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Baroness Hayman: The Fisheries Council met in Luxembourg on 26 October. My honourable friend the Parliamentary Secretary represented the UK together with John Home Robertson, Deputy Minister for Rural Affairs in the Scottish Executive.
The Council had extensive discussions on two draft regulations. The first, revising the market regime for fish and aquaculture products, and the second, reforming the structural funds in the fisheries sector in the context of Agenda 2000. My honourable friend the Parliamentary Secretary stressed that the fishing sector needed to be economically, as well as biologically, sustainable and that this needed to be reflected in the market and structural measures to be applied. It did not make sense to sustain excessive capacity in relation to the available fish stocks; and import arrangements needed to be adjusted to meet the actual market circumstances. The Council will resume discussion on both proposals at its next meeting on 22 November.
The Commission reported that it hoped to take up contacts with Morocco shortly to begin negotiations on a successor agreement to the current EC-Morocco Agreement, which expires on 30 November. The Commission also introduced the findings of an independent study it had commissioned on the costs and benefits of third country fisheries agreements, which will now be examined in detail. There was an initial discussion of a draft Council regulation on improving the dialogue with the industry. This was remitted for further examination.
|Percentage of claims processed within deadlines||99.0%|
|Percentage of claims processed correctly||98.5%|
|Cumulative running cost efficiency gains||2.5%|
|Improvement in index of productivity||4.0%|
|Ratio of disallowance to EAGGF funds handled||0.40%|
|New value for money savings in procurement of goods and services||7.0%|
|Yield: cost ratio of anti-fraud activities||3.0:1.0|
|Percentage of invoices paid within deadlines||98.5%|
Baroness Hayman: The following table shows the number of cases of BSE confirmed in Great Britain during each week of 1999 up to 22 October, together with the moving annual total of cases reported for each 52-week period.
|Week number||Number confirmed each week||52-week total reported|
Note: Week 1 is the week ending Friday 8 January 1999.
As a result of the sampling of heads from cattle slaughtered under the Over Thirty Month Scheme (OTMS) during the first quarter of 1999, an extra 18 BSE cases were confirmed. These have been included in the figures for confirmed cases for Week 30. These 18 OTMS survey cases are excluded from the column for reported cases as they were not reported and placed under restriction while alive.
The data for reported cases exclude 1 private submission which was included in data already supplied to the noble Lord, Lord Marlesford, by my predecessor, my noble friend Lord Donoughue, on
29 July 1999, Official Report, col. WA221. This private submission, which tested positive, remains recorded as a confirmed case.