them into account when reporting to my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State.
Mr. McCartney: Zimbabwe has been in default on ECGD-guaranteed contracts since 1998. Little has since been recovered, and nothing has been recovered since ECGD's 2002-03 financial year. ECGD's unrecovered claims currently amount to £105 million. Zimbabwe's arrears to official creditors are substantial and cannot be properly addressed in the continued absence of a funded IMF programme, which would be a prerequisite of any restructuring by the Paris Club Group of Official Creditors.
Mr. Clegg: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what databases are controlled by his Department and its agencies; and what percentage of the data in each database he estimates is inaccurate or out of date. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: The Department has several large corporate databases relating to finance, human resources and business records management. Data quality is an important factor and there are processes in place to ensure the currency of our data holdings. We include the use of automated and semi-automated checks to verify the accuracy and validity of data items. The Department is currently undergoing major structural change and it is recognised that the status of some items will alter significantly; as these changes occur our databases will be kept updated. It is estimated that data inaccuracy in the above mentioned repositories is less than 1 per cent.
The Secretary of State for Trade and Industry has asked me to reply on behalf of the National Weights and Measures Laboratory (NWML) to your question regarding what databases are controlled by his Department and Its agencies; and what percentage of the data in each database he estimates is inaccurate or out of date.
NWML operates two major databases (defining database as an organized body of over 1000 records of related information) and the percentage figures for accuracy and currency of the data is set out below:
The Secretary of State for Trade and Industry has asked me to reply to you directly on behalf of The Insolvency Service in respect of your question (2006/1359), asking what databases are controlled by his Department and its agencies; and what percentage of the data in each database he estimates is inaccurate or out of date.
The Insolvency Service (The Service) controls the following databases that support its core activities:
LOIS and The Central IndexThese are The Service's principal case management databases.
LOLA and BANCSThese databases handle the receipt and payment of monies in connection with insolvency cases.
The Individual Insolvency RegisterThis database supports the online Individual Insolvency Register search facility, which is provided to the public from The Service's Internet website.
BANCS OnlineThis database supports an online facility that enables Insolvency Practitioners to obtain electronic statements in relation to monies deposited in the Insolvency Services Account.
I-SolvThis database supports The Service's online, insolvency forms processing service.
CHIRPSThis is the case management database for The Service's Redundancy Payments Directorate.
IBISThis is the case management database for the Companies Investigation Branch.
The Individual Insolvency Register, BANCS Online, I-Solv, CHIRPS and now IBIS are partly operated by external organisations on The Service's behalf (see The Service's response to PQ 2005/6162), and the remaining databases are operated and hosted by The Service.
Please see the following, from the Patent Office, in response to your recent parliamentary questions.
Written PQ 2006/1359: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, what databases are controlled by his Department and its agencies; and what percentage of the data in each database he estimates is inaccurate or out of date.
The Patent Office has a statutory duty to maintain registers of the intellectual property rights granted for patents, designs and trade marks. It is the responsibility of the rights holders to advise the Office of changes to these databases (e.g. names.& addresses, changes of ownership) by using the appropriate statutory forms. To that extent we believe that the databases are accurate and up to date
I am responding to your recently tabled Parliamentary Question to the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry on behalf of Companies House, which is an Executive Agency of the DTI.
While Companies House has numerous internal databases, only two are production databases used for the core business within the Companies Act of 1985.
STEM is the current Companies Register and is updated in real time by both the data from paper forms submitted to Companies House and the data from our electronic services.
PUBL is a copy of STEM that is used in conjunction with the image system to supply company information to users of Companies House Direct (CHD) and Webcheck. This system is updated from STEM at the end of each day and is therefore one day older than the source database STEM.
The data on both databases is provided by our customers and accepted by Companies House in good faith. We do not validate that data so we have no estimate of the percentage that is inaccurate.
The compliance rate for the receipt of documents is 95%, which means that 5% of data required to be provided by customers is either not up to date or is not filed by the due date.
Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what strategy he has put in place for (a) the use of renewable energy and (b) meeting energy targets in his Departments buildings; and if he will make a statement. 
DTI is committed to the use of renewable energy and meeting the energy targets launched in June 2006. As a part of the strategy to achieve this commitment the Department purchases
energy from green sources and has engaged with the Carbon Trust to carry out feasibility studies into localised micro-generation. It has bought electricity from green sources equating to 36 per cent. for the period 2005-06 of its HQ estate requirement compared to a target of 10 per cent. by 2008.
The DTI is committed to the targets for energy efficiency and reduction in carbon emissions as set out in the Framework for Sustainable Development in Government. The strategy has been and continues to be to improve energy efficiency and carbon emission reduction.
During the period 1990-2000 to 2004-05 the DTI have achieved a reduction in carbon emissions from 5.2 to 4.4 metric tonnes.
Over the past two years the Department has reduced the size of its London HQ estate by over 30 per cent. with a corresponding reduction in all the associated environmental impacts. This has been achieved by making more efficient use of its existing accommodation and the adoption of flexible desking on the basis of eight workstations for every 10 staff. Other carbon reduction initiatives include the purchase of nearly a third of its electricity from renewable sources between 1999-2000 and 2004-05.
The Department has also implemented or has planned a number of energy efficiency initiatives since the target was published. This includes a number of energy efficiency projects to improve lighting and environmental controls as well as occupant awareness. Energy efficiency is taken into account in any estate project undertaken and has included the introduction of energy minimising technology within the recent IT systems refresh.
Mr. Fallon: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry pursuant to the answer of 19 February 2007, Official Report, columns 541-2W, on doorstep selling, what mechanisms he plans to use to protect vulnerable consumers through the implementation of the Unfair Commercial Practices Directive; and if he will give additional powers to trading standards officers for that purpose. 
Mr. McCartney [holding answer 2 March 2007]: Regulations to be made later this year to implement the Unfair Commercial Practices Directive will prohibit traders from engaging in aggressive marketing and selling practices. A practice will be aggressive if, through the use of harassment, coercion or undue influence, it is likely to significantly impair the average consumer's freedom of choice and thereby cause him to take a transactional decision he would not have taken otherwise. Practices which would not be aggressive when assessed against the "average consumer" test can still be unfair to vulnerable (including elderly) consumers, if they are directed at those vulnerable consumers or will foreseeably affect them. This is because in these circumstances the effect of the practice will be assessed against the average member of that group.
Use of aggressive commercial practices will be a criminal offence and the prohibition on such practices will also be enforceable by civil (injunctive) actions. Trading Standards Services (TSS) will be given enforcement powers similar to those currently existing in the Trade Descriptions Act 1968. The Government
will consider whether additional enforcement powers should be given to the TSS when considering its response to the Macrory Review.
Margaret Hodge: The chief executive is resigning and will receive no benefits on vacating his post. He will retain the pension benefits that he has accrued during his employment with EEDA which will not be payable to him until such time as he retires in line with the EEDA occupational pension scheme retirement rules.
Mr. McCartney: Information on the UK's 20 largest sources of foreign direct investment for each year since 2000 is shown in the following table. The table excludes countries for which data are disclosive.
|Net foreign direct investment flows into the UK 2000-05|
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