§ Mr. Bercow
To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what the mandate of the Committee on the Implementation of Projects Promoting Co-operation and Commercial Relations between the European Union and the Industrialised Countries of North America, the Far East and Australasia is; how many times it has met over the last 12 months; what the UK representation on it is; what the annual cost of its work is to public funds; if she will list the items currently under its consideration; if she will take steps to increase its accountability and transparency to Parliament; and if she will make a statement. 
§ Ms Hewitt
EC Council Regulation 382/2001 provides for a programme of measures and actions to complement and bring added value to the efforts undertaken by member states and other European public bodies in the Japanese market, and establishes a Committee to assist the Commission in the implementation of this programme. This Regulation also provides for co-operative activities between the EC on the one hand and North America and Australasia on the other, but the Committee has had no role in these activities. The Committee has met once in the last 12 months. A British Trade International official represents the UK. It is impossible to calculate the cost of its work to public funds without incurring disproportionate cost. The Committee is currently considering the detailed arrangements for the EU trade promotion campaign towards Japan "Gateway to Japan III". Any European Community proposal that goes to the Council of Ministers would be subject to parliamentary scrutiny procedures.
Together with member states, the Commission is currently conducting a review to bring existing legislation on the conduct of comitology committees into line with Council Decision 1999/468/EC, to 'simplify the requirements for the exercise of implementing powers conferred on the Commission'. As an obligation to this Decision, the Commission undertook to publish an annual report on the working of committees. The first report was deposited in the Libraries of both Houses on 26 February (COM(2001)783 Final). As part of the review process, the UK Government have encouraged the Commission to produce and maintain an electronic database of every comitology committee, its agendas and recent actions, to be accessible through the website.
§ Mr. Bercow
To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what the mandate of the Advisory Committee on Opening Up Public Contracts is; how many times it has met over the last 12 months; what the UK representation on it is; what the annual cost of its work is982W to public funds; if she will list the items currently under its consideration; if she will take steps to increase its accountability and transparency to Parliament; and if she will make a statement. 
§ Ms Hewitt
The EC Advisory Committee on Opening Up Public Contracts is composed of up to 25 independent experts whose business and industrial experience, and whose competence regarding public procurement, are widely recognised. The Committee assists the Commission in assessing the economic, technical, legal and social aspects of public procurement. It has no decision taking powers.
The European Commission appoints the members of the Committee after consultation with business and industry. The representatives from the UK are Dr. Sue Arrowsmith, Professor of Law at the university of Nottingham and Mr. Colin Maund, Chairman of the CBI's Public Procurement Contract Group.
The Committee has met on three occasions over the last year. There is no cost to public funds.
The issues discussed during the last meeting of the Committee were: electronic purchasing; the Remedies Directives; the European Parliament vote on the new legislative package; in-house contracts.