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Mr. Alan Williams: At its meeting on 9 July 2002 the Commission examined the Comptroller and Auditor General and officials of the National Audit Office on the NAO's Corporate Plan for 200304 to 200506. The plan envisages an increase in spending by the NAO for 200304 of some 10 per cent. compared with the current financial year. The additional funding is required for four main purposes: to implement the wide-ranging recommendations of the Sharman report on public expenditure audit; to maintain service to Parliament at a time of rapid public expenditure growth and more complex service delivery mechanisms; to strengthen the audit of revenue departments; and to enable the NAO to increase from 50 to 60, over time, the number of Value for Money studies it carries out annually, as proposed by the Commission and agreed with the Public Accounts Committee.
After satisfying itself on a number of points, including the robustness of the NAO's expenditure plans and its response to comments contained in external evaluations of its Value for Money studies, the Commission approved the Corporate Plan.
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A transcript of the evidence given by the NAO to the Commission will be placed in the Library shortly. A report containing more details about the Commission's activities, including its own response to the Sharman report, together with further information provided by the NAO in response to questions from the Commission, will be published in due course.
Ministerial offices are decorated or refurbished as part of a rolling programme, in accordance with the terms of the buildings' lease. Redecoration work was carried out during 200102 in ministerial offices in my Department's London building. Final costs are not yet available but are likely to be around £20,000.
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many people have been employed by her Department in each of the last three years under (a) the New Deal for Young People, (b) the New Deal for the Over 50s and (c) the New Deal for Lone Parents; and at what cost, listed by category, to public funds. 
Since that date my Department has employed one person under the New Deal for Young People, one under the New Deal for Over 50s and two under the New Deal for Lone Parents. The only costs to my Department have been salary costs.
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what the cost in 200102 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 200203. 
Mrs. Liddell: The Scotland Office was established in its present form on 1 July 1999. The Cabinet Office publishes an annual report on Parliament on the volume of Members' correspondence received by Departments. The report for 2001 was published on 24 May 2002, Official Report, columns 67376W. Copies of previous reports are available in the Library of the House.
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Pete Wishart: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many press releases were issued by her Department in each month from the creation of her Department in July 1999 to 2001 inclusive. 
August 1999: 6
September 1999: 13
October 1999: 16
November 1999: 32
December 1999: 20
January 2000: 20
February 2000: 20
March 2000: 30
April 2000: 15
May 2000: 33
June 2000: 34
July 2000: 22
August 2000: 15
September 2000: 27
October 2000: 30
November 2000: 42
December 2000: 27
January 2001: 26
February 2001: 25
March 2001: 33
April 2001: 23
May 2001: 11
June 2001: 12
July 2001: 17
August 2001: 20
September 2001: 20
October 2001: 20
November 2001: 33
December 2001: 20.
Mrs. Liddell: All news releases issued by the Scotland Office are published on the Department's website. The number of news releases issued in 2002 is as follows, and does not include operational notes issued to the media in connection with public engagements carried out by Ministers:
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The SRA announced last year that a consortium led by WS Atkins Consultants has been awarded the contract to undertake a feasibility study to ascertain the need for, and viability of, a new dedicated high speed line between London and the "north".
The study should report in the latter half of this year. The resultant report will feed into proposals for the implementation of the Government's 10-year plan and will inform an SRA strategy document regarding long-term capacity between London, the Midlands, the north of England and Scotland.
Mr. Forth: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what information is held by her Department on each hon. Member in relation to (a) personal relationships, both current and past, (b) financial status and dealings, (c) connections with companies and interest groups, (d) connections with Governments and (e) published works; and what was held in January 2002. 
Mrs. Liddell: Ministers and officials in this Department have access to published reference sources, as well as to the information about hon. Members made publicly available by the House authorities, for the purpose of parliamentary business.
Mr. Llwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what the (a) date, (b) location and (c) purpose was of visits by Ministers in her Department to Wales since 1997; and when she next intends to visit Wales. 
I attended a join ministerial committee in Cardiff on 30 October 2001. All travel is undertaken fully in accordance with the guidelines set out in the Ministerial Code and Travels by Ministers, copies of which are available in the Libraries of the House.
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Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if she will list the overseas trips on departmental business that have been undertaken in each of the last five years by officials in her Department; and what the (a) cost, (b) purpose and (c) result was in each case. 
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