§ Dr. Harris
To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, pursuant to his answer of 8 December 1999,Official Report, column 572W, what restrictions were placed on contractors carrying out research projects funded by his Department in 1999 in respect of them discussing their findings with journalists (a) before and (b) after publication. 
§ Ms Hewitt
The Department's standard terms and conditions of contract for services, placed in the Library of the House as indicated in my answer of 2 February 2000,Official Report, column 604W, require a contractor to obtain consent in writing prior to communicating information obtained in the course of work performed under the contract. Where this contract term applies, it would cover discussion of findings with journalists both before and after publication. Where this Department funds research projects as grants rather than service contracts, a similar clause would be applied but only for the purpose of protecting confidential information. In such a case the written consent of the Department and all parties to the project would be required before release. In any event, as I indicated in my earlier answer, the Department actively encourages the publication of results from the research it has funded.
§ Dr. Harris
To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what restrictions have been placed on contractors carrying out research contracts funded by grants from the Research Councils during 1999 in respect of them discussing their findings with journalists(a) before and (b) after publication; and if he will place a copy of the standard research contract for each Research Council in the Library. 
§ Ms Hewitt
Each Research Council has its own terms and conditions that cover the actions of people and institutions in receipt of Research Council funds. None of them includes restrictions on discussing research findings with journalists either before or after publication. One of them, the Biotechnology and Biosciences Research Council (BBSRC), does request that grantholders notify them in advance of any media releases that refer to BBSRC funded research, so that they can, themselves, respond efficiently to any subsequent media inquiries. All Research Councils actively encourage grantholders to publish their research. They also advise them on the need to protect Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) and not to768W jeopardise its future exploitation. However, the management of IPR generated by grantholders, and any resulting restrictions on discussions with journalists, are a matter for the institution in which the research is conducted and not the Research Councils. Copies of each Research Council's research grant terms and conditions will be placed in the Library of the House shortly.