Previous Section Index Home Page

Stolen Equipment

Mr. Menzies Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what equipment has been stolen from her Department since 1 May 1997; and what the approximate value of each item was. [26826]

Ms Hewitt [holding answer 22 January 2002]: The Department of Trade and Industry holds this information in respect of IT equipment only. Other stolen items are recorded on its log of missing items and to extract and list only those items which have been stolen would incur disproportionate costs. The list of stolen IT equipment is as follows:

DateDescriptionValue (£)
20 May 1997Laptop2,000
22 May 1997Laptop3,000
6 June 1997Laptop2,000
16 June 1997Laptop2,000
21 August 1997Modem300
2 September 1997Modem250
27 September 1997Laptop1,500
14 November 1997(25)Network analyser2,500
8 December 1997(25)Laptop1,500
15 December 1997Video projector6,000
18 December 1997Psion300
9 January 1998Monitor300
19 January 1998PC base unit1,000
10 February 1998Laptop1,000
31 March 1998PC base unit1,000
1 May 1998Server1,500
13 May 1998Two printers267
9 June 1998Laptop, printer3,000
9 October 1998Laptop1,500
13 November 1998Laptop1,500
16 November 1998Answerphone50
1 February 1999Answerphone50
23 February 1999Laptop300
16 March 1999Laptop1,810
22 March 1999Printer167
22 March 1999Printer300
25 March 1999Video camera172
24 June 1999PC600
8 July 1999Psion300
10 August 1999PC1,200
21 October 1999Laptop2,356
1 November 1999Laptop700
3 November 1999Modem250
29 November 1999Ethernet hub300
13 December 1999PC1,700
10 January 2000Laptop2,300
26 July 2000Two laptops2,800
19 February 2001Mobile phone50
14 March 2001Laptop1,400
10 December 2001Flat screen536
21 December 2001Flat screen536
27 December 2001Flat screen734

(25) Estimated value

Unitas report for 1 April 2001 to date

Five MURA laptops9,315
One other laptop1,700
Three PCs3,450
Flat screen361

24 Jan 2002 : Column 1072W

Computer Usage

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what controls exist in respect of (a) the placement of cookies on websites and (b) the use of such cookies to monitor the computer usage of individuals. [28329]

Mr. Alexander [holding answer 22 January 2002]: Where the use of cookies by website operators involves the processing of personal data, they are subject to control under the Data Protection Act 1998. Website operators are required to ensure that users are aware who is processing such data and why, and give them an opportunity to refuse.

There are proposals for further regulation of the placement and use of cookies in the proposed communications data protection and privacy directive, which is currently under negotiation. A draft provision agreed by member states at the Telecoms Council on 6 December would extend the requirement to provide information and an opportunity to refuse to cookies which do not involve the processing of personal data.


Mr. Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what her estimate is of net changes in manufacturing employment in the UK over the last 12 months; and what projection her Department has made of expected changes in manufacturing employment between January and December 2002. [30147]

Mr. Wilson: The number of manufacturing employee jobs stood at 3,760,000 in November 2001, a fall of 153,000 jobs on a year earlier. The Government do not forecast levels of employment.


Mr. Chidgey: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many ATMs were installed in sub-post offices in each month from July 2001 to date; what the take up rate by sub-post offices is of offers to install ATMs; what percentage of the total number of ATMs installed at sub-post offices are accessible outside trading hours; and what the scale of charges levied on customers using ATMs is at (a) sub-post offices and (b) Crown post offices. [29377]

Ms Hewitt [holding answer 23 January 2002]: Decisions relating to ATMs are a commercial matter for Post Office Ltd. who tell me that the number of ATMs installed were:

Number of ATMs
July 20019
August 200117
September 200111
October 200159
November 2001121
December 2001212

There are 858 ATMs operating in the network and machine providers have indicated an interest in installation at some 7,500 further outlets, subject to survey.

24 Jan 2002 : Column 1073W

The majority of ATMs are being installed at sub-post offices which are convenience stores or newsagents with extended trading hours from early morning to 10 pm.

Wherever possible Post Office Ltd. prefer to install a machine without transaction charges but, particularly in small and remote locations, installation is not viable for the machine provider unless a convenience fee is levied. In these cases the customer is advised of the charge and has the ability not to proceed with the transaction should they so decide.

Mr. Chidgey: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what arrangements have been made for maintaining, servicing and stocking ATMs installed at sub-post offices and at whose cost; what payment is made to sub-post masters per ATM transaction; and what assessment has been made of the additional net income generated by ATMs to sub-post masters as a proportion of average income. [29376]

Ms Hewitt [holding answer 23 January 2002]: Decisions relating to ATMs are a commercial matter for Post Office Ltd. who tell me that maintenance arrangements vary according to the type of ATM machine and the provider of the machine. However, all technical servicing is undertaken by the machine's provider. In the more remote locations some maintenance and stocking of cash is carried out by the sub-postmaster. Payment for sub-postmasters is based on transaction volumes and in some cases a fixed sum up to a transaction volume threshold. No assessment has been made of additional income generated for sub-postmasters by ATM machines; Post Office Ltd. is not party to the retail trading performance of individual sub-postmasters.

Coal Health Claims Schemes

Mr. Woodward: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what the procedure is for establishing a compensation claimant under the coal health claims schemes as being a priority case. [29378]

Ms Hewitt: The Department and claimants' solicitors have agreed a priority points system which is set out in the Handling Agreement. Claimants with higher points will have greater priority.

There are predominantly two stages of prioritisation in respect of living former miners claiming compensation for respiratory disease:

Three factors are taken into account as follows:

Points are allocated for short life expectancy if IRISC, the Department's claims handlers, receive written confirmation from the claimant's GP that the claimant has a life expectancy of less than two years. The age of the claimant and any short life expectancy are considered to be more important factors than the date of claim and, accordingly, are weighted more heavily in the points system.

24 Jan 2002 : Column 1074W

B. Claimants proceeding through the medical assessment process, MAP, after lung function testing

Further points are awarded on the basis of a claimant's spirometry test result to a maximum of 150. Claimants who are unable, for medical reasons, to produce a spirometry result, will receive points in lieu of those that would otherwise have been awarded after spirometry testing.

Deceased mineworkers

With regard to deceased mineworkers, these claims will be processed by a paper-based assessment with priority being given to widows. Points are awarded according to the age of claim and any short life expectancy of the widow.

Presently, the Department is processing claims as set out in the Handling Agreement with the most elderly and ill being dealt with first. Widows are also being dealt with as a priority.

It should be noted that prioritisation does not override geographical variations in the availability of resources for live claims. All available resources will be used to the maximum even though claimants based in one area may be tested or examined ahead of someone with a higher priority score in another.

Next Section Index Home Page