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Old Age Pension

Mr. Roy: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) how many women received their first old age pension payment on the date of their 60th birthday in 2000; [3535]

Mr. McCartney: The information is not available in the format requested.

19 Jul 2001 : Column: 421W

FOREIGN AND COMMONWEALTH AFFAIRS

Ian Stillman

Mr. Swayne: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has received regarding the imprisonment of Ian Stillman; and if he will make a statement. [4101]

Mr. Bradshaw: As of 17 July the Foreign and Commonwealth Office had received 185 letters from Members of Parliament on behalf of their constituents. We have also received correspondence from the Stillman family, members of the public, non-governmental organisations, Church groups and others.

Mr. Swayne: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what action he is taking to secure the release of Ian Stillman; and if he will make a statement. [4100]

Mr. Bradshaw: My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary raised the concerns about Mr. Stillman's welfare at a meeting on 26 June with the Indian High Commissioners and Prime Minister Vajpayee's Principal Secretary. The Indian High Commissioner asked for a written note highlighting our concerns and the Foreign Secretary duly wrote to the High Commissioner on 28 June.

We will continue to speak to the Indian authorities to ensure that his appeal is heard swiftly.

'Your Britain, Your Europe'

Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how much has been spent by his Department on producing documents in the 'Your Britain, Your Europe . . .', series. [4375]

Peter Hain: Ten different FCO leaflets published between November 1999 and June 2001 carry the 'Your Britain, Your Europe' logo: 'Your Britain, Your Europe' (17,000 copies); IGC: Reform for Enlargement (5,000 copies); 'The Future of Europe' (10,000 copies; 'Want to know more about Europe' (11,000 copies); 'What has the EU ever done for us' (8,000 copies); 'Regional Factsheets' (2,200 copies); 'The EU: What's in it for you?' (25,000 copies); 'The Treaty of Nice' (16,200 copies); 'The Stockholm European Council' (3,000 copies); 'The EU: International Crime and Courts' (5,000 copies). The total cost of these was £24,940.51. In addition, five quarterly newsletters were produced with a distribution of 10,000 copies each at a total cost of £18,568.

Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs which of the documents in the 'Your Britain, Your Europe . . .', series has been checked for compliance with COI rules on public information. [4376]

Peter Hain: The FCO is committed by its Public Service Agreement to promote a better understanding of Britain's EU membership. The guidelines on Government information work are laid down by the Cabinet Office and are available at: http://www.cabinet-office.gov.uk/central/ 1999/workgis/annex–a.htm. The FCO seeks to ensure that all its publications are fully consistent with these guidelines.

19 Jul 2001 : Column: 422W

Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs to what extent the Rural Development Plan referred to in his Department's document, 'Your Britain, Your Europe, Your Wales' is funded by the EU. [4323]

Peter Hain: Since devolution, issues concerning the Rural Development Plan in Wales are now the responsibility of the National Assembly for Wales. They provided the information referred to in the 'Your Britain, Your Europe, Your Wales' document.

EU-Israel Customs Co-operation Committee

Dr. Starkey: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what items will be placed on the agenda of the EU-Israel Customs Co-operation Committee for 23 July. [3171]

Peter Hain: The EU/Israel Customs Co-operation Committee on 23–24 July will discuss a number of items of interest to the two parties. This discussion will include: questions relating to origin (including the implementation of Protocol 4 of the EU/Israel Association Agreement), extension and continuation of the EU/Israel customs dialogue, and mutual assistance between administrative authorities in customs matters.

Private Military Companies

Matthew Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will place in the Library a copy of the guidance issued to British embassies requiring them to report contact with companies which may be judged to fall within the sector of mercenaries and private military companies; and on what date this guidance was issued. [3398]

Peter Hain: Interim guidance to British embassies requiring them to report contacts with companies that may be judged to fall into the private military or security sector was issued in July 1998. This guidance was revised in April 1999. Disclosure of the report could harm the proper and efficient conduct of the operations of this Department.

US Export Administration Act

Mr. Sanders: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what consultations he has had with the United States Administration in relation to the US Export Administration Act since 1997; and if he will make a statement. [3707]

Mr. MacShane: Since we came to office, there has been no contact between the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs and the United States Administration in relation to the US Export Administration Act.

Mr. Sanders: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the impact of the US Export Administration Act in relation to the operation of UK law. [4277]

Mr. MacShane: The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs has made no assessment of the impact of the US Export Administration Act in relation to the operation of UK law.

19 Jul 2001 : Column: 423W

Treaty of Rome

Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will publish a consolidated version of the treaty of Rome, as amended by the treaty of Nice. [4258]

Peter Hain [holding answer 16 July 2001]: The Inter-Governmental Conference did not prepare a consolidated version of the treaty of Rome, and therefore it was not included in the Command Paper (Cm 5090) publishing the treaty of Nice. But we expect the Office for Official Publications of the European Union to publish

19 Jul 2001 : Column: 424W

a version of the consolidated treaties in due course. We will place this in the Libraries of both Houses as soon as it becomes available.

IT Contracts

Mr. Dobson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list the information technology contracts in excess of £500,000 let by his Department or its predecessor since April 1991, giving in each case the original estimated cost and original estimated completion date, the actual cost and actual completion date and the names of the contractors involved and consultants retained by his Department. [3498]

Mr. MacShane [holding answer 17 July 2001]: The information is in the table.

ContractOriginal estimated cost (£ million) Original estimated completion date Actual cost (£ million) Actual Completion Remarks
FTN Foreign Office Telecommunications Network165May 2010PFI contract
Firecrest (external supply)45June 2001Call-off framework agreement contract. Further one year extension just signed
Prism (procurement phase)2.2October 2001Planning and procurement costs
Passports1.2May 20011.2May 2001Capital purchases
Dynamics0.8October 19990.8August 2000
Consular Database1.0June 2006
Internet6.4July 2002
Fortress1.6March 19991.6October 1999
FMAS Support(23)1.3Software support plus
Microsoft Enterprise Licences5.6March 20015.6March 2001
NAI Licences2.0End 2001
Pay1.4March 2002
Aramis(23)0.27End 2003Annual costs predicted to fall as equipment is withdrawn
Minerva(23)0.2March 200710 year PFI contract

(23) Per annum


It would require disproportionate expense to provide details of contracts preceding the last three years.

The information about suppliers cannot be supplied as it may be commercially confidential or have been supplied in confidence. There was insufficient time to seek the consent of the suppliers to its disclosure.


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