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Dan Rogerson: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what contingency preparations his Department made for the possibility of a general election in autumn 2007; and what the costs of those preparations were. 
Mr. Douglas Alexander: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by my right hon. Friend the Minister for the Cabinet Office and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, on 15 October 2007, Official Report, columns 822-23W.
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many websites his Department operates; how many it operated at 1 January 2005; and what the estimated annual cost has been of running his Department's websites in the last five years. 
In its May 2007 departmental website review, DFID identified 48 sites that had received departmental funding. Figures are not available for 1 January 2005. Three of these sites have subsequently closed as part of our ongoing efforts to rationalise the
number of websites we support. Details of the costs of the four main DFID-funded sites are given in the table. Compiling cost information for other departmental websites could be done only at disproportionate cost.
|Website||Annual cost of running the site (£)|
DFID main sitewww.dfid.gov.uk(1)
Developments Magazine www.developments.org.uk
Research for Development portal www.research4development.info(2)
|(1) Figures include staffing costs. (2) Site launched in 2006. Figures exclude development costs. (3) Previous years costs were development costs.|
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many hits the (a) most popular and (b) least popular website run by his Department has received since 1 January 2007. 
Mr. Malik: In its May 2007 departmental website review, DFID identified 48 sites that had received departmental funding. Compiling visitor information for all these sites could be done only at disproportionate cost. Visitor figures for the main DFID site (www.dfid.gov.uk) for the period 1 January to 31 August 2007 are as follows.
Mark Hunter: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what representations have been made to his Department regarding the wages paid to the workers of UK high street fashion suppliers based in developing countries; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Thomas: DFID has not received any specific representation on the issue of wages paid to workers of UK high street fashion suppliers based in developing countries in the last six months. However we are engaged on these issues through a number of organisations and initiatives.
These include the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI), which DFID helped set up, and funds. We have provided over £2 million to support the ETI, which is an alliance of companies, trades unions and non-governmental organisations committed to improving working conditions in global supply chains. A recent independent assessment of the ETI showed improvements in health and safety, working hours, wages and child labour in the supply chains of companies taking part. DFID also works at the country level, on labour rights and terms and conditions. For instance, in Bangladesh and Lesotho DFID has supported the work of the Multi-Fibre Arrangement Forum, which supports responsible business practices while improving productivity and competitiveness. DFID is also providing up to £20 million in support to the International Labour Organisation to implement decent work country programmes.
Mark Hunter: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what discussions his Department has had with UK high street fashion stores on (a) the wages paid to the workers of their suppliers in developing countries and (b) ensuring good working conditions and rights for such workers; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Thomas: DFID helped set upand fundsthe Ethical Trading Initiative. We have provided over £2 million to support the ETI, which is an alliance of companies, trades unions and non-governmental organisations committed to improving working conditions in global supply chains. A recent independent assessment of the ETI showed improvements in health and safety, working hours, wages and child labour in the supply chains of companies taking part. DFID also works at the country level, on labour rights and terms and conditions.
Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform pursuant to the answer of 11 June 2007, Official Report, column 764W, on audio equipment: health hazards, what the evidential basis was for his statement that it is already widely understood that playing personal audio equipment too loud can damage people's hearing. 
Mr. Thomas: Research conducted in 2005 by the Royal National Institute for Deaf People (RNID) showed that 42 per cent. of people between the ages of 18 to 24 years who played their personal music players for at least an hour every day believed that they had the volume too high. There are no published figures to indicate the percentage of people in the sample who were both aware of the risks and believed they used safe volume levels.
Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what assessment he has made of the effect of the Supply of Extended Warranties on Domestic Electrical Goods Order 2005 on consumer protection. 
Mr. Thomas: Responsibility for the Supply of Extended Warranties on Domestic Electrical Goods Order 2005 rests with the Office of Fair Trading. The OFT monitors and enforces this order to ensure as far as possible that it is complied with. In addition, the OFT is commissioning a project to examine the impact that the Supply of Extended Warranties on Domestic Electrical Goods Order 2005 has had on the extended warranties market. The OFT will publish the findings from this project in summer 2008.
Charles Hendry: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what estimate he has made of the likely change in (a) export sales and (b) research and development spending as a result of moving the Defence Export Services Organisation from the Ministry of Defence to UK Trade and Investment. 
Mr. Thomas: It is not Government practice to make estimates of future levels of defence exports. This Machinery of Government change is not expected to affect the amount spent by Government on research and development.
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform on what date the Transfer of Function Order detailing the changes in his Department was laid before Parliament for approval. 
Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what guidance his Department follows on the maximum time taken to respond to hon. Members' correspondence; and what performance against that target was in the most recent period for which figures are available. 
All correspondence from hon. Members and Peers is handled in accordance with the principles set out in Handling Correspondence from Members of Parliament, Members of the House of Lords, MEPs and Members of Devolved Assemblies:
Guidance for Departments'. The same principles apply when handling correspondence from members of the public.
The Cabinet Office, on an annual basis, publishes a report to Parliament on the performance of Departments in replying to Members Peers correspondence. The report for 2006 was published on 28 March 2007, Official Report, columns 101-04WS.
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what his Department's projected spending is on advertising and promotional campaigns for (a) 2007-08 and (b) 2008-09, broken down by cost relating to (i) television, (ii) radio and (iii) print media. 
(a) 2007-08 financial year
Nuclear Energy Consultation (July to September 2007) press advertising: £166,634
National Minimum Wage campaign (October 2007 to March 2008), as part of which we currently anticipate spending approximately £400,000 on radio advertising and £200,000 on poster advertising.
(b) No advertising or promotional campaigns have yet been planned through COI for 2008-09.
Jo Swinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what estimate he has made of the amount of electricity that could be generated through the capture and use of gas produced from landfill; and what proportion of the UK's total electricity supply this would represent. 
Malcolm Wicks: This Department does not estimate the amount of electricity that will be available from individual renewable energy technologies. The renewables obligation is designed to bring forward the most cost effective means of generating electricity from such sources. However, in modelling likely future scenarios, there are conditions where future generation from landfill gas could be 10 per cent. higher than the 4.4 TWh achieved in 2006. Under the RO generation from landfill gas in the UK has increased by 65 per cent. over the last four years and in 2006 represented 24 per cent. of all generation from renewables in the UK or 1.1 per cent of total UK electricity generation.
John Barrett: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (1) what estimate his Department has made of the amount of money lost to online identity theft and fraud in the UK in each year since 1997; 
The published estimates for the cost of identity theft to the UK economy do not include a specific breakdown of thefts committed online. In addition the Government do not have information on the number of cases on online identity theft recorded centrally.
To help people protect themselves from online fraud, the website www.getsafeonline.org was developed by the Government, police and industry. The website gives advice on how to stay safe online when shopping, banking or doing business over the internet, and how to protect computers and the personal information they contain.
On 9 October 2007 the Attorney General announced that funding had been approved for the proposals arising from the Governments Fraud Review. This includes the development of a National Fraud Strategic Authority, together with a National Fraud Reporting Centre, the establishment of the City of London Police as the Lead Force on fraud, and proposals for measurement of fraud. These measures will help to tackle fraud and increase our understanding of the nature and extent of the problem.
Mark Lazarowicz: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (1) what steps he is taking to assist those households living in fuel poverty that are not connected to the mains gas network; 
Malcolm Wicks: We recognise, and are addressing, the need to help fuel poor households both off and on the gas network. The Office of Gas and Electricity Markets (Ofgem) is responsible for gas regulation, including transportation and distribution. As part of the post-2008 Gas Distribution Price Control, Ofgem is currently consulting on measures that would encourage gas distribution network companies to provide connections to deprived communities currently off the gas network. Such communities are likely to contain a higher than average proportion of fuel poor households.
The Design and Demonstration Unit within my Department has successfully developed a model for the provision of gas connections to deprived communities by independent gas transporters. A number of connections have been made using this model. The unit has also developed models to provide lower-cost household energy from renewable and other new technologies for those deprived communities where gas connections are not economically viable. We expect demonstration projects in North-East England and
Yorkshire and Humberside that use these models to begin shortly. Assistance for fuel poor and vulnerable households within such communities is also available under other Government programmes, including DEFRAs Warm Front programme.
Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Ministers frequently discuss the energy needs of vulnerable households both off and on the gas network with Ministers at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.
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