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Written Answers to Questions

Monday 22 May 2000


Information Technology

Ms Coffey: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office when the report on the handling of major Government IT projects will be published. [123285]

Mr. Ian McCartney: We are publishing the report "Successful IT: Modernising Government In Action" today, and have placed copies in the Libraries of the House.

This Government are committed to delivering improvements and avoiding the mistakes of the past. The report makes a series of recommendations to put in place the pillars that support successful IT projects. They include measures to:

The Government will implement all the recommendations and the report sets out a plan for achieving this. The E-Envoy will own the report and inform me of progress towards putting the recommendations into practice.


Mr. Healey: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office (1) if she will (a) place in the Library and (b) publish the papers prepared for the Committee for Honours, Medals and Decorations in its consideration of the case for the award of the General Service Medal for service in Northern Ireland between 14 August 1969 and a date to be agreed; [122550]

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Dr. Moonie: I have been asked to reply.

The Committee on the Grant of Honours, Decorations and Medals is a committee established at the request of The Sovereign that reports directly to The Queen. I have therefore asked the Chairman of the Committee, Sir Richard Wilson, to write to my hon. Friend. A copy of the letter will be placed in the Library of the House.


Ministerial Meetings

Mr. Spring: To ask the Prime Minister what requests he has received from overseas Governments for meetings in Britain between himself and representatives of these Governments between 19 May and 12 June; and which such meetings will take place. [122792]

The Prime Minister [holding answer 19 May 2000]: It is established practice under exemption 1(c) of the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information not to disclose information received in confidence from foreign Governments. As with previous Administrations, it is not our practice to provide information on calls until they are announced officially, both here and in the visitor's home country.

Mr. Spring: To ask the Prime Minister if he will list the official visits to Britain by senior representatives of overseas Governments which are due to take place between 19 May and 12 June. [122793]

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The Prime Minister [holding answer 19 May 2000]: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office is organising the following official visits to Britain by senior representatives of overseas governments which are due to take place between 19 May and 12 June:



Ms Oona King: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment she has made of progress in the establishment of community schools in Zambia. [121778]

Clare Short: Community schools in Zambia provide an important service for disadvantaged children. They have grown rapidly, from 53 in 1996 to 373 last year. My officials are working with the Ministry of Education and other donor partners to ensure that their needs are reflected in a joint education sector support programme.

EC Programmes

Mr. Robathan: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, pursuant to the Annual report of the Department for International Development, Cm 4610, para 4.22, relating to the part of DFID's budget spent through EC programmes, what procedures were used in accounting for this money by her Department. [121837]

Clare Short: The UK contribution to the European Union Budget, including development spending, is paid from the Consolidated Fund to an EC account held in the UK. These payments are administered by the Treasury.

For our European Development Fund (EDF) payments, which are made quarterly, my Department is notified by the EDF of the required amount shortly before payment is required. It is made to DFID's euro account at the Bank of England. When the EDF need to call down these funds, they notify my Department, which writes to the Bank of England authorising transfer to the EDF account.

Audit of all EC expenditure, including development programmes, is carried out by the Court of Auditors. I have access to their report, which is also scrutinised by the National Audit Office.

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