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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Trade and Industry (Lord Sainsbury of Turville): Regulation 5 of SI 2002 No 2013 enables UK enforcement authorities to take action against online service providers established in other EEA member states on a case by case basis where there is a grave and serious risk to public policy, in particular crime prevention or investigation, public health, public security or consumer protection. Use of this derogation is subject to certain conditions. Among other things, enforcement authorities must normally first ask the member state concerned to take action, and can only proceed with the action if the member state concerned does not, for whatever reason, take enforcement action itself or it is inadequate.
Neither the directive nor the UK implementing regulations specify how much time the other member state concerned must be given to act. However, in emergency cases enforcement authorities are able to bypass the prior request requirement and take action immediately.
Detailed guidance, which will include case studies and set of sample best practice forms to help employees make a valid application and employers handle the request properly, has been tested with key stakeholders. The aim is to have the finalised guidance available on the DTI website by the beginning of February, with a hard copy and an interactive website version by the middle of February.
The Acas helpline 08457 47 47 47, which provides advice and guidance on all employment issues, is already covering the new regulations. All helpline staff have received initial training and further more detailed training will be completed by the middle of February.
Lord Sainsbury of Turville: The draft United Kingdom space strategy Space for science, enterprise and environment is being published today. It sets out proposals to enhance the UK's standing in space exploration, to promote the use of space in government and commerce and to develop innovative space systems. The public is invited to comment on the draft by 30 April. Copies of the strategy and guidance on how to respond are available on the website of the British National Space Centre www.bnsc.gov.uk. Copies have also been placed in the Libraries of both Houses.
The Lord Chancellor (Lord Irvine of Lairg): The system of appointment of Queen's Counsel identifies those solicitors or barristers who demonstrate outstanding advocacy, legal and professional skills in
The Lord Chancellor: On 21 January 2003, I made an order under Section 2(6) of the Taxes Management Act 1970 amalgamating a number of divisions in Berkshire, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire as follows. The Newbury, Reading, Slough, Windsor and Wokingham divisions shall be merged into one new division to be called the Berkshire division. The North East Wiltshire and Cirencester divisions shall be merged into one new division to be called the Thamesmead Division. This comes into force on
All the amalgamations were made at the request of the General Commissioners in all the divisions with the aim of improving the organisational efficiency of the divisions concerned. I have placed a copy of the order amalgamating the divisions in the Libraries of both Houses.
The Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department (Baroness Scotland of Asthal): The Ram doctrine, which is set out in a memorandum dated 2 November 1945 from the then First Parliamentary Counsel, Granville Ram, states that a Minister of the Crown may exercise any powers that the Crown has power to exercise, except in so far as the Minister is
Baroness Scotland of Asthal: The Government's current policy on the funding of political parties follows the recommendations which the Committee on Standards in Public Life made in its 1998 report. The Government have since introduced rules on openness and transparency in the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000. The independent Electoral Commission, which is charged with a statutory obligation to review and report on matters relating to the regulation and funding of political parties, has begun a review of the arguments for and against state funding and a cap on donations.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Bach): We have decided that, following detailed negotiations, and as allowed for in the announcement of the existing 10-year contract for the management and operation of the Atomic Weapons Establishment with AWE Management Limited, the contract should be extended to 25 years and that the contractor should, where necessary, have access to private capital. The extended contract will continue to give overriding priority to safety and security. The resultant long-term partnering arrangement will allow the optimisation of investment in capital projects and will result in improved facilities, environmental improvements and efficiency gains.
Aldermaston and Burghfield will continue as nuclear licensed sites, subject to independent regulation by the Nuclear Installations Inspectorate and the Environment Agency. The Ministry of Defence Compliance Officer will also retain the authority and responsibility to cancel the contract and to instruct the contractor to cease operations if there is a serious breach of MoD's requirements.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): The report recommended that regional directors of public health should co-ordinate injury prevention at regional level. The report also highlighted the role of public health observatories. This is one of a wide range of public health responsibilities being discussed with regional directors of public health.
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