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To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what guidance has been provided by (a) his Department and (b) the Certification Officer, on the application of the Cancellation
of Contracts made in a Consumer's Home or Place of Work etc Regulations 2008 to the sale of trade union membership. 
Kevin Brennan: The Department for Business, Innovations and Skills has produced general guidance, available on the BIS website, about the Cancellation of Contracts made in a Consumer's Home or Place of Work etc. Regulations 2008. The guidance does not specifically cover the application of the Regulations to the sale of union membership in a workplace.
Ian Lucas: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills has spoken to Kirby Adams, chief executive officer of Corus, on a number of occasions about the situation at Teesside Cast Products. In addition, officials have held ongoing discussions with the company to explore ways in which the Government can help resolve the dispute with the partners to the 10-year off-take agreement in a way that avoids job losses.
We have urged Corus and, through our embassies overseas, the Consortia to keep working together to resolve their differences and reach a satisfactory solution that avoids redundancies. My right hon. Friend the Minister for Business, Innovation and Skills has also spoken direct to Corus and Marcegaglia (the Italian member of the Consortia) and as a result we understand that a meeting between Corus and Consortia members will take place soon at which Corus will present a proposal for a new contract and new commercial terms to replace the old agreement.
As my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister stated in the House on 13 May, the Government stand ready to do whatever they can to support the company. We are not prepared to reconcile ourselves to the inevitable closure of this plant.
In addition, the Government have offered the company £5 million training support, some of which could be used in the North East to train the work force, retain capacity in the UK, and help the company through the downturn and to recover more strongly in the upturn. This offer is a signal of the Government's commitment to Corus and its work force.
John Penrose: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills how many applications for renewals of consumer credit licences submitted to the Office of Fair Trading prior to their expiry date took longer than 90 days to process in each month of each year since 1997. 
Mr. Drew: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills if he will bring forward proposals to provide greater protection for debtors from early enforcement action through the courts. 
Ian Lucas: The Government believe it is important to ensure all appropriate safeguards are in place to protect debtors from early enforcement action through the courts as a result of what might have been originally relatively small, unsecured borrowing.
Look at putting better warnings/explanations into unsecured credit agreements highlighting the risk of borrowers losing their home if they default on repayments;
Consult on introducing a financial limit below which a creditor could not apply for an order for sale. In doing so, we will explore the implications of the threshold only applying to cases where the original debt arose under regulated consumer credit agreements.
Mr. Watson: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what (a) private meetings and (b) public engagements Ministers in his Department and its predecessors have attended at which representatives from the think-tank Demos were present in the last 12 months; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. McFadden: Ministers and officials have meetings with a wide variety of organisations in the public and private sectors as part of the process of policy development and delivery. As was the case with previous Administrations, it is not the Government's practice to provide details of all such meetings.
Mr. McFadden: For accounting, estimates and budgeting purposes, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) will continue to comprise of the former Department of Innovation, Universities and Skills (DIUS) and the former Department of Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR), until the transfer of functions order is authorised and a new estimate is approved by Parliament, at the same time as the winter supplementary estimates.
Mr. Prisk: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (1) how many and what proportion of invoices his Department and its agencies paid within 10 days of receipt in each of the last 12 months; and if he will make a statement; 
Mr. McFadden: Since November 2008, the first full month of recording the new target, the then Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform has paid the following invoices within 10 working days:
|Number of invoices paid||Percentage|
Until October 2008, BERR was required to monitor and publish payment performance against a 30-day payment target. The first full month of formal recording against the 10-day target was November 2008 and information about payment performance within ten days prior to this date is not available.
|Number of invoices paid||Number paid in 10 working days||Percentage|
The Department of Business, Innovation and Skills fully supports the Prime Minister's commitment of 8 October that central Government Departments will make payment within 10 days. We also currently encourage our leading suppliers to pass on our credit terms and will be working with them to reduce payment times along the entire supply chain.
Mr. Oaten: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills how many days on average (a) his Department and (b) each of its agencies has taken to pay invoices from suppliers in each month since November 2008. 
Mr. McFadden [holding answer 10 June 2009]: Since November 2008, BIS (formerly the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform and the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills) have paid the following invoices:
|Month||Number invoices paid||Average time to pay (days)|
Mr. McFadden [holding answer 20 July 2009]: The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills spent the following on consultants in financial years 2007/08, 2008/09 and 1 April 2009 to end June 2009.
Bob Spink: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills which services his Department has outsourced in each of the last five years; and if he will make a statement. 
February 2005 - Business Link national website outsourced to Serco and subsequently transferred to HMRC in 2007.
May 2007 - production of departmental security passes outsourced to EC Harris, the Department's FMA provider.
February 2009 - administration of Civil Service Pensions outsourced to Department of Work and Pensions. DWP is an Authorised Pension Administration Centre.
Lorely Burt: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills how many contracts let by his Department were awarded to businesses with fewer than 50 employees in each of the last five years; and what the monetary value of such contracts was in each such year. 
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