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To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Department for Constitutional Affairs what amount remains outstanding to the Legal Services Commission
8 Dec 2004 : Column 564W
under the statutory charge at the latest date for which figures are available; and what steps it is taking to recover this. 
Mr. Lammy: At the end of the financial year 200304 the value of debt due to the Legal Services Commission (LSC) under the statutory charge was £264 million. This included £50 million of interest that had accrued upon the debt.
The debt is secured by the registration of a statutory charge against property and is not generally collectable immediately. Under existing regulations, the LSC has no discretion to enforce repayment of the debt until the charged property is re-mortgaged, sold or upon the death of the client. When one of these events occurs, the Land Registry notifies the LSC and recovery procedures commence.
In order to keep funded clients informed about their debt, and to facilitate early repayment, the LSC has commenced sending out annual statements to clients setting out amounts owed, including accrued interest and offering clients the opportunity to make payment in full or by instalment of their debt.
Mr. Andrew Mitchell: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Department for Constitutional Affairs what budget has been allocated to the Legal Services Commission in each of the last two years; and how many staff have been employed by the Commission in each year. 
Mr. Tyrie: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Department for Constitutional Affairs on how many occasions between 31 March 2003 and 31 March 2004 departmental special advisers travelled (a) domestically and (b) abroad in an official capacity; what places were visited; and how much each visit cost. 
Mr. Leslie: Between 31 March 2003 and 31 March 2004, special advisers in the Department for Constitutional Affairs travelled in an official capacity on the following domestic and international visits:
|11 June 2003||Manchester||959.60|
|24 October 2003||Norwich||546.50|
|31 October 2003||Derby||1,035.00|
|21 November 2003||Lowestoft||342.50|
|28 November 2003||Cardiff||265.90|
|19 December 2003||New York/Washington DC||21,278.60|
|29 January 2004||Birmingham||774.60|
|12 March 2004||Harrow||106.00|
Mr. Leslie: On 15 November we issued a consultation paper on the complex and sensitive question of broadcasting court proceedings. When this consultation is complete, we will be in a position to consider whether allowing trials, or parts of trials, to be televised would be beneficial or detrimental to justice.
Charles Hendry: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Department for Constitutional Affairs what the (a) cost to the Department, (b) title and (c) location was of each training course organised by his Department for its staff in each financial year since 199798. 
Mr. Lammy: My Department is unable to provide a full reply to this question without incurring disproportionate cost. My Department uses the services of external training providers on occasions when there is a training need that cannot be met by the in-house training function, or when there is a specialist training need for which it would not be cost-effective to develop in-house training.
We are able to provide a single, overall, expenditure figure for each financial year since 199899 (my Department's accounting systems changed during 199798) for external training organised for my Department (and LCD) staff in the following table. These figures include courses organised by all parts of the Department.
|Financial year||Total amount (£)|
Charles Hendry: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Department for Constitutional Affairs what financial penalties were paid in each financial year since 199798 to training providers by the Department for training courses prepared for its staff which were subsequently cancelled at the Department's request. 
My Department is committed to providing access to relevant training for all of its staff; that commitment extends to looking for options other than cancellation of training courses should staff be unable to attend.
Norman Lamb: To ask the Prime Minister if he will list his official engagements over the past six months; who was present at each meeting; what the (a) date and (b) location was of each meeting; what issues were discussed; and what plans he has to establish a public register to disclose such information. 
The Prime Minister: I meet many individuals and organisations and attend many functions relating to Government business and as part of the process of policy development. To provide the detailed information requested would incur disproportionate cost. The daily on-the-record briefing by my Official Spokesman regularly provides details of my public engagements.
(2) how many appeals were made by civil servants to the Civil Service Commissioners regarding special advisers in his Office between 31 March 2003 and 31 March 2004; and when each appeal was lodged. 
Mr. Tyrie: To ask the Prime Minister on how many occasions between 31 March 2003 and 31 March 2004 his special advisers travelled (a) domestically and (b) abroad in an official capacity; what places were visited; and how much each visit cost. 
The Prime Minister: Information on the travel and accommodation for special advisers who accompanied me on overseas visits are included in the list of Overseas Travel by Cabinet Ministers 200304, copies of which are available in Libraries of the House.
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