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Margaret Moran: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what his Department's policy is on paying supplier invoices within 10 days; and how many and what proportion of such invoices to his Department were settled within 10 days in the last 12 months. 
During November and December 2008, the first two months of formally recording performance against the new 10-day target and in advance of new guidance to suppliers being fully embedded, BERR paid 93.1 per cent. (2,205 invoices) and 96.9 per cent. (2,112 invoices) of invoices within 10 working days respectively.
Mr. Hands: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform which (a) food and (b) drinks companies have supplied his Department in each of the last three years; and how much was paid to each of those suppliers in each year. 
Mr. McFadden [holding answer 15 January 2009]: Over the last three years this Department has a recorded spend of approximately £1.2 million each year on refreshments for official meetings and engagements. This spend was made through the Department's contracted service provider, Baxter Storey. It is not possible to separate food and drink spending.
Mr. Rob Wilson: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what the 10 highest payments made by his Department in settlement of property compensation cases brought against it in respect of which legal proceedings have been concluded were in the last 12 months for which figures are available; which of the cases were (a) contested and (b) uncontested by his Department; and what the nature of each incident was. 
1. £110.78 cost of replacing a suitcase badly damaged during transit between official overseas visits.
2. £60.00 insurance excess paid as a result of damage to car being used on official business.
3. £50.00 cost of replacing clothing damage.
4. £43.27 cost of goods required for official stopover in excess of 24 hours when luggage had already been checked on to a flight to Houston.
5. £29.00 cost of replacing a rucksack badly damaged by excess weight and size of official papers on return from overseas posting.
To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform with reference to the answer of 22 July 2008, Official Report, column 1130W, on departmental personnel, how many staff without posts there were in his Department at the latest date for which figures are available; how many such staff were classified as such upon return from maternity leave; and how many of the staff without
posts have been classified as such for at least (a) six and (b) 12 months. 
Mr. McFadden: As at 1 January 2009, there were seven staff without posts; none was classified as such upon return from maternity leave. Fewer than five people fall into the remaining categories and precise numbers are not available for reasons of confidentiality.
Mr. Hands: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what the cost to the public purse of hotel accommodation for (a) the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform and (b) his special advisers was for the three day tour that was undertaken between 7 and 9 January 2009; and which hotels (i) he and (ii) his special advisers stayed in during the tour. 
Mr. McFadden: My noble Friend the Secretary of State stayed overnight in Manchester on 7 January in order to host a business breakfast on 8 January. The hotel and accommodation costs were arranged by the agency which deals with overnight accommodation for BERR. My noble Friend, the Secretary of State was not accompanied by a special adviser.
John Thurso: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what his estimate is of expenditure on CSR 2007 Public Service Agreement 1, Raising the Productivity of the UK Economy, in (a) the core Department and (b) those non-departmental public bodies for which his Department is responsible. 
Mr. McFadden: We do not hold this information centrally. In accordance with HM Treasury's financial reporting manual, Government Departments set out their accounts with departmental spend broken down by departmental strategic objectives (DSOs) rather than public service agreement (PSA) outcome.
As PSA 1 is cross-departmentalrequiring the work of a number of Departments to contribute towards its achievementthe costs are spread across a variety of Government programmes. As our understanding of the drivers of productivity evolve alongside our understanding of the current global economic climate, the composition of the programmes involved in the PSA's delivery are subject to change. Consequently, Government expenditure is managed at DSO rather than PSA level.
Grant Shapps: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform how much has been spent by his Department on temporary staff in each year since it was established. 
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform how many individuals have worked in his Department on (a) paid work experience or internship placements and (b) unpaid work experience or internships in each year since its establishment; on average how many hours a week were worked by such people in each year; what types of work each was involved in; what proportion were in full-time education; what proportion did not complete their set period of work experience; and how much those who received remuneration were paid on average per week in each year. 
(a) The Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform participates annually in the Cabinet Office Diversity Internship Programme for undergraduates and graduates in education from ethnic minority backgrounds who are under represented in the civil service. The scheme provides an eight week paid placement scheme for students who are considering the civil service as future career.
Based on the information available from 2003 to 2008, a total of 30 students have been placed in the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (and its predecessor the Department of Trade and Industry) as part of the scheme. Each student worked full-time on a variety of administrative tasks and all completed an eight week placement. On average, each person received £285.00 per week remuneration.
Mark Williams: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what assessment he has made of the provisions of the European Commissions EU Recovery Plan; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Thomas: The UK Government welcome the European Economic Recovery Plan published by the European Commission. The UK Government have announced measures to directly tackle the slowdown in the UK economy but it is important to have a co-ordinated response from all member states.
The provisions of the recovery plan, worth €200 billion (1.5 per cent. of EU GDP), should limit the scale of the economic downturn that is currently being experienced and avoid the downward spiral effect that may materialise from falling demand. The money will be used to target different priority areas, including job training, investment in research and technology and investment in energy infrastructure. The fiscal stimulus combined with proposals designed to speed up the structural reforms under the Lisbon Growth and Jobs Strategy will improve the long-term competitiveness of Europe. For instance, the importance of continuing to invest in research and development is recognised in the recovery plan, providing a platform for the long-term
on which Europe can capitalise once the economy has emerged from the downturn.
Mrs. Moon: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform if he will discuss with his French counterpart measures to support credit insurance arrangements for the furniture industry. 
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what the Secretary of States official engagements were during his visit to India in January 2009. 
Mr. Thomas: My right hon. and noble Friend the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform undertook a number of official engagements during his visit in January 2009. These meetings are listed as follows by date and location.
Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) Partnership Summit
Meeting with Mr. Sushil Kumar Shinde, Minister of Power and Mr. Jairam Ramesh, Minister of State in the Departments of Commerce and Power accompanied by a UKTI nuclear delegation
Meeting with Mr. Kapil Sibal, Union Minister of Science and Technology
Lunch with Indian Economic Commentators
Meeting with Mr. P. C. Gupta, Minister for Corporate Affairs
Reception with UK India Business Council (UKIBC) Advisory and Executive Boards
Televised panel discussion with Mr. Kamal Nath and Indian business leaders
Meeting with Mr. Ratan Tata, CEO Tata Group
Joint Economic and Trade Committee (JETCO) Ministerial meeting with Mr. Kamal Nath, Minister of Commerce and Industry, followed by keynote speech to JETCO Plenary session
Meeting with Mr. Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Deputy Chairman, Planning Commission
Meeting with Mr. Vineet Nayar, CEO of HCL Technologies Ltd.
Meeting with Indian inward investors
Drinks with leading members of the British Business community in Delhi
Dinner with Mr. Kamal Nath, Minister of Commerce an Industry
Symposium on International Automotive Technology
Mahratta Chamber of Commerce Industries and Agriculture (MCCIA)lunch with board members and British Business Group Pune
Visit to Bajaj Group R and D centre with Rahul Bajaj, Chairman, Bajaj Group
Breakfast hosted by the British Business Group, Mumbai
Meeting with Benoy Ltd.
Visit to Larsen and Toubro Ltd.
Opening of UKIBC Mumbai office
CII/UKIBC Business reception
Meeting with Indian Minister of Law and Justice, Mr. Hansraj Bharadwaj
Launch of Setting up in the UK for Indian Law Firms Brochure
Meeting with Organisation of Pharmaceutical Producers of India (OPPI)
Meeting with Mr. Ashok Chavan, Chief Minister of Maharastra
Dinner with MDs of Tata Group companies
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform which (a) individuals and (b) organisations Ministers from his Department met during their visit to India in January 2009. 
Mr. Thomas: My noble Friend the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform visited India on 19-23 January 2009. I refer the hon. Member to the reply I have given him today to his question 252356 which gives a list of official engagements. During his visit Lord Mandelson met numerous individuals and organisations at various events. A full list could be produced only at disproportionate cost.
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what estimate has been made of the amount spent on hotel accommodation for (a) the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform, (b) other Ministers from his Department, (c) special advisers and (d) civil servants for the UK Trade and Investment trip to India in January 2009. 
(a) Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform: £336.
(b) Other Ministers from Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform: £0.
(c) Special adviser: £336
(d) Civil servants: £5,446,
My noble Friend the Secretary of State, his Private Secretary and Special Adviser stayed at the high commissioner's residence during the Delhi leg of the visit. There was insufficient space for the rest of the delegation to stay at the residence. The entire party stayed in a hotel during the Mumbai leg of the visit.
John Robertson: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what recent estimate he has made of (a) the average internet speed available to business users in the UK and (b) the effect of available internet speed on the competitiveness of UK businesses. 
The Department has made no recent estimations on average internet speed and the effect of
available internet speed on the competitiveness of UK businesses. However, I recognise the importance of internet for businesses and UK competitiveness and will be examining the question of universality of broadband and options for maximising participation across the UK as part of the Digital Britain Report. There will be an interim report in this month, with a full report in late spring.
Large businesses on the whole have the financial capacity to purchase sufficient bandwidth to match their needs. For smaller businesses service providers offer a range of packages to suit different business needs. Offers include speeds ranging from 500kbps8Mbps at the lower end and up to 24Mbps at the upper end. There is also broadband provision to science parks across the UK.
ONS reported that over 90 per cent. of businesses have broadband connections. Ofcom publish data on take-up of broadband by small business in their Communications Market reports and the 2008 report indicated that the large majority of small businesses now have broadband.
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