HC Deb 20 December 1999 vol 341 c338W
Dr. Harris

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions how many research contracts have been let by his Department since May 1997; what is the value of each contract; and in each case whether the contract included(a) a departmental veto over publication of the research results, (b) departmental control over the date of publication of the research results and (c) a requirement that the final research results incorporate departmental amendments. [100160]

Mr. Mullin

[holding answer 6 December 1999]: Information about the Department's research programmes is made widely available and includes overview material on the DETR website and details of individual programmes and projects—again on the website and through hard copy reports and Newsletters. Details of each contract are not held centrally, but since May 1997 it is estimated that contracts for around 1,500 projects have been let with a total value of around £110 million. Further details are available through the DETR website and through the Government's "Forward Look SET Statistics"—most recently published by the Office of Science and Technology in August 1999.

In answer to the other points:

  1. (a) Standard conditions of contract do not normally permit research contractors to divulge details of contracts or research results without specific approval by the Department, but the Department's policy is to make all results publicly available as soon as is reasonably possible (except in cases such as those including security or commercially confidential information);
  2. (b) Publication dates are agreed between the Department and the research contractor;
  3. (c) None. Where final reports incorporate departmental amendments, these are confined to matters of policy and presentation.
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