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Lord Sainsbury of Turville: The DTI no longer provides a service on accident statistics. Information on fatalities can be obtained from the Health and Safety Executive: www.hse.gov.uk tel. 0870 1545500 and the Office for National Statistics: www.statistics.gov.uk, tel. 0845 6013034; or for non-fatalities, from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents: www.rospa.com, tel. 0870 7772171.
Lord Sainsbury of Turville: There are no consolidated figures available on applied construction research spend across the government. The largest single sponsor of applied construction research remains the DTI, augmented by research underpinning building regulation undertaken by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister.
26 Jan 2005 : Column WA161
The reduced government funding in 200304 reflects a reduced DTI commitment under the framework agreement with the Building Research Establishment, under which the Government guaranteed the BRE research activity for the first five years of its operation in the private sector.
When the tender process will be finalised for the web portal for public sector contracts being set up in partnership by the Office of Government Commerce and the Department of Trade and Industry's Small Business Service. [HL810]
Lord Sainsbury of Turville: The tender process for the appointment of a service provider for the web portal for lower value public sector contract opportunities (currently proposed to be called www.supplyinggovernment.gov.uk) is currently scheduled to conclude in the award of a contract on or around the 4 July 2005.
In respect of the 9.6 million contracts issued annually by Government, how many, in each of the past five years, were (a) valued at less than £100,000 and (b) granted to small and medium-sized enterprises. [HL811]
The Government do not yet collect comprehensive or detailed data on the division between contracts awarded to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and large businesses. More informal survey work indicates that in recent years the majority of contracts (by number, but not by value) have been awarded to SMEs. It was announced in the 2004 Pre-Budget Report that the Small Business Service would be working with departments, including the Office of Government Commerce, to review the pattern of existing government procurement from SMEs, reporting on progress by Budget 05; and would collate and publish this information on an annual basis. This will enable departments to improve the effectiveness of their procurement systems.
What representations the Minister of State for Health has received from Rehab UK about its training centres for people with brain injury; what reply is being sent; and whether they will take any action. [HL676]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Warner): A letter has been received from Rehab UK. We are looking into the circumstances described in the letter and will reply soon.
We recognise the value of rehabilitation for patients with brain injuries. This spring, the Government will publish the national service framework for people with long-term conditions. This will make recommendations that people with a long-term condition (such as those triggered by a brain injury) are given rehabilitation and ongoing support to enable them to be more involved in their community and to seek work opportunities or remain in work.
Lord Warner: The National Treatment Agency's online residential directory provides an online information source about vacancies in residential drug rehabilitation units in England. The most recent monthly statistic, for December 2004, showed an average vacancy rate of 368 beds per week. This represents a national occupancy rate of 83 per cent.
Lord Warner: The knowledge, skills and performance standards required for commissioners of substance misuse treatment are set out in the Drug and Alcohol National Occupational Standards. The National Treatment Agency recently carried out a training programme for commissioners, and plans are under-way to train new commissioners who entered posts after this training programme took place. Commissioners were recently surveyed to ensure consistent practice in commissioning treatment.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Whitty): Outstanding claims on Defra in respect of the foot and mouth dispute exist only where the claim is being disputed or has been rejected or is subject to arbitration. While we would like to draw a line under this matter by settling all outstanding claims, we can only do so when the amount claimed is correct and has been justified. There are several different categories of claim against Defra arising as a result of the outbreaks that remain unsettled. These comprise:
94 undisputed claims for the remediation of damage to farm premises caused by disease control operations. The estimated value of these works is £250,000. In most cases Defra has agreed a programme of works with the farmer but payment is subject to the completion of the work by the farmer and the submission of satisfactory invoices.
Defra has not yet finalised payments totalling £40 million to 57 contractors who provided services or who claimed to have provided services during FMD in 2001. Nine of these cases are in the High Court, one is the subject of a police investigation and one has been referred to the Special Compliance Office of the Inland Revenue as the relevant investigating authority.
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