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Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether the US Central Intelligence Agency comments on the 10 September 2002 draft of the UK Government's Dossier, Iraq's Weapons of Mass Destruction, included comments on the claim that Iraq sought to procure uranium from Africa. 
The US Central Intelligence Agency did offer a comment, just before the September dossier was finalised, noting that they had concerns about the credibility of the reference to the supply of uranium from Africa. But they provided no explanation for their concerns. UK officials were confident that the statement in the dossier was based on reliable intelligence. A judgment was therefore made to retain the reference.
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Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to his answer of 30 January 2004, Official Report, column 581W, on Iraq, whether the source upon which it based its claim in the September 2002 dossier, that Iraq sought to procure uranium from Africa, is the same information that it understands was discussed with the International Atomic Energy Authority before 7 March 2003. 
Mr. MacDonald: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the Council of Europe's recent report on implementation of the European Charter on minority and lesser-used languages; and whether the Government will be publishing a response. 
Mr. MacShane: The Government welcomed the Council of Europe's report of 24 March 2004 on the implementation of the Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. The report praises the UK in setting up official bodies for Welsh, Irish and Ulster-Scots. It also applauds the UK for the development of a semi-official body for Scottish Gaelic. The report commends the UK's dynamic approach to the instrument of ratification in recognising Manx and Cornish. It also noted the same approach regarding the ratification for Welsh.
Mr. David Atkinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assistance has been given to Russia through the Individual Partnership Programme under NATO's Partnership for Peace Programme; what the results have been; whether he expects further assistance to be given to ensure democratic control of the armed forces in Russia; and if he will make a statement. 
Whilst Russia is a member of the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council and the Partnership for Peace (PfP) initiative, it does not have an Individual Partnership Plan. It has a presence at the PfP's Partnership Co-ordination Cell, and participates in a small number of PfP exercises.
Russia also engages with NATO through the NATO-Russia Council (NRC), which was founded in 2002. NATO's role is not to assist Russia. Rather, the NRC is a forum to facilitate co-operation. The NRC's work plan addresses a broad defence reform agenda that strengthens democratic control of the armed forces. Other areas of joint work include: the struggle against terrorism; crisis management; non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction; arms control and
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confidence-building measures; Theatre Missile Defence; search and rescue at sea; military-to-military co-operation; and civil emergencies.
Through the NRC's Ad Hoc Working Group on Defence Reform, NATO countries and Russia have come together in seminars and other events to share expertise with the aim of enhancing the performance of all involved. The coming year will see a broad range of work, including the development of measures to enhance transparency in defence planning.
Tom Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions he has had with the Turkish Government on political prisoners being held in Turkish prisons; which individual cases were discussed; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. MacShane: We are in constant dialogue with the Turkish Government on human rights issues, which includes prisoners' rights. We also raise individual cases, such as that of Leyla Zana and the three other Kurdish Democracy Party MPs. I discussed the case with Leyla Zana's lawyer during my trip to Turkey in January, before raising it with the authorities. The outcome of the retrial is extremely disappointing and at odds with the reform process to which the Turkish Government are clearly committed. My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister raised human rights issues with the Turkish Prime Minister during his visit to Turkey as part of the first ever UK-Turkey Prime Ministerial summit.
Tom Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions he has had with the Turkish Government on the (a) health and (b) prison conditions under which Mr. Abdullah Ocalan is being held by the Turkish authorities. 
We note that the Turkish authorities have been in dialogue with the Centre for Prevention of Torture on Ocalan's prison conditions and have agreed to undertake a number of measures in light of recommendations made by the centre.
Mr. Letwin: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions pursuant to his answer of 1 April 2004, Official Report, column 1638W, on staff reduction, (1) what discussions he has had with trade unions regarding plans for a net reduction of 30,000 civil servants in his Department; 
(2) by what date he intends to have reduced civil servant jobs in his Department by 30,000;. 
(3) whether the intended net reduction of 30,000 civil servants in his Department will include the reduction of 18,000 for which plans have been in development since 2002; 
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(4) what the baseline figure is for the intended net reduction of 30,000 civil servants in his Department; 
(5) if he will break down the net reduction of 30,000 civil servants in his Department by reductions made through (a) the new business model being rolled out in Jobcentre Plus, (b) the Pensions Transformation Programme and reductions in staffing in the Pension Service, (c) the introduction of child support reform and (d) savings in back office functions. 
Maria Eagle: The 30,000 reductions are part of a four year programme to 2008 which we are discussing with our unions and include the 18,000 reductions previously outlined in 2002. We met with our Trade Unions on 6 April and 13 May and have a further meeting planned in May.
It is too early to define how the reductions will be profiled across each part of the Department and its businesses. We are using our current staffing level of around 130,000 as the baseline for the reductions.
Mr. Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the (a) nature and (b) value was of all contracts, consultancies or other services placed with the accountancy firms (i) Deloitte & Touche, (ii) Ernst & Young, (iii) KPMG and (iv) PricewaterhouseCoopers since 200001 by the Department and its agencies. 
Jane Kennedy: DWP was established in June 2001. The information is not available in the form requested and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost. However, we are able to provide total spend by this Department with these accountancy firms, which is as follows:
|Deloitte & Touche||8.1||4.2|
|Ernst & Young||(26)2.3||3.5|
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