asked Her Majesty's Government:
Further to the Written Answer by Lord Triesman on 7 November (WA 130), whether they will now give the dates and cost of the visit by a member of staff from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and a member of staff from the Home Office to Nepal, with a separate estimate of the overheads incurred in planning the journey in both departments; and what public interest is served by this exercise. [HL301]
The visit took place between 20 and 23 November and cost in the region of £5,000. There is no specific estimate of overheads incurred in planning the journey, as only two officers were involved in the visit and the planning of such visits and meetings is considered an integral part of their jobs. It was an extremely useful exercise as it secured an explanation from the Nepalese authorities of their nationality law which had not been forthcoming hitherto despite several rounds of correspondence. It has therefore enabled the Home Office to obtain clarity and, once written confirmation of the position is received from the Nepalese, will greatly facilitate decision-making on the outstanding applications made under the British Nationality (Hong Kong) Act 1997.