§ Mr. Harvey
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if he will establish a pilot programme in an English region under 237W which the operation of (a) TECs and (b) Business Links would be the responsibility of the relevant RDA; and if he will make a statement. 
§ Dr. Howells
I have been asked to reply to this question.
As mentioned in the Government's response to the Education and Employment Select Committee's recent report into the relationship between TECs and the proposed Regional Development Agencies (RDAs), we consider that it would be inappropriate to introduce a project piloting alternative methods of contracting with TECs before the current review of the future role of TECs has been completed. The Government will review the situation when the review of TECs is completed.
We are currently considering ways of ensuring that, as mentioned in the Government's White Paper on RDAs ('Building Partnerships for Prosperity'), RDAs will work closely with TECs and Business Links to make sure that their services match more closely the needs of their region and contribute to regional economic objectives.