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Written Answers

Volume 479: debated on Monday 21 July 1986

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Written Answers

Mod Procurement Competition Practice

asked Her Majesty's Government:Apart from the competition for the supply of Demountable Racks Off-Loading and Pick-up System (DROPS) to the Ministry of Defence, on how many occasions in the last five years have entries which have met the minimum technical requirements specified been excluded from competitions to supply the Ministry of Defence with Systems or equipment; andOn how many occasions in the last five years have entries which did not meet the minimum technical requirement specified been allowed to take part in competitions to supply the Ministry of Defence with equipment or systems.

The Ministry of Defence currently holds about 300 competitions a month, including on average five firms in each competition, for its requirements in defence procurement.The winner in each competition (including the DROPS one) is chosen to give the best overall value for money on grounds of cost, performance and timescale, subject to the criteria set out in Open Government Document 83/01.Over the last five years there will have been tens of thousands of individual competition entrants. No central record is kept of the numbers of entrants which are unsuccessful because of one or more of the relevant assessment considerations.

Lamb: Compensation For Loss Of Sales

of Alderley asked Her Majesty's Government:Whether they will pay compensation to those farmers who have suffered financial loss due to radiation affecting the sale of their lambs.

The Government has announced that it would, if it proved necessary, be prepared to discuss cases of compensation for severe loss to specific farmers. We have had discussions with the farmers' unions, which have made known their view on possible areas in which compensation might be needed. However, the conclusion of these discussions was that it is as yet too early to assess the need for specific compensation. We are, of course, continuing to stay in close contact with representatives of the farmers' unions and a statement will be made as soon as possible.

Depo-Provera: Indicated Uses

asked Her Majesty's Government:Whether the United Kingdom licence of the drug Depo-provera includes its use as an anti-androgen, and if not, what are the powers of consultants in the National Health Service to prescribe it for that purpose.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health and Social Security
(Baroness Trumpington)

The indications for Depo-provera shown on the product licences do not include use as an anti-androgen. The licensing and other provisions of the Medicines Act 1968 do not affect the right of any doctor to prescribe a medicinal product for a patient as a matter of clinical judgment, irrespective of the licensed indications.

Civil Protection In Peacetime Act: Advice To Local Authorities

asked Her Majesty's Government:What steps they will take to remind local authorities of the powers given to them by the Civil Protection in Peacetime Act 1986 so as to enable them to provide protection for their people from the effects of peacetime disasters nuclear and otherwise.

We are preparing advice to local authorities on the effects of the Civil Protection in Peacetime Act 1986 which we hope to issue shortly.

Air Traffic Distribution, London Area

asked Her Majesty's Government:Whether they have reached any decisions on the Civil Aviation Authority's advice on Air

Traffic Distribution in the London Area (CAP 522).

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Transport
(The Earl of Caithness)

The Secretary of State for Transport has today written to Mr. Christopher Tugendhat, Chairman of the CAA, responding to the authority's advice and indicating those traffic distribution rules which he proposes to make as soon as Section 31 of the Airports Act 1986 comes into force. Copies of the letter have been placed in the Library.

Hazardous Waste: Inspectorate's Report

asked Her Majesty's Government:When they will publish the second report of the Hazardous Waste Inspectorate.

The second report of the Hazardous Waste Inspectorate has been published today. Copies have been placed in the Libraries of both Houses. The report is concerned with the standards achieved in the disposal of hazardous wastes for the year ending 31st March 1986. While in general terms the report reiterates the critical message of the inspectorate's 1985 report, repeating and further detailing the observations of widely differing standards of disposal site licensing, operation and inspection across the country, it also notes some encouraging improvements.The report extends the inspectorate's observations of disparate operational and control standards to sites operated by waste producers, and comments favourably on standards of waste management in the very small number of Crown establishments which have been visited by the inspectorate.In noting improvements which have occurred, the report draws attention both to operational improvements at some of the worst sites upon which the inspectorate previously reported, and to the encouraging moves by some waste disposal authorities in the deployment of additional resources to this important aspect of their duties.The report details specific incidents where the technical guidance on best practice issued by my department's series of Waste Management Papers has been disregarded without, apparently, breaching disposal site licence conditions and calls, therefore, for clearer definition of the best practicable environmental option for the disposal of certain waste streams, together with the revision of site licensing guidance provided by my department. Drawing upon those examples and upon its preliminary review of disposal site licence conditions for a number of major landfill disposal sites, the Hazardous Waste Inspectorate also advocates improved standards of landfill site licensing. In particular, it calls for clearer definition of the types and quantities of wastes acceptable at landfill sites, for improved monitoring and for more care to be taken in ensuring that the conditions imposed upon licences or local authority resolutions are enforceable.The Government welcome the signs of improvement recorded by the inspectorate as an indication of what can be achieved within the existing statute. However, higher standards must be consistently achieved across the country in future and the Government announced their intention to introduce tougher waste management controls on 10th December 1985. These proposals are in an advanced stage of preparation before being put out to consultation. We are convinced that these, together with the revision of guidance on disposal site licensing, will further secure the improvements which are needed in standards of waste management.