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Written Answers

Volume 706: debated on Wednesday 14 January 2009

Written Answers

Wednesday 14 January 2009

Agriculture: Pesticides

Questions

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government what evidence they have received of harm to the health of persons living in the vicinity of crop-sprayed areas from the use of sprayed pesticides. [HL264]

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the risks to the health of persons residing in the vicinity of crop-sprayed areas from the use of sprayed pesticides. [HL265]

The protection of human health is paramount. Before they are approved pesticides are rigorously assessed using a wide range of data analysed using internationally recognised risk assessment methods. We do not approve pesticides if we are concerned about possible effects on people, including users, consumers, bystanders and residents.

There is a range of methods by which the Government receive information related to whether the use of pesticides could be causing harm. Possible incidents can be reported to, and investigated by, the Pesticides Incidents Appraisal Panel (PIAP). The Government also monitor scientific literature and commission research, including studies on suggested associations between specific pesticides and potential long-term effects or illnesses.

Pesticide product approval holders are also required by law to inform the Government of any adverse data relating to their products.

The Government are advised by the independent Advisory Committee on Pesticides (ACP). The ACP regularly considers any new information available regarding possible effects related to pesticides and advises on what action is required.

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government what proposals they have for altering regulations governing the protection of persons living and working in the vicinity of crop spraying operations following the judgment of the High Court in Downs v Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. [HL266]

Armed Forces: Aircraft

Question

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the advantages and costs of retiring the Tornado planes and continuing with the Harrier planes. [HL153]

Armed Forces: Equipment

Questions

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government what matters are taken into account by the Ministry of Defence in estimating the whole-life costs of new equipment. [HL367]

When estimating whole-life costs for new equipment all phases (concept, assessment, demonstration, manufacture, in-service and disposal) of the equipment's life are taken into account.

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government at what point in the approval system for defence procurement projects whole-life costs for that project are first estimated. [HL369]

Whole life costs for a project are taken into account in the approvals system as part of the investment appraisal which is undertaken when a decision is made between investment options. The precise point at which an investment appraisal takes place varies according to the circumstances of an individual project.

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Written Statement by Baroness Taylor of Bolton on 11 December (WS 70) that “any further significant changes to the equipment programme will be announced following the conclusion of the Ministry of Defence's current planning round in March”, whether they will publish at that time the equipment programme as a whole to aid understanding of such changes. [HL478]

We do not as a rule release annual funding profiles, such as those contained in the equipment programme, as these are planning assumptions that are inevitably subject to a significant amount of variation, and their availability could also prejudice our commercial interests.

Biodiversity: Target Areas

Question

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will consider new bio-diversity target areas for beyond 2010. [HL312]

The Government agree that a successor to the 2010 target is needed, and we are committed to working with national, EU and other international partners to identify a successor target that is both realistic and challenging.

Climate Change

Question

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government what are the recent developments in climate science and in the analysis of potential impacts referred to in part 1 of the First Report of the Committee on Climate Change. [HL373]

The recent developments in climate science and in the analysis of potential impacts referred to in the First Report of the Committee on Climate Change are advances in these fields that have been made since the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution recommended that the UK should reduce CO2 emissions by 60 per cent by 2050 in its report published in 2000.

These advances are summarised in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's Fourth Assessment Report (which summarises scientific research in these areas published or in press up until 2006) or, in the case of more recent material, published in peer-reviewed academic journals. The specific developments are outlined on page 9 of the report, and include advances such as:

work on the carbon cycle has highlighted the danger that global warming will reduce the rate of absorption of atmospheric CO2 by terrestrial carbon sinks, indicating that for any given level of manmade emissions there will be a higher long-term increase in CO2 concentrations and hence temperatures;

increasingly, models have estimated the warming caused by all greenhouse gases, including non-CO2 gases;

research has shown that atmospheric pollution is likely to have masked about 0.3°C to 0.5°C of the greenhouse gas-induced warming that would otherwise have occurred this century;

the reduction in summer Arctic sea ice extent in recent years has been at the high end of model predictions and the summer melt of the Greenland ice sheet has accelerated; and

there have been advances in our understanding of the range of potential climate change impacts, their regional variation and the possibility of abrupt or irreversible changes. For example, there is new and stronger evidence of observed impacts of climate change on unique and vulnerable systems, with increasing levels of adverse impacts as temperatures increase.

Climate Change: Deforestation

Question

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Written Statement by Lord Hunt of Kings Heath on 16 December (WS 107), how the recently agreed framework for countering deforestation and the United Kingdom contribution of up to £100 million will help people in forest countries. [HL451]

At the 14th Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC in Poznan, Ministers from key developed and developing countries signed a statement outlining their commitment to take action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, and encourage sustainable forest management and conservation. The agreement to these principles is an important step towards reaching agreement on including forests in a future climate change agreement.

The statement covers the following key principles:

criteria for national strategies, recognising that national ownership and commitment to REDD in developing countries is a precondition for success;

the need for a reliable framework for monitoring, reporting and verification which is crucial to the integrity and credibility of REDD efforts;

recognition that financial flows to REDD efforts must be substantial, results based and predictable in the long term; and,

the importance of transparency, co-operation and rationalisation between funding agencies.

There is currently a large investment gap in efforts to develop an international REDD demonstration framework. Recognising this, the UK will make a contribution of up to £100 million to support and address the transformational investment needs of countries to make the reforms necessary to reduce deforestation and degradation.

The funding will provide support to countries seeking to initiate change towards low carbon emission and climate-resilient sustainable forest management. It will help to demonstrate and implement the measures required for a country to reduce overall emissions from forestry and potentially access payments from a future REDD funding mechanism.

Crime: Domestic Violence

Questions

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government what counselling services are available for victims of domestic violence and members of their family. [HL425]

Victims of domestic violence and members of their family are eligible to receive all National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence-approved (NICE) psychological therapies, including guided self-help, counselling, computerised cognitive behavioural therapy, behavioural activation and exercise. Counselling is one of the modalities of psychological intervention approved by NICE for treating depression and anxiety disorders.

We are increasing the availability of these services in primary care through the improving access to psychological therapies programme (IAPT). IAPT aims to help primary care trusts (PCTs) implement NICE guidelines and improve access to psychological therapies in England for people with depression or anxiety disorders. It is supported by a significant national investment rising to £173 million by 2010-11. Our plan is to have trained 3,600 more therapists who will help to provide 900,000 more people with access to psychological therapies by 2010-11.

In addition, 11 pathfinder PCTs are now examining the needs of specific groups, including children and young people, new mothers, older people, black and minority ethnic groups, offenders, people with long- term conditions and those with medically unexplained symptoms, and to see how access to a range of therapies for these groups could be further improved.

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government what training and guidance is given to doctors and healthcare professionals on detecting incidences of domestic violence. [HL426]

The department has provided practical guidance and training to healthcare professionals working with service users who may have experienced or are experiencing domestic abuse. The domestic abuse handbook and cd-rom, Responding to Domestic Abuse: A Handbook For Health Professionals, which was published in December 2005, provides advice on how health services can respond to victims of domestic abuse.

A copy of the handbook has already been placed in the Library.

Defra: Drinking Water Inspectors

Question

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Written Answer by Lord Hunt of Kings Heath on 14 November (WA 150–51), why the number of drinking water inspectors employed by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs increased from 18 in 2001 to 25 in 2008; where they operate; and how they interact with water companies. [HL278]

There are two reasons for the increase in drinking water inspectors since 2001: additional duties when new regulations came into force in 2004 and the introduction of competition following the Water Act 2003 which has increased the number of licensed operators. Their operational area is England and Wales. Inspectors interact with water company staff and contractors on a daily basis independently assessing, advising and reporting on all the technical aspects of water supply operations and water testing integral to the provision of safe drinking water to the public.

Employment Tribunals

Question

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government on how many occasions in each of the past 10 years employment tribunals have awarded damages for injury to feelings of (a) £1,000 or less; (b) £1,001 to £2,500; (c) £2,501 to £5,000; (d) £5,000 to £10,000; and (e) more than £10,000. [HL501]

Due to the number of categories under which an award can be made, it is impracticable for employment tribunals to record details in this way.

Energy: Wind Turbines

Questions

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Written Answer by Lord Hunt of Kings Heath on 24 November (WA 237), why an increase in installed capacity of onshore wind turbines between 2005 and 2006 of 25 per cent resulted in an increase in actual generation of 45.3 per cent but in the following year an increase in capacity of 26.8 per cent resulted in a 26.4 per cent increase in actual generation. [HL335]

The installed capacity of wind turbines on which the percentage increases were based was measured at the end of the calendar year. Much of the installation work for offshore wind turbines is carried out in the summer when offshore weather conditions are usually more conducive to such work. Hence generation from the new turbines will make only a small contribution during their year of installation, but a full contribution during the subsequent year.

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Written Answer by Lord Hunt of Kings Heath on 24 November (WA 237), why an increase in installed capacity of offshore wind turbines of 42.1 per cent from 2005 to 2006 resulted in an increase in actual generation of 61.8 per cent but in the following year an increase in capacity of 32.9 per cent resulted in a 20.1 per cent increase in actual generation. [HL336]

Official statistics for installed capacity and generation are produced in the Digest of UK Energy Statistics (DUKES). The figures for the years in question are:

Year

2005

2006

2007

Installed Capacity (MW)

213.8

303.8

393.8

Generation (GWh)

403

651

783

The installed capacity of wind turbines on which the percentage increases were based was measured at the end of the calendar year. Much of the installation work for offshore wind turbines is carried out in the summer when offshore weather conditions are usually more conducive to such work. For example, Barrow, a 90MW wind farm came online in July 2006 and Burbo Bank, a 90MW wind farm came online in October 2007. Hence generation from the new turbines will make only a small contribution during their year of installation, but a full contribution during the subsequent year.

Equal Pay

Question

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government what measures they propose to prevent women's full-time pay from being less than men's pay, as set out in the 2008 Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings. [HL365]

The median full-time gender pay gap1 has reduced from 17.4 per cent in 1997 to 12.8 per cent in 2008, but despite this progress, inequality and discrimination clearly still exist. The median overall gender pay gap2 (including both full-time and part-time workers) stands at 22.6 per cent.

The Government believe that inequality cannot be tackled if it is hidden—transparency is essential to tackling discrimination. That is why we are bringing forward a range of measures to improve transparency on gender pay, such as including in the forthcoming Equality Bill a ban on pay secrecy clauses which prevent people discussing their own pay, so that women can compare wages and challenge employers who unlawfully pay them less than men.

We are considering how the £175 billion spent every year by the public sector procuring goods and services could be used to help deliver equality objectives. We will also examine how an equality kitemark could challenge businesses to report on important equality information, and collect evidence on the effectiveness of equal pay job evaluation audits.

The Equality and Human Rights Commission is conducting a series of inquiries in sectors where there is clear inequality, and recently it announced that it will be investigating the financial services industry, which has an overall gender pay gap of 41.5 per cent compared with the national figure of 22.6 per cent.

1 Comparison of the median figures for full-time male and female workers' hourly earnings (excluding overtime) (Source: Office for National Statistics Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings).

2 Comparison of the average figures for hourly earnings (excluding overtime) of all male and female workers (Source: Office for National Statistics Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings, 2008).

Equality and Human Rights Commission

Question

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the Equality and Human Rights Commission has established a race committee; and, if not, what steps it will take to prioritise race equality. [HL362]

Under the Equality Act 2006, the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) is required to have three statutory advisory committees, for Scotland, Wales and Disability. As the EHRC covers seven protected areas of equality and also human rights, it would not be practical to have additional non-statutory advisory committees to cover its other remit areas.

However, as part of its developing stakeholder engagement strategy, the EHRC is looking at establishing core networks of stakeholders from the different equality areas to meet, on an advisory basis, at regular intervals throughout the year. This will include a network looking at race issues. More details on this proposal will be published in the spring.

Specific work the EHRC is doing to prioritise race equality includes working with the Prison Service to tackle race inequality in prisons, investigating the impact of social housing allocation on community cohesion and good relations between people from different racial groups, a major assessment of the state of policing and race equality in England, Scotland and Wales, including the differential use of stop and search powers, and the Young Brits at Art competition, designed to help schools and youth centres deal with difference and diversity in an entertaining and accessible way.

EU: Emissions Trading Scheme

Question

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government what representations they have made to the European Commission regarding the decision to seek to increase the proportion of permits from 7 per cent to 10 per cent issued to the electricity generating industry under the second phase of the European Emissions Trading Scheme; and whether they will publish any advice that has been received from the Commission. [HL494]

No decision to increase the level of UK auctioning in phase II of the EU Emissions Trading System has been taken and no representations have been made to the European Commission on this issue. The level of auctioning for phase 11(2008-12) of the EU ETS was decided following public consultation on the draft national allocation plan in June 2006.

Fishing: Netting Restrictions

Question

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Written Answer by the Minister for the Natural and Marine Environment, Wildlife and Rural Affairs, Huw Irranca-Davies, on 24 November (Official Report, House of Commons, 857–58W), whether the review of inshore netting restrictions announced last year has commenced; and, if so, when the results will be published. [HL279]

The review of inshore netting restrictions commenced earlier this year with the production by the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas) of a scientific paper, entitled Spatial Controls on Fixed Netting in England. This has been considered with fisheries managers and stakeholders in Defra's Recreational Sea Angling (RSA) Subgroup and will be published shortly. In the light of feedback from the RSA subgroup, Cefas is currently working on a more extended review covering other types of netting for consideration by the group.

Food: Labelling

Question

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the labelling of bacon cured in the United Kingdom from imported pork as British constitutes an offence of misleading the consumer as to origin. [HL470]

The country of origin of a food product is deemed under World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules to be the place of last substantial change. Therefore, bacon cured in Britain with imported pork can legally be labelled as British. Nevertheless, the Food Standards Agency considers that, in some cases, such labelling may not be helpful for consumers. It, therefore, produced voluntary guidance in 2002, recently revised, to help industry comply with the law and adopt best practice. This recommends, for example, that bacon produced in Britain with imported pork should say so on the labelling.

Health: Doctors

Question

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government how many non-consultant posts in emergency medicine are unfilled. [HL453]

The number of non-consultant vacancies in emergency medicine is not collected centrally. The number of vacancies for all doctors (including consultants) in emergency medicine as of 31 March 2008 showed 20 (2.7 per cent.) posts that were three months or older and that trusts were actively trying to fill.

Health: Drugs

Question

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they will have with relevant agencies in the National Health Service about the number of new drugs for gram-negative bacterial infection. [HL314]

As part of our commitment to tackle healthcare associated infections (HCAIs), the department has regular discussions with relevant bodies about the control of gram-negative and other infections. These bodies include the Health Protection Agency, the Advisory Committee on Antimicrobial Resistance and Healthcare Associated Infection and professional societies.

Two licences have been granted by the European Medicines Agency within the past three years for new antibacterial drugs active against gram-negative bacteria. They relate to tigecycline (brand name Tygacil), authorised on 24 April 2006; and doripenem (brand name Doribax), authorised on 25 July 2008.

Our strategy on HCAIs includes a number of different initiatives and approaches to reduce infection rates. One of these is the Healthcare Associated Infection Technology Innovation Programme, launched in January 2008, which is designed to accelerate the development and adoption of new and novel technologies through partnership with the National Health Service, industry and academia.

Health: VDU Use

Question

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government what research they will promote to prevent eye damage for computer users from looking at screens. [HL481]

There are currently no plans for further research on the prevention of eye damage from computer use in the workplace. Current medical opinion is that computer use in the workplace does not cause permanent eye damage or disease. Prolonged looking at a screen can result in discomfort, such as dry eyes, headaches and eye irritation. For this reason, HSE recommends short, frequent breaks from screen use of about five to 10 minutes every hour.

Immigration: Georgia

Questions

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Written Answer by Lord West of Spithead on 22 July (WA 263), what investigations are being carried out by the United Kingdom Border Agency into the identity of the person known as Teona; and when the investigation will be complete. [HL157]

To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Written Answer by Lord West of Spithead on 22 July (WA 263), what investigations are being carried out by the United Kingdom Border Agency into allegations of contact between the embassy in Tbilisi, Georgia, and the person known as Teona. [HL158]

To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Written Answer by Lord West of Spithead on 22 July (WA 263), what investigations are being carried out into the availability of evidence of involvement of organisations in Georgia in the handling of illegal visa applications. [HL159]

To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Written Answer by Lord West of Spithead on 22 July (WA 264), what action they are taking following the reports by Zuram Kachlishvili on alleged illegal activity in United Kingdom entry visa applications in Tbilisi, Georgia. [HL160]

The report by Zuram Kachlishvili which was published in a Georgian newspaper alleges that a person known as Teona is involved in the preparation of fraudulent applications for UK visas and that her Georgian contacts who work in the visa section at the British Embassy in Tbilisi are being paid to facilitate the issue of visas.

Senior embassy officials have confirmed that they had no prior knowledge of these allegations. They have contacted the newspaper in an attempt to identify the applications concerned, and the matter has been passed to the UK Border Agency's International Group (Operational Integrity Section) for further investigation.

International Development

Questions

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government how much Department for International Development aid is apportioned to Ethiopia annually. [HL464]

To ask Her Majesty's Government how much Department for International Development aid is apportioned to Sudan annually. [HL465]

To ask Her Majesty's Government how much Department for International Development aid is apportioned to Somalia annually. [HL466]

To ask Her Majesty's Government how much Department for International Development aid is apportioned to Eritrea annually. [HL467]

Details on the Department for International Development's (DfID) annual allocation of resources are available in annex 2, table 4, page 244 of the DfID publication Development: Making it Happen, DfID's 2008 annual report. This publication is available online at www.dfid.gov.uk or from the Library. Relevant figures for the next three years are reproduced in the table below.

DfID Programme Allocations, 2008-09, £million

Programme

2008-09

2009-10

2010-11

Eritrea

3.0

3.2

3.1

Ethiopia

130.0

150.0

175.0

Somalia

21.0

21.0

21.0

Sudan

110.0

115.0

120.0

Ministry of Defence: Senior Responsible Owner

Questions

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the Ministry of Defence establishes a single point of accountability for each defence procurement project. [HL411]

To ask Her Majesty's Government for which projects the Ministry of Defence has appointed a senior responsible owner (SRO); who the SRO is in each case; and when the SRO was appointed. [HL412]

To ask Her Majesty's Government what are the general responsibilities and powers of a senior responsible owner of a Ministry of Defence project or programme. [HL413]

The general responsibilities and powers of a senior responsible owner (SRO) of a Ministry of Defence (MoD) project or programme are in line with those defined in the relevant best practice guidance issued by the Office of Government Commerce.  An SRO is responsible for ensuring that the project or programme meets its objectives and realises the expected benefits.  He or she has clear authority and personal responsibility for the successful delivery of the project or programme.

All projects and programmes in MoD are required to have an SRO or equivalent.  Within MoD, the SRO designation is currently reserved for senior staff responsible for the major projects and programmes to deliver significant military capability and business change. These SROs are personally accountable to the Defence Board.  For other projects and programmes, those filling the equivalent role are given an alternative designation, such as single point of accountability. Notwithstanding the designation, the role and responsibilities are broadly the same.

The current SROs for the major projects and programmes are listed in the table below:

Project or programme

Post title

Name

Date of appointment

Defence Change Portfolio

2nd Permanent Secretary

Ursula Brennan

22/10/2008

Project HYPERION

Commander-in-Chief LAND

General Sir David Richards

05/03/2008

BORONA programme

Commander Regional Forces

Lt Gen Nick Parker

07/09/2007

Defence Acquisition Change Programme

Permanent Secretary

Bill Jeffrey

July 2006

Defence E-Commerce Service

Chief Information Officer

John Taylor

Prior to 08/06/2005

Defence Health Change Programme

Deputy Chief of Defence Staff (Health)

Lt Gen Robert Baxter

04/06/2007

Defence Information Infrastructure

Chief Information Officer

John Taylor

Prior to 08/06/2005

Defence Intelligence Modernisation Programme

Chief of Defence Intelligence

Air Mshl Stuart Peach

March 2006

Defence Individual Training Management

Director General Training & Education

Maj Gen Tim Inshaw

05/12/2008

Defence Training Review

Deputy Chief of Defence Staff (Personnel)

VAdm Peter Wilkinson

28/08/2007

Defence Travel Modernisation

Chief Information Officer

John Taylor

Prior to 08/06/2005

Project BELVEDERE

Commander Regional Forces

Lt Gen Nick Parker

07/09/2007

Streamlining

Director General Strategy

Tom McKane

04/09/2008

Military Flying Training System

Deputy Commander-in-Chief Personnel Air Command

Air Mshl Stephen Dalton

21/07/2008

Whole Fleet Management

Director General Logistics Support & Equipment LAND

Maj Gen Chris Deverell

10/12/2008

Nuclear Deterrence Capability

Director General Equipment

Guy Lester

05/05/2008

Carrier Strike

Capability Manager (Precision Attack) designate

RAdm Amjad Hussein

20/12/2008

Combat ID

Capability Manager (Information Superiority)

AVM Carl Dixon

03/07/2008

Future Strategic Tanker Aircraft

Capability Manager (Information Superiority)

AVM Carl Dixon

03/07/2008

Medium Weight Capability

Capability Manager (Battlespace Manoeuvre)

Maj Gen Chris Wilson

November 2006

Helicopters

Capability Manager (Battlespace Manoeuvre)

Maj Gen Chris Wilson

13/11/2007

Urgent Operational Requirements

Capability Manager (Precision Attack)

RAdm Paul Lambert

30/10/2006

Network Enabled Capability and Command and Battlespace Management

Deputy Chief of Defence Staff (Equipment Capability)

Lt Gen Andrew Figgures

18/05/2007

Counter Improvised Explosive Device Capability

Capability Manager (Battlespace Manoeuvre)

Maj Gen Chris Wilson

14/06/2007

Test and Evaluation

Capability Manager (Battlespace Manoeuvre)

Maj Gen Chris Wilson

28/08/2007

Future Core Network

Capability Manager (Information Superiority)

AVM Carl Dixon

03/07/2008

Modernising Scientific Careers

Questions

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the consultation document The Future of the Healthcare Science Workforce, Modernising Scientific Careers: The Next Steps makes provision for healthcare science practitioners who do not hold degrees to enter the scientist training programme. [HL475]

To ask Her Majesty's Government to which stage on the career pathways proposed in The Future of the Healthcare Science Workforce, Modernising Scientific Careers: The Next Steps healthcare science practitioners who do not hold degrees would be able to progress. [HL476]

Proposals to transform the future training and career pathways of the healthcare science workforce as set out in The Future of the Healthcare Science Workforce, Modernising Scientific Careers: The Next Steps are currently out for public consultation which is due to end on 6 March 2009. A response will be published in due course.

Railways: Network Rail

Question

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure that salaries for senior Network Rail staff are appropriate. [HL512]

Decisions on the remuneration and incentivisation of Network Rail’s executives are a matter for Network Rail’s independent remuneration committee. Bonuses are determined against key performance indicator targets set by the independent Office of Regulation (ORR) in accordance with condition 28 of Network Rail’s network licence. The terms of Network Rail’s management incentive policy can be modified only with the consent of the Office of Rail Regulation.

As part of the ORR’s Periodic Review 2008 Final Determinations, the ORR announced on 19 December proposed changes to Network Rail’s network licence to strengthen the company’s accountability. These will require Network Rail’s remuneration committee to be more transparent in its executive bonus decision-making process; and to explain how it has taken into account input from third parties such as the ORR.