§ Mr. Bennett
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what proportion of oral and written complaints made by members of the public were fully investigated by inspectors of health and safety in field offices of the Field Operations Division in fiscal year 1999–2000. 
§ Mr. Meacher
The information requested can not be produced at this time, because full year data on inspectors' work for the year ended 31 March 2000 are not yet available. However, data on the number of complaints followed-up by staff in HSE's Field Operations Directorate for the years 1997–98 and 1998–99 are set out in the table. The table also shows, for information, the number of complaints investigated as a percentage of those received.265W
Complaints followed-up by HSE's Field Operations Directorate by route of complaint 1997–98 1998–99 Telephone 18,020 18,686 Letter 2,655 3,042 Oral (other) 322 276 Complaints followed up a of complaints received is a percentage 72.6 76.7
§ Helen Jones
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what was the average number of businesses dealt with by band 3 inspectors in the Health and Safety Executive in the last 12 months for which figures are available. 
§ Mr. Meacher
[holding answer 2 May 2000]Health and Safety Executive (HSE) Band 3 inspectors are used in the majority of sectors for which HSE has enforcement responsibility. Inspector contacts with businesses can vary considerably, depending on the sector and circumstances. Inspectors may contact the same business more than once during the course of the year, or may contact several operating sites owned by the same business. Also, a contact could involve an in depth audit, taking several days, or a short visit or meeting.
In total, HSE staff made 183,000 regulatory contacts with dutyholders and businesses in 1998–99, the last year for which figures are available. Of these, about 8,000 were made by administrative staff in HSE's Field Operations Directorate (FOD), and 33,000 by FOD inspectors other than Band 3 inspectors. A proportion of the rest may have involved inspectors other than Band 3 inspectors, but these could be disaggregated from the date only at disproportionate cost.
In total, approximately 500 Band 3 inspector staff years spent by HSE Operating Directorates and Divisions in 1998–99 on inspection, investigation and enforcement activity which would have generated the vast majority of regulatory contacts.