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The Minister for Communications, Technology and Broadcasting (Lord Carter of Barnes): We do not consider that incentives are necessary to accelerate switchover at present. Almost 90 per cent of UK households' primary TV sets are already digital. The analogue switch-off programme is progressing according to a detailed engineering plan, the duration of which is determined by technical and engineering considerations. Additional multiplexes could be created as spectrum is released by digital switchover, but this would be a commercial matter for anyone wishing to operate multiplexes.
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the European Union's Court of Auditors has been able to ratify the European Union's accounts for the past 14 years; and, if not, why the European Union is permitted to propose regulation for the City of London. [HL4086]
The Financial Services Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Myners): The European Court of Auditors (ECA) has regularly given a positive statement of assurance on the reliability of the EC accounts. The UK Government are pleased that, for the first time, the ECA's report on the 2007 EC Budget gives an unqualified positive statement of assurance on these accounts.
It is disappointing that for the 14th year in succession the ECA was unable to give a positive opinion on the legality and regularity of the underlying transactions for the majority of EC Budget expenditure. Nevertheless, it is encouraging that the percentage of Budget expenditure that has been given a positive opinion has been increasing, currently 40 per cent, up from 35 per cent in 2005 and only 6 per cent in 2003.
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport approved the requirement in Sport England's Whole Sports Plan 0913 Capital Fund which states that to fit the selection criteria for the fund swimming pools are required to buy and utilise ASA products and services. [HL4077]
The Minister for Communications, Technology and Broadcasting (Lord Carter of Barnes): The ASA has recently revised the criteria for capital funding, contained in its publication referred to in the Question, and no longer includes this requirement.
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether Sport England's Whole Sports Plan 0913 Capital Fund for Swimming Pool Facility Funding is in line with current United Kingdom and European Union competition regulation. [HL4079]
If it is evident that a national governing body has breached the conditions of Sport England's funding agreement, then depending on the nature and the severity of the breach, Sport England has the ability to suspend, terminate and/or clawback the whole or a proportion of the 09-13 funding award in accordance with the terms of its agreement with the NGB.
Earlier this year, Sport England provided guidance to national governing bodies on managing their capital funding, based on best practice developed over five years delivering the Community Club Development Programme.
To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Written Answer by Lord Myners on 11 June (WA 164) concerning their not disclosing details of intergovernmental discussions, when that decision was taken; and why. [HL4363]
To ask Her Majesty's Government what payments were made from HM Treasury to (a) Clifford Chance, (b) Freshfields, (c) Slaughter and May, (d) Allen & Overy, and (e) Linklaters in 200809; and to what those payments related. [HL3789]
The figures are provisional as they form part of the Treasury's Resource Account, which is subject to audit by the Comptroller and Auditor General. The major part of the amount paid relates to advice given to the Treasury on financial stability. Under a number of agreements with financial institutions, certain fees are recoverable and the relevant sums listed do not therefore represent a net cost to the Treasury.
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