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Civil Nuclear Industry

Llew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will make a statement on the development of design basis threat planning documents for the civil nuclear industry. [63841]

Mr. Wilson: I cannot add to the information about the key planning document known as the design basis threat (DBT) which the Director of the Civil Nuclear Security referred to in his recent annual report on the "State of Security in the Civil Nuclear Industry and the Effectiveness of Security Regulation", placed in the Libraries of the House on 11 June 2002. The assessment is classified and no further details can be published. The Director of Civil Nuclear Security assures himself that a site operator's ability to protect against the DBT is adequate and is tested.

Wave Power

Llew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what plans she has to establish a publicly owned wave power production company. [63857]

Mr. Wilson: None. The Government's renewable energy programme includes £5 million to support demonstration and testing of wave and tidal technology projects.

Terrorist Threats

Llew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry when her Office for Civil Nuclear Security contacted the United States and Japanese regulatory authorities in respect of the security arrangements to deal with the potential terrorist threats to plutonium mox fuel in transit by sea. [63842]

Mr. Wilson: Regarding the MOX fuel that was exported to Japan in 1999 to be returned to the UK, the Office for Civil Nuclear Security maintains regular contact with the Japanese Government and regulatory authorities, most recently in January this year to consult on security arrangements for the return shipment. They have not been in direct contact with authorities in the United States in this context; any business with the US Government is normally carried out through the embassy in Washington.

Staff Transfers

Ian Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will extend the Redundancy Payments (Continuity of Employment of Local Government etc.) (Modification) Order 1999 to cover staff transferred from a local authority to a private contractor undertaking a contract longer than five years. [64310]

Alan Johnson: Employing bodies who wish to be included on future amendments to the Redundancy Payments (Continuity of Employment in Local Government etc.) (Modification) Order 1999 should write to the Department's Employment Relations Directorate, giving

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full particulars of their organisation and its functions. All such requests are considered in the context of the employing bodies' connection with or involvement in the public sector.


Mr. Cameron: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (1) what representations she has received in the last 12 months asking that trading standards officers should take responsibility for enforcing copyright offences; and if she will make a statement; [64307]

Miss Melanie Johnson: The industry umbrella group, the Alliance Against Counterfeiting and Piracy, has lobbied for section 107A of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to be brought into force. The specific investigatory tools to enforce the copyright offences that would be given to trading standards officers by section 107A would be in addition to the ones they have under related trade marks and trade descriptions laws. The delay in bringing section 107A into force arises from concerns about possible resource implications that we are seeking to resolve.

Energy Policy

Mr. Peter Duncan: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what steps are being taken to explain to UK electricity consumers the proportion of their energy costs due to the Renewables Obligation. [64347]

Mr. Wilson: In the statutory consultation on the Renewables Obligation, published in August 2001, it was estimated that its introduction would result in a maximum increase in average electricity prices of just under 5 per cent. by 2010 in comparison with 1999 prices. Actual costs arising from the Obligation will depend on what suppliers actually pay for any additional renewable energy supplies or for Renewables Obligation Certificates (ROCs).

In a competitive electricity market, it is for individual electricity suppliers to determine the price of the electricity which they provide to consumers. In determining those prices, suppliers will have to take account of a wide range of influencing factors, including any arising from the Renewables Obligation.

The buy-out mechanism operates to ensure that any extra costs arising from the Obligation do not reach an unacceptable level. Recycling of buy-out receipts will provide an incentive to further investment in renewables—thus helping suppliers to work towards reducing overall costs.


Mr. Peter Duncan: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will make a statement on the workings of NETA during its first complete year. [64344]

Mr. Wilson: Ofgem, the gas and electricity regulator, is currently preparing a report on the operation of NETA in its first year. This is due to be published in July 2002.

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Selby Coal Mine

Mr. Grogan: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will publish the report prepared for the Department on the economic and geological prospects of the Selby coal mine complex. [64584]

Mr. Wilson: It is my intention to publish this report after we have received the final version.

Press Office

Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many (a) full-time equivalents were employed by her press office and (b) secondees were placed in the press office in the last five years; and if she will make a statement. [64583]

Ms Hewitt: The number of press officers was as follows:

As at 1 JanuaryPress officers

There have been a number of short-term loans to the press office from other Government Departments and agencies, but none over this period from the private sector or non-Government bodies. We do not keep records of the number of loans from Government bodies to the press office.

Committee Mandates

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what the mandate of the Scientific and Technical Committee for the Community Fund for Tobacco Research and Information is; how many times it has met over the last 12 months; what the UK representation on it is; what the annual cost of its work is to public funds; if she will list the items currently under its consideration; if she will take steps to increase its accountability and transparency to Parliament; and if she will make a statement. [61722]

Mr. Morley: I have been asked to reply.

The Scientific and Technical Committee for the Community Fund for Tobacco Research and Information is a scientific committee set up to assist the European Commission in the management of the Community Tobacco Fund. The Community Tobacco Fund finances action in the areas of improving public awareness of the harmful effects of tobacco consumption and identifying specific measures to help tobacco growers switch to other crops or other economic activities.

The Scientific and Technical Committee for the Community Fund for Tobacco Research and Information is not attended by officials of Her Majesty's Government and does not give rise to costs to UK public funds.

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Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate

Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Solicitor-General which inspectorates have been involved in the thematic inspections undertaken by the HMCPSI; and what the title was of each thematic inspection. [60208]

The Solicitor-General: HM Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate has participated in six joint inspectorate thematic inspections since April 1999. The names of the other inspectorates and titles of each inspection are as follows:

A joint inspection of Discharged Committals in the West Midlands Area has just been completed by a team of inspectors drawn from HMCPSI, HMIC and HMMCSI. This is the first joint inspection of any part of the work of the same CPS, Police and Magistrates' Court Service area. The report is expected to be published in July 2002.

In addition, work is continuing on two other thematic reviews. One is a review into Listing Procedures in the magistrates and Crown courts in conjunction with HMIC and HMMCSI and the other is a review, entitled "Joint Inter-Agency inspection of Safeguards for Children", examining the protection afforded to children by the relevant agencies. This latter is being undertaken by HMCPSI and seven other inspectorates:

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Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Solicitor-General what criteria the HMCPSI uses to determine the quality of CPS casework. [60209]

The Solicitor-General: HM Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate assesses the quality of CPS casework by a careful evaluation of how the CPS performs its four key functions: the provision of pre-charge advice to the police; reviewing cases following the commencement of proceedings; preparing cases for court; and presenting cases in court.

Inspectors focus on a number of main themes under each of these functions. Under pre-charge advice and case review, inspectors assess whether the law, the tests set out in the Code for Crown Prosecutors, and charging standards agreed between the CPS and police nationally are all being correctly interpreted and applied; and whether all actions and decisions regarding cases are being taken at the right time. Inspectors pay particular attention to special categories of cases, including those involving racist incidents, child abuse and domestic violence cases.

The evaluation of case preparation is more process based. Inspectors consider how the CPS discharges its duties of disclosure, the timeliness of its source of material upon the defence and the court, how the CPS prepares cases for trial, file management and endorsements, and the effectiveness of specific processes such as the monitoring of custody time limits.

In relation to case presentation, inspectors assess whether prosecuting advocates have the appropriate skills to present cases fairly, thoroughly and firmly and to test defence cases rigorously, and whether they exercise these skills to enable courts to reach just decisions.

Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Solicitor-General what action has been taken by the HMCPSI to ensure that scrutiny is consistent across the areas to provide objective assessment and comparisons between areas. [60210]

The Solicitor-General: HM Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate ensures that scrutiny is consistent across all areas by applying the same methodology in all its area inspections, but with a balanced approach that takes into account different practices and characteristics between the areas. Therefore, inspectors always examine key aspects of an area's performance, such as the application of the tests contained in the Code for Crown Prosecutors and the area's compliance with the duties of disclosure of unused material and the standard of advocacy. These findings are always published in a table of performance measures in the report, and compared with performance data of other CPS areas inspected to date. Key issues peculiar to the area are highlighted and discussed elsewhere in the report.

Assessing the quality of legal decision-making is difficult as decisions frequently turn on legal or evidential issues that are essentially matters of professional judgment. Inspectors therefore assess whether a decision or an action by a prosecutor was one which was properly open to a reasonable prosecutor having regard to the principles set out in the Code for Crown Prosecutors and other relevant guidance. The application of this objective test means that inspectors do not "disagree" with a

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decision unless it is wrong in principle, and not merely because an individual inspector may have come to a different conclusion.

The Inspectorate is not a large organisation, and guidance has been formulated, and training opportunities used, to help develop a uniformity of approach. Each inspection team consists of several inspectors. They will have worked on different areas and with different colleagues. This allows the exchange of ideas and opinions before conclusions are drawn, and so the risk of different standards being applied are minimised. Finally, the scrutiny given to the draft report by the relevant Group Director and the Chief Inspector, together with discussions about the emerging findings and the draft report with senior area managers, help to ensure a consistent approach and the fair and objective assessment of the performance of each area.

Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Solicitor-General if she will list the reports which have been produced by HMCPSI since the inception of the service for the DPP and the Law Officers. [60212]

The Solicitor-General: HM Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate has carried out a total of 86 CPS branch and area inspections since 1997. A list appears at the conclusion of this answer.

47 branch reports and one report on a complete area (London) were published between 1997 and 1999 when the Crown Prosecution Service comprised 13 large areas with over 90 branches.

In April 1999 the CPS was reorganised into 42 areas and restructured in accordance with the recommendations of the Review of the CPS (the Glidewell report). Since that time, 37 area inspection reports have been published. The inspections of the remaining five areas are currently at different stages of completion and all reports should be published by September 2002.

HMCPS Inspectorate has also published nine thematic reports and has participated in six joint inspections.

The Chief Inspector for the time being of HMCPSI has, in addition, published four annual reports. Three were on a non-statutory basis. The inspectorate, which had previously been part of the CPS itself, was placed on an independent statutory basis on 11 October 2000 when the Crown Prosecution Service Act 2000 came into effect. The first statutory annual report was laid before Parliament on 2 May 2002.

Branch reports (August-July 1999)

Branch officeDateNumber
DorsetAugust 19971/97
ExeterAugust 19972/97
Leeds, NorthSeptember 19973/97
West KentSeptember 19974/97
Liverpool, SouthOctober 19975/97
DerbyshireOctober 19986/97
CambridgeshireNovember 19977/97
GloucestershireNovember 19978/97
TeesideNovember 19979/97
London (area report)December 1997
NorfolkJanuary 19981/98
HumbersideJanuary 19982/98
LeicestershireJanuary 19983/98
WarwickshireFebruary 19984/98
WiltshireFebruary 19985/98
HertfordshireMarch 19986/98
SurreyMarch 19987/98
LincolnshireMarch 19988/98
BedfordshireApril 19989/98
North YorkshireApril 199810/98
GwentMay 199811/98
NorthantsMay 199812/98
West MerciaJune 199813/98
DurhamJune 199814/98
SuffolkJune 199815/98
CumbriaJuly 199816/98
ChesterJuly 199817/98
Brent, Harrow and UxbridgeAugust 199818/98
Bolton and WiganAugust 199819/98
North StaffordshireSeptember 199820/98
HighburySeptember 199821/98
North-WalesOctober 199822/98
PortsmouthOctober 199823/98
CamberwellNovember 199824/98
Stockport/SaleNovember 199825/98
WearsideNovember 199826/98
Marylebone/West LondonDecember 199827/98
CoventryJanuary 199901/99
HumbersideJanuary 199902/99
Enfield/Waltham ForestJanuary 199903/99
FyldeFebruary 199904/99
South GlamorganFebruary 199905/99
London Youth BranchMarch 199906/99
BristolMarch 199907/99
BarkingApril 199908/99
Manchester, SouthMay 199909/99
Birmingham 1May 199910/99
Central CaseworkJuly 199911/99
Area reports
Area office
DorsetMay 200001/00
MerseysideMay 200002/00
GloucestershireJuly 200003/00
West MerciaJuly 200004/00
NorthumbriaSeptember 200005/00
DerbyshireSeptember 200006/00
EssexSeptember 200007/00
NottinghamshireSeptember 200008/00
CambridgeshireNovember 200009/00
DurhamNovember 200010/00
LancashireNovember 200011/00
South WalesJanuary 200101/01
SuffolkJanuary 200102/01
South YorkshireFebruary 200103/01
CheshireFebruary 200104/01
KentFebruary 200105/01
West MidlandsMarch 200106/01
Hampshire IoWMarch 200107/01
NorthamptonshireMarch 200108/01
ClevelandApril 200109/01
NorfolkApril 200110/01
GwentMay 200111/01
LincolnshireJune 200112/01
Gloucestershire (re-insp)June 200113/01
West YorkshireJuly 200114/01
HumbersideSeptember 200115/01
StaffordshireSeptember 200116/01
WarwickshireNovember 200117/01
North YorkshireNovember 200118/01
LondonDecember 200119/01
BedfordshireJanuary 200201/02
Thames ValleyJanuary 200202/02
Dyfed PowysMarch 200203/02
North WalesMarch 200204/02
Greater ManchesterMarch 200205/02
LeicestershireApril 200206/02
CumbriaApril 200207/02
HertfordshireMay 200208/02
Thematic reports
Cases involving Child WitnessesJanuary 199801/98
Cases involving Domestic ViolenceMay 199802/98
Advice CasesSeptember 199803/98
Adverse CasesJune 199901/99
Evaluation of Lay Review and Lay PresentationAugust 199902/99
Advocacy and Case PresentationFebruary 200001/00
Disclosure of Unused MaterialMarch 200002/00
Performance Indicator Compliance and Case OutcomesJuly 200003/00
Casework with a Minority Ethnic DimensionMay 200201/02

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Joint Inspections

How Long Youth Cases take (with HMIC and HMMCSI)May 1999
Casework Information Needs within the CJS (with HMIC, HMMCSI, HMI Prisons, HMI Probation, SSI)April 2000
Implementation of Section 1 of the Magistrates' Courts (Procedure) Act 1998 (this was an HMMCSI report assisted by HMCPSI and HMIC)November 2000
Progress Made in Reducing Delay in the Youth Justice System (with HMIC and HMMCSI)February 2001
Cases Involving an Allegation of Rape (with HMIC)April 2002
Joint Follow-up Inspection of the Progress Made in Reducing Delay in the Youth Justice System (with HMIC and HMMCSI)May 2002

HMCPSI annual reports

Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Solicitor-General if she will make a statement on the use of lay inspectors within HMCPSI inspections; and if she will list the nominating bodies. [60218]

The Solicitor-General: HM Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate has used one or more lay inspectors in each area inspection undertaken (save for one in which the lay inspector was unable to attend through illness). Lay inspectors observe and assess the efficiency and effectiveness of the Crown Prosecution Service through a process of observation, inspection and evaluation, primarily in relation to the service's dealings with the public and its ability to assess and interpret the public interest in its decision-making under the Code for Crown Prosecutors.

Lay inspectors help to:

Lay inspectors bring the broad perspective of an informed member of the public to the CPS inspection process. They contribute to the inspection of CPS areas and assist in formulating recommendations to improve

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performance where necessary. While lay inspectors are governed by strict rules of confidentiality in relation to individual cases, they play an important part in helping to promote people's awareness of the work undertaken by both the CPS itself and the Inspectorate.

Most lay inspectors have been nominated by:

Some have been nominated by diverse local groups, such as:

In practice, lay inspectors will observe trials in both the magistrates courts and the Crown court and speak to prosecution witnesses when they have finished giving evidence; consider a number of complaints made to the CPS area; consider some files which have been the subject of contentious or borderline decisions, either to proceed or to discontinue the case, under the public interest test in Code for Crown Prosecutors; and, if possible, to join in some interviews both with CPS staff and local representatives of other organisations. Wherever possible, lay inspectors join in the evaluation of the performance of the area, contribute a short report on their observations and findings, and comment upon the draft report.

The Law Officers who held office at the time the first cycle of area inspections was commenced and encouraged the use of lay inspectors and I support the continuation and development of their role.

Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Solicitor-General which HMCPSI inspections have reviewed discontinuance rates in magistrates' courts since 1999. [60204]

The Solicitor-General: Every HM Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate Report contains the comments of inspectors on the discontinuance rate in the area inspected. The discontinuance rate is a comparative calculation of case outcomes in the magistrates courts collected by each CPS area.

The Inspectorate publishes in its area reports its assessment of whether decisions to discontinue cases examined during the inspection comply with the Code and compares this with the assessments made in all the areas inspected in the current cycle to date. Inspectors examine the timeliness of the decisions to discontinue, and analyse the reasons for discontinuance of cases and assess the quality of decision-making in a sample of cases, that is whether these decisions are taken in accordance with the law, the Code for Crown Prosecutors, and other relevant guidance.

Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Solicitor-General if she will make a statement on (a) the number of women and numbers of minority-ethnic groups working at SCS level within the HMCPSI and (b) the number of men working in an administrative or secretarial capacity with HMCPSI. [60217]

The Solicitor-General: On 24 June 2002 there were no women or members of a minority ethnic group at SCS level within HMCPSI.

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HMCPSI employs one male at administrative assistant grade and four males at administrative officer grade. There are four secretaries (including one agency staff), all of whom are female.

Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Solicitor-General what changes in inspection methodology have been undertaken by HMCPSI following publication of the report entitled Review on Evaluation of HMCPSI Programme and Methodology 2001. [60222]

The Solicitor-General: Changes in inspection methodology following publication of the Report, Review and Evaluation of HMCPSI programme and methodology (2001) include:

In the medium-longer term, the Inspectorate currently has working groups examining its methodology in relation to both casework and management and operational issues with a view to developing more focused and flexible arrangements for the next inspection cycle. These will have greater emphasis on the business excellence model principles, greater use of risk management, and the encouragement of self- review and performance measurement within the CPS itself.

Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Solicitor-General if she will make a statement on, and explain the variation in, the annual budget allocated to staff training in each CPS area, with specific reference to (a) Warwickshire and (b) Northamptonshire, in 2001–02. [59349]

The Solicitor-General: CPS areas allocate elements of their administration budgets to fund training courses on the basis of locally determined factors and priorities. The sums allocated, which were set out in my reply to the hon. Member on 6 March 2002, exclude the opportunity cost of backfilling front-line staff when attending courses, and also associated travel and subsistence costs. They also exclude the costs of national training initiatives funded centrally from within the CPS HQ allocation or from the allocations to the service's 10 service centres.

CPS Warwickshire, being the smallest area in the country, is proportionately resourced and elected to set its training budget to reflect only the costs of external courses and fees for admission to conferences. Other expenditure on training was subsumed within its allocation of administration costs. Apparent variations can be misleading and it is significant that in a recent inspection, HM Chief Inspector commended the area on its approach and delivery of training.

CPS Northampton has focused resources on leadership training building on its recent Investors in People accreditation and as part of its application to the Business Excellence Model, particularly to assist in its establishment of a co-located Criminal Justice Unit with the Northamptonshire police. The area's budget is also distorted by an additional

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allocation that the area bid for separately to undertake a specific project designed to improve advocacy skills. In the event, the project was deferred because the coincidence of its timing with other national training initiatives would have adversely affected operations. The area subsequently reduced its allocation to training accordingly.

Significant funding was set aside centrally for the delivery of a number of national training initiatives over the period which included legislative and procedural training on the implementation of the Human Rights Act; diversity and equality issues; advocacy training for higher court advocates and designated caseworkers; and, more recently, computer literacy training to complement the rollout of the CPS connect 42 infrastructure. Both Warwickshire and Northamptonshire benefited from this training. This funding, amounting to £1.34 million in 1999–2000; £1.53 million in 2000–01; and £3.70 million in 2001–02, cannot be directly associated with each of the 42 CPS area budgets.

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