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In the light of the report by Ernst and Young on the Department of Trade and Industry export agency UK Trade and Investment, whether they will ensure that any improper expenditure of public funds by civil servants at the agency is repaid in full by those responsible; and [HL1989]
In the light of the report by Ernst and Young on the Department of Trade and Industry export agency UK Trade and Investment, what is the total estimated cost to the public purse of the improper expenditure there referred to. [HL1990]
Lord Sainsbury of Turville: The DTI and UKTI take any allegations of impropriety or misuse of taxpayers' money seriously, and investigate them. Action is taken where necessary. Where government departments find evidence of improper expenditure, there are procedures set out under government accounting rules and in the Civil Service management code that departments follow. They can include recovery in
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appropriate circumstances where it is reasonable to do so. Specific cases are subject to internal processes, and it would be wholly inappropriate to comment on them.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): The Government are committed to tackling work-related violence. Over the past 10 years, there has been a significant drop in the number of reported incidents from 1.3 million to 655,000*. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has been working hard to help employers tackle the problem. In the past five years, HSE has published free case study guidance for small businesses and lone workers; supported new national occupational standards to help employers develop effective policies on work related violence; and undertaken a programme of targeted inspections in the healthcare sector.
HSE is working with its stakeholder group, the Partnership on Work-Related Violence, to address the problem of work-related violence in the sectors most at risk. The group will continue to share knowledge and promote good practice and develop ways to make the information more accessible to those who need it.
Whether formal qualified majority voting exists in the decision-taking procedures of the World Trade Organisation; if so, what majority is necessary; and what other rules apply to such voting. [HL1995]
Lord Triesman: The World Trade Organisation (WTO) normally takes decisions by consensus. However, in limited circumstances, the WTO agreement envisages that, where consensus cannot be obtained, a decision may be taken by a lesser number of the WTO membership. For example, the granting of a waiver of certain WTO obligations to a WTO member under Article IX.3 of the WTO agreement may be taken by three-quarters of the WTO membership. Similarly, a decision on accession of a new member under Article XII(2) of the WTO agreement must be approved by a two-thirds majority of the members of the WTO.
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