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13 May 2008 : Column 1463W—continued

Mobile Phones

Chris Bryant: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what representations his Department has received from mobile network operators on mobile number portability. [201835]

Malcolm Wicks: All the mobile phone network operators meet with BERR officials and Ministers on a regular basis to discuss all types of mobile phone related issues. I am aware that some operators are not comfortable with the arrangements concerning mobile number portability, clearly these matters are commercially sensitive and we are not able to comment on company specific policy.

Chris Bryant: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what assessment he has made of whether UKPorting will meet the September 2009 deadline set by Ofcom to ensure that the time taken to move a telephone number between mobile telephone operators is reduced to two hours. [201836]

Malcolm Wicks: At present we have not made our own assessment on whether the deadline set by Ofcom to ensure that the time taken to move a telephone number between mobile telephone operators is reduced to two hours will be met. Pending an ongoing Competition Appeals Tribunal investigation into this issue on 18 June 2008, it would be inappropriate to provide any comment until after that appeal has been heard.

Motor Vehicles: Fuels

Mr. David Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what assessment his Department has made of the effectiveness of ultracapacitors as a power source for road vehicles. [204117]

Malcolm Wicks: The Department has made no assessment of the effectiveness of ultracapacitors as a power source for road vehicles. However, a pre-competitive research project on development of super capacitors as a means of energy storage for hybrid vehicles, entitled ‘SuperC’, was funded as part of the Foresight Vehicle
13 May 2008 : Column 1464W
programme, and concluded in 2002. Details of the project can be found on the Department for Transport website at:

It is now for project partners to seek commercial applications for any resulting technologies.

Nuclear Power

Mr. Tyrie: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform pursuant to the answer of 2 April 2008, Official Report, column 1078W, on nuclear power, from which elements and components the 10 per cent. discount rate is derived; and what value is assigned to each. [204595]

Malcolm Wicks: The choice of a 10 per cent. discount rate was based on its use in a number of studies of costs across nuclear and other electricity generation technologies by the International Energy Agency and other organisations. The rate has not been disaggregated in any way into component parts. Sensitivity analysis was, however, carried out to observe the impact of using both higher and lower discount rates.

Office of Fair Trading

Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what (a) primary and (b) secondary legislation governs the powers of the Office of Fair Trading; what changes have been made to each since their entry into force; and if he will make a statement. [203542]

Mr. Thomas: The primary legislation that governs the Office of Fair Trading's (OFT) powers in relation to competition law and enforcement are:

Further powers given to the OFT under secondary legislation are:

Press

Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform how many press office staff were employed by (a) his Department, (b) its agencies and (c) its non-departmental public bodies (i) in each year since 1996-97 and (ii) at the latest date for which information is available. [189688]


13 May 2008 : Column 1465W

Mr. Thomas: The information requested is as follows


13 May 2008 : Column 1466W
FTE staff employed in the BERR and UKTI press offices

1997-98 1998-99 1999-2000 2000-01 2001-02 2002-03 2003-04 2004-05 2005-06 2006-07 2007-08

BERR(1)

20

17

24

25

23

23

23

19

18

17

16

UK Trade and Investment(2)

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

4

3-4

3

2-3

2-4

(1) The Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR) was created in July 2007. Figures before July 2007 refer to the number of press officers in the Department for Trade and Industry.
(2) UKTI was formed in October 2003. Fluctuations in the above staff numbers are due to staff movements during the year.

FTE staff employed in BERR NDPB press offices

1997-98 1998-99 1999-2000 2000-01 2001-02 2002-03 2003-04 2004-05 2005-06 2006-07 2007-08

ACAS(1)

2

2

2

2

2

2

2

2

2

2

2

Atomic Energy Authority(2)

2

2

2

2

2

2

2

2

2

2

2

Civil Nuclear Police Authority(3)

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

1

1.5

1.5

Coal Authority(4)

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

Competition Commission

1

1

1

1

1.5

1.5

1.5

2

2

2

2

Competition Service(5)

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

EnergyWatch(6)

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

7

7

7

7

4.5

4

4

Hearing Aid Council(7)

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

National Consumer Council

2

2

2

2

2

2

2

2

2

2

2

Nuclear Decommissioning Authority(8)

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

PostWatch(9)

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

2

4

4

4

4

4

n/a

SITPRO Ltd(10)

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

(1) Since 1996/1997 ACAS has employed two permanent communications professionals to carry out its media and marketing activity. Neither is a full-time press officer, but both combine press duties as part of their overall role. This includes operating an out-of-hours service for the media. The press office staff at ACAS also carry out other communications responsibilities besides press office work.
(2) The UK Atomic Energy Authority does not employ dedicated press officers. Five members of staff in the UKAEA have media relations as part, but not all, of their duties. The FTE equivalent is provided as an estimate of the proportion of UKAEA communications team members' time available to cover press officer functions.
(3) The Civil Nuclear Constabulary was set up as a separate entity in 2005.
(4 )The Coal Authority does not have a press office.
(5) The Competition Service does not have a press office.
(6) EnergyWatch, was set up in 2001.
(7) The Hearing Aid Council does not have a press office.
(8) The National Decommissioning Authority does not have a press office. Three communications managers are employed to undertake a variety of activities of which handling media enquiries is one element. A head of communications and communications director may also handle media inquiries.
(9) PostWatch was set up in 2001.
(10) SITPRO Ltd employs only one member of staff for marketing and promotion, whose responsibilities include some dealings with the press.

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