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Mr. Gray: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether he perceives a heightened risk of terrorist attack on private houses located adjacent to high security military bases; and what consideration he has made of whether proximity to high security military bases should be a consideration during the planning process. 
Mr. Blunkett: I have been asked to reply.
Threat and risk assessments are conducted on a regular basis and incorporate intelligence assessments together with a range of other factors. Police contingency planning, which gives priority to prevention, takes account of all types of threat.
Mr. Dismore: To ask the hon. Member for Roxburgh and Berwickshire, representing the House of Commons Commission, what plans he has to review the number of passes available to hon. Members for their staff following the recent changes in staffing levels consequent on the SSRB report; and if he will make a statement. 
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Mr. Kirkwood: I understand that the principles underlying the issue of photo-identity passes to Members' staff were considered by the Administration Committee on 14 November 2001 in the context of the recommendation of the SSRB report that hon. Members should be enabled to employ up to the equivalent of three full-time staff. I also understand that the Committee agreed that the current regulation approved by the House in 1989 whereby no hon. Member is entitled to apply for a photo-identity pass for more than three individual members of their personal staff may be interpreted to take account of job-share and part-time staff. The Commission has no plans to carry out a further review of the number of passes available to hon. Members for their staff at present.
David Winnick: To ask the hon. Member for Roxburgh and Berwickshire, representing the House of Commons Commission, if further discussions are to take place with the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards regarding her continuation in office; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Kirkwood: The Commission's intentions are as set out in my reply to the hon. Member for Broxbourne (Mrs. Roe) on 18 October 2001, Official Report, column 1285W. Since then, the present Commissioner has indicated that she does not wish to enter the selection process.
David Winnick: To ask the hon. Member for Roxburgh and Berwickshire, representing the House of Commons Commission, what communication he has received from the Chairman of the Committee on Standards in Public Life regarding the post of Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards. 
Mr. Kirkwood: Sir Nigel Wicks wrote on 29 November to Mr. Speaker as Chairman of the House of Commons Commission. Sir Nigel has placed the letter on the Committee on Standards in Public Life website.
David Winnick: To ask the hon. Member for Roxburgh and Berwickshire, representing the House of Commons Commission, when it is proposed for the Commission to next discuss the post of the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Kirkwood: The Commission will discuss this matter at its next meeting.
Mr. McNamara: To ask the hon. Member for Roxburgh and Berwickshire, representing the House of Commons Commission, who sits on the House of Commons Advisory Committee on Works of Art; when this Committee was established and who its Chairman is; if he will (a) publish the minutes of meetings of this body and (b) place them in the Library; how many times the Committee has met in the past two years; what plans he has to make the work of the Committee more public; what the criteria are for commissioning and purchasing artworks for the House; what the mechanisms are for consultation about purchasing policy; what steps (i) hon. Members and (ii) members of the public may take to nominate a particular work of art to be (A) purchased and (B) borrowed for display in the House; what is the value of works of art (1) on display and (2) in
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storage in the Parliamentary estate; and what is the value of purchases of artworks in each of the buildings that comprise the Parliamentary estate in each of the last three years. 
Mr. Kirkwood: I am informed that the Speaker's Advisory Committee on Works of Art was established in 1956, in response to a report on works of art in the House of Commons by a committee chaired by Viscount Hinchingbrooke. Mr. Speaker appointed the following hon. Members to the current Advisory Committee on 11 July 2001:
Mr. John Burnett
Mr. Mark Fisher
Mr. Robert Jackson
Mr. Hugo Swire
Mr. Michael Trend
Under the Committee's terms of reference, which have been endorsed by the Commission, the Committee shall:
In addition, the expenditure of that part of the House of Commons: Administration Estimate for the acquisition of new works of art is delegated to the Committee.
I am informed that the Committee has met on 11 occasions since 1 December 1999. It is not the Committee's practice to publish minutes of its meetings or place them in the Library. The Chairman is a member of the Accommodation and Works Committee and reports regularly to that Committee on the work of the Advisory Committee. I will invite the House of Commons Commission to consider what information could usefully be published in its annual report. The Committee is keen to make the content of the Permanent Collection of Works of Art more widely known both inside and outside Parliament. Press releases are issued to publicise important new acquisitions or the acceptance into the Collection of significant commissions.
The Committee seeks to acquire for the Collection works of art which illustrate the history of Parliament, which are of outstanding artistic quality and which represent good value for money. The Committee seeks in particular to acquire representations of Prime Ministers and party leaders. Expert advice on the artistic and material quality of potential purchases is sought from the Honorary Advisers to the Committee, the Curator and his staff and, where appropriate, directors of relevant national institutions. The Chairman welcomes suggestions from
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hon. Members and from members of the public for purchases or loans. He wrote to all hon. Members in April this year inviting them to put forward suggestions for inclusion on a new acquisition list.
No assessment has been made of the total market value of works of art on display in the parliamentary estate, but works in store are worth approximately £50,000. For the estate over the last three years the value of purchases was:
In addition, a special purchasing budget was approved for the House of Commons in respect of Portcullis House. Expenditure in the last three years was:
Mr. Burns: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many, and what proportion of letters received by the Department from hon. and right hon. Members between 20 June and 20 July were replied to in (a) under 15, (b) under 20, (c) under 30, (d) under 40 and (e) over 40 working days. 
Mr. Paul Murphy: The information requested is set out in the table:
|40 or more||0|
Annabelle Ewing: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what percentage of parliamentary questions replied to by the Wales Office were the subject of a holding answer in the last three parliamentary sessions. 
Mr. Paul Murphy: 1,345 questions were tabled for answer by my Department during the last three parliamentary sessions, of which 2.9 per cent. received a holding answer.
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