|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Mr. Brady: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment how many people's benefits have been withdrawn as a result of their refusal to accept any of the options on (a) the New Deal for the Young Unemployed, (b) the New Deal for over 25s and (c) the New Deal for Older Workers. 
Ms Jowell: Figures for the period 1 April 1998 to 30 June 2000 show that the following benefit sanctions have been imposed for (i) refusal of a New Deal option, (ii) Leaving an option voluntarily, (iii) misconduct, (iv) failure to attend and (v) other reasons:
|Number of sanctions imposed|
|Refusal of an Option||1,438|
|Leaving an Option Voluntarily||8,781|
|Failure to attend||12,544|
|Number of sanctions imposed|
|Refusal of an Option||40|
|Leaving an Option Voluntarily||233|
|Failure to attend||1,750|
Mr. Matthew Taylor: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will make a statement on the progress made by his Department since 1999 in reducing sickness absence; what targets he has agreed with the Cabinet Office; and if he will make a statement. 
6 Nov 2000 : Column: 48W
Mr. Matthew Taylor: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what procedures exist in his Department for a civil servant to report actions which (a) are illegal, improper or unethical, (b) are in breach of constitutional convention or a professional code, (c) may involve possible maladministration and (d) are otherwise inconsistent with the civil service code. 
Mr. Morley [holding answer 2 November 2000]: The procedures for reporting such concerns are the same for each issue. Where they cannot be resolved through line management staff may report issues in confidence through someone outside the normal chain of command. For core-MAFF this is the director of Establishments; for Agency staff the appropriate Chief Executive. If, after investigation, a member of staff is not satisfied with a given response a right of appeal exists to the Permanent Secretary and beyond that to the Civil Service Commissioners.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food when he will publish the results of the road traffic accident survey of badger carcases recommended by the Independent Scientific Group on Cattle TB; and if he will make a statement. 
Ms Quin: As from today arrangements are in place to test a sample of badger carcases for bovine tuberculosis in the counties of Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Gloucestershire, Herefordshire, Shropshire and Worcestershire, as recommended by the Independent Scientific Group on Cattle TB. Road casualty badgers along with badgers found dead on farms in Krebs trial areas within these counties will be collected and tested. Survey results will be published.
The Prime Minister announced on 10 November 1999, Official Report, column 542W, that he had established the Cabinet Committee on Rural Affairs. Regarding details of the meetings, it is established practice, under exemption two of Part II of the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information, not to disclose information relating to the proceedings of Cabinet Committees.
6 Nov 2000 : Column: 49W
Mr. Matthew Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the progress made by his Department since 1999 in reducing sickness absence; what targets he has agreed with the Cabinet Office; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Hain [holding answer 30 October 2000]: The Cabinet Office prepares an annual report of sickness absence in the Civil Service which includes information for each department. The report for 1999 is being finalised and will be published shortly. Details of the Department's targets for reduced sickness absence for 2001 and 2003 against a baseline of 1998 will be included in its Service Delivery Agreement. This will also be published shortly. In order to meet these targets the Department has streamlined procedures for recording absences, improved monitoring of sickness and pursued more active case management.
Mrs. Gillan: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will place in the Library the full text of the agreements made between the UK Government and Sierra Leone since 1 April 1997 concerning (a) the training of the Sierra Leone armed services, (b) the police and security services training and (c) any other services provided by Her Majesty's Government. 
Mr. Hain: All texts on agreements made between the UK Government and the Government of Sierra Leone on training the Sierra Leone armed services and police will be placed in the Library of the House by the Ministry of Defence and the Department of International Development respectively, except for those where disclosures would be prejudicial to our relations with the Government of Sierra Leone.
Mr. Hain: There are no plans to close British Council's Country Directorate in Sierra Leone. Following its recent strategic review, the council intends to maintain its activities there. These will focus on governance, education and public access information services with Internet access.
Mr. Streeter: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if the Government of the Solomon Islands have asked Her Majesty's Government for assistance in relation to recent civil disorder on the islands; and what assistance has been provided. 
6 Nov 2000 : Column: 50W
Mr. Battle: In early August the Solomon Islands Government asked HMG to provide additional manpower and equipment for the Royal Solomon Islands Police (RSIP). We are considering this request with other key players in the region, in the light of the Townsville Peace Agreement which was agreed on 15 October.
A World Bank delegation is in Honiara from 31 October until 7 November to assess the economic needs of the Solomon Islands and suggest how donor countries can most effectively provide assistance. Missions from the International Monetary Fund and the Asian Development Bank will make similar visits later this month. We will consider what further help we and our international partners can offer in the light of the recommendations arising from these missions.
Mr. Hain: The Green Paper is in the final stages of preparation. We continue to work towards a publication date of end November, but there may be some slight slippage. I will keep Parliament informed.
Mrs. Gillan: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, pursuant to his answer of 30 October 2000, Official Report, column 234W, for what reason a period of 15 days elapsed before Ministers were informed of the arrests of British nationals. 
Mr. Hain: As I said in my earlier answer of 30 October 2000, Official Report, column 234W, it is not normal practice for FCO officials to inform Ministers whenever a British national is arrested overseas. Due to a printing error, that answer appeared in incorrect form in Hansard. I would also like to take this opportunity to clarify another answer to the hon. Lady of 30 October 2000, Official Report, column 234W. Our Embassy in Havana was informed of the arrest of six British nationals on 9 October and immediately began seeking details and information about their whereabouts. On 12 October they made their first formal request for access. A diplomatic note requesting access was sent to the Cuban Ministry for Foreign Affairs on 16 October.
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|