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Lord Falconer of Thoroton : The administrators of Railtrack plc have a duty under Section 59 of the Railways Act 1993 to manage the affairs, business and property of Railtrack plc for the achievement of the purposes of the railway administration order and in a manner which protects the respective interests of the members and creditors of the company in railway administration.
Lord Falconer of Thoroton : The Rail Regulator has been considering and investigating the issues raised in response to the detailed statutory consultation on the proposed modification to Railtrack's network licence. Railtrack has accepted the licence modification and the regulator therefore intends to make the modification to Railtrack's network licence very shortly.
Lord Falconer of Thoroton : Since the end of the Millennium Experience on 31 December 2000, the costs of care and maintenance 1 up to 31 December 2001 are expected to be some £4 million, of which £2.1 million fell to the New Millennium Experience Company (before 30 June 2001) and £1.9 million will have been incurred by English Partnerships (since 1 July). The full cost of decommissioning 2 is expected to be in the order of £15.75 million, of which £6 million will have fallen to the New Millennium Experience Company and £9.75 million to English Partnerships.
Lord Falconer of Thoroton: As reported previously, the expected costs of the current sale process during 2001 are in the order of £1.7 million. This largely relates to consultants costs for the market testing and other matters associated with the ongoing sale process. The details of any contracts are commercially confidential but they include an incentive element.
These costs will have been incurred by English Partnerships, which is managing the sale process on behalf of the Government. The New Millennium Experience Company also paid £82,000 to consultants for specific advisory work in connection with the potential sale of the Millennium Dome.
Lord Falconer of Thoroton: The Health and Safety Executive has held meetings with the CBI, the Engineering Employers' Federation, the National Farmers' Union, the Agricultural Engineers' Association, the Construction Equipment Association, the British Compressed Air Society and the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, as well as organising an industry seminar and speaking at industry conferences and advisory committees at which other industry groups were represented.
Lord Falconer of Thoroton: The Health and Safety Executive has not yet carried out an assessment of the resources that will be required to enforce the proposed physical agents directives. A compliance cost assessment will be prepared as part of the proposals to implement the directives when they have been adopted. The cost to enforcing authorities will form part of this assessment.
Lord Falconer of Thoroton: Regulations to be made under Section 144 of the Transport Act 2000 enabling imposition of penalty charges in respect of bus lane contraventions outside London using camera enforcement are in preparation. These powers will be made available to authorities outside London who have taken on decriminalised parking enforcement powers under the provisions of the Road Traffic Act 1991. We will consult on the draft regulations shortly.
Further to the answer by Lord Davies of Oldham on 1 November (H.L. Deb., cols. 151517), when they obtained evidence of real fraud being conducted in respect of the individual learning accounts scheme; and whether that evidence was the justification for strengthening the scheme in the summer.[HL1147]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Education and Skills (Baroness Ashton of Upholland): The decision to strengthen the scheme was triggered by a rapid increase in the rate of the complaints. At 31/7/01, the department had received 3,096 complaints, equating to 0.19 per cent of more than 1.5 million learners who had opened ILA accounts. Two months later the number of complaints received had nearly doubled to 6,053, equating to 0.27 per cent of more than 2.3 million learners.
By the end of October, no cases of fraud had been proved and 8,448 complaints had been receivedjust over a quarter of which concerned activity which would not comply with the rules of the scheme. The police have made 30 arrests involving four registered individual learning account providers. There are currently 84 registered learning providers about which the department has had a larger number of complaints and about which it has more serious concerns. Police are in the early stages of investigating suspected fraud by two of these and have expressed an initial interest in another nine providers. The department's Special Investigations Unit is undertaking investigative work on these nine cases prior to a possible formal police investigation.
Baroness Ashton of Upholland: The department first received information about incentives claimed by a provider without the knowledge of the account holder on 11 June this year. This and subsequent complaints led to the provider in question being suspended on 25 June.