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7 Dec 2004 : Column 413W—continued


Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether more people were prosecuted in 2002 than were arrested. [199640]

Paul Goggins: The estimated number of persons arrested for at least one notifiable offence in England and Wales 2002 is 1,308,800. In the same period 642,800 1 persons were prosecuted for at least one notifiable offence.


Department of the Serjeant at Arms

Norman Baker: To ask the hon. Member for Roxburgh and Berwickshire, representing the House of Commons Commission what factors underlie the increase in the number of staff employed in the Serjeant at Arms Department between 2000 and 2004; and if he will make a statement. [202085]

Sir Archy Kirkwood: A major factor contributing to the increase in staff numbers in the Serjeant at Arms Department has been the growth in responsibilities of the Parliamentary Communications Directorate (PCD), to deal with the provision of IT to both Houses and associated support services. Furthermore, following the Braithwaite Review of the Department in 2000–01, new posts were identified in the Parliamentary Works Services Directorate. Various other posts were created, including posts of procurement manager, IT security officer and head of finance. The Central Tours Office was set up in 2003.

Parliamentary Communications Directorate

Mr. Forth: To ask the hon. Member for Roxburgh and Berwickshire, representing the House of Commons Commission what the cost was of (a) producing and
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(b) distributing the Parliamentary Communications Directorate information folder; how many were distributed; to whom; and if he will make a statement. [201077]

Sir Archy Kirkwood: 1,000 information folders have been produced in response to customer feedback showing that Members wanted to have a single point of reference for Member information. The folders cost £5.72 each. The folders are being issued to all Members of the House of Commons. Some folders were handed out in person at a recent Parliamentary Communications Directorate (PCD) customer service event and the remainder are being distributed via the internal mail service. Neither approach has resulted in readily attributable distribution costs.

Special Advisers

Mr. Tyrie: To ask the hon. Member for Roxburgh and Berwickshire, representing the House of Commons Commission whether he has been informed of breaches of the Code of Conduct for Special Advisers in his Department since its implementation. [201275]

Sir Archy Kirkwood: The Code of Conduct for Special Advisers applies to temporary civil servants appointed under Article 3 of the Civil Service Order in Council. No staff in this category are employed in the House of Commons Service.

State Opening of Parliament

Lynne Jones: To ask the hon. Member for Roxburgh and Berwickshire, representing the House of Commons Commission what the estimated cost to the House was of the State Opening of Parliament on 23 November. [201717]

Sir Archy Kirkwood: The final cost of the 2004 State Opening of Parliament is not yet known but is forecast to be similar to that of 2003 which, for Parliament as a whole, was £127,660. 60 per cent. of the cost, £76,596, is attributed to the House of Commons.


Contaminated Industrial Land

Llew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assistance his Department (a) provides and (b) plans to provide to (i) Armenia, (ii) Azerbaijan and (iii) Georgia to remediate contaminated industrial land; and what assessment he has made of the recent combined report on this matter by the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the United Nations Development Programme and the UN Environment Programme. [202815]

Mr. Gareth Thomas: DFID is not involved in contaminated industrial land remediation in the countries of the South Caucasus. DFID's bilateral assistance programmes in Armenia and Georgia provide support for poverty reduction through improved governance and sustainable economic
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growth. DFID does not have a bilateral assistance programme in Azerbaijan but is assisting the Government to participate in the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI).

DFID has no plans to provide direct support to assist remediation of contaminated industrial land. DFID is aware that the Organisation of Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) are supporting a joint initiative on Environment and Security (ENVSEC). They have published a recent report on "Environment and Security, Transforming Risks into Cooperation—The Case for the Southern Caucasus". The report provides a useful overview of related environment, security and development issues in the region. It includes challenges presented by contaminated industrial land, resulting from complete or partial closure of old soviet era industrial facilities.

DFID understands that the OSCE, UNDP and UNEP are developing a work programme to address the challenges presented in the report. DFID intends to use its involvement in international networks to encourage effective action to address this issue.

Crèche Facilities

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what crèche facilities are provided by his Department; and at what cost. [200867]

Mr. Gareth Thomas: The Department for International Development (DFID) does not provide crèche facilities. However, DFID does provide holiday playschemes for it's staff in its offices in London and East Kilbride. The costs of the holiday playschemes are as follows:

East Kilbride


The Department for International Development is also intending to conduct a review of the childcare support provided and whether there is sufficient demand for other provisions, for instance an on-site nursery, childcare vouchers or salary sacrifice schemes.


Mr. Simmonds: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what measures the Government are taking to ensure the safety of British aid workers in the Darfur region. [201973]

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Hilary Benn: Humanitarian agencies in Darfur are operating in a very difficult and insecure environment. DFID deplores the recent upsurge in violence in Darfur which is worsening the insecurity in certain parts.

Along with the UN and others, the UK Government continue to press both the Government of Sudan and the rebels to stop the fighting and implement the Abuja humanitarian and security protocols, to allow unfettered and secure access throughout Darfur.

The UK has provided significant support to UN agencies and NGOs for security and communications to help agencies operate safely. DFID has recently provided further funding of £820,000 to the United Nations Security Co-Ordinator (UNSECOORD) to ensure that their full funding needs are met. This will allow it to expand its capacity and presence in Darfur, supporting it's security co-ordination and management of UN operations as well as to assist non-governmental-organisations. DFID has also provided £1.5 million to the UN's 'Fast IT and Telecommunications Emergency and Support Team' (FITTEST) to enhance security communications in North Sudan (including Darfur). This will help the UN operations to become 'Minimum Operational Security Standard' (MOSS) compliant. More broadly, the UK provides on-going support to 'Registered Engineers for Disaster Relief' (Red R) for security training for NGO staff globally. This year it has included a Security and Staff Safety Management training course in Nyala (South Darfur).

The African Union mission has a key role to play in improving the security situation on the ground. They are specifically mandated to

DFID is not looking at military protection for the aid convoys beyond this. NGOs and the UN consider that they would be more at risk of being targeted if they travelled under armed escort. We are keeping this situation under review.

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