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Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how many notifications his Department has received of the presence of asbestos in property for which his Department has responsibility in the last 12 months. 
Mr. Lammy: All property occupied by the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills is managed on our behalf by, and is the responsibility of, the Department for Business Enterprise and Regulatory Reform, and the Department for Children Schools and Families. But in any event, no notifications of the presence of asbestos in property occupied by the Department have been received in the last 12 months.
Sir Peter Soulsby: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills if he will place in the Library the documents his Department holds relating to the withdrawal of funding for all ground-based solar terrestrial physics facilities in the UK; and on what date the withdrawal of this funding was announced publicly. 
Ian Pearson: The Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) is responsible for decisions relating to the funding of ground-based solar terrestrial physics facilities in the UK. STFC intends to highlight the relevant documentation available shortly on its website. Decisions about the withdrawal from a number of specific ground-based solar terrestrial physics facilities was announced by STFCs predecessor, the Particle Physics Astronomy Research Council (PPARC) on August 2006 in its delivery plan for 2006/07 to 2007/08. STFC proposes to honour the commitment that had also been made by PPARC, in its 2006/07 to 2007/08 delivery plan, to continue to support EISCAT (European Incoherent Scatter Scientific Association) until 2011.
Mr. Hollobone: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what assessment he has made of the likely effect on British astronomy of proposed changes to the science and technology budget in future years. 
STFC is committed to ensuring that UK astronomers play a leading role in shaping the development of international research and to do so it will ensure UK astronomers continue to have access to world-leading facilities, for instance via membership of the European Southern Observatory (ESO). The UK will also continue to invest, in collaboration with
European and other partners, in design studies for two future world-class facilities: an Extremely Large Telescope; and the Square Kilometre Array, the next generation radio telescope.
Mr. Lammy: Launched by the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills on the 27 March, Building Colleges for the Future outlines detailed proposals for the largest ever further education building works programme, which will see £2.3 billion invested over the next three years.
As part of this record investment, the Government announced that they would require all new projects to meet the highest building standards for sustainable design, including the need to achieve an Excellent BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method) ratingwhich includes mandatory requirements on energy.
In support of the Governments targets for reducing the UKs carbon emissions by at least 26 per cent. by 2020, the Government have also set a target of all new college buildings to be zero carbon by 2016 and has a task force in place to advise on how we may be able to move even more quickly to this position. The task force is expected to publish its findings and recommendations in summer 2008.
Mr. Lammy: The Department was set up as part of the Machinery of Government changes on 28 June 2007. The nature of the Department's business requires members to attend a range of overseas conferences convened by international organisations and by other countries with which we are working. We do not hold a record of these engagements.
There are records of average working days lost per employee due to illness for the period from July to December 2007. DIUS continues to rely for this information on the computer systems of the departments from which it transferred staff at its inception. These show average working days lost per employee in the six month period of 2.7 for ex-DTI employees and 4.1 for ex-DfES employees.
To provide this as a percentage of overall departmental spend, the basis of departmental expenditure needs to be defined. The remit can include or exclude non-departmental public bodies, and as DIUS is in its first year of operation there is no audited expenditure information for the core department available. For these reasons, we are unable to provide this figure as a percentage of the Departments overall spend.
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills which of his Department's initiatives have been advertised to the public; and what the cost of each such campaign was since establishment of his Department. 
Mr. Lammy: The Department has run an advertising and promotional campaign on student financial support, which launched on 5 November 2007 and runs until 31 March 2008. The campaign had two strands and advertising media costs are broken down as follows:
|(1) Partnership activity involved the cost of advertorial space in partners' titles.|
Mr. Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills at how many events held by his Department (a) wine and (b) Fairtrade wine were served in the last three years; and what assessment his Department has made of the merits of serving Fairtrade wine at future events. 
Mr. Lammy: The Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills (DIUS) is a relatively new Department, formed on 28 June 2007. As a general rule because most of the events that we organise are held during the working day, we rarely use the public purse to purchase alcohol. The majority of our catered events supply tea, coffee, water or juice.
DIUS has provided wine at only four meetings, two of which were receptions involving journalists, and the other two were planning meetings in the evening and involving a small group of college principals.
Events sponsored by DIUS where wine is served are consequently few in number and if wine is ordered, the question of whether the wine is Fairtrade is only one of the factors that is taken into consideration, however contracts for catering services and supplies are awarded on the basis of the best value for money for the taxpayer. We have no record of whether the wine purchased on our behalf was Fairtrade wine.
Mr. Lammy: The Department was set up as part of the Machinery of Government changes on 28 June 2007. The Department operates a devolved procurement structure for consultants, As such we do not centrally record previous career histories of consultants engaged by DIUS.
Mr. Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills whether confidential or personal information has been compromised through the loss of property from his Department and its predecessor since 1997. 
Bill Rammell: Except in exceptional cases, when it is in the public interest, it has been the policy of successive governments not to comment on breaches of security. However, following the publication of the Data Handling Procedures in Government: Interim Progress Report on 17 December 2007, Official Report, column 98WS, all Departments will cover information assurance issues in their annual reports.
Mr. Lammy: DIUS was formed following Machinery of Government changes on 28 June 2007 and is in its first year of operation. Since the final adjustments have not been made for that financial year there is no audited expenditure information available. Publicity and advertising cover a very wide range of activities and we do not hold centrally information on all expenditure in this area.
Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how much was claimed in reimbursable expenses by Senior Civil Service staff in his Department in the last 12 month period for which figures are available. 
Mr. Lammy: The Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills was created as a result of machinery of Government changes in June 2007. Information on expenditure to this detail is not collected centrally in the Department. This information could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.
David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how many and what percentage of staff in his Department were making additional voluntary contributions to their pensions in each of the last two years. 
Mr. Lammy: It is not possible to provide information for the whole period in question as the Department was created as part of the Machinery of Government changes on 28 June 2007. However, I am able to tell you that 14 employees out of a total of 766 in the Department are presently making additional voluntary contributions to their Civil Service (Principal Civil Service Pension Scheme) pensions. This equates to 1.8 per cent. of the Departments employees.
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what opinion polls the Department has conducted of (a) the public and (b) staff since 27 June 2007; and what the (i) name of the firm employed to conduct the poll, (ii) purpose and (iii) cost to the public purse was in each case. 
Mr. Lammy: Consultations and engagement have taken place with the public since the Department was formed on 28 June 2007. No opinion polls of the public or DIUS staff have been conducted by the Department in that time. However, the Department undertakes discrete pieces of public-facing research in order to inform specific communications activities and programmes, such as those listed.
(i) Company: Ticknet
(ii) Audience: Parents and Students
(iii) Objective: Help define and extend the student finance messages to households where no one has previously gone to university
(iv) Cost: £8,000
(i) Company: Wardle McLean
(ii) Audience: Employers, providers, Higher Education Institutions, students
(iii) Objective: Test audience perceptions of the use of the words 'Foundation Degree'
(iv) Cost: £23,250
Mr. Jeremy Browne: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how many external contracts his Department has held with public relations companies since its inception; and what the total cost of those contracts was. 
Mr. Lammy: The information provided relates to both the Department for Children Schools and Families and the Department for Innovation Universities and Skills, which were formed following the Machinery of Government changes in June 2007. It is not possible to provide separate costs for each Department during 2007-08 except at disproportionate cost.
Both Departments employ public relations agencies for specific communications tasks, most commonly working alongside our press offices to provide campaign support in local, regional and specialist media companies. They have used such agencies for 15 campaigns at a cost of £1.085 million since June 2007. These figures include contracts placed by both Departments using a framework agreement and by the Central Office of Information (COI) on our behalf.
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how many working days were lost by his Department due to stress-related illness in each of the last 24 months. 
Mr. Lammy: The percentage of working days lost by the Department's staff attributed to stress-related conditions during the six months from July to December amount to 15.6 per cent. of all working days lost due to sickness absence. It would involve disproportionate cost to disaggregate the records to present this information on a monthly basis. My Department was set up as part of the Machinery of Government changes on 28 June 2007, so the percentage is based on figures from 1 July to 31 December 2007 (the latest information available).
The Department is committed to providing a safe working environment and has put in place a range of measures to support all employees on health and wellbeing issues, including the provision of professional counselling and occupational health services.
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