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Miss Melanie Johnson: The latest report and accounts prepared by the liquidators and submitted to my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry show that the total of remuneration drawn by the liquidators in the period from 5 July 1991 to 15 January was US$267 million. The total paid in respect of legal fees in that period was US$145 million.
Mr. Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will make a statement on the payment of Insolvency Service fees by the liquidators of BCCI and the services provided by the Insolvency Service in return for that payment to the English creditors. 
Miss Melanie Johnson: The latest report and accounts prepared by the liquidators and provided to my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, show that, in the period 5 July to 15 January 2001 a total of US$13.2 million was paid in fees to the Insolvency Service. Regulations and Fees Orders determined the rates at which these fees were charged on moneys paid into the Insolvency Services Account. Such fees are appropriated in aid of the Department's vote.
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Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry for each year since 1997, what is the (a) average and (b) upper decile time taken to determine (i) an export licence and (ii) a 680 application. 
The Export Control Organisation (ECO) sets out the Government's commitment to exporters in a Service and Performance Code (available on its website (www.dti.gov.uk/export.control). Where, as in almost all cases, it is necessary for a Standard Individual Export Licence (SIEL) application to be circulated to other Government Departments the aim is to provide a response to 70 per cent. of cases within 20 working days, except in special circumstances. Details of performance in processing SIEL applications against the target are published in the Government's annual report on strategic export controls, copies of which are available in the Libraries of the House.
Prior to the introduction of the ECO's current computer database during 1999, information on the average time taken to process a SIEL application was not recorded. It would therefore entail disproportionate cost to establish the average and upper decile time taken to process a SIEL application between 1997 and 1999.
I refer the hon. Member to the reply from my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry to the right hon. Member for Wells (Mr. Heathcoat-Amory) on 10 May 2001, Official Report, columns 30506W, for details of the average time taken to process a SIEL application in 2000. The upper decile time taken to process a SIEL application in 2000 was 53 working days.
Any comparison of the average and upper decile time taken to process a SIEL application between 2000 and 2001 would not provide for an accurate reflection of the Government's performance, given the Export Control Organisation's success in finalising a number of long standing cases during 2001, which are not reflected in previous years' figures. The figures do not take account of periods during which applications were referred back to exporters for further information. These occur, for example, when the nature or end user of the goods requires further clarification.
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Ann Clwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry whether it is the procedure of officials in her Department to advise companies who have applied for export licences that are likely to be refused, to withdraw the licence application prior to formal refusal. 
Ann Clwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many and what percentage per year of export licence applications for dual use goods were circulated to other Departments for consultation, broken down by the export categories and countries of destination for the export licence applications in the last 12 months. 
Nigel Griffiths: Where items are deemed licensable and not covered by an Open General Licence, all export licence applications for dual use items are circulated to other Government Departments for consultation. The number of export licence applications covering dual use items, together with their description or rating, is published by destination in the Government's Annual Reports on Strategic Export Controls.
Ann Clwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (1) if she will make a statement on the agreements between Royal Ordnance and Pakistan Ordnance Factories prior to 1987 that permitted POF to produce APFSDS ammunition under licensed production in Pakistan; and what the state of these licensed production agreements is; 
Nigel Griffiths: It would be inappropriate to comment on any such agreement entered into during the time of a previous Administration. In any case this is a matter between Royal Ordnance and Pakistan Ordnance Factories.
Ann Clwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what recent requests she has received from Pakistan Ordnance Factories for permission to export munitions, manufactured under licensed production agreements agreed with Royal Ordnance prior to 1987, to third countries. 
Mr. Wyatt: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how the RDA broadband fund has been allocated; which RDAs have published their broadband strategy; and which RDAs have implemented their strategies. 
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Mr. Alexander: The UK broadband fund has been allocated to the English Regional Development Agencies and the devolved Administrations on the basis of their need for broadband coverage. We announced allocations on 9 October 2001. RDAs will publish their corporate plans which will set out their aims, objectives, operations and key performance targets. The decision on whether or not to publish their broadband strategies is a matter for each RDA.
Miss Melanie Johnson: In December the Director General of Fair Trading issued guidelines to debt management companies to ensure they deal fairly and openly with consumers. The guidelines require consumers to be given adequate and clear information on cost and the service provided before they enter into a contract.
Miss Melanie Johnson: I refer my hon. Friend to the answer given by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry to my hon. Friend the Member for Gedling (Vernon Coaker) on 19 October 2001, Official Report, column 1376W.
Adam Price: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what recent discussions she has had with Consignia about the impact on rural and urban communities of their intention to close post offices. 
Mr. Alexander: None. We welcome the terms negotiated between Post Office Ltd. and the National Federation of Sub-Postmasters in relation to the urban network. The Government's formal requirement on the Post Office to maintain the rural network and prevent avoidable closures of rural post offices remains in place.
Adam Price: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many sub-post offices there are in Wales; how many sub-post offices have been closed since May 1997; and if she will make a statement. 
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Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what options she is assessing for transitional financial assistance to the rural post office network; when she will announce a decision; and if she will make a statement. 
Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will make a statement on the level of take-up of the £2 million rural post office scheme; and what action she is taking to increase take-up. 
Mr. Alexander: To date there have been over 500 requests for further information about the £2 million fund made available by Government to support volunteer and community initiatives to maintain or re-open post office facilities in rural areas. Also to date, 29 completed applications out of the 139 forms requested have been received by Post Office Ltd. and seven initiatives have been allocated funding. The scheme is promoted by rural transfer advisers from Post Office Ltd.
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