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Mr. Paul Murphy: My Department is staffed entirely by secondees, predominantly from the National Assembly for Wales. We adopt the same approach to home working as does the Assembly; currently one member works regularly from home.
Mr. Prisk: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales on how many regulations his Department has been consulted by other Government Departments since June; what regulatory impact assessments have been made by his Department of the cost of UK Government regulations to business in Wales over the last 12 months; and what representations his Department has made to other Government Departments seeking to reduce the burden of regulations on small businesses in Wales. 
Mr. Paul Murphy: I have regular discussions with Cabinet colleagues, and my Department is routinely consulted, about the impact of Government policies on business in Wales. The Wales Office has itself undertaken no regulatory impact assessments during the past 12 months.
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Mr. Alan Reid: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland which businesses were consulted by Steer Davies Gleave while they were compiling, on her behalf, the feasibility study for a ferry service between Campbeltown and Ballycastle; what questions were asked of the businesses; by what means Steer Davies Gleave advertised to businesses the fact that they were compiling the study; what fee was charged by Steer Davies Gleave; and when and where she will make the report available to the public. 
Mr. Foulkes [holding answer 22 November 2001]: The Scotland Office appointed Steer Davies Gleave to undertake a transport and economic appraisal of the Campbeltown-Ballycastle ferry in consultation with the Scottish and Northern Irish Executives and after a competitive tendering process. The fee paid to the consultants was £18,600. In the course of their work on this study, I understand that the consultants questioned a number of companies within the local areas of Kintyre and Moyle and beyond to assist them in evaluating the likely usage and benefits from a new ferry service.
Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if the Government give direct financial support to fund Scottish Executive officers working internationally under arrangements made with the Scotland Office and Foreign and Commonwealth Office. 
Mrs. Liddell: Scottish Executive officers working overseas are funded by the Scottish Executive. However, the full resources of the British embassies overseas are available to assist the executive as well as the other devolved Administrations.
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Mrs. Liddell: There is no requirement for people abroad to "sign up" to the Friends of Scotland initiative. I have contacted diplomatic missions to inform them of the initiative and to seek their assistance in taking it forward.
Mrs. Liddell: Currently there are two full-time officials working on the Friends of Scotland initiative. Recruitment of further staff is under way and secondments from the private sector are being explored.
Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many target overseas participants the Scotland Office has for the Friends of Scotland initiative in the first (a) six months and (b) 12 months of operation. 
Vera Baird: To ask the Prime Minister what representations he has made to the state of Georgia, USA, regarding the proposed execution of British national Tracey Housel; and if he will make a statement. 
The Prime Minister: The Government are taking what steps we properly can. The Consul General in Atlanta has recently written to the Governor of Georgia underlining the Government's opposition to the death penalty and asking the Georgia authorities to commute Mr. Housel's sentence to a term of imprisonment.
The Prime Minister: The British/American project aims to strengthen the vital and longstanding relationship between the US and UK. As part of that process, it arranges meetings, including with Ministers, for young leaders from the business, economic, professional, cultural, artistic, governmental, academic, scientific, medical, military and social life of the two countries.
Norman Baker: To ask the Prime Minister if his undertaking that announcements of Government policy should be made in the first instance in Parliament prevents (a) special advisers and (b) civil servants briefing the media before such an announcement. 
The Prime Minister: In their response to the report from the Public Administration Select Committee on the Ministerial Code, the Government made clear that when the House is sitting announcements of Government policy should be made, in the first instance, to Parliament. Contacts between civil servants, including special
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Norman Baker: To ask the Prime Minister whether the published review of waste policy being undertaken by the performance and innovation unit will constitute formal planning guidance to waste disposal authorities. 
The Prime Minister: No. The performance and innovation unit will look at the whole range of issues around delivery of the waste strategy, which will include planning issues. Any recommendations or conclusions which the PIU may draw will not constitute formal planning guidance but will inform future policy.
The Prime Minister: None. My hon. Friend the Minister for E-Commerce and Competitiveness is responsible for the retail sector. Additionally, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Small Business champions the interests of small retailers and the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Whitty) is responsible for issues specific to food and drink retailing.
Mr. Leslie: All contacts with lobbyists are conducted in accordance with the guidance on contacts with lobbyists which is set out in the Directory of Civil Service Guidance, Volume 2. Copies of the Directory are in the Library of the House and on the Cabinet Office website http://www.cabinet-office.gov.uk/guidance/two/default.htm. Any departmental expenditure will be conducted in accordance with the guidance on Government Accounting.
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