§ Mr. Ingram
To ask the President of the Board of Trade what estimate he has made of the redundancy costs associated with the future options being considered for each of the public sector research establishments. 
§ Mr. Ian Taylor
The prior options reviews of public sector research establishments are being undertaken in accordance with the guidance placed in the Library of the House on 26 January 1996. This requires the Departments and research councils carrying out the reviews to consider a range of options, including abolition, privatisation, contractorisation, rationalisation and, implicitly, no change.
Ministers are currently considering the steering group reports of the first tranche of reviews. The overall purpose is to achieve high-quality research that represents the best value for money. Any potential redundancy costs would be taken into account in this consideration. Decisions will be announced as soon as possible.