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Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what the Government's policy is in relation to corporate social responsibility in exercising shareholder rights in relation to Government-owned shares; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. McFadden: The shareholder executive manages its shareholdings in line with the Government shareholding principles, as described in the 2004-05 shareholder executive annual report (annex D) found on page 67 of the report weblink:
Businesses should manage effectively relationships with their employees, suppliers, customers, and other stakeholders who have a legitimate interest in the business's activities. Businesses should behave ethically and have due regard for the environment and society as a whole.
Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what the value of the Government's shareholdings (a) in total and (b) in accordance with socially responsible investment policies was in each of the last five years. 
Mr. McFadden: Each year the shareholder executive assesses the financial performance of its portfolio businesses as can be seen in its annual reports. This assessment is based on an economic profit methodology which uses reported results to calculate year on year changes in shareholder value for the executives diverse range of businesses. However this does not provide an absolute valuation of the executives target businesses.
As part of the NAOs audit of shareholder executive in February 2007 the NAO conducted a further exercise to ascertain an appropriate aggregate valuation of 18 businesses in the executives portfolio. The NAO estimated that the enterprise value of the executives portfolio to be between £17.1 billion and £20.8 billion as of 30 June 2006. This estimate is subject to caveats as outlined in Appendix 3 to the NAO report The Shareholder Executive and Public Sector Businesses Weblink:
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what payments (a) his Department and (b) it agencies have made to Ipsos MORI in the last 24 months; and for what purposes. 
(a) My Department has made payments amounting to £180,000 to Ipsos Mori over the past 24 months. Of this amount, £55,000 was spent on a study to establish the readiness of public sector bodies for the digital switchover in the borders region, £53,000 was spent on Department of Trade and Industry Stakeholder Research, £23,000 on Business Relations surveys, £22,000 on Attitudes to Animal Experimentation and £19,000 on Captains of Industry surveys (used by leading organisations to evaluate the effectiveness of their brand).
(b) No payments have been made to Ipsos Mori in the last 24 months by either of BERRs agencies (Companies House and the Insolvency Service).
Ben Chapman: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what guidance he issues to his Departments parliamentary unit on responses to correspondence from hon. Members. 
Mr. Thomas [holding answer 18 March 2008]:The Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR) parliamentary unit does not deal with Members of Parliament's correspondence. The Departments ministerial correspondence and enquiry unit has lead responsibility for handling correspondence and for meeting the targets associated with this task.
Mr. Meacher: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform if he will require all companies registered in the UK to include in their annual reports all their overseas subsidiaries, including information on (a) numbers of employees and (b) revenues. 
Mr. Thomas [holding answer 18 March 2008]: UK companies are required to comply with the reporting and accounting provisions of the Companies Act 1985 which will be substantially restated by the Companies Act 2006 and its accompanying regulations for financial years from 6 April 2008. The provisions for accounts and reports to disclose information about overseas subsidiaries restate the current requirements under the Companies Act 1985, including disclosure in the notes to accounts of the names and locations of subsidiary undertakings incorporated overseas, but do not require details of numbers of employees or of revenues. There are no plans to change these requirements.
Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform if he will ask the Office of Fair Trading to investigate pricing by petroleum retailers at regional level; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Thomas [holding answer 14 March 2008]: The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) is the independent competition regulator responsible for promoting effective competition and enforcing competition law. Anyone with any evidence of anti-competitive conduct by petrol retailers should pass the relevant information to the OFT.
The OFT also has the power to refer markets to the Competition Commission where it suspects a market may have anti-competitive features. In addition, the OFT itself carries out market studies where it considers a market may not be working well for consumers and may have anti-competitive features. The OFT has published guidance on how it operates market studies, including information about how it prioritises which markets to study. The OFT's guidance on market studies can be found on their website at the following URL.:
Peter Luff: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform whether sub-post offices that were to have been closed under the Network Change Programme but are kept open under arrangements agreed between Post Office Ltd. and local authorities will count against the Government's target for 2,500 post office closures; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. McFadden: Where a local authority or community group enters into an arrangement with Post Office Ltd to fund the continued provision of post office services to a community where the sub-post office has been confirmed for closure under the Network Change Programme, the business model for that service provision will change and become the financial responsibility of the local authority or community group. The closure of the former sub-post office will count towards the total number of closures under the programme.
Geraldine Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what estimate he has made of the cost to the Post Office of keeping Yealand Post Office open for five hours each week. 
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform pursuant to the answer of 18 December 2007, Official Report, column 1344W, on regional government: Brussels, what contributions were made by each regional development agency to the relevant offices in Brussels in each of the last three years. 
Mr. Jeremy Browne: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform how much and what percentage of regional development agency funding was spent on (a) advertising and (b) overseas offices in each year for which figures are available, broken down by regional development agency. 
Mr. McFadden [holding answer 13 March 2008]: The following tables show how much grant in aid RDAs spent on advertising and overseas offices. Advertising figures relate to marketing activity to promote the region, for both tourism and investment. Overseas offices refer to RDA inward investment offices.
|RDAs||Grant in a id (£ million)||Advertising (£000)||Advertising as a proportion of grant in aid (percentage)||Cost of overseas offices (£000)||Cost of overseas offices as a proportion of grant in aid (percentage)|
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