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8 Jan 2004 : Column 452W—continued

Proceeds of Crime

Jim Dowd: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to the Answer of 11th December, Official Report, column 621W, whether the net proceeds were £6,635,335; and to whom this money was distributed. [145956]

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Caroline Flint: The net proceeds were £602,195, which is the value of cash forfeited by the Metropolitan Police Service (MRS) under the new powers in the Act. The money was remitted to the Consolidated Fund. The sum of £7,237,530 given in my earlier reply represented the total amount of cash seized by the Metropolitan Police. Cash seized can only be forfeited and paid into the Consolidated Fund after a forfeiture order is made by a magistrates' court.

US Bases

Alan Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the agreement with the US on bases on UK territory says about the holding of prisoners other than US Service personnel. [145787]

Mr. Ingram: I have been asked to reply.

There is no specific agreement regarding the holding of prisoners. However, the terms of the NATO Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) 1951 state that the military authorities of the sending state only have jurisdiction over persons who are subject to the military law of that state.



Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence in what circumstances the search for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq will be deemed to have been completed. [146184]

Mr. Hoon: The search for Iraq's weapons of mass destruction is the responsibility of the Iraq Survey Group. Once the ISG has made its final recommendations concerning the state of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction programmes it will be for governments to decide what, if any, further action is required.

Legacy Project Study

Mr. Barnes: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when he will respond to the correspondence to his Department containing the Tim Parry Jonathan Ball Trust's Legacy Project study. [144454]

Mr. Caplin: The Ministry of Defence was consulted at official level when the study was under way. The Department subsequently received a copy of the Legacy Project's report following its launch on 5 November 2003. The Report and its recommendations are now being studied. Officials have already made informal contact with the Legacy Project and look forward to discussing the Report in the near future.

A number of my Ministerial colleagues have received letters about the Report and responses are now being prepared.

Medical Supplies Agency

Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what evaluation he has made of (a) the Medical

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Supplies Agency as a whole and (b) the specific operational capabilities of medical distribution centres. [145349]

Mr. Caplin: The Medical Supplies Agency (MSA) is subject to several formal mechanisms of ministerial and other evaluation. The Agency Annual Report and Financial Accounts is presented to the House of Commons pursuant to Section 7 of the Government Resources and Accounts Act 2000. The latest Report was ordered by the House of Commons to be printed on 16 July 2003 and a copy was placed in the Library of the House on 17 November 2003. In addition to the financial statements, with a certificate by the Comptroller and Auditor General, the Report covers a review of activity, an assessment of performance against agreed key targets and a statement on future strategy. The financial statement is also subject to interim audit by the National Audit Office.

The principal means by which Ministers can evaluate the MSA, and its Medical Distribution Centres, is through the Key Target process. This involves the agreement with Ministers of wide-ranging performance targets for the MSA. Achievement against these targets is then closely monitored and reported to Ministers, through the Director General Management and Organisation, and shown in the Agency Annual Report and Financial Accounts.

Naval Courts Martial

Mr. Gerald Howarth: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the case of Grieves v. the United Kingdom; what effects he anticipates this will have on naval courts martial; and what further legislation he anticipates will be necessary to protect service law from challenges from the European Court of Human Rights. [145958]

Mr. Caplin: I refer the hon. Member to my Written Ministerial Statement of 6 January 2004, Official Report, column 5–6WS.


Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many reservists lost their civilian jobs as a result of serving in the armed forces, in each of the last five years; how many filed claims for compensation; what the average time taken to settle each case was; how much was received by each of the claimants, net of legal expenses; and if he will make a statement. [146178]

Mr. Caplin: There is no requirement for reservists to provide the information requested to the Ministry of Defence. There is, therefore, no comprehensive record of the numbers of reservists who may have lost their civilian jobs as a result of service in the armed forces. However, protection is provided by reinstatement under the Reserve Forces (Safeguard of Employment) Act 1985. Over 8,600 reservists were called-out to support Operation TELIC and we are aware of only 11 individuals who needed to bring a case under the 1985 Act. This continues to show the high level of support from both reservists and employers which the Government is pleased to acknowledge.

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Territorial Army

Mr. Liddell-Grainger: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many Territorial Army doctors are serving in the Gulf. [145767]

Mr. Caplin: Eleven.


Andrew Smith

Norman Lamb: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development pursuant to his answer of 9 December 2003, Official Report, column 830W, what contracts his Department entered into prior to the last 12 months with (a) Avient Air and (b) other companies in which Mr. Andrew Smith has an interest; what services were provided to his Department under these contracts; what the value of these contracts was; when these contracts were entered into; and if he will make a statement. [146418]

Hilary Benn: We had no contracts with Avient Air. As far as my Department is aware, we had none with any other companies in which Mr. Smith has an interest.

Civil Servants (Disabilities)

Mr. Goodman: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what progress has been made in meeting targets for the proportion of people with disabilities in senior posts in his Department. [146006]

Hilary Benn: Statistical information about senior civil servants with disabilities is available on the Civil Service Statistics website at:

As there are less than five members of the senior civil service in my department with a disability, the actual number is not published in order to protect the privacy of the individual in line with exemption 12 of the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information.

DFID's target for the proportion of people with disabilities in senior posts is 3.3 per cent.

HIV/AIDS (Africa)

Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what action he will take to increase access to anti-retro viral drugs for HIV positive people in the African pandemic area. [145160]

Hilary Benn: DFID is committed to working with others, including our donor partners, the pharmaceutical industry, investors, developing country governments and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to improve access to medicines in developing countries, including for the treatment of HIV/AIDS.

With the World Health Organisation, DFID believes that affordable pricing, sustainable financing, reliable health and supply systems, and the rational selection and use of existing drugs are all essential to improve access to medicines.

In line with this, DFID has committed over £1.5 billion since May 1997 to support the strengthening of health and supply systems in developing countries,

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which will help to build capacity to deliver medicines to the poor and to make effective choices about the selection of drugs. The UK has also pledged $280 million to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria (GFATM). This will help strengthen health system capacity to deliver effective and affordable prevention, treatment, care and support programmes, based on locally determined needs and building upon countries own national priorities. According to UNAIDS, the UK is the second largest bilateral donor for HIV/AIDS programmes.

DFID supports a comprehensive response to HIV/AIDS, which includes prevention, treatment and care and alleviation of the impact of AIDS. We welcome recent reductions in the price of both patent and generic anti-retroviral drugs for the treatment of HIV. These reductions have created new opportunities to allow poor people to benefit from the same life-saving treatment that has been available in affluent countries. We will continue to work with the WHO, the patent based and generic pharmaceutical industries and others to further reduce prices. DFID supports the target set by the World Health Organisation and UNAIDS for three million people receiving treatment by the end of 2005. A new policy on treatment and care, to be launched early next year, will set out how DFID will co-ordinate work with partners to promote anti-retroviral treatment for poor people and for women.

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