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Science Service

Mr. Hope: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will lay before Parliament the annual report for the Forensic Science Service. [132883]

Mr. Straw: Copies of the Forensic Science Service's annual report and accounts for 1999-2000 have today been laid before Parliament.

The Forensic Science Service (FSS) met and exceeded its financial target to achieve a three per cent. return on capital employed and maintained accreditation through external bodies. However, it did fail to achieve the stretching efficiency gain target and service delivery targets. This was a challenging year for the FSS--further expanding its work force, absorbing the associated recruitment and training costs and devoting large human resources to the DNA expansion project. It was also the organisation's first year as a Trading Fund. The targets and plans agreed for 1999-2000 were ambitious, and while the FSS failed to achieve targets in two key areas, it demonstrated a significant improvement in both turnaround times and delivery dates met.

The targets for 2000-01 are set out in the table, alongside those for 1999-2000.

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FSS Agency Targets:1999-20002000-01
Financial indicators:
Return on Capital EmployedMinimum 3 per cent.10 per cent.
Efficiency Gain (three year rolling)Minimum 10 per cent.Minimum 10 per cent.
Quality of service indicators:
Turnaround time24 days24 days
Exceed 99 per cent. of urgent and critical classified casesN/APilot
Achieve 90 per cent. agreed delivery datesYesYes
Put in place service level agreements with police forces (BVAs)YesYes
Put in place routine and robust customer satisfaction measurement processes (milestone 1999-2000 only)Yesn/a
Demonstrate year on year improvements in police (customer) satisfaction--Yes
Quality indicators:
Achieve external quality accreditation to ISO9000 and NAMAS standardsYesYes

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Police Complaints Authority

Mr. Ivan Henderson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he has made further appointments to the Police Complaints Authority. [133024]

Mr. Charles Clarke: I have invited Mr. Duncan Gear, Mrs. Anne Boustred and Mrs. Alison McDougall to serve as Members of the Police Complaints Authority. Mr. Gear took up his appointment on 1 June and Mrs. Boustred on 5 June. Mrs. McDougall will take up her appointment on 18 September. All appointments are for a three year period initially.

Mr. Gear was previously a Senior Inspector with the Magistrates Courts Service Inspectorate. Mrs. Boustred joins the Authority after serving as Principal Advocate in the Legal Services Directorate of Essex County Council and Mrs. McDougall was previously the Deputy Head of Equity Research, Europe for Lehman Brothers.

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Mr. Coaker: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has to attract to the United Kingdom entrepreneurs offering exceptional economic benefit but who do not meet the current criteria under the immigration rules. [133025]

Mrs. Roche: There are already specific categories in the Immigration Rules designed specially for entrepreneurs. These ensure that those who wish to make significant personal investments in creating employment can enter to engage in business. There are also clear routes for corporations wishing to establish branches and subsidiaries here. But the Government's Competitiveness White Paper signalled the economic importance of a dynamic approach to building a knowledge driven economy and the need to attract people with scarce skills and those willing to set up businesses which create jobs. That paper included a specific commitment to examine the scope for further encouraging certain entrepreneurs to consider migrating to the United Kingdom.

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In the light of that commitment, we have assessed the current Immigration Rules for business and entrepreneurs and have concluded they may not always fit well with a knowledge driven economy since they require minimum levels of investment and do not focus on innovation. Moreover, the current routes for entrepreneurs do not enable us to focus on those applications with the greatest potential of economic benefit.

We have, therefore, decided to introduce a scheme, which will be piloted as a concessionary arrangement outside the Immigration Rules in the first instance, aimed at attracting entrepreneurial innovators to the United Kingdom.

This pilot scheme will come into force on 4 September this year.

The key features of the innovators entry route are: it is intended to attract and select outstanding entrepreneurs whose business proposals will result in exceptional economic benefits for the United Kingdom; selection will take place on a rigorous and demanding basis but one that is designed to be flexible to accommodate a wide variety of applications with different strengths and weaknesses; no minimum investment is required; and there is no requirement for personal funds to be invested, but third party funding will be permitted.

Applicants will need to submit a business plan and a curriculum vitae with supporting documents.

Initial information about the scheme will be made available on the Immigration and Nationality Directorate website. I will place copies of guidance for applicants and information leaflets in the Library as soon as they are available.

Entry Clearance

Mr. Tony Lloyd: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when a decision will be made in the case of Ms A. (Reference 1013112) whose appeal was allowed by the adjudicator on 22 February. [131571]

Mrs. Roche: Authorisation to issue an entry clearance was sent to the entry clearance officer on 19 July.

Non-conviction Information

Mr. Gorrie: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he plans to remove non-conviction information from the requirements in the checks on volunteers and staff dealing with young people. [132245]

Mr. Charles Clarke: We attach particular importance to protecting young persons from those who would do them harm. This underpins the arrangements which we are putting in place to implement Part V of the Police Act 1997, under which information about criminal convictions will be more readily available to employers and voluntary organisations. The highest level of certificate that will be available under these arrangements will relate principally to those regularly caring for, training, supervising or being in sole charge of persons under the age of 18. In such cases, in addition to information about criminal convictions, police forces will be required to disclose any other information which, in the chief officer's opinion, might be relevant, and, under a "one-stop shop" arrangement, checks will also be made of a Department for Education and Employment list of persons who are

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barred from employment in the education service, and a Department of Health list of persons who are considered unsuitable to work with children.

Curfews (Cumbria)

Mr. Maclean: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many prisoners have been released to date under the home detention curfew scheme in Cumbria; and how many have re-offended. [132254]

Mr. Boateng: This information is not available centrally. Data on releases under the Home Detention Curfew scheme are broken down by contract region but not by country.

However, I will make further inquiries of the electronic monitoring contractor for the Northern region and write to the right hon. Gentleman with this information as soon as it is available. A copy of my letter will be placed in the Library.


Mr. Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) if he will list the (a) date, (b) nature and (c) action he has taken as a result, of each infringement of the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 since 1 January 1995 relating to xenotransplantation research; and if he will make a statement; [130708]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: Xenotransplanatation includes the transplantation of organs, such as hearts and kidneys, between different animal species and from animals into humans. Organ transplantation is a hugely successful medical procedure--one that has transformed the lives of tens of thousands of people across the world. The critical shortage of human donor organs has led scientists to investigate xenotransplantation as an alternative potential source of organs. This is a policy on which the Department of Health leads.

It is not Home Office policy to provide detailed information in respect of infringements relating to specific establishments or programmes of work. Summary information on the total numbers of infringements reported in all establishments for the years 1995 to 1998, inclusive, is provided in the relevant Animal Procedures Committee report. Similar summary information for 1999 will be reported in the Statistics of Scientific Procedures on Living Animals Great Britain 1999, which will be published in August 2000.

As to applications for authorities for xenotransplantation research granted under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986, Section 24 of the 1986 Act prevents disclosure of detailed information about specific programmes of work where this has been given in confidence.

Mr. Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what research his Department has

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undertaken concerning the fate of the wild-caught baboons imported from Kenya to the UK in May 1999; and if he will make a statement; [130710]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: All but a small number of primates used in scientific procedures in the United Kingdom are captive-bred and not taken from the wild. Under measures introduced in 1996, authority to use wild-caught primates will be given only if the applicant can establish exceptional and specific justification. Such cases are rare.

The Animals (Scientific Procedures) Inspectorate has maintained a close interest in the condition of the wild-caught baboons imported into the United Kingdom from Kenya in May 1999 and has been kept informed by the relevant designated establishment of its plans for their use and disposal.

Inspectors appointed under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 regularly visit all designated establishments to monitor standards and compliance with licence and certificate authorities.

If primates imported for use in xenotransplantation procedures are killed, but have never been used in the programme of work, it must be by a method listed in Schedule 1 of the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 or as defined in a condition attached to the relevant Certificate of Designation.

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