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Departmental Report

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development when the 2002 Departmental Report will be published. [49590]

Clare Short: DFID's Departmental Report 2002 will be published on 24 April.

Private Finance Initiative

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many Private Finance Initiative projects have been subject to refinancing after the contracts have been signed; and what has been the financial effect in each case. [50281]

Clare Short: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given on January 2002, Official Report, column 224W.

Staff Pay

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what the cost in 2001–02 was of the pay increase to staff in her Department, agencies and the non-departmental public bodies for which she is responsible; and what the cost of the forthcoming increase will be in 2002–03. [50420]

Clare Short: The overall cost of the pay increase 2001–02 was 4.75 per cent. for staff below the senior civil service and 4.6 per cent. for senior civil servants. The overall cost of the 2002–03 increase for staff below the senior civil service will be 3.9 per cent. We are unable to confirm the overall increase in 2002–03 for senior civil servants at this time as we are still assessing the impact of the new senior civil service pay system. The Department is not responsible for any agencies or non-departmental bodies.

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Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what have been the total salary costs of each of the non-departmental public bodies for which she is responsible in each of the last five years. [50305]

Clare Short: We do not pay a salary to any of the members of our public bodies; they receive reimbursement of travel expenses.

As from December 2001 an honorarium of £5,000 was paid to the Chair of the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission and from January 2002 and honorarium of £200 per meeting was paid to members who take part in a Scholarship Selection Committee.

One of my civil servants holds an ex officio post on the Overseas Service Pensions Scheme Advisory Board. His salary costs, estimated as a percentage of the amount of time spent dealing with the work of the board, are as follows:

£
2001–02898.67
2000–01878.92
1999–20001,059.23
1998–991,034.00
1997–98971.96

New Deal

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, pursuant to her answer of 26 March 2002, Official Report, column 872W, on the new deal for young people, how many people have been employed by her Department under the scheme in each of the last four years. [50425]

Clare Short: The information is as follows:


Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, pursuant to her answer of 26 March 2002, Official Report, column 872W, on the New Deal, how many people employed on the scheme in each of the last four years have subsequently found subsidised employment for more than 13 weeks. [50424]

Clare Short: None.

Correspondence

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, pursuant to her answer of 26 March 2002, Official Report, column 887W, on correspondence, for what reasons 13 per cent. of letters from hon. Members and 10 per cent. of letters from members of the public were not answered within the target period. [50342]

Clare Short: Delays occurred for a variety of reasons. These include, while seeking agreement across Whitehall on a reply when more than one Department had an interest, when letters were transferred between Departments when the lead responsibility to reply was unclear and while waiting for an agreed standard line to campaign letters. Less frequently replies were not sent

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within the target period because the information required was not immediately available, for example when seeking information from sources overseas.

Creche Facilities

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, pursuant to her answer of 26 March 2002, Official Report, column 888W, on crèche facilities, what the costs are of the holiday playschemes at East Kilbride and London. [50423]

Clare Short: Further to my answer of 26 March 2002, Official Report, column 888W, on créche facilities, the costs of the holiday playschemes for our staff in East Kilbride and London are as follows:





Overseas Projects

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what recent assessment she has made of the value for money achieved by the management of the Natural Resources System Programme. [49256]

Clare Short: The programme was most recently assessed last year. We concluded that the management is cost-effective and that good progress is being made towards achievement of the programme's objectives.

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what recent assessment she has made of the value for money achieved by the Local and Regional Government Institutional Strengthening Project in the Ukraine. [49204]

Clare Short: DFID awarded the contract for the management of the Local and Regional Institutional Strengthening Project in 1999 and value for money was a key consideration when selecting the management agents by competitive tender. A comprehensive review of the performance of the project was conducted by the Eastern Europe and Central Asia Department in October 2001. The review team concluded that the project is successfully assisting central and regional government to deliver local services more efficiently and represents good value for money.

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what recent assessment she has made of the value for money achieved by the Gansu Basic Education Project in China. [49160]

Clare Short: The Gansu Basic Education Project began implementation in December 1999 and currently is scheduled to end in December 2005. Regular monitoring visits are carried out by our Education Adviser in the DFID Beijing office. We also assess progress and value for money through six-monthly project reports and through our consultants. Specific annual review missions are also carried out by a DFID London and Beijing team to assess progress against the project purpose and outputs.

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The last annual review took place in October 2001. Good progress has been made. There has been an improvement in net enrolment rates. Drop-out rates have reduced and there has been an improvement in transfer rates from primary to junior middle school. A number of reform- orientated innovations piloted in the project have been noted by the Education Ministry and adopted by other western provinces (eg. participatory teacher training in Shaanxi), donors (eg. school development planning by UNICEF) and NGOs working in China (eg. Plan International). The next annual review will be the project's mid-term review in October.

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what recent assessment she has made of the value for money achieved by the Sustainable Rural Livelihoods pilot project in Russia. [49183]

Clare Short: DFID awarded the contract for the management of the Sustainable Rural Livelihoods Pilot Project in 1999 and value for money was a key consideration when selecting the management agents by competitive tender. A mid-term review of the performance of the project was undertaken by a team of officials from DFID's Eastern Europe and Central Asia Department, accompanied by representatives from the World Bank and Russia's Federal Ministry of Agriculture in October 2001. The review team concluded that the Project was influencing policy making at both the regional and federal level, making a very useful contribution to the implementation of the land reform policy in Russia, helping with market reform in the rural sector, and represented good value for money.

Reproductive Health

Tony Worthington: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if she will make a statement on steps that have been taken in the European Union to strengthen the administration of reproductive health programmes; what staffing provisions are in place to deal with reproductive health programmes; and what the budgeted amount for this financial year is for such programmes. [48997]

Clare Short: One of my Department's objectives for EC reform has been to improve the mix of skills in the Commission in order to strengthen the EC's contribution to meeting the Millennium Development Goals. The Commission's central staffing for health issues has significantly increased over the past year. Within DG Development there are now four (and soon to be five) full-time health professionals, and a seconded UK health expert has a specific remit to lead on reproductive health. Within EuropeAid there are approximately 20 staff working exclusively on health.

EC expenditure on reproductive health is provided both from a specific budget line (B7–6312) and—the majority—through country programmes in the form of projects and budget support. Budget line B7–6312 is intended to support innovative approaches and the development of new knowledge. Work is underway to link EC expenditure to specific categories but at present the Commission do not have full details of their overall

17 Apr 2002 : Column 998W

spending on reproductive health. The allocations for budget line B7–6312 in the 2002 budget are:


Tony Worthington: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if she will make a statement about (a) the budgeted amounts in the European Union for reproductive health spending in each of the past five years, (b) the actual spending and (c) steps being taken to ensure that budget allocation and expenditure match each other in the future. [48993]

Clare Short: EC expenditure on reproductive health is provided both from a specific budget line (B7–6312) and—the majority—through country programmes in the form of projects and budget support. Budget line B7–6312 is intended to support innovative approaches and the development of new knowledge. Work is under way to link EC expenditure to specific categories but at present the Commission do not have full details of their overall spending on reproductive health.

Commitments and payments information for budget line B7–6312 is readily available only for the past four years.

Reproductive health budget(10)
euro million

1999200020012002(11)
Commitment allocations(12)24.519.922.08.6
Commitment outturn9.323.021.3
Payment allocations15.623.924.49.7
Payment outturn10.720.78.21.9

(10) HIV/AIDS included prior to 2001.

(11) Outturn data as at end February 2002.

(12) Commitments made in one year are usually implemented, ie paid, over a series of subsequent years.


The EC are taking steps to increase their efficiency through a programme of reforms begun in 2000. The reforms include restructuring the Directorates General responsible for external actions and development, simplifying internal procedures and strengthening the capacity of country offices.

Tony Worthington: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if she will make a statement on what assessment she has made of whether the European Union is adequately organised and staffed to spend budget line B7–6312 on reproductive health. [48992]

Clare Short: My Department has not made any formal assessment of the Commission's organisation and staffing in relation to budget line B7–6312 (Aid for population and reproductive health care). However, we understand that three health professionals (one in DG Development and two in EuropeAid) have specific responsibility for management of this relatively small budget line 1 , and that during the evaluation of proposals they are supported by additional external technical experts.


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Tony Worthington: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what the performance of the European Union has been in spending this year's budget line B7–6312 of 8.6 million euros on reproductive health. [48991]

Clare Short: The EC financial year runs from 1 January. As of 28 February, no new commitments from the euro 8.6 million budgeted had yet been approved but euro 1.9 million of a possible euro 9.7 million payments had been spent.


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