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Malcolm Wicks [holding answer 30 June 2008]: On 30 June, my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Business Enterprise and Regulatory Reform announced the launch of the consultation Toward Carbon Capture and Storage. The consultation, which runs till 22 September, seeks views from a wide range of stakeholders on the regulation of carbon storage, what carbon capture ready means and how it might be implemented and various other aspects of the EU's draft directive on the geological storage of carbon dioxide. The document can be found at:
Mr. Maude: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform how many domestic air flights were undertaken within mainland Britain by representatives of (a) his Department and (b) its agencies in the most recent year for which figures are available; and at what cost. 
(a) Number of flights: 2,691;
(b) Cost of flights: £562,491.
I am responding on behalf of Companies House to your recently tabled Parliamentary Question to the Secretary of State for Business Enterprise and Regulatory Reform.
The number of individual domestic air flights undertaken within mainland Britain by representatives of Companies House in the financial year 2007-08 was 224, at a total cost of £23,157.
The Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform has asked me to reply to you directly in respect of your question asking how many individual domestic air flights were undertaken within mainland Britain by representatives in the most recent year for which figures are available; and at what cost.
We are only able to collect flight data booked via Corporate Credit Cards which is the most likely way that flights are booked. Although we noted 479 flights were booked in 2007-08 it is likely that some bookings were for more than one person. It is not possible to get individual details by person.
Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform whether any central government construction clients have been penalised for not adopting the Office of Government Commerce Fair Payment Charters commitment to payment periods not exceeding 30 days since 1 January 2008. 
No central Government construction clients have been penalised since 1 January 2008. OGC continues to work constructively both with clients and construction industry trade bodies to assist the implementation of the Fair Payment initiative by all members of project delivery teams.
Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform to how many projects the Office of Government Commerces Fair Payment Charter will be applied in 2008. 
The precise number of projects affected will depend on the number of projects initiated by individual departments in line with their business priorities for the year. As an indication departmental data on time/cost performance during 2006-07 indicated approximately 180 projects.
Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what penalties will be imposed on central government construction clients which do not adopt the Office of Government Commerce Fair Payment Charters commitment to end withholding of retentions. 
Retentions may continue to be used by Government clients where they are considered appropriate but such arrangements can only be replicated throughout the supply chain on the same contract terms. Any withholding of payment due to defects or non-delivery must be proportionate and justified in line with arrangements made at the time of the contract.
Pete Wishart: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform on which buildings occupied by his Departments agencies and non-departmental public bodies the lease will be due for renewal in the next four years. 
|(1) To date.|
Mr. Thomas: Arrangements to work at home on a permanent or ad hoc basis are agreed locally between staff members and line managers. An exact number can therefore be provided only at disproportionate cost.
The Department supports flexible working and has a home working policy setting out guidance for staff and line managers on agreeing and maintaining home working arrangements. A range of flexible computing options are available to facilitate home working across the Department. At present approximately 1,800 staff in the Department have access to flexible computing technology.
Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform how many and what proportion of his Department's employees are (a) male, (b) female, (c) from an ethnic minority, (d) disabled and (e) not heterosexual; and if he will make a statement. 
|Staff in post including UKTI and OME|
|(1 )Source: Departmental Staff Survey November 2007. Source: Departmental HR Record system April 2008.|
Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform how many and what proportion of staff in his Department received bonus payments in each of the last five years; what the total amount of bonuses paid has been; what the largest single payment was in each year; and if he will make a statement. 
1. Special bonuses to recognise performance in particularly demanding tasks or situations. Staff in receipt of a special bonus may also receive an annual performance award.
2. Annual performance awards paid to highly successful performers as part of the annual pay award.
Based on the information available the number of staff receiving these awards, as a proportion of the total work force they represent, total amount of bonuses and the size of the single largest payment for which this information can be provided is in the following table.
|Special bonuses||Performance awards|
|Financial year||Number of staff receiving||Proportion of the work force receiving (percentage)||Total value (£)||Number of staff receiving||Proportion of the work force receiving (percentage)||Total value (£)||Largest single payment of bonuses (£)|
|(1) Financial year running from 1 April to 31 March.|
(2) Includes staff who were transferred from DTI to DIUS as part of the June 2007 Machinery of Government Changes as these staff received a DTI/BERR pay award in 2007. Does not include those staff transferred into BERR from Cabinet Office and the Department for Communities and Local Government as part of the June 2007 Machinery of Government Changes as these staff received Cabinet Office and DCLG pay awards respectively in 2007.
1. In 2007-08 the total value of bonuses paid was approximately 1.5 per cent. of the total Department's paybill.
2. The special bonuses and performance awards for non-SCS staff are paid on a non-consolidated, non-pensionable basis and do not increase the Department's paybill costs each year. For the SCS the Senior Salaries Review Body determines the level of expenditure to cover bonuses.
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform how much was spent by his Department on subscriptions for magazines, newspapers and other publications in each of the last 24 months. 
Mr. Thomas: Within the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform the costs of all publication-related expenditure is captured against one account code. The cost of identifying subscriptions for magazines, newspapers and other publications would therefore be above the disproportionate cost threshold (£700). I can confirm that all such expenditure is incurred in accordance with the principles of Managing Public Money and the Treasury handbook on regularity and propriety.
Pete Wishart: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what procedures his Department uses to ensure equal opportunities in relation to staff secondments to the Department. 
Mr. Thomas: BERR encourages secondment as an effective method of developing individuals and sharing knowledge and experience with other organisations. A secondee to the Department is a person who works in BERR for an agreed temporary period with the intention of returning to their employer at the end. A secondment in the Department does not affect the employment status of a secondee.
Selection of a secondee into the Department is based on merit. In all cases a secondee will be the person most capable of effectively undertaking the duties of the position they have been recruited for. When there is competition for a role, the most capable person is selected in line with good practice in recruitment and selection.
BERR is an equal opportunity employer and all secondees are subject to the Departments Equal Opportunities Policies. Secondees will have access to an e-learning diversity awareness training which becomes available to all BERR staff summer this year. This follows the diversity awareness training for key leaders which was delivered the end of 2007 to senior civil servants and some middle managers in the Department.
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