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Dr. Howells [holding answer 27 March 2001]: Licences to export arms and other goods whose export is controlled for strategic reasons are issued by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry acting through the DTI's Export Control Organisation (ECO). All relevant individual licence applications are circulated by the DTI to other Government Departments with an interest as determined by those Departments in line with their policy responsibilities. These include FCO, MOD and DfID. There are regular meetings between officials in these Departments to identify specific ways of improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the export licensing system, as well as to discuss particular licence applications.
The Government take very seriously their responsibilities for exercising effective export controls. All relevant export licence applications to export strategic goods are rigorously assessed on a case-by-case basis against the consolidated EU and national arms export licensing criteria.
The Government are working hard to reduce processing times for export licence applications. We have set demanding targets for processing Standard Individual Export Licence (SIEL) applications. The aim is to provide a substantive response to such applications within 20 working days. The targets are set out in a Service and Performance Code published by the ECO, and information on performance against these targets is set out in the Government's Annual Reports on Strategic Export Controls. However, these targets do not apply to applications concerning Iran, Iraq or to applications for licences to export goods which are subject to control
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solely because of UN Sanctions. This is because there are special licensing procedures for those destinations, which reflect the Government's concerns.
Strategic export licensing is and must be a joined-up process. All applications are processed expeditiously and with care. However, some cases raise particularly difficult issues and these may take longer to process. But, where cases are outstanding with other departments for longer than the relevant target period the ECO systematically monitors and reminds them so that cases are resolved as quickly as possible.
Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what plans he has to review the list of products which must obtain licences for export; and if he will make a statement. 
Dr. Howells [holding answer 27 March 2001]: The lists of goods which are subject to export control are continuously under review as part of the UK's obligations under the various International Proliferation and Arms Control Conventions and Regimes. These organisations conduct periodic or continuous reviews of their lists and changes are negotiated, and agreed, as necessary.
The UK's implementation of these changes is carried out by means of amendments to national secondary legislation (the Export of Goods (Control) Order and the Dual Use Items (Export Control) Regulations 2000) or amendments to EC Council Regulations.
Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry when he will make decisions on export licence application numbers 19065, 19460, 19856 and 19679, submitted by P.W. Allen and Company, Tewkesbury. 
Dr. Howells [holding answer 27 March 2001]: Licences to export arms and other goods whose export is controlled for strategic reasons are issued by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry acting through the DTI's Export Control Organisation (ECO). A decision has been reached on application 19065, and the company was informed of that decision by the ECO on 2 March 2001.
Dr. Howells: Information on firework injuries and deaths is broken down by NHS Trust area rather than local authority area. As such, therefore, it is not possible to identify local authorities in the way my hon. Friend requests.
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Details of 1999 injuries (there were no deaths) have been placed in the Library of the House and can be interrogated on the DTI website http://www2.dti.gov.uk/. Figures for 2000 should be available shortly.
Mr. Hain [holding answer 26 March 2001]: The Government are taking a number of steps to promote the development of offshore wind. We believe that this technology will have an important role to play in helping us to meet our renewables targets.
Offshore wind will be eligible for the new Renewables Obligation that the Government are proposing to introduce in October this year. In addition, in view of the early stage of development of offshore wind, the Government are planning to provide capital grants to support its development. Of the £250 million allocated for renewables support over the next three years, at least £49 million has been allocated specifically for offshore wind and further sums may be allocated in the light of the recommendations of the Performance and Innovation Unit, due to be published later this year.
The grants will be used to fund a number of early demonstration projects for offshore wind. The aim is that these will reduce the costs involved to a more acceptable level, and provide those involved with a bank of knowledge and experience to enable them to pursue more ambitious projects on a commercial basis.
The Government are also determined to provide a more streamlined consents process for offshore wind. The existing arrangements are fragmented and the proposal is for DTI to act as a "one-stop-shop" for planning and consents. I launched a consultation paper of 20 February and views are sought by 23 April.
Mr. St. Aubyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what (a) quantitative and (b) qualitative analytical work his Department has commissioned from GGC/NOP since 1 May 1997; and what was (i) the cost of the contract and (ii) the specific nature of the work commissioned. 
Dr. Howells: Our records show that the Department, since 1 May 1997, has commissioned no statistical surveys from GGC/NOP. However, the following table lists all statistical surveys that the Department has commissioned from NOP and partnerships since 1 May 1997. The table provides the nature of the work commissioned and the date of origin but excludes contractual costs as a matter of commercial confidence between parties under Exemption 13 of the code of Practice on Access to Public Information.
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|Title||Date originated||Name of contractor|
|Business Information Security Survey 1998||13 October 1997||NOP Business|
|Benchmarking Development of the Information Age||29 September 1998||NOP/Spectrum Strategy Consultants|
|Business Information Security Survey||11 October 1999||NOP|
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Mr. Stunell: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry on what dates regulatory approval was given for the reprocessing of irradiated MOX fuel by BNFL at Sellafield; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Stunell: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how much irradiated MOX fuel has been transported to Sellafield from each of BNFL's foreign customers in each of the last 10 years; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Hain: Irradiated MOX has been received by BNFL at Sellafield from BNFL customers in Switzerland and Germany. Details of the quantities involved and the timing of these deliveries are a commercial matter for BNFL and its customers.
Mr. Bruce George: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what representations the Better Regulation Task Force has received regarding the consultation paper on the Government's proposals for regulation of the private security industry in England and Wales opposing the (a) regulation of in-house employees, (b) regulation of security system installers and (c) security companies; and if he will list the organisations making representations in each case. 
Subsequent to publishing the report, the Task Force received one letter referring to the Government's consultation paper on the regulation of the private security industry. It came from the Association of Chief Police Officers Intruders Alarm Group and it supported the Government's proposals.
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