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29 Oct 2007 : Column 687W—continued

Bank Services: Security

John Barrett: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (1) what steps his Department is taking to strengthen the security of online banking and payment systems; [157060]


29 Oct 2007 : Column 688W

(2) what recent discussions he has had with the finance industry on the security of online banking and payment systems. [157059]

Mr. Timms [holding answer 11 October 2007]: The Government encourage discussion between all parties involved in tackling crimes committed using computers, and is determined to tackle the problem of card/cheque and remote banking fraud at all levels, whether it affects individual consumers or businesses. BERR is working closely with other Government departments and law enforcement agencies to ensure that the UK is a world class safe and secure online environment for everyone.

Nearly 15 million people in the UK now use the internet to access their bank accounts, and millions more regularly shop online.

HM Government, SOCA (the Serious Organised Crime agency ) and leading businesses have worked together to create Get Safe Online, www. getsafeonline. org. website to help individuals and small businesses protect themselves against internet threats such as viruses, spam, spyware and online fraud.

Bankruptcy

Dr. Kumar: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform how many individual voluntary arrangements were (a) taken out and (b) breached in (i) the UK and (ii) Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland constituency in each of the last five years. [161653]

Mr. McFadden: It is currently not possible to provide official figures for individual voluntary arrangements (IVAs) by constituency. Further, IVAs typically last for five years and therefore statistics for later years will be increasingly skewed in favour of ongoing cases and failures in the earlier stages of the IVA. The number of IVAs registered in England and Wales and their status as at August 2007 can be seen in table 1.

Table 1: England and Wales
IVAs registered IVA status as at August 2007 (percentage)
Ongoing Completed Failed

2002

6,295

25

50

25

2003

7,583

42

33

25

2004

10,752

56

20

24

2005

20,293

75

9

16

2006

44,332

92

3

5

Note: Rounding could produce overall percentages greater or less than 100 per cent.

The Insolvency Service has policy responsibility relating to individual insolvency in England and Wales. For Scotland and Northern Ireland this is the responsibility of the Accountant in Bankruptcy, Scotland and the Department for Enterprise, Trade and Investment, NI, respectively. The number of voluntary insolvencies, known as Protected Trust Deeds in Scotland and IVAs in Northern Ireland, can be seen in table 2. The status of these procedures is not available from the Insolvency Service (England and Wales).


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Table 2
Scottish protected trust deeds Northern Ireland IVAs

2002

5,174

207

2003

5,452

318

2004

6,024

449

2005

6,881

633

2006

8,208

774


Bermuda

Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform which (a) Ministers and (b) officials, broken down by grade, from his Department visited (i) Bermuda and (ii) Barbados in each year between 1998 and 2006; and what the reason was for each visit. [161079]

Mr. Thomas: There is no record over this period of a visit to Bermuda by a Minister or official from the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR), or its predecessor Department. No Minister from BERR has visited Barbados over this period.

Details of visits by officials to Barbados are as follows:

Year visited Grade Reason for visit

June 1998

Export Promoter

Trade mission

November 1998

Range 8

Accompanied trade mission

November 1999

Export Promoter

Accompanied trade mission

February 2002

Range 10

Resource management

April 2002

Range 6

Accompanied trade mission

May 2003

Range 8

Accompanied trade mission

September 2003

Range 8

Accompanied trade mission

September 2003

Range 11

Accompanied trade mission

November 2003

Range 11

Accompanied trade mission

February 2004

Range 6

Pre-mission work

February 2004

Range 6

Pre-mission work

March 2004

Range 10

Led trade mission

September 2004

Range 8

Accompanied trade mission

September 2004

Export Promoter

Accompanied trade mission

December 2004

Deputy Director

Follow up on trade mission

February 2005

Export Promoter

Accompanied trade mission

February 2005

Range 8

Accompanied trade mission

October 2005

Export Promoter

Accompanied trade mission

October 2005

Range 8

Accompanied trade mission

November 2006

Range 6

Accompanied trade mission


Conditions of Employment

Mr. Andrew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what steps he plans to take to raise awareness among employers and employees of the extension of statutory leave entitlement. [161394]

Mr. McFadden: The Government undertook two full consultations on the proposals to increase the holiday entitlement, holding a number of regional meetings and working closely with unions and employer organisations. Specific efforts were made to engage small businesses and employers in key sectors likely to be particularly affected. The ability to receive email updates on the proposals was offered and over 8,000
29 Oct 2007 : Column 690W
people requested updates on progress. The proposals also attracted considerable media coverage on a number of occasions.

Detailed guidance for employers and workers, including an interactive calculator for holiday entitlements, has been placed on the Business Link and Direct.gov websites respectively, with supporting material on BERR's own website.

Departments: Assets

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what departmental assets are planned to be sold in each financial year from 2007-08 to 2010-11; what the (a) description and (b) book value of each such asset is; and what the expected revenue from each such sale is. [160402]

Mr. Thomas: The Core Department, together with its Agencies, has a relatively small stock of tangible fixed assets. It consists primarily of the office buildings, furniture, IT and other office equipment that is necessary for the workforce to operate effectively, Most of the Department’s tangible fixed assets are held by its delivery partners, primarily the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority and the Regional Development Agencies.

The Department has reviewed its asset stock to ascertain where value-for-money can be delivered through future disposal. However, a conclusion has been reached that there is currently no likelihood of future asset disposals, and this decision is reflected in the Department’s CSR settlement.

Departments: Civil Proceedings

David Davis: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform how many civil law suits have been brought against his Department in which proceedings are no longer ongoing based either wholly or partially on the grounds of the Human Rights Act 1998; how many were settled out of court, before a court judgement was delivered; and how much such settlements cost since the Act came into effect. [160733]

Mr. Thomas: We do not collect central records of all cases in which the Human Rights Act 1998 is relied on. Human rights are now integrated in the general law and are rarely the sole basis for a challenge. For this reason the information requested could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Departments: Closures

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what policy changes his Department has implemented since 27 June 2007. [159298]

Mr. Thomas: The Department has implemented a number of new and changed policies since 27 June 2007. My Department has kept Parliament fully informed of these changes. For example we have announced:


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Departments: Cost Effectiveness

Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what efficiency savings his Department was required to make as part of its Spending Review 2004 (SR04) targets; what efficiency projects have been undertaken in the Department in pursuit of those targets; on what date each was initiated; and how much each was predicted to contribute to the SR04 target. [160556]

Mr. Thomas: DTI’s Spending Review 2004 efficiency savings projects were initiated in April 2005. (SR04) targets and actuals for each of these efficiency savings work streams are set out in the following table. At the end of the second year of the three year programme these efficiency savings work streams had contributed £484 million efficiency savings against the overall £408 million SR04 target.

£ million
SR04 Efficiency Work stream 2005-06 delivery (year one) 2006-07 delivery (year two) 2006-07 target (year two) SR04 overall target
Financial efficiency gains N/C C N/C C N/C C N/C C

Staff reductions

0.00

33.71

0.00

37.63

0.00

28.24

0.00

39.25

Internal Operations

4.25

11.85

-0.12

31.98

11.62

13.59

20.29

13.96

Value for money in programme spend

0.00

1.92

27.09

5.82

6.21

18.11

12.42

20.07

Business Support (inc. SFIE)

0.00

27.50

0.00

70.21

0.00

34.20

0.00

41.36

Science DTI and Research Councils

26.31

50.58

86.79

125.96

48.64

77.50

79.79

115.39

Nuclear Decommissioning Authority

n/a

n/a

0.00

40.00

0.00

6.68

0.00

13.72

RDAs (DTI)

2.92

3.06

9.64

12.39

6.09

10.47

9.32

14.59

Trading Funds (Companies House and Patent Office)

2.40

0.00

2.40

0.00

6.85

0.00

10.55

0.00

Other Agencies and NDPBs

4.54

2.22

8.84

7.31

6.19

5.51

7.22

10.59

Exceptional items

0.24

12.91

0.24

18.08

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

Total (DTI)

40.66

143.75

134.88

349.38

85.60

194.30

139.59

268.93

Source:
Department of Trade and Industry Annual Report and Accounts 2006-07 [section 3.110]

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