|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
16 Jan 2003 : Column 765Wcontinued
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what his estimate is of the cost of theft and fraud to (a) his Department, (b) its agencies and (c) non-departmental public bodies in 2002. 
Mr. Blunkett: The Home Office has an Anti Fraud and Corruption Strategy that is based upon increasing the awareness of staff, use of cost effective methods to inhibit fraud and corruption and establishing procedures to respond effectively to incidents of alleged fraud including the provision of confidential 'hot lines'. The department's overall security arrangements provide the basis for combating theft, supported by reminders to staff about preventative measures available to them. Individual line managers are responsible for combating fraud and corruption in their own areas.
16 Jan 2003 : Column 766W
Mr. Denham: The study 'Young People and Street Crime' published by the Youth Justice Board on 9 January shows clearly that young people involved in street crime offences are more likely to have been disruptive in school and to have had a high level of absence through truancy or exclusion. This adds to the existing evidence to show that truancy and exclusion can increase the risk of offending. The 2002 Youth Justice Board Youth Survey showed that 44 per cent. of young people who admitted to offending in the last year had also played truant.
The Government are taking action to reduce levels of truancy. Specific measures include the Behaviour Improvement Programme, covering over 700 schools, to improve pupil behaviour and reduce truancy and exclusions; the police and schools working together to conduct truancy sweeps; the deployment of an additional 100 police officers to work in schools; and increased powers to deal with the parents of persistent truants, including the piloting of new fast-track prosecution procedures.
Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what latest estimate he has made of the cost of introducing and maintaining a system of counting visitors in and out of the UK; and if he will make a statement. 
Beverley Hughes: A precise figure is not available, but the cost of recording electronically the admissions and departures of all non-EEA nationals is provisionally estimated to be around #20 million a year. This estimate includes the costs of reintroducing fully staffed embarkation controls, which were withdrawn for passengers travelling to European Union destinations from ferry ports and small airports in 1994 and reconfigured at major airports in 1998.
Mr. Mike O'Brien: The disruption of drug production in Afghanistan was not among the aims of the military campaign. However, the fall of the Taliban and consequent appointment of the Afghan Transitional Authority through a Loya Jirga meeting (Grand Council) has created a new opportunity to end Afghan opium production. The UK is co-ordinating international support for Afghanistan's drug control efforts and has produced, in consultation with the Afghan Government, other donors and international agencies, a long-term strategy for building up Afghan drug law enforcement capacity and providing alternative livelihoods to opium poppy farmers. The brutality of the Taliban regime had helped to restrict production of poppies in the final year of their rule. Their replacement by a Government committed to international human rights norms will inevitably see some increase in production. But alternative livelihoods
16 Jan 2003 : Column 767W
could encourage growers to cease cultivation particularly if the Afghan Government undertake enforced eradication of crops. The strategy we have negotiated with the Afghan Government aims to achieve the Government's target of contributing to the elimination of drugs from Afghanistan within 10 years.
Matthew Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will place in the Library copies of the reports compiled by the secondee from BAE Systems following his secondment to the British Embassy in Brazil between May and October 2002. 
Mr. Dhanda: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many British nationals made an official confession of a criminal offence in Bahrain between 2000 and 2003 without the presence of a lawyer. 
Mr. David Atkinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what (a) fines and (b) compensation have been paid by the French Government for banning British beef; and if he will make a statement. 
The European Commission withdrew its case in the European Court of Justice seeking a daily fine on France after France lifted its ban. Therefore, no fines were payable, but the Commission asked the Court to order that costs of the case be borne by France. The UK Government regrets the decision by the European Commission not to pursue the case for penalties against France. The UK has supported the Commission throughout and believes that pressing this case would have sent a firm message to member states that no one country can avoid its obligations and responsibilities.
16 Jan 2003 : Column 768W
Mr. Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will bring forward plans for the devolved integration of British Overseas Territories into the United Kingdom. 
Matthew Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what the name of the committee within British Trade International is which oversees the placement and monitoring of secondments from outside organisations to the Foreign Office. 
Mr. Rammell: British Trade Internationalthe joint DTI/FCO body responsible for Trade Development and promotion of Inward Investmentoversees the placement and monitoring of secondments from outside organisations to Foreign and Commonwealth Office. In doing so BTI respects the Cabinet Office guidelines on Interchange and the Civil Service Commissioners' Recruitment Code.
Mr. Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions he has had with the United States Government regarding the prisoners held on the British military base in Diego Garcia. 
Mr. Rammell: The Government believes it is important for consumers to have choice in financial products, including the availability of 'ethical' products. However, it would not be appropriate for the Government to support exclusively the development of one specific group of financial service providers. It is for individual consumers to decide the attributes they most value from their financial services and for financial services firms to be transparent about their use of funds and investments.
16 Jan 2003 : Column 769W
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|