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19 Nov 2002 : Column 42Wcontinued
Mr. Swayne: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what plans she has to transfer scientists from Wellesbourne back to HRI Efford; and if she will make a statement; 
Mr. Morley: The Quinquennial Review report on Horticulture Research International was published on 23 September for public consultation. This consultation period closed on 18 November, and we hope to be able to make a statement on the way forward shortly.
Brian White: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps she has taken to review the security of the Department's IT system; and how many digital attacks there were on the Department's system in (a) October and (b) 2002. 
Alun Michael: IT security in the Department is kept under continuous review.
The number of cases of digital attacks detected was (a) 34 in October and (b) 564 in 2002. These attacks were all stopped by our existing security measures.
Mr. MacDougall: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many people employed in her Department are aged over 50. 
Alun Michael: There are 1,570 people aged over 50 employed by the core Department.
Mr Gray: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what plans she has to review the (a) policy and (b) delivery of the Rural White Paper; 
Alun Michael: On 8 November, I announced that there would be a review of the Rural White Paper, to ensure that delivery is on track and to identify ways of accelerating delivery of the Rural White Paper's vision. The review will be completed by summer 2003 and the results will inform our decisions on future delivery of rural policy.
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This work will be undertaken in parallel with the review of rural delivery mechanisms, led by Lord Haskins, and reporting to Ministers by summer 2003.
40. Mr. Steen: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office how many business leaders he has met in the last six months to discuss the Government's better regulation agenda. 
Mr. Alexander: In the normal course of my duties I attend many functions and events at which I meet many business people and we speak on a wide range of topics including the Government's better regulation agenda.
41. Mr. Bryant: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office how often he meets the Government's e-Envoy to review the progress towards compatibility of information systems across Government. 
Mr. Alexander: I meet regularly with the e-Envoy to discuss and review all aspects of delivering the e-Government strategy, including the compatibility and interoperability of the various information systems across Government.
42. Fiona Mactaggart: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what actions he is taking to improve the delivery of public services. 
Mr. Alexander: The Delivery Unit continues to work in partnership with Departments and offers support in meeting key objectives. Its role is to ensure that the Government achieve their delivery priorities across the key areas of public service.
Working closely with the Treasury, it will ensure that the Departments have in place effective delivery plans for their PSAs.
43. Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what guidance he has given to Government departments to safeguard sensitive documents in their offices. 
Mr. Alexander: Policy guidance on safeguarding sensitive documents is contained in the manual of protective security. The manual is produced by the Cabinet Office and distributed to all Government departments.
This guidance covers all aspects pf protective security, including physical, document, information security and personnel security.
44. Ms Dari Taylor: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what progress has been made by his Department in encouraging the number of women seeking public appointments. 
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Mr. Alexander: The Public Appointments Unit, in my Department, seeks to raise awareness of public appointments and actively encourages women to seek such appointments. It has participated in a national outreach campaign of regional seminars led by the Ministers for Women and organised by the Women and Equality Unit, to encourage more women to apply for national public appointments. These seminars have reached over 2,000 women from diverse backgrounds across the country.
Mr. Graham Allen: To ask the President of the Council if he will list for each Government Bill to be introduced this session the form of pre-legislative scrutiny to which it will be subject. 
Mr. Robin Cook: The Queen's Speech indicated the Government's intention to submit a number of Bills for pre-legislative scrutiny this session. No decisions have been made as to the form of scrutiny to which they will be subjected.
Mr. Ivan Henderson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many ministerial visits have been made to Afghanistan since the fall of the Taliban regime. 
Mr. Mike O'Brien: Since the collapse of the Taliban, the following Ministers from Her Majesty's Government have visited Afghanistan (making a total of eight ministerial visits):
Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, the right hon. Jack Straw, 1415 February 2002,
Secretary of State for Defence, the right hon. Geoffrey Hoon during a visit to the region from 47 February 2002 and from 14 July 2002,
Minister for the Armed Forces, the right hon. Adam Ingram, 3 April 2002, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Defence, Dr. Lewis Moonie, 20 June 2002,
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, Mike O'Brien, 1215 October 2002,
Secretary of State for International Development, the right hon. Clare Short, 2830 October 2002.
Norman Lamb: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions have taken place in the past two years between British Government officials in (a) Zimbabwe, (b) other African countries and (c) the UK and (i) Mr Andrew Smith and (ii) other representatives of Avient Air with regard to (A) sales of military equipment and (B) other matters. 
Mr. Rammell: There has been no contact in the past two years, in either the UK or Zimbabwe, between Foreign Office officials and Andrew Smith or representatives of Avient Air regarding the sales of
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military equipment. To identify contacts in other African countries on other matters could be done only at disproportionate cost.
Mr. Chope: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many car parking spaces are available to (a) employees of his Department and (b) visitors to his Department within the proposed central London road user charging zone. 
Mr. Rammell: 75 car parking spaces are available to FCO staff. A further eight spaces are available for visitors.
Mr. Chope: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what the estimated cost is to his Department of the central London road user charging scheme for (a) 17 February 2003 to 31 March 2003, and 1 April 2003 to 31 March 2004. 
Mr. Rammell: Any additional costs to this Department as a result of the congestion charging scheme will be just one element within wider costs which have to be met from budgets for official travelling and other costs.
Mr. Chope: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what the policy is of his Department in relation to the reimbursement of central London road user charges incurred by its employees. 
Mr. Rammell: It is general departmental travel planning policy that staff should not use cars to commute to and from work. However, staff on official business who are required to drive their own vehicles, or hire vehicles, within the charging zone will be reimbursed.
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