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Scotland

Volume 401: debated on Wednesday 19 March 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many times she has visited Scotland on official duties each year since 2000; and what meetings were held on each occasion. [103614]

I visited Scotland on official duties five times in 2000 and twice in 2002. I did not visit Scotland in 2001.In line with exemptions 2 and 7 of the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information, it is not the normal practice of Governments to release details of specific meetings or their content, as some of these discussions may have taken place on a confidential basis.

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many special advisers in the Department (a)have left and (b)will be leaving to work in Scotland for the Labour Party in the forthcoming Scottish parliamentary elections. [103615]

The rules relating to special advisers' political activities are set out in the Model Contract for Special Advisers. Further guidance in respect of elections for the Scottish Parliament is set out at paragraph 13 of the Guidance on Conduct for Civil Servants in UK Departments, published by the Cabinet Office on 10 March.The reasons for a special adviser's resignation are a private matter between the department and adviser, and are therefore exempt from disclosure under paragraph 12 of the Code of Practice on Access to Information.

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what plans ministers of the Department have to (a)visit Scotland on official business, (b)announce public appointments and (c)make Ministerial announcements in April. [103654]

Departmental business during the campaign period preceding elections to the Scottish Parliament will be conducted in accordance with the Guidance on Conduct for Civil Servants in UK Departments in respect of elections to the Scottish Parliament and National Assembly for Wales, published by the Cabinet Office on 10 March.