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Norman Lamb: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions how many meetings (a) he and (b) Ministers in his Department have had with Lord Birt since his appointment to the Forward Strategy Unit last year. 
Mr. Spellar: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to the hon. Members for Tatton (Mr. Osborne) and for Brentwood and Ongar (Mr. Pickles) by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State on Friday 11 January 2002 Official Report, columns 56768W.
Mr. Letwin: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what progress his Department has made in relation to changing the regulations governing reflective paint on skips. 
Mr. Jamieson: My Department has been working with the British Standards Institution to develop a British Standard for a new generation of high-performance retroreflective materials, which will be considerably brighter than traditional products. The draft standard completed its consultation stage last month.
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Publication of the new standard is a matter for BSI, once technical comments have been resolved, but we hope that this will be before the end of this year. I then intend to consult on an amendment to the current regulations which would permit local authorities to specify the use of these high performance materials for markings on skips, as an alternative to using lamps in conjunction with lower grade retroreflective markings.
Mr. Letwin: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions if it is his intention that parish councillors should be bound under the code of conduct to declare gifts and hospitality of over £25 in value only if received in connection with their official duties. 
Dr. Whitehead: Yes. Paragraph 1 of the schedule to the code of conduct makes it clear that parish members will only have to declare gifts and hospitality over the value of £25, if the gifts or hospitality are received in connection with the business of the council, the office to which they have been elected or appointed, or when they are acting as representatives of the council.
Mr. Salter: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what his Department's policy regarding the timescale for the introduction of the automatic train protection warning scheme was (a) in 2000 and (b) as of 4 February 2002; and if he will make a statement regarding changes of policy between these dates. 
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Mr. Spellar: The Department's policy on train protection remains as set out in the Railway Safety Regulations 1999. These regulations require the installation by the end of 2003 of equipment designed to cause the brakes of a train to be applied automatically in specified circumstances.
(5) Based on two adults in Suffolk
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Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list each of the overseas trips made by himself and other members of his ministerial team in each of the last four years, specifying the purpose and cost of each trip. 
Vera Baird: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what plans he has to support the conferences on ratification of the Statute for the International Criminal Court for (a) Mongolia in January, (b) ECOWAS states in January, (c) Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Honduras in February and (d) southern Asia in February. 
Mr. MacShane: The first, third and fourth of these conferences have been organised by NGOs: respectively Forum Asia, Human Rights Watch and Parliamentarians for Global Action. All are members of the overarching "Coalition for an International Criminal Court (CICC)". CICC provides financial assistance to such conferences. HMG made a grant of $50,000 to CICC in FY 200102.
Mr. Lazarowicz: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps he is taking to encourage participation by his Department in fair trade fortnight from 4 to 17 March. 
Mr. MacShane: The FCO has no plans to participate in fair trade fortnight. The Department for International Development is providing £120,000 to the Fairtrade Foundation over 200103 in support of its efforts to target new groups through its annual fair trade fortnight campaigns. My private office seeks to offer fair trade tea and coffee to visitors.
Richard Younger-Ross: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what has been the total expenditure of his Department on IT systems and support in each year from May 1997 to date; how many IT contracts have been let in each of those years; of the other main contracting party in each of those contracts,
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how many have been (a) companies whose registered office is in (i) England and Wales, (ii) Scotland and (iii) Northern Ireland and (b) foreign companies; and what are the names of the companies falling within category (a). 
|Complete financial years||Capital||Maintenance|
Of the 13 contracts let by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office since 1997 in excess of £500,000, 12 were with companies whose registered offices are in England and Wales, and one has its registered office overseas. The 12 suppliers were Global Crossing, Computacentre, Cap Gemini Ernst and Young, AIT, Sytation, Logica, Integris, Cedar, Microsoft, NAI, CMG and Biomni. The overseas company was Amita, registered in Canada.
Mr. Fabian Hamilton: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on (a) the peace process in Burundi and (b) the potential role of the UN in Burundi. 
Mr. MacShane: We are encouraged by the steps that the transitional Government in Burundi has taken to secure peace and stability since the start of its term in November last year. The deployment of South African troops to protect returning political leaders has played a key role in this process. The security situation, however, remains unstable. Without an agreed ceasefire, the United Nations will continue to focus on the delivery of humanitarian assistance.
Joan Ruddock: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps the UK Government are taking to encourage the equal representation of women at all levels in diplomatic, humanitarian and peacekeeping operations. 
Mr. Bradshaw [holding answer 5 February 2002]: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has set targets to increase the proportion of women where they are under- represented in the diplomatic service. These targets and progress towards them are published in the FCO's annual report. A gender diversity adviser was appointed in 2000 to support this activitythe FCO is the only Whitehall Department to create such a role.
The UK makes very effort to put forward skilled female candidates for humanitarian and peacekeeping operations, and will continue to do so. Female military and police officers are routinely deployed into the UN missions.
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