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Llew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what is the annual budget for the Office for Civil Nuclear Security; and if she has plans to increase the budget following the events of 11 September. 
Mr. Wilson: The budget for the Office for Civil Nuclear Security (OCNS) is approximately £1.5 million in the current year. The measures which need to be taken following the events of 11 September, including nuclear security, are currently under review.
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Paul Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assessment she has made of the impact on the competitiveness of the nuclear power industry of additional security requirements since 11 September. 
Alan Johnson: Bullying and harassment have no place in today's work environment and are unacceptable whenever they occur. The Government strongly condemn such behaviour and believe employees should be able to work without fear of encountering bullying from their employers or anyone else.
The adoption of best employment relations practice should help create a culture where bullying becomes unacceptable. We have established the Partnership Fund which provides support for organisations wishing to develop policies to tackle bullying in the workplace. The Department is also working closely with the Health and Safety Executive on the development of management standards. The first step is to undertake research to establish the real extent of the problem and how it manifests itself in the workplace.
Geraldine Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what (a) organisations, (b) interest groups, (c) individuals and (d) community forums have been consulted in relation to the bid put forward to the regional development agency by Lancaster city council for an economic development zone. 
Alan Johnson [holding answer 26 November 2001]: Lancaster's bid is endorsed by the Lancaster and Morecambe Local Strategic Partnership. If accepted, the EDZ strategy will be implemented through an Action Plan Partnership based on the existing broadly-based Lancaster Single Regeneration Budget Board. Steps have been taken to ensure key partners are fully involved and informed.
Nigel Griffiths [holding answer 27 November 2001]: The Government recognise that the system for processing export licence applications requires continuous improvement if we are to deliver a more efficient and effective system for export licensing which is accountable, transparent and customer focused. I have introduced "time-lines" to track cases. The
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Export Control Organisation (ECO) has taken a number of initiatives to reduce the time taken to process individual export licence applications. These include:
enhancing IT systems to ensure they deliver further business process improvements. It is planned that this will lead to, amongst other things, standard individual export licence applications being accepted over the internet next year;
establishing more effective partnerships with other Government Departments. Departments involved in the licensing process have agreed in principle to a Service Level Agreement, which we hope to finalise shortly. This will ensure that Departments work better together and focus more sharply on outputs; and
establishing new structures which allow us to continually review and improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the decision making process. There are regular meetings between officials in all Departments involved in the export licensing process to identify ways of improving the export licensing system, as well as to discuss particular licence applications.
Mr. Kevan Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry for what reasons Mr. Hugh Morgan Williams has been removed from the board of One North East; and if a representative of the North East CBI is to be appointed in his place. 
Alan Johnson [holding answer 27 November 2001]: I refer my hon. Friend to the answer I gave on 24 October 2001, Official Report, column 250W, which announced the decision to implement a rolling programme of board appointments. To achieve this it was necessary for some effective RDA board members to make way for new appointees. Hugh Morgan Williams will not be reappointed to the board of One North East when his appointment term ends in December 2001. The decision not to reappoint Hugh Morgan Williams was no reflection on his performance and I hope he will feel able to continue his involvement in the regeneration of the North East.
New appointments under the rolling programme will be announced shortly. These appointments are being made in accordance with the Code of Practice of the Commissioner for Public Appointments. Board members are appointed as individuals and not as representatives of organisations. They are appointed on merit and for the skills and expertise that they can offer.
Nigel Griffiths [holding answer 28 November 2001]: Under the consolidated EU and national arms export licensing criteria the Government are currently obliged to take into account whether or not a proposed arms export would seriously undermine the economy or seriously hamper the sustainable development of the recipient country. Under clause 8 of the Export Control Bill, these criteria would be treated as published guidance that the Government must have regard to in making licensing decisions.
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Nigel Griffiths [holding answer 28 November 2001]: Controls already apply to the export of goods or technology required for the development, production or use of military equipment and other equipment subject to export control. Such controls would apply to exports intended for use in overseas production. The Export Control Bill would add to the range of controls available to Government by providing the power to control the electronic transfer of military technology currently only applicable for dual-use items. The Government are consulting EU partners about including an explicit reference to overseas production in the EU Code of Conduct on Arms Exports.
Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what measures contained in the Export Controls Bill will control the activities of British brokers in supplying arms if they make a deal outside of the United Kingdom. 
Nigel Griffiths [holding answer 28 November 2001]: Clause 4 of the Export Control Bill would provide the Secretary of State with powers to make orders in connection with trade controls, commonly referred to as trafficking and brokering. This power would allow such controls to be imposed on acts carried out abroad by a United Kingdom person or by a person acting under the control of a United Kingdom person. As set out in the dummy orders relating to the Bill, which were made available to Parliament in October, the Government propose to introduce controls on trafficking and brokering by United Kingdom persons overseas of equipment whose export has been banned because of evidence of its use in torture and long-range missiles, and trafficking and brokering by such persons to any destination subject to a UN, EU, OSCE or UK arms embargo.
Alan Johnson: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry has recently carried out a review of the business support functions of the whole Department, including those services provided via the Government Offices. On 22 November, my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry announced key changes to be made to the role of the Government Offices. A review of the Government Office for the North West's performance during the first half of the 200102 financial year, against outcomes set in the Department of Trade and Industry's Business Plan, is under way.
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Alan Johnson: The Government Office for the North West and partners, including the Small Business Service and the North West Development Agency, provide general advice to businesses on a wide range of issues. Where a company is situated in an Assisted Area, the Government Office may be able to offer direct financial support for the management buyout.
Alan Johnson: The Government Office for the North West holds files where companies seek financial assistance or some other substantive relationship. No such approach has been received from Thomas Witter Ltd.
Alan Johnson: The role the Government Office for the North West is to provide advice and support to local companies, whatever their situation, or to direct them to the most appropriate sources of advice and support. Provision of financial assistance depends on a number of factors including the size of the company concerned, the nature of its business and its location.
Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what recent assessment she has made of the quality of the operation of the Government Office for the North West; and if she will make a statement on the future of the Government Office for the North West. 
Alan Johnson: A review of the Government Office for the North West's performance during the first half of the 200102 financial year, against outcomes set in the Department of Trade and Industry's Business Plan, is under way. On 22 November, my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry announced key changes that will be made to the DTI, including changes to the role of the Government Offices. There will continue to be a need for a strong DTI presence in the Government Office, but with a greater emphasis on influencing the whole range of government activity in the regions and on playing a stronger role in helping to shape policy and strategy centrally.
Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what role the Government Office for the North West played in relation to Thomas Witter; and what procedures will be in place for staff at the Government Office for the North West to deal with the case of Thomas Witter. 
Alan Johnson: Government Office officials brought the case of Thomas Witter Ltd. to the attention of the North West Development Agency, who agreed to consider whether support might be available from the intervention fund. Staff at the Government Office for the North West will continue to follow the correct procedures in dealing with this case.
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