Skip to main content

Written Answers

Volume 497: debated on Monday 12 October 2009

Written Answers to Questions

Monday 12 October 2009

Solicitor-General

Gary Critchley

To ask the Solicitor-General what representations she has received concerning the safety of the conviction of Gary Critchley; and if she will make a statement. (292384)

Police Cautions: Crimes of Violence

To ask the Solicitor-General what proportion of serious violent crimes were disposed of by means of police caution rather than a court appearance in (a) Northamptonshire and (b) England in the last three years for which figures are available. (290672)

I have been asked to reply.

Information showing the number of offenders cautioned and defendants proceeded against at magistrates courts for serious violent offences in Northamptonshire and England from 2005-07 (latest available) is shown in the following table. Data for 2008 are due to be available towards the end of 2009.

Number of offenders cautioned1 and defendants proceeded against at magistrates courts for serious violent offences2, in Northamptonshire and England, 2005-073, 4

2005

2006

2007

Cautioned

Proceeded against

Number cautioned as a percentage of those cautioned or proceeded against

Cautioned

Proceeded against

Number cautioned as a percentage of those cautioned or proceeded against

Cautioned

Proceeded against

Number cautioned as a percentage of those cautioned or proceeded against

Northamptonshire

20

5172

5

32

5121

5

27

556

5

England

911

11,233

8

875

10,721

8

666

10,496

6

1 From 1 June 2000, the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 came into force nationally and removed the use of cautions for persons under 18 and replaced them with reprimands and warnings. These figures have been included in the totals.

2 Covers the following:

Homicide and child destruction

Causing death by dangerous driving

Attempted murder

Wounding or inflicting grievous bodily harm without intent

Racially aggravated wounding or inflicting grievous bodily harm

Causing death by aggravated vehicle taking

3 The statistics relate to persons for whom these offences were the principal offences for which they were dealt with. When a defendant has been found guilty of two or more offences, the principal offence is the offence for which the heaviest penalty is imposed. Where the same disposal is imposed for two or more offences, the offence selected is the offence for which the statutory maximum penalty is the most severe.

4 Every effort is made to ensure that the figures presented are accurate and complete. However, it is important to note that these data have been extracted from large administrative data systems generated by the courts and police forces. As a consequence, care should be taken to ensure data collection processes and their inevitable limitations are taken into account when those data are used.

5 The number of defendants proceeded against for Northamptonshire reflects the data received from the magistrates courts. However, during the period covered by the table, there were data quality issues. Hence, it would be unwise to place much credence in the drop of prosecutions over time and thus in the increase in the percentage cautioned if derived.

Source:

Evidence and Analysis Unit, Office for Criminal Justice Reform.

Olympics

CLM: Finance

To ask the Minister for the Olympics for what reasons CLM was paid £60.2 million by the Olympic Delivery Authority in performance-related payments up to March 2009. (289243)

As outlined in the Olympic Delivery Authority's (ODA) 2008-09 Annual Report, performance payments are payable to CLM for the achievement of pre-agreed key performance indicators for the delivery of programme milestones and cost targets.

Payments to CLM during the financial year 2008-09 reflect the increase in scale of the project in the last year as construction activity increased, and the strong progress being made as the project remains on track and within budget.

The ODA, working with CLM, achieved significant savings of £390 million in the last year. The savings derive primarily from reduction in scope and value engineering changes, procurement savings, inflation and VAT savings, and have been applied to cost pressures as they have arisen. In particular, they have been used to help fund the Olympic Village and ensuring that the programme overall can be delivered within budget.

CLM's contract is heavily incentivised and payment to them is dependent on meeting strict performance measures tied to delivering on time, to budget and to a high standard.

Departmental Advertising

To ask the Minister for the Olympics how much (a) her Office and (b) the Government Olympic Executive spent on newspaper advertising by publication in the latest year for which figures are available. (289479)

In 2008-09, the amounts spent on newspaper advertising were as follows:

Private office of the Minister for the Olympics—Nil.

Government Olympic Executive—£16,210.44 (comprising payments of £5,551.96 to the Central Office of Information; and £10,658.48 to Sports Recruitment International for advertisements in the Guardian and Timesonline). All advertising expenditure by the Government Olympic Executive was for recruitment purposes.

Members: Correspondence

To ask the Minister for the Olympics when she plans to reply to the letter from the hon. Member for Sutton and Cheam, dated 16 February 2009, reference Evans/110209/st/2. (288638)

[holding answer 21 July 2009]: On receipt of the letter dated 16 February, my officials forwarded a copy of my response (via email) to the hon. Member's constituency office in February 2009.

Due to an administrative oversight a written response was not sent to the hon. Member's letter of 16 February. I have replied to this letter on 29 July 2009 and apologise for the delay.

Olympic Delivery Authority: Pay

To ask the Minister for the Olympics how much was paid in bonuses to (a) directors, (b) senior managers, (c) specialist and delivery managers and (d) executive support and administration staff in the Olympic Delivery Authority in the last 24 months. (280616)

Staff are broken into pay bands across the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA). Details of performance related pay (PRP) payments in each pay band for the year ended 31 March 2009 are set out in the following table:

Pay band

Employee type

Numbers of employees

Total PRP paid1 (£)

Average PRP payment (£)

1

Projects/Administrative support

54

82,937

1,535

2

Executives/Officers

39

134,746

3,455

3

Managers/Technical professionals

77

686,708

8,918

4

Heads of function

28

514,882

18,389

5

Directors

7

282,629

40,375

6

CEO

1

2104,783

104,783

Total

206

1,806,685

8,770

1 Excluding national insurance. 2 Actual bonus agreed by the Remuneration Committee was £209,566. The CEO voluntarily deferred half that amount.

The equivalent figure for the year ended 31 March 2008 is approximately £1.7 million. A breakdown into pay bands for that year appears in the following table:

Pay band

Employee type

Numbers of employees

Total PRP paid1 (£)

Average PRP payment (£)

1

Projects/Administrative support

45

69,468

1,544

2

Executives/Officers

27

76,038

2,816

3

Managers/Technical professionals

66

553,602

8,388

4

Heads of function

26

487,246

18,740

5

Directors

7

316,457

45,208

6

CEO

1

204,930

204,930

Total

172

1,707,741

9,929

Note: Excluding national insurance.

To ask the Minister for the Olympics for what reasons the Chief Executive of the Olympic Delivery Authority was awarded a bonus of £209,000 in respect of 2008-09; and whose agreement was sought before the bonus was awarded. (289249)

The chief executive of the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA), David Higgins, has a performance-based pay element within his contract agreed by the Minister for the Olympic and Paralympic Games. This is linked to delivery on time and within budget. The basis of performance pay is agreed by DCMS and the level is determined by the remuneration committee of the ODA Board.

The ODA’s Annual Report and Accounts for 2008-09, copies of which have been placed in the House Library, records the progress in 2008-09. This records significant achievements including:

keeping the programme on track and on budget;

delivering the first venue, Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy in November 2008, on time and within budget;

delivering the £288 million Power Lines Undergrounding Project in December 2008 on time and on budget;

starting work on the Main Stadium, the Aquatics Centre and the Velodrome ahead of schedule; and

meeting challenging cost and health and safety targets.

On the basis of his contract the remuneration committee determined that a performance related payment of £209,566 was the appropriate amount to recognise the chief executive’s performance, However, Mr. Higgins said, in July, that he had voluntarily agreed to defer half of his performance-based pay until 2012, subject to the satisfactory delivery of the current programme and scope, within the maximum available funding agreed by the Minister.

As John Armitt, Chair of the ODA said “None of our progress over the year would have been possible without the hard work of the team at the ODA led by David Higgins”.

To ask the Minister for the Olympics if she will make it her policy that the expense claims of the Chief Executive of the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) be itemised on the ODA’s website. (289250)

A summary of expenses for the Olympic Delivery Authority chairman, chief executive, board members and directors is available on the London 2012 website. The summary is itemised for hotel, entertainment and other costs.

Olympic Games 2012

To ask the Minister for the Olympics what estimate she has made of the amount of sponsorship and advertising financing by manufacturers and retailers of alcoholic drinks of the London 2012 Olympics. (291360)

[holding answer 16 September 2009]: There are a number of possible categories that the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) is exploring to raise sponsorship revenue, including in the alcoholic drinks sector. Most previous games have had a domestic commercial provider of beer and wine, including Beijing in 2008.

Currently, LOCOG has no commercial partners for the provision of alcoholic drinks. I am unable to disclose any estimates for this sponsorship category as this would be commercially sensitive.

Olympic Games 2012: Cycling

To ask the Minister for the Olympics what discussions she has had with the International Olympic Committee on the number of cycling events to be open to (a) men and (b) women at the London 2012 Olympics; and if she will make a statement. (290665)

[holding answer 9 September 2009]: I have not had direct discussions with the International Olympic Committee. However, the Minister for Sport and I have had discussions with the British Olympic Association and UK Sport. I have also spoken to British Cycling on this matter. The International Cycling Federation recently submitted a request to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for new cycling events to be included in the 2012 Olympic programme. The IOC Executive Board indicated that this could happen, especially if the new events increase the participation of women at the games and on condition that they replace events already on the programme. Current events can be replaced with new ones only if the total number of athletes is maintained. A final decision will be made at the IOC congress in October.

Olympic Games 2012: Employment

To ask the Minister for the Olympics (1) how many of the construction workers at the Olympic Park who are classified as local residents had lived in the area for less than (a) three months, (b) six months and (c) one year prior to their employment at the Olympic Park; (285107)

(2) what criteria are used to classify construction workers wishing to obtain employment at the Olympic Park as local residents.

Only workers who give a permanent address in one of the five host boroughs are counted as local. The Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) has adopted the definition used by HM Revenue and Customs and other public authorities which deems a person to be resident in an area from the day they move to a permanent and specific address. As there is no minimum period of residence required for a person to be classified as being a resident, the ODA does not report on this information.

Each worker on the Olympic Park must provide a recognised permanent address. As part of this process UK Border Agency (UKBA) staff work on site with the ODA and contractors to ensure that people employed on the Olympic Park are legally entitled to do so. UKBA have been on the site performing this role since April 2008.

The Government and the ODA are committed to creating a jobs and skills legacy for London and the UK from the London 2012 games. A whole range of measures has been put in place to ensure local people are well placed to benefit from employment and training on the Olympic site including being given 48 hours exclusive access to job vacancies through local brokerage services.

Olympic Games 2012: Hertfordshire

To ask the Minister for the Olympics what assessment she has made of the legacy to Hertfordshire from the London 2012 Olympics. (289431)

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Broxbourne (Mr. Walker) on 1 September 2009, Official Report, columns 162W and 163W.

Olympic Games 2012: Paralympic Games 2012

To ask the Minister for the Olympics how much funding under which budgetary headings will be allocated under the programme delivery budget for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. (284552)

[holding answer 6 July 2009]: Of the public sector budget of £9.325 billion:

£8.099 billion, including contingency of up to £1.972 billion, is available to the Olympic Delivery Authority for the venues and infrastructure construction programme;

£290 million has been invested in maximising the benefit to elite and community sport of hosting the 2012 games;

£66 million is the Government's planned contribution to the cost of hosting the Paralympic games;

£32 million has been allocated to the Look programme;

£838 million, including £238m contingency, has been allocated to Security.

I refer the hon. Member to the January 2008 and January 2009 Annual Reports on the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic games and to the Quarterly Economic Reports on the Games published in May and July 2009, all of which contain more detailed information.

Olympic Games 2012: Plants

To ask the Minister for the Olympics what measures she has introduced to ensure that the provision of (a) plants, (b) trees and (c) shrubs for the London 2012 Olympics have a low environmental impact. (291685)

All contracts for the supply of plants are let in accordance with the Olympic Delivery Authority’s (ODA) Sustainability Strategy which, among other things, sets standards for minimising energy, waste and water use, and includes transport miles.

As many of the trees, shrubs, herbaceous plants and seeds as possible are specified in contract documents to be of British origin for ecological reasons. This is in order to meet the Olympic Biodiversity Action Plan targets for Games and Transformation as well as reducing transport and energy input. Peat-free composts are also specified in all the ODA’s contracts for plant supply.

The ODA is also installing an irrigation system to ensure the establishment of all planting. It will use a non-potable water supply, designed to reduce water demand.

Advanced plant procurement has secured approximately 2,000 semi mature trees from a UK nursery. The contract has also been let for the advanced procurement of approximately 240,000 wetland plants from a UK supplier. Current work is ongoing to secure advanced growing of herbaceous plants for 2012 Gardens. Clauses included in the plant procurement contracts require certain environmental standards to be met for nursery stock production and supply of stock.

House of Commons Commission

Drinking Water

To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission what expenditure the House of Commons Commission incurred in commissioning the report on carbon comparison of water provision options for the House’s committee rooms. (291459)

The cost of the report “A carbon comparison of water provision options for the House of Commons committee rooms” was £7,000.

East of England Regional Grand Committee

To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission what expenditure under what budgetary heading was incurred in respect of the East of England Regional Grand Committee meeting of 8 September 2009. (291832)

The identifiable expenditure incurred in respect of the East of England Regional Grand Committee meeting of 8 September 2009 is expected to amount to around £1,600. The budgetary headings are travel and subsistence expenses for staff from the Department of Chamber and Committee Services (clerks, doorkeepers, Hansard sub-editors) and the provision of sound equipment by the House’s contractors Ubiqus UK Ltd. (Westminster Sound Systems).

Internet: Registration

To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission what guidance has been given on using computer facilities in the House to register domain names. (288682)

No guidance on using computer facilities within the House of Commons to register domain names has been issued.

Members: Email

To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission pursuant to the answer to the right hon. Member for Horsham of 24 April 2009, Official Report, column 948W, on Members: email, what the cost is of the encryption software recommended by Parliamentary Information and Communication Technology service. (288674)

Members: Parking

To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission how many hon. Members have a parliamentary car parking pass. (291988)

Outreach Officers: Manpower

To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission how many outreach officers the House employs; and what cost in 2008-09. (289459)

The Parliamentary Outreach service currently employs eight outreach staff, six of whom are regional outreach officers. The regional outreach officers work mainly with community and voluntary groups and in the museums, libraries and archives sector. They also support select committees.

Parliament’s Education Service employs four educational outreach officers, who work in schools and train and support teachers in the delivery of the political literacy element of the citizenship curriculum and the politics curriculum.

Both these services are bicameral, the House of Lords paying for 30 per cent. of the costs. Current annual staff costs, including pension and national insurance contributions, as at July 2009, are as follows:

Annual cost of outreach, as at July 2009

£

Total cost

House of Commons share

Parliamentary Outreach

351,557

246,089

Educational outreach

182,702

127,891

Total

533,259

373,980

Parliamentary Network: Computer Viruses

To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission what steps are being taken to prevent future infections of the parliamentary network by computer viruses. (288679)

PICT frequently reviews and updates systems, in line with industry standards and practices, to manage the risk of computer infections.

Leader of the House

Departmental Training

To ask the Leader of the House how many external training courses were attended by staff of her Office in the last 12 months; and what the cost was of each course. (289608)

Training courses are just one aspect of the development opportunities open to civil servants in the Office of the Leader of the House of Commons, and every member of staff discusses their personal development as part of their appraisal process.

Information on courses attended is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost. However, during the past 12 months members of staff participated in training provided by external training organisations and internal training courses which are provided by the Cabinet Office free of charge.

Empty Dwelling Management Orders: Legal Costs

To ask the Leader of the House if she will issue guidance on the reclamation of legal fees from the Additional Cost Allowance incurred in challenging an Empty Dwelling Management Order. (290421)

The Leader of the House does not issue guidance on the rules relating to the use of allowances.

Hon. Members may seek advice on allowances from the Department of Resources.

Impact Assessments

To ask the Leader of the House for what reasons an impact assessment was not produced to accompany the Draft Legislative Programme for 2009-10. (289807)

The Draft Legislative Programme set out the broad content of 11 bills which the Government are proposing to take through Parliament in the 2009-10 parliamentary session. Three of those bills have recently been introduced (Equality, Child Poverty and Constitutional Reform and Governance) and a further two have been published in draft (Bribery and Flood and Water Management). Each of those five bills is accompanied by full impact assessments. The remaining six bills are new proposals for consultation and, if they are introduced, they will also be accompanied by full impact assessments.

Electoral Commission Committee

Electoral Commission: Publicity

To ask the hon. Member for South West Devon, representing the Speaker’s Committee on the Electoral Commission how much the Electoral Commission spent on (a) television, (b) radio and (c) poster advertisements promoting (i) voting and (ii) voter registration in the period up to the (A) 2005 general election and (B) 2009 elections to the European Parliament. (281365)

The Electoral Commission informs me that it ran public information campaigns for both elections. Each campaign comprised two phases, the first to provide information on registration, the second on voting.

Expenditure on buying advertising for the 2005 general election campaign was as follows (figures rounded to the nearest thousand):

£

Registration phase

Voting phase

Television

1,361,000

1,915,000

Radio

21,000

811,000

Posters

0

25,000

The Commission spent a further £496,000 on producing advertising for this campaign.

The Commission’s expenditure on buying advertising for the 2009 elections to the European Parliament was as follows (figures rounded to the nearest thousand):

£

Registration phase

Voting phase

Television

1,249,000

16,000

Radio

395,000

164,000

Posters

84,000

0

The Commission spent a further £533,000 on producing advertising for this campaign.

To ask the hon. Member for South West Devon, representing the Speaker’s Committee on the Electoral Commission how much the Electoral Commission plans to spend on (a) encouraging voter registration and (b) encouraging voting through (i) television, (ii) radio and (iii) poster advertisements in advance of the next general election. (281366)

The Electoral Commission informs me that it currently plans to spend approximately £2.2 million on advertising for its campaign in advance of the next general election. It is not yet possible to break down this expenditure in the way requested as this will depend on when an election takes place and on the amount of notice given of an election.

Voting Behaviour

To ask the hon. Member for South West Devon, representing the Speaker’s Committee on the Electoral Commission what recent assessment the Electoral Commission has made of voting behaviour at elections. (289569)

The Electoral Commission informs me that it considers voter turnout and the take up of postal voting at elections as part of its annual election reports. However, it makes no assessment of voter intentions or behaviour in terms of support for political parties.

The Commission will publish its reports on the 2009 European parliamentary elections and local elections in England in October 2009. Reports on previous elections are available on the Commission’s website:

www.electoralcommission.org.uk

Northern Ireland

Ambulance Services: Crimes of Violence

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (1) when he last met representatives of the Northern Ireland Fire Service to discuss attacks on their staff whilst on duty; (289265)

(2) when he last met with senior Ambulance Service officials to discuss attacks on their staff whilst on duty in Northern Ireland.

The PSNI is committed to bringing to justice those who carry out these abhorrent attacks. I have not met with senior officials or representatives from Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service and Northern Ireland Ambulance Service recently. However, the Health Minister for Northern Ireland is aware of my continued concern for the well-being of emergency services staff

Arrests: Civil Disorder

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many people were arrested during rioting in Ardoyne in North Belfast on 13 July 2009. (289284)

As this is an operational matter for the Chief Constable I have asked him to reply directly to the hon. Gentleman, and will arrange for a copy of the letter to be placed in the Library of the House.

Aviation: Meetings

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland when he last met Northern Ireland Executive Ministers to discuss a regional aviation strategy for Northern Ireland. (289264)

I have had no requests from Northern Ireland Executive Ministers for such a meeting. Civil aviation is a reserved matter and is the responsibility of my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Transport.

Bomb Disposal

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many bomb devices have been defused by the Army Bomb Disposal Squad in Northern Ireland in the last (a) six and (b) 12 months. (289263)

Over the past (a) six and (b) 12 months Army Explosive Ordnance Disposal personnel (EOD) have defused 23 and 56 live bomb devices respectively.

Departmental Advertising

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how much his Department spent on newspaper advertising by publication in the latest year for which figures are available. (289478)

The finance system of the Northern Ireland Office (NIO) does not break down advertising expenditure in the detail requested; therefore these figures could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Departmental Recycling

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what proportion of his Department's waste was recycled in the latest period for which figures are available. (289668)

Complete data on what proportion of waste was recycled are not available. However, all buildings are involved in recycling. A cross-departmental recycling scheme on the Stormont estate, which covers a large proportion of Northern Ireland Office staff, shows an average recycling rate from June 2008 to May 2009 of 45 per cent.

We are constantly looking at ways to improve recycling rates, for example by providing recycling bins in each office, and new contracts are being put in place to extend the scope of recycling.

The latest assessment of Government's performance against these targets was published by the Sustainable Development Commission on 12 December 2008:

http://www.sd-commission.org.uk/sdig2008/

Departmental Responsibility

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland which Minister in his Department has been assigned responsibility for overseeing the delivery of value for money in his Department; whether his Department has established a public sector reform team to implement service reforms; and if he will make a statement. (289735)

My right hon. Friend the Minister of State for Northern Ireland (Paul Goggins) has been assigned responsibility for overseeing the delivery of value for money in the Northern Ireland Office.

The Northern Ireland Office is committed to reforming public services to improve services for the citizen and the Department has established a Business Performance Review Team (BPRT) to implement reforms. BPRT is working closely with colleagues in the centre of Government on this important agenda.

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland for which non-departmental public bodies and executive agencies he will continue to have responsibility in circumstances in which responsibility for policing is devolved to the Northern Ireland Assembly. (291457)

Those public bodies and their status which will be retained by the NIO at the point of devolution are as set out in the following table. While it is anticipated that parading will not devolve immediately, its future will be determined by the outcome of the Strategic Review of Parades chaired by Lord Ashdown.

Body

Status

Crown Solicitor’s Office

Legal Office

Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission

Executive NDPB

Boundary Commission for Northern Ireland

Advisory NDPB

Sentence Review Commissioners

Independent Office Holders

Remission of Sentences Act Commissioners

Independent Office Holders

The Chief Electoral Officer

Independent Office Holder

The Civil Service Commissioners

Independent Office Holder

Independent Monitoring Commission

International Body

Independent International Commission on Decommissioning

International Body

Bloody Sunday Inquiry

Inquiry

Hamill Inquiry

Inquiry

Wright Inquiry

Inquiry

Nelson Inquiry

Inquiry

Office of the Surveillance Commissioner

Misc

Parades Commission

Executive NDPB

Reviewer of police and military powers under the Justice and Security (Northern Ireland) Act 2007

Independent Office Holder (NB Not yet appointed)

Independent Commission for the Location of Victims’ Remains

International Body

Departmental Training

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many external training courses were attended by staff of his Department in the last 12 months; and what the cost was of each course. (289679)

The following table details external training courses attended by staff in the Northern Ireland Office in the last 12 months; and the associated cost for each course:

External training courses attended in 2008-09

External course

Cost (£)

Accelerated SQL Server 2005

439

Acrobat Introduction

185

Advanced SAP System Monitoring—ADM106

1,800

Advanced Writing

775

Advocacy Course

1,100

AEP Net Technical Training

5,200

Analysis and Use of Evidence for Senior Managers

895

Anti Money Laundering

70

Basic Consultation Processes

305

Business Case Appraisal

900

CCTV User Group Seminar (x2 Staff)

938

CIPD

119

Civil Contingencies

411

Civil Procedure in the County Court

70

Communications and Marketing

500

CommVault v7 Training

2,373

Concepts in Accreditation

1,800

Contentious Costs

823

Contracts of Employment

20

Conveyance Workshop

70

CPD Technical Update

60

CPD Training

1,694

Crypto Custodian Course

395

Crystal Reports XI Level 1

439

Current Developments in Administrative Law

374

Customer Service Excellence

59

Data Protection Certificate

2,330

Deaf Awareness Training

500

Dealing with Conflict in the Workplace

1,512

Dealing with Negative Attitudes

228

Deaths in Hospitals

80

Delivering Project Excellence Seminar

80

Dell San Course Combo

8,000

Developing Applications using Visual Basic

396

Developing Future Managers

1,200

Disability Discrimination

20

Dods Parliamentary Communications

454

Drafting Statutory Instruments

865

Effective Briefing

1,365

Effective Manager 1

1,725

Effective Ministerial Correspondence

755

Effective Presentations for Senior Managers

1,620

Effective Speech Writing

1,350

Effective Writing

1,550

Effectively Tackle Reoffending

811

Employment Law in NI

70

Equality Law Update

907

Essential Media Skills

825

Ethical Hacking and Penetration Testing

1,680

Executive PA Conference

2,026

Finance for Non-Financial Managers

1,414

First Aid Course

190

Gateway Review Team Member to Leader Workshop

400

Health and Safety

200

Helpdesk phone system course

550

High Court Litigation Seminar

60

How can we most effectively tackle reoffending

276

How Parliament Works

530

IFRS Prepare the shadow accounts

1,840

Immigration Law in Northern Ireland

375

Impact Assessment—Equality/Diversity in Policy Making and Service Delivery

440

Implementing the Taylor Reforms

734

Industrial Tribunal Case Law

40

Institute of Internal Auditors—MIIA Advanced Case Study Paper 4

1,069

Institute of Internal Auditors—MIIA revision workshop

588

Introduction to Audit

450

Introduction to Central Gov Finance

475

Introduction to Civil Protection

1,137

Introduction to Infosec

2,725

Introduction to Project Management

430

ISEB Foundation Certificate in Software Testing

1,752

IT Training

382

ITIL Foundation Course

1,590

ITIL Practitioner in Service Level Management

1,100

Land Law Reform Project

65

Lateral Thinking

156

Leadership and Team Building

293

Leadership Challenges for Women in Middle Management

1,145

Leadership Presence

1,395

Legal Professional Training

494

Legal Research On-Line Workshop

140

Libel and Defamation

70

M2261 Course

1,191

M2261 Win XP Ops System

857

M2262 Course

891

M2262 Win XP Ops System

569

M2273 Managing and Maintaining MS Windows Server

876

M2279 Planning, Implementing and Maintaining MS Server Active Directory

876

M2543 Core Web App Tech with M/S Visual Studio

876

M2547 Adv Windows Forms with MS Visual Studio

796

M2667 Intro to Programming

597

M2780 Maintaining MS SQL Server 2005 DB

3,104

M5047 Implementing and Managing MS Exchange 2007

1,752

Major Trauma and Drug Abuse

20

Management of Risk

1,940

Managing Operational Contracts

695

Managing Successful Programmes Foundation

960

Managing the passage of legislation

430

Managing time

410

Manual Handling Instructors’ and Assessors’

1,029

Mental Health Law

315

Mental Health Law and Offender Patients

210

Microsoft Word

100

MIIA Distance learning study course

368

Mind Mapping

1,366

Minute Taking Course

1,330

Mortgage Fraud

90

Mortgage Repossessions

70

MS Access

592

MS Excel

200

MS Excel Intermediate

200

MS Project introduction

412

MS Word

100

MSE2K7 Exchange 2007 Accelerated Workshop

876

New Standards New Challenges

95

ORACLE database 10g administration workshop 2

2,321

Overview of Legislation

315

Parliament Government and the Civil Service

2,500

Parliamentary Questions

430

Personal Development for Disabled People

3,510

Personal Injury Litigation

90

PFI on-depth

224

Piloting your Bill through Parliament

240

Policing, Partnership and Accountability

1,102

Policy, Management and Research in the Historic House Sector

51

Political Intelligence

450

Practice and Procedure in the County Court

70

Preparing Business Cases

1,550

Preparing for an Industrial Tribunal

394

Pre-retirement Course

430

Presentation and Communication Skills

1,200

Presentation Skills

300

Presuming to Interpret

110

Preventing Violent Extremism

217

PRINCE2

755

PRINCE2 Foundation

3,475

Prince2 Managing Successful Projects

1,095

PRINCE2 Practitioner

2,740

PRINCE2 Re-Accreditation

1,657

Programme Management for Fast Stream

795

Programme Management Overview

905

Project Leadership

454

Project Management Survival Guide

2,611

Records Management Diploma

3,768

Resource Budgeting

518

Resource Budgeting Estimates to Accounts

900

Risk Management

834

SCS Base camp

2,000

SDI Service Desk Analyst Course

5,391

Shared experience from triggers 1 and 2

173

Sign Language Taster

150

Six Thinking Hats

902

Special Investigators Group

61

Stakeholder Engagement

1,720

Stress Recognition and Management

65

Sustainable development for decision makers

398

Tackling Difficult HR Issues

403

Thinking On Your Feet

385

Time Management

1,175

Transforming NI

398

Understanding NI Assembly

890

Visio

390

Visual Basic VB.Net Course

2,250

VM Ware Install and Configure Course

9,464

Workshop on Civil Recovery Orders

344

Writing Dynamics

6,776

Departmental Travel

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how much his Department spent on (a) car hire, (b) air travel, (c) hotels and (d) restaurant meals for (i) Ministers and (ii) staff in his Department in each of the last five years. (289974)

The following table shows how much the Northern Ireland Office, including the Public Prosecution Service Northern Ireland, and excluding its agencies and NDPBs has spent on (a) car hire, (b) air travel (c) hotels and (d) restaurant meals for (i) Ministers and (ii) staff in his Department in each of the last five years.

All spending on official entertainment is made in accordance with HM Treasury’s “Managing Public Money”.

Thousand

2004-05

2005-06

2006-07

2007-08

2008-09

Car Hire1

Ministers

0

10

8

7

3

NIO Staff

70

63

42

67

70

Air Travel2

Ministers

573

562

637

535

751

NIO Staff

1,047

1,073

1,107

977

750

Hotels3

Ministers

4

4

4

2

6

NIO Staff

4

4

4

201

199

Restaurant meals5

Ministers

6

6

6

6

6

NIO Staff

6

6

6

6

6

1 There may also be car hire costs within other expenditure codes including general travel. To extract these costs, and verify that they are related to car hire, would exceed the disproportionate cost threshold of £750.

2 Travel by Ministers and civil servants is undertaken in accordance with the Ministerial Code and the Civil Service Management Code respectively.

3 Up until 2006-07, hotel expenditure was included within night subsistence costs. To extract only hotel costs in these years would exceed the disproportionate cost threshold of £750.

4 Figures not available prior to 2007-08.

5 Expenditure on restaurant meals is included within subsistence or hospitality expenditure. To extract only restaurant meal costs would exceed the disproportionate cost threshold of £750.

6 Figures not available.

Devolution

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what timetable he has set for devolution of responsibility for policing to the Northern Ireland Assembly. (291458)

The Government favours early devolution of responsibility for policing and justice, in line with the process set out by the First and Deputy First Minister in November 2008. It welcomes the introduction in the Northern Ireland Assembly of a Bill to establish a new Department of Justice, and looks forward to the Assembly approving a resolution seeking a transfer of powers, as set out in section 4 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998. It is making intensive efforts to clear the remaining obstacles.

Drugs: Sentencing

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many people have been (a) arrested and (b) sentenced for drug-dealing offences in Northern Ireland in the last 24 months. (289305)

In 2007-08 there were 736 persons and in 2008-09 there were 772 persons arrested for drug-dealing offences in Northern Ireland.

Conviction data for 2007 and 2008 are not available. In 2005 there were 149 persons and in 2006 there were 159 persons sentenced for drug-dealing offences in Northern Ireland.

Data for arrests relate to the offence for which a person is initially charged while data for convictions relate to the offence for which a person is tried. Not all persons arrested for drug-dealing are tried for this particular offence; for instance, if there is insufficient evidence persons may be tried for a lesser offence, such as drug possession.

Both data for arrests and convictions are collated on the principal offence rule; only the most serious offence with which an offender is charged is included.

Economic Situation

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland when he last met the Northern Ireland Executive Minister for Trade and Industry to discuss the economic downturn in the Province. (289283)

A discussion on the economy formed part of the recent meeting of the Joint Ministerial Committee, attended by the Northern Ireland First and deputy First Ministers, the Prime Minister, the Chief Secretary and myself. I have not recently discussed this issue with the Northern Ireland Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Investment (Arlene Foster MLA), but she met the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills during his visit to Belfast earlier in the year.

Orange Halls

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many attacks on Orange Halls were reported in each of the last 12 months in Northern Ireland. (289259)

As this is an operational matter for the Chief Constable I have asked him to reply directly to the hon. Gentleman, and will arrange for a copy of the letter to be placed in the Library of the House.

Police Service of Northern Ireland

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many Police Service of Northern Ireland stations are planned to be closed in the next (a) 12, (b) 24 and (c) 36 months. (289306)

That is an operational matter for the Chief Constable. I have asked him to reply directly to the hon. Member, and a copy of his letter will be placed in the Library of the House.

Police Service of Northern Ireland: Army

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many times the Army has provided assistance to the Police Service of Northern Ireland in its policing of the marching season in 2009. (289281)

As this is an operational matter for the Chief Constable I have asked him to reply directly to the hon. Gentleman, and will arrange for a copy of the letter to be placed in the Library of the House.

Police: Injuries

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many police officers were injured by rioters at Rasharkin in County Antrim on 13 July 2009. (289256)

As this is an operational matter for the Chief Constable I have asked him to reply directly to the hon. Gentleman, and will arrange for a copy of the letter to be placed in the Library of the House.

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many police officers were injured by rioters at Ardoyne on 13 July 2009. (289272)

As this is an operational matter for the Chief Constable I have asked him to reply directly to the hon. Gentleman, and will arrange for a copy of the letter to be placed in the Library of the House.

Police: Vehicles

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many police vehicles on average were available for duty in the night time in the (a) Cookstown, (b) Magherafelt, (c) Antrim and (d) Newtonabbey Council area in the last 12 months. (289260)

That is an operational matter for the Chief Constable. I have asked him to reply directly to the hon. Member, and a copy of his letter will be placed in the Library of the House.

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many police vehicles were damaged by rioters at Ardoyne on 13 July 2009. (289278)

As this is an operational matter for the Chief Constable I have asked him to reply directly to the hon. Gentleman, and will arrange for a copy of the letter to be placed in the Library of the House.

Prisoners: Maghaberry Prison

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many dissident (a) republicans and (b) loyalist prisoners are being held at Maghaberry Prison. (289279)

On 22 July, the number of prisoners recorded as being affiliated to dissident republican groups held in Maghaberry prison was 46; there were 112 loyalist prisoners on a similar basis.

Prisoners: Magilligan Prison

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many dissident republicans are being held in Magilligan prison. (289280)

On 22 July, there were 11 prisoners affiliated to dissident republican groupings held at Magilligan prison.

Relocation

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many people have moved house following dissident Republican threats during the last 12 months. (289270)

As this is an operational matter for the Chief Constable I have asked him to reply directly to the hon. Gentleman, and will arrange for a copy of the letter to be placed in the Library of the House.

Security

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland when he last met the First Minister of the Northern Ireland Executive to discuss the security situation in the Province. (289282)

The Secretary of State meets the First Minister regularly to discuss a range of issues, including the security situation.

Terrorism

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many death threats issued by dissident Republicans to (a) former members of the security forces and (b) members of the public resident in the Magherafelt District Council area have been reported in the last 12 months. (289276)

As this is an operational matter for the Chief Constable I have asked him to reply directly to the hon. Gentleman, and will arrange for a copy of the letter to be placed in the Library of the House.

Weapons: Licensing

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many licences for personal protection weapons (1) have been issued in each of the last three years. (289398)

(2) have been revoked in each of the last three years.

That is an operational matter for the Chief Constable. I have asked him to reply directly to the hon. Member, and a copy of his letter will be placed in the Library of the House.

Young People: Missing Persons

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many young people were recorded as going missing in Northern Ireland over the last 12 months. (289267)

That is an operational matter for the Chief Constable. I have asked him to reply directly to the hon. Member, and a copy of his letter will be placed in the Library of the House.

Prime Minister

Afghanistan

To ask the Prime Minister what discussions he had with the Chief of the Defence Staff on the announcement he made in Afghanistan on additional personnel, unmanned aerial vehicles, the Warthog vehicle and Ridgeback vehicles. (291572)

I have regular meetings and discussions with ministerial colleagues and others including the Chief of the Defence staff on a wide range of subjects. The Chief of the Defence staff accompanied me on my visit to Afghanistan in August.

Cabinet Committees: Data Protection

To ask the Prime Minister pursuant to chapter 1, paragraph 42 of Building Britain’s future, Cm 7654, what steps he plans to take to strengthen the protection given to the records of Cabinet committees. (290368)

The details of the proposed changes to legislation as set out in Building Britain’s Future (Cm7654) will be included in the Government’s response to the Review of the 30-Year Rule. The Government response will be published in due course.

Defence: Procurement

To ask the Prime Minister whether his Office has received a copy of the report prepared by Bernard Gray on the Ministry of Defence’s equipment programme. (291571)

I refer the hon. Member to the answer to the right hon. Member for Witney (Mr. Cameron) on 15 July 2009, Official Report, column 286.

Domestic Visits

To ask the Prime Minister when he next plans to visit (a) the Royal Centre for Defence Medicine’s clinical facilities at Selly Oak and (b) the Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre, Headley Court. (291718)

I have visited members of the armed forces both in the United Kingdom and abroad, and have met injured personnel, in Selly Oak and other places, on these occasions. Visits to injured personnel and to hospitals are undertaken privately.

Legislation

To ask the Prime Minister (1) which proposals announced during his speech to the 2009 Labour Party Conference will require (a) primary and (b) secondary legislation to implement; and if he will make a statement; (292314)

(2) which of the proposals announced during his speech to the 2009 Labour Party Conference have previously been announced by the Government (a) in full and (b) in part, giving the date in each case; and if he will make a statement.

The Government will set out its proposals for legislation in the next session in the Queen’s speech. The speech is a matter of public record.

Libya: Northern Ireland

To ask the Prime Minister if he will make representations to the President of Libya on compensation for the victims of Irish Republican Army terrorism in Northern Ireland. (291652)

I refer my hon. Friend to the press briefing given by my spokesman on 7 September. A transcript of this is available on the No. 10 website

http://www.number10.gov.uk/Page20542

and a copy has been placed in the Library of the House.

Lockerbie: Bombings

To ask the Prime Minister pursuant to the answer to the right hon. Member for Richmond, Yorks., of 9 September 2009, Official Report, column 1897W, on Libya, if he will place in the Library a copy of his letter to Colonel Gaddafi of Libya, delivered by the then Foreign Office Minister, the hon. Member for Harlow, during his visit to Tripoli in February 2009; and whether he had a meeting with Colonel Gaddafi at the recent UN General Assembly meeting. (292173)

A copy of the letter has been placed in the Libraries of the House. The letter covered a range of African policy issues which were appropriate and relevant in the light of Colonel Gaddafi’s election as chair of the African Union. It did not cover the issue of Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi’s release. I did not meet Colonel Gaddafi at the UN General Assembly meeting.

Official Gifts

To ask the Prime Minister what use has been made, and by whom, of wine held by Ministers as part of the Donated Asset Reserve in the last 12 months. (290117)

I refer the hon. Member to the annual list of gifts received by Ministers in an official capacity valued at more than £140 which has been published since 2001. Copies of the lists are available in the Libraries of the House.

Social Care Green Paper

To ask the Prime Minister with reference to his foreword to the Social Care Green Paper, Cm 7673, in what ways the debate he calls differs from that he called for in his Kings Fund speech of May 2008. (290449)

“The case for change—why England needs a new care and support system”, published in May 2008, set out the Government’s intention to reform care and support services and was followed by a six-month period of public engagement to help raise awareness of care and support issues and to gather opinions on the best way to proceed with the reform agenda.

This year’s Green Paper, “Shaping the Future of Care Together”, published in July, is the response to that period of public engagement. It sets out specific options and proposals for a National Care Service, on which debate shall now ensue.

UN

To ask the Prime Minister if he will place in the Library, in respect of the Special Session of the United Nations Security Council on Nuclear Non-proliferation held on 24 September 2009, a copy of (a) his speech to the session, (b) speeches from other heads of Government referring to the United Kingdom contribution and (c) any papers submitted in support of the Special Session by (i) the United Nations and (ii) national delegations. (292491)

A record of the discussions and videos of the speeches given can be found at:

http://www.un.org/webcast/sc.html

A copy of my speech has been placed in the Library of the House.

USA

To ask the Prime Minister if he will place in the Library a copy of the transcript of his question and answer session from New York which was broadcast on Radio Five Live on 23 September 2009. (292332)

The interview was conducted for the BBC Simon Mayo show broadcast on Radio 5 live, and can be heard on its website.

Scotland

Departmental Advertising

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how much his Department spent on advertising in each newspaper in the latest year for which figures are available. (289480)

Departmental Billing

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what percentage of invoices from suppliers his Department paid within 10 days of receipt in June 2009. (288934)

Departmental Manpower

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many staff there were in (a) his Department’s predecessor in 1997 and (b) his Department on the latest date for which figures are available. (292070)

The Scotland Office was established on 1 July 1999. Therefore, there was no predecessor in 1997.

The latest staffing levels for the Scotland Office are published in the Office’s Annual Report for 2009, a copy of which is available on the Scotland Office website. To view this Report please see the following link:

http://www.scotlandoffice.gov.uk/scotlandoffice/files/SO%202009.pdf

A correction to Annex 9 is also available via the following link:

http://www.scotlandoffice.gov.uk/scotlandoffice/files/SO%202009%20ERRATUM%203.pdf

Departmental Recycling

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what proportion of his Department’s waste was recycled in the latest period for which figures are available. (289667)

I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to the hon. Member for Reading, East (Mr. Wilson) on 31 March 2009, Official Report, column 1029W.

Departmental Responsibilities

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what the executive functions of his Department are. (288632)

The functions of the Scotland Office are set out fully in its annual report for 2009 which is published on the Scotland Office website at:

http://www.scotlandoffice.gov.uk/scotlandoffice/10797.135.html

The principal role of the Scotland Office is to oversee the devolution settlement and make it work effectively for the people of Scotland and the rest of the United Kingdom.

Economic Situation

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland pursuant to the answer of 15 July 2009, Official Report, column 381W, on departmental publications, whether his Department will prepare and publish a background paper on (a) the effects on the Western Isles economy of the closure of the Hebrides Range and (b) the effects of fuel duty on rural hauliers and motorists in Scotland. (291720)

No. There is no plan to close the Hebrides Range; and fuel duty is a matter for the Chancellor of the Exchequer.

Glasgow

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he plans to visit Glasgow on official business during the summer adjournment. (288935)

Wales

Business: Government Assistance

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what schemes the Government have made available to assist businesses in Wales during the economic downturn. (288901)

The UK Government have launched a number of initiatives designed to help UK businesses during the current economic downturn. These include the Enterprise Finance Guarantee Scheme, Capital for Enterprise Fund and the highly successful HMRC Time to Pay, which are all supporting Welsh businesses. So far, HMRC has reached over 6,780 agreements with businesses in Wales, to spread more than £100 million in businesses taxes. More information on these schemes can be obtained from the BIS, Wales Office and Welsh Assembly Government websites.

The European Investment Bank has also approved nearly £475 million of loans to small and medium sized enterprises across the UK.

Departmental Advertising

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how much his Department spent on advertising in each newspaper in the latest year for which figures are available. (289482)

Departmental Billing

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what percentage of invoices from its suppliers his Department paid within 10 days of receipt in June 2009. (288698)

Departmental Manpower

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many staff there were in (a) his Department's predecessor in 1997 and (b) his Department on the latest date for which figures are available. (292073)

The Wales Office was established in May 1999. My office currently employs 58 members of staff.

Departmental Motor Vehicles

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how much his Department spent on hire vehicles in each of the last five financial years. (291605)

In the last five financial years, my Department’s expenditure for car hire is broken down as:

Spend on car hire (£)

Ministers

Staff

2004-05

77,153.00

126.00

2005-06

92,866.68

277.37

2006-07

106,707.39

41.02

2007-08

135,649.52

0

2008-09

217,129.45

143.44

The increase in car hire for Ministers in 2008-09 came about because in previous years the Secretary of State’s car was provided by the Northern Ireland Office and then the Department of Work and Pensions when he held dual responsibilities.

Departmental Postal Services

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how much his Department spent on Royal Mail services in each of the last two years. (288744)

In the last two years my Department has spent the following using the services of Royal Mail:

£

2007-08

1,711

2008-09

2,531

Departmental Procurement

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what companies or organisations provided (a) goods and (b) services to his Department in 2008-09; and what the cost to the public purse was in each case. (289013)

Departmental Public Expenditure

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales which Minister in his Department has been assigned responsibility for overseeing the delivery of value for money in his Department; whether his Department has established a public sector reform team to implement service reforms; and if he will make a statement. (289732)

I have asked the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State to take on the role as the Wales Office's Value for Money Minister. Both he and I take an active role in ensuring that the Wales Office delivers value for money in all its expenditure. We are not a service delivery Department however and thus do not have a public sector reform team.

Departmental Recycling

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what proportion of his Department’s waste was recycled in the latest period for which figures are available. (289670)

The last period for which figures are available covers January to March 2009. During this period, the Wales Office recycled 84 per cent. of its waste.

Departmental Travel

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how much his Department spent on (a) car hire, (b) train travel, (c) air travel, (d) hotels and (e) restaurant meals for (i) Ministers and (ii) staff in his Department in each of the last five years. (289979)

In the last five financial years, my Department’s expenditure for car hire, train travel and air travel is broken down as:

Spend (£)

2004-05

2005-06

2006-07

2007-08

2008-09

Car hire

Ministers

77,153.00

92,866.68

106,707.39

135,649.52

217,129.45

Staff

126.00

277.37

41.02

0

143.44

Train tickets

Ministers

11,011.50

7,124.00

6,270.70

11,601.44

14,549.50

Staff

69,951.60

102,599.83

90,371.00

113,758.51

155,685.00

Air fare

Ministers

4,959.28

0

169.43

676.88

1,156.53

Staff

15,108.30

211.67

9,577.03

1,491.29

2,792.56

The increase in car hire for Ministers in part of 2007-08 and 2008-09 came about because in previous years the Secretary of State’s car was provided by the Northern Ireland Office and then the Department of Work and Pensions when he held dual responsibilities. Restaurant meals and hotel costs are not kept separately and could be obtained only at a disproportionate cost.

Legislative Competence: Wales

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what guidance his Department has issued on the status of proposed legislative competence orders which have not completed the process of Parliamentary approval at the point of a dissolution of Parliament; and if he will make a statement. (290496)

Legislative Competence Orders will be treated in the same way as any other form of legislation passing through the Palace of Westminster following the dissolution of Parliament.

Women and Equality

Budget April 2009

To ask the Minister for Women and Equality how many copies of the Budget 2009 Report the Government Equalities Office ordered; and what the cost was of that order. (290266)

Departmental Conditions of Employment

To ask the Minister for Women and Equality what percentage of employees in the Government Equalities Office (a) are on a flexible working contract, (b) are on a job share employment contract and (c) work from home for more than four hours a week. (287090)

The Government Equalities Office (GEO) operates a flexible working policy which is available to all staff. The GEO currently does not have any staff on job share contracts. Staff are allowed to work from home, subject to line management agreement based on business need, however central records on the amount of time worked from home are not held.

Equality and Human Rights Commission

To ask the Minister for Women and Equality what procedures apply to the grant of permission for the use of the (a) resources and (b) offices of the Equality and Human Rights Commission activities related to a private sector organisation. (290430)

Permission to use the resources and offices of the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) would not normally be granted for activities relating to private sector organisations.

Exceptionally the EHRC approved the use of their offices for a private sector organisation; however this was without the approval of the Government Equalities Office. The use of the EHRC offices for private sector organisation meetings has since ceased.

Equality and Human Rights Commission: Finance

To ask the Minister for Women and Equality how much funding the Equality and Human Rights Commission has given to Traveller groups; on what dates; and for what purposes. (288252)

The following tables contain a full list of Traveller-related work, totalling £344,734, funded under the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s Interim Grants Programme, which ran from 1 April 2008-31 March 2009.

Funding awarded to Traveller groups under the 2008-09 Interim Grants Programme

Organisation

Outcome

Region/country

Amount (£)

Friends, Families and Travellers

To develop an environment where Gypsies and Travellers in West Sussex and east Hampshire have the confidence to participate actively in the life of the community.

South East

39,817

Gypsy/Travel Education and Information Project North East (GTEIP)

To support Gypsy/Traveller women and Gypsies/Travellers with disabilities to address barriers which prevent them accessing services and their capacity to live free and equal lives. (This will take the form of Action Research; both recording issues and experiences while supporting action on the issues.)

Scotland

21,000

London Gypsy and Traveller Unit

Improved and informed policy development and public profile of Gypsies and Travellers; to include their views and be based on fair and accurate information.

London

39,927

S.P.A.R.C

To improve Gypsies and Travellers access to health care provision and related services in Tees Valley, and reduce the significant health inequalities experienced by older people, children, women and those with mental health issues within these communities.

North East

35,000

One Voice 4 Travellers Ltd.

To provide support and advocacy for roadside Traveller women and children in Suffolk and Cambridgeshire by means of an outreach volunteering strategy.

East Midlands

20,000

Other funding awarded to deliver traveller-related work under the 2008-09 Interim Grants Programme

Organisation

Outcome

Region/country

Amount (£)

Bradford Community and Voluntary Service (BCVS)

To enable Romany Gypsies and Irish Travellers to have equal access to services and to represent their own needs and concerns in order to participate in civic life in the District.

Yorkshire and Humber

35,000

Pakistan Community Association and Multicultural Advice Centre

Provide a study support service which allows young Roma people to achieve their full potential and integrate with other ethnic minorities in the area.

Yorkshire and Humber

20,060

Save the Children UK

To improve understanding of prejudice and diversity by marginalised young people(especially young Gypsy/Travellers) by holding workshops to promote and develop key skills.

Scotland

39,930

The Race Equality Council for Gloucestershire

1. To facilitate access to public services for Migrant Workers informing them of services.

South West

35,000

2. To improve access to public services including creation of permanent sites for caravans for Travelling Community and better access to education for their children: improved relationship between travelling and settled community.

3. To create opportunities for people of different cultures to meet and learn about each other by experiencing art, culture and music of different traditions: promote an appreciation of benefits of cultural diversity especially in Cheltenham area.

The Rural Media Company

To work with local authority Planning and Diversity officers, and Gypsy, Roma and Traveller groups (GRT) (including women, children and the elderly) in the West Midlands bringing them together to develop a DVD Resource to address the racial discrimination issues in local communities around Traveller homelessness and lack of stopping sites.

West Midlands

35,000

Black Training and Enterprise Group (BTEG)

To develop the capacity of Gypsy and Traveller communities by providing training in project management and equality and Human Rights legislation to ensure these communities are able to participate more effectively in planning and other decision making contexts which effect their lives.

14,000

To ask the Minister for Women and Equality when the annual statements of accounts of the Equality and Human Rights Commission were signed off; and what the reason was for the time taken to sign them off. (288253)

The accounts were laid on Monday 20 July. The preparation of the first set of accounts for the Commission was a major undertaking, bringing together the assets and liabilities of the legacy commissions and establishing common standards for measurement and evaluation which needed to be agreed with NAO.

Accounts for the Disability Rights Commission and the Commission for Racial Equality were only laid in May and June 2009 respectively. Information from those accounts has had to be consolidated with the Equality and Human Rights Commission's own figures and this has taken time.

To ask the Minister for Women and Equality what payments the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has made to the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) since the EHRC's establishment; for what purposes and projects those payments were made; and whether it has commissioned the IPPR to undertake further work in the future. (288265)

The Equality and Human Rights Commission has made the following payments totalling £19,075 to the IPPR:

Payments to Institute of Public Policy Research

Date

Purpose

Payment (£)

29 October 2008

IPPR corporate subscription includes reports, publications and email alerts. November 2008 to October 2009.

150

1 April 2008

Receipt of interim report on social housing allocation and immigrant communities.

10,000

1 April 2008

Receipt of draft final report on social housing allocation and immigrant communities

8,925

The Commission has commissioned research to examine the allocation of social housing in England. The study is set in the context of increased international immigration to the UK and a reduction in social housing stock.

The Commission currently has no plans to undertake further work with the IPPR.

Equality and Human Rights Commission: Industrial Disputes

To ask the Minister for Women and Equality how many employment disputes involving staff of the Equality and Human Rights Commission have been taken to an employment tribunal. (288269)

To date, 15 employment disputes involving staff of the Equality and Human Rights Commission have been taken to an employment tribunal.

Equality and Human Rights Commission: Manpower

To ask the Minister for Women and Equality how many staff who were made redundant by the Commission for Racial Equality and given redundancy payments have subsequently been (a) employed and (b) hired as consultants by the Equality and Human Rights Commission. (288267)

72 Commission for Racial Equality (CRE) staff received redundancy payments via the Principal Civil Service Pension Scheme. The CRE may have made direct payments to staff over retirement age. The Equality and Human Rights Commission subsequently re-engaged seven former employees of the CRE on short-term consultancy contracts. More information about the re-engaged staff can be found in the EHRC annual report and accounts 2006-08.

To ask the Minister for Women and Equality how many posts for full-time equivalent staff the Equality and Human Rights Commission has approval from HM Treasury to appoint; and how many such posts are unfilled. (290453)

The Equality and Human Rights Commission has approval to appoint 525 posts for full-time equivalent staff. There are no vacancies at present.

Government Equalities Office: Flags

To ask the Minister for Women and Equality how many flags the Government Equalities Office (a) owns and (b) maintains; and what the cost of maintaining them was in the last 12 months. (290265)

Government Equalities Office: Flowers

To ask the Minister for Women and Equality how much the Government Equalities Office has spent on flowers in each year since its establishment. (290385)

Since its creation on the 12 October 2007, the Government Equalities Office has not spent any money on flowers.

Government Equalities Office: Manpower

To ask the Minister for Women and Equality how many and what proportion of staff working in the Government Equalities Office are (a) male, (b) female and (c) from an ethnic minority. (290225)

The Government Equalities Office employs 102 staff of which 68 are female (67 per cent.) and 34 are male (33 per cent.). 20 (19 per cent.) staff are from an ethnic minority.

Housing: Finance

To ask the Minister for Women and Equality how many official functions she has attended to promote the proposals contained in Building Britain's future, Cm 7654. (290469)

The Minister for Women has attended one official function for Building Britain's Future which took place on 27 July 2009 in Hull.

Immigrants: Housing

To ask the Minister for Women and Equality what assessment the Equality and Human Rights Commission made of the legality of giving priority to local residents in the social housing allocation policies. (288264)

The Equality and Human Rights Commission recently undertook a research project on allocation of social housing. This project did not undertake any assessment of current social housing allocation policies.

International Women’s Day

To ask the Minister for Women and Equality how much her Department plans to spend on promoting International Women's Day 2010. (290382)

The GEO has not finalised the plans for promoting International Women's Day 2010 as yet, therefore, we cannot provide a figure.

Members: Correspondence

To ask the Minister for Women and Equality when she plans to reply to the letter to her of 29 May 2009 from the right hon. Member for Manchester, Gorton with regard to Ms K Rowley. (287816)

My hon. Friend the Solicitor-General (Vera Baird) wrote to the right hon. Member on the 16 July 2009.

Public Sector: Procurement

To ask the Minister for Women and Equality whether she plans to bring forward legislative proposals to amend public procurement legislation and guidance in order to achieve the Government's policy objectives on equality. (289078)

There are no plans to amend procurement legislation. The Equality Bill contains a Regulation making power to introduce specific duties via secondary legislation, which will require contracting authorities to use public procurement to promote equality wherever possible. The specific duties will be formulated in a way that is compatible with procurement legislation, so there should be no need to amend either the Public Contract Regulations 2006, or the Utilities Contract Regulations 2006.

The Government Equality Office is working closely with both the Equality and Human Rights Commission and the Office of Government Commerce with regard to procurement related guidance. The EHRC are assessing the requirements for guidance in relation to the Equality Bill and the Office of Government Commerce are also considering what may be required in relation to procurement, including the provision of a new non-legislative toolkit.

Refuges: Domestic Violence

To ask the Minister for Women and Equality how many refuges for victims of domestic violence she has visited on official business in the last 12 months. (290477)

The Minster for Women and Equality visited The Poppy Project, part of Eaves, a London-based charity that provides housing and support to trafficked women, in September 2008. In April 2009 she visited a Domestic Violence Victims Support Unit in Ghana.

No other visits have been made in the last 12 months.

Travelling People

To ask the Minister for Women and Equality what research the Equality and Human Rights Commission has undertaken into Travellers. (288262)

The Equality and Human Rights Commission has undertaken the following research:

(i) A review of the inequalities experienced by Gypsy and Traveller communities across the Commission’s mandate and public services, building on the race focus of Common Ground published in 2006 by the Commission for Racial Equality.

(ii) An assessment of local authorities’ progress in meeting the accommodation needs of Gypsy and Traveller communities in England.

Both pieces of research were published in March 2009 alongside the Commission’s report, “Gypsies and Travellers: Simple solutions for living together”, which highlights and promotes best practice.

Similar research for Scotland will follow in the autumn.

Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Afghanistan

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many staff from his Department are based in the provincial reconstruction team base in Lashkar Gar; what proportion of such staff (a) have left the perimeter of the base by road during their tour and (b) are performing roles which could be undertaken at Camp Bastion; and if he will make a statement. (291095)

I refer the hon. Member to the response given by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for International Development on 14 September 2009, Official Report, columns 2108-09W.

Afghanistan: Detainees

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has made to the US administration on the return of Shaker Aamer to the UK. (289701)

We have sought the release and return of Shaker Aamer, a Saudi national formerly lawfully resident in the UK, from Guantanamo Bay since August 2007. The US has not so far agreed to his release and return to the UK in the light of security concerns in his case.

We have made clear to both the current and previous US Administrations that our request for Mr. Aamer’s release and return to the UK stands. My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary has reiterated this position to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Other Ministers and senior officials across Government have raised Mr. Aamer’s case with their counterparts in the US State Department, the Department of Defence, the Department of Justice and the National Security Council.

Afghanistan: Elections

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations the Government has made to the UN regarding the involvement of the government of Afghanistan in local state elections in that country. (289492)

Over the past two years, the UK has been working alongside Afghanistan’s Independent Election Commission (IEC), the UN Assistance Mission to Afghanistan (UNAMA), the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the wider donor community to prepare the 2009-10 Afghan elections. This includes preparations for the Provincial Council elections, which will be held at the same time as the presidential elections on 20 August 2009.

The Afghan Government, with the support of the international community, has a vital role to play in both ensuring adequate security for the elections and that the IEC is a functioning body, capable of ensuring effective organisation. The 2009 elections will be the first Afghan-led elections since the 1970s.

UNAMA, through the UNDP, is co-ordinating international support through the ELECT project, to which the UK has given £16.5 million. ELECT aims to build up the capacity of the IEC to run the elections and to create a more cohesive and informed electoral process with as wide participation as possible. We work closely with the UN in Afghanistan and New York on preparations and have frequently played the lead role in raising and resolving issues of concern with the UN, the Afghan Government and international donors.

International funding, both through ELECT and other projects, is supporting media exposure for candidates and civic education for voters, to explain the electoral process and to encourage them to vote. We are following the UN and IEC preparations closely, holding UNDP to account against the project’s agreed outputs and pressing for additional action where necessary.

More details on the ELECT project can be found at:

http://www.undp.org.af/WhoWeAre/UNDPinAfghanistan/Projects/dcse/prj_elect.htm

Algeria: Asylum

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether the Head of his Department's Middle East and North Africa Department has plans to visit the Saharawi refugee camp in Algeria. (290518)

The Director of Middle East and North Africa at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office has no plans to visit the Saharawi refugee camp in Algeria. However, officials from our embassy in Algiers do make periodic visits to Tindouf, with the last such visit in March of this year.

Bangladesh: Human Rights

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has had with the Bangladeshi government on reports of violations of the human rights of the Jumma tribes in the Chittagong Hill Tracts. (291594)

The Government support the work of the Chittagong Hill Tract Commission in promoting respect for democracy, land rights and development in the Chittagong Hill Tracts in Bangladesh. Officials from our high commission in Dhaka met with the deputy commissioner in Rangamati in the Chittagong Hill Tracts in March 2009 to stress the importance of both implementation of the Chittagong Hill Tracts Peace Accord and respect for the human rights of the communities in the region. In August 2009, our high commissioner met members of the Chittagong Hill Tract Commission when they visited Bangladesh. Our high commission has offered funding in support of the commission’s important work to address the rights of the indigenous peoples.

British Nationality: Torture

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps he has taken to enable his Department to react more quickly to reports of the torture of British nationals abroad since 2004. (291422)

Ensuring the welfare of British nationals detained abroad is one of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO)'s highest priorities. Consular staff are given training and guidance in how to deal with distressed British nationals overseas, including in cases where allegations of mistreatment have been made. Consular staff are specifically trained on what action to take in response to any allegation of mistreatment. They can also draw on professional support, including from specialist legal and human rights advisers in the FCO.

However, this training and guidance is continually evolving and improving. Guidance is now clearer on the paramount importance and urgency of these cases, on who in London and overseas needs to be informed of allegations of mistreatment when these are made to a consular official, and on the actions to be taken to follow up such allegations.

Our current guidance includes the identification of possible signs of torture and mistreatment, as well as the procedures to be adopted in such circumstances. The first step when a British national is detained overseas is to seek and secure access by our consular staff. Our staff are instructed to ask our nationals whether they have suffered abuse or mistreatment, and to look out for signs of mistreatment even where an individual does not raise it. They are required to follow up all reports of mistreatment whether they come from the individual themselves, from their friends, family or representatives, or from other sources. What form this follow up action will take will depend on the individual circumstances of the case. Most obviously, we can raise our concerns with the relevant authorities. Whatever action we take however, the objective remains the same: to end the mistreatment, and have the incident investigated and the perpetrators of any abuse brought to justice.

In many countries we also raise more general concerns around the mistreatment and abuse of detainees as part of our wider human rights dialogue.

China: Falun Gong

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent representations he has made to the government of China on the arrest and treatment of (a) Falun Gong practitioners held in re-education through labour camps and (b) other Falun Gong practitioners. (289239)

We last raised our concerns about Falun Gong practitioners at the UK-China Human Rights Dialogue on 12-13 January 2009. We asked how many re-education through labour (RTL) detainees there were and what proportion were Falun Gong. The Chinese responded saying that reforms of the system of RTL were taking place. We will continue to raise this at every appropriate opportunity.

China: Human Rights

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what reports he has received on the detention of Mr Liu Xiaobo by the Chinese authorities; what representations he has made to his Chinese counterpart on the case; and if he will make a statement. (289286)

The EU Presidency issued a Declaration on 26 June 2009 expressing the EU’s deep concern about the detention of Liu Xiaobo. The EU called for the end of the prosecution of Liu Xiaobo and his immediate release, referring to the Chinese Constitution’s guarantee on the right of freedom of expression and in accordance with provisions of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights which China signed in 1998 (but has yet to ratify).

We raised the case of Liu Xiaobo at the UK-China Human Rights Dialogue on 12-13 January 2009. The Chinese Delegation responded by saying his case was being dealt with by the Chinese courts. We also worked closely with our European partners to ensure this case was raised at the EU-China Human Rights Dialogue held on 14 May 2009 in Prague.

We will continue to raise this issue at every appropriate opportunity.

Democratic Republic of Congo: Armed Conflict

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent reports he has received on the location and detention of General Laurent Nkunda. (292119)

The Congolese and Rwandan authorities have stated that they are still in discussions on how to deal with Laurent Nkunda. We understand that Nkunda remains under house arrest in Rwanda.