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Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development which organisations which were in receipt of a grant from her in 199798 no longer are; what the annual saving is; which organisations and outside bodies which were not in receipt of a grant in 199798 now are; and what the annual cost is. 
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Clare Short: The most recent report form the International Labour Organisation estimates that there are 246 million working children. 179 million of them are engaged in the worst forms of child labour that endanger their physical, mental or moral well-being.
The Government will continue to support partners that tackle child labour internationally, nationally and locally, and to promote policies that support poverty elimination and social justice for children. My Department has recently published a paper, "Liberating Childrencombating hidden and harmful child labour", which looks at why there are so many children in harmful work, and suggests how everyonegovernments, international organisations, business and civil societyhas a part to play in tackling this persistent problem.
Mr. Morley: DEFRA came into being on the 8 June 2001. Since that date over 295 Statutory Instruments emanating from the Department have come into force. A comprehensive and exhaustive list of new and abolished offences could only be provided at disproportionate cost. Some new offences have been created, some offences have been repealed and some re-enacted; most offences relate to breach of the regulations or obstruction of officers enforcing the regulations. Many of the provisions related to foot-and-mouth controls and extended offences to geographical areas covered by the controls.
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the mandate of the European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund Committee (and working party on irregularities) is; how many times it has met over the last 12 months; what the UK representation on it is; what the annual cost of its work is to public funds; if she will list the items currently
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under its consideration; if she will take steps to increase its accountability and transparency to Parliament; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Morley: The Committee was set up under Council Regulation 17/64 EEC on the conditions for granting aid from the European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund. Provisions which currently define the role of the Committee, confer powers on the Commission and establish rules for consultation and adoption of legislation are contained in Articles 11 to 15 of Council Regulation 1258/99 on the financing of the common agricultural policy.
The Committee has both voting and non-voting functions. The procedures for adoption of legislation by the Committee are set out in Article 13 of Regulation 1258/99. This is a management committee procedure (variant IIa). The voting procedure is applied to regulations made under Articles 4 and 5 of Regulation 1258/99 (essentially concerned with accreditation of paying agencies and submission of annual CAP accounts). In addition, a number of other regulations require the FEOGA Committee to express an opinion via Article 13 procedures, in particular on measures adopted under the Integrated Administration and Control System (IACS), some horizontal regulations, e.g. on calculating the costs of financing intervention measures, and certain commodity regime provisions which involve the grant of aid from FEOGA funds (in the latter case the sectoral management committee normally sit as a joint management committee with the FEOGA Committee).
The Committee may also examine any other question referred to it by its Chairman either on his own initiative or at the request of a representative of a Member State. It should be informed regularly of the activities of the Fund. Consultation is required by Article 6 of the Regulation (essentially concerning payment of monthly advances from the Fund and decisions on clearance of annual CAP accounts). Consultation does not involve a vote.
The Committee has met 12 times over the past 12 months. The costs of travel and subsistence for two officers was about £13,344. Items currently under its consideration are the budget of the Common Agricultural Policy, and the clearance of accounts process.
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As part of the review process, the UK Government have encouraged the Commission to produce and maintain an electronic database of every comitology committee, its agendas and recent actions, to be accessible through its website.
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the mandate of the Standing Forestry Committee is; how many times it has met over the last 12 months; what the UK representation on it is; what the annual cost of its work is to public funds; if he will list the items currently under its consideration; if he will take steps to increase its accountability and transparency to Parliament; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Morley: The Standing Forestry Committee was established by European Council Decision (89/367/EEC) made on 29 May 1989. Its mandate is to provide for closer co-operation in the forestry sector between Member States and the European Commission and thereby support forestry measures initiated under the Community agricultural structure and rural development policy. Recently the mandate has been extended in practice to provide support under Community environmental policy.
In the last 12 months the Committee met 6 times. The Forestry Commission represents the UK. The annual cost of the Commission's involvement varies, depending on the number of meetings. In the last 12 months the cost was £2,250.
The Committee is currently considering new legislation to monitor and assess the impacts of natural and man- made impacts on the health of forests, audit guidance on monitoring payments for forestry measures and new legislation on evaluation of forestry in rural development.
Together with Member States, the Commission is currently conducting a review to bring existing legislation on the conduct of comitology committees into line with Council Decision 1999/468/EC, to "simplify the requirements for the exercise of implementing powers conferred on the Commission".
As an obligation to this Decision, the Commission undertook to publish an annual report on the working of committees. The first report was deposited in the Libraries of both Houses on 26 February (Commission Document 5685/02).
As part of the review process, the UK Government has encouraged the Commission to produce and maintain an electronic database of every comitology committee, its agendas and recent actions, to be accessible through its website.
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the mandate of the Joint Meetings of Management and/or Regulatory Committees dealing with agrimonetary questions is; how many times it has met over the last 12 months; what the UK representation on it is; what the annual cost of its work is to public funds; if she will list the items currently under its consideration; if she will take steps to increase its accountability and transparency to Parliament; and if she will make a statement. 
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Mr. Morley: This committee oversees the agrimonetary compensation regulations. It has met twice over the last 12 months. The UK was represented by one official. The cost of travel and subsistence was about £1,024. There are no items currently under consideration.
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