§ Malcolm Bruce
To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what procedures the UK Trade and Investment Business Group has in place to prevent corruption and bribery on projects supported under the Overseas Projects Fund. 
§ Mr. Mike O'Brien
The Overseas Projects Fund (OPF) provides financial assistance towards the pre-contractual costs incurred by British companies when pursuing major overseas projects. The scheme closed to new applications on 7 July 2003. British companies receiving assistance under the OPF Scheme must provide UKTI with regular reports of their pre-contractual activities and submit auditor's reports in respect of the claims for reimbursement of the eligible costs they incur. In any cases where the claims give rise to any need for further clarification this is sought from the company prior to making a payment. Before the award of OPF, the post in the country where the project is located provides UKTI with an evaluation of both the project and the company involved.
UKTI staff administering the OPF Scheme have internal guidance on bribery and corruption, details of which are in my reply to the hon. Member on 4 February 2004, Official Report, column 876W.