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Mr. Paul Murphy: In its response to the Public Administration Select Committee's Second Report of Session 200001 on Ministerial Accountability and Parliamentary Questions, the Government made clear its commitment to providing prompt and accurate answers to parliamentary questions.
Mr. Simon Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what discussions he had with (a) the First Secretary of the National Assembly and (b) the Secretary of State for Defence regarding apprentice training at Aberporth, Ceredigion since 22 February. 
Mr. Paul Murphy: I have had numerous discussions with Defence Ministers and the Assembly First Minister about this issue since 22 February. On 8 April 2002, the First Minister and I met with representatives of QinetiQ and ELWa to discuss the company's future training plans for Aberporth.
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Mr. Yeo: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will list the number of subscriptions to (a) digital terrestrial, (b) digital satellite and (c) digital cable television held by his Department for services in any departmental building from which Ministers work, stating for each subscription its (i) cost and (ii) purpose. 
Norman Baker: To ask the Prime Minister if he will list the overseas missions undertaken on his behalf since 7 June by (a) Lord Levy and (b) the right hon. Member for Hartlepool (Mr. Mandelson), listing in each case (i) persons and places visited, (ii) the reason for the visits and (iii) the cost to public funds. 
The appointment of my right hon. Friend the Member for Hartlepool (Mr. Mandelson) as Chairman of the UK-Japan 21st Century Group was not made by me. The Group is an independent organisation, which exists to strengthen ties between Britain and Japan. It is largely funded by subscriptions from its corporate members. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has in recent years made an annual contribution of £4,000 to the Group. The post of Chairman of the Group is a part-time and unpaid appointment.
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The Prime Minister: In its response to the Public Administration Select Committee's Second Report of Session 200001 on Ministerial Accountability and Parliamentary Questions, the Government made clear their commitment to providing prompt and accurate answers to parliamentary questions. This continues to be the Government's position.
The Prime Minister: The information requested is included in the detailed list of Cabinet Ministers' visits overseas and information on expenditure by all Ministers on travel overseas. The list for the period 1 April 2001 to 31 March 2002 will be published as soon as possible after the end of the current financial year.
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Details of individual special adviser salaries within Departments are not given in order to protect the privacy of the individual concerned. The total cost of special advisers, including pensions and salaries, for the years 199798 to 200001 is as follows:
|Year||Cost (£ million)|
I have already announced the introduction of a revised pay system for special advisers based on individual job evaluation. The process of evaluation is under way. The cost for the years 200102 will be provided once the process is complete.
Mr. Burns: To ask the Prime Minister how many times special advisers have accompanied him on overseas visits in each of the last five years; which countries were visited; and what the total cost of each individual visit was. 
The Prime Minister: Information on the number of officials accompanying me on overseas visits is included in the detailed list of Cabinet Ministers' visits overseas and information on expenditure by all Ministers on travel overseas. Lists of overseas visits undertaken by Cabinet Ministers costing more than £500 during the period 2 May 1997 to 31 March 2001 were placed in the Library of the House and published in the Official Report on 17 June 1999, columns 19697W; on 28 July 2000, column 969W; and on 20 July 2001, column 467W. The list for the period 1 April 2001 to 31 March 2002 will be published as soon as possible after the end of the current financial year.
The Prime Minister: The total cost of running the No. 10 press office for 199697 was £597,240, and for 200001 was £954,659. The increase reflects the ever increasing media demands with the advent of more outlets, 24 hour news and growth of the internet, for example.
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