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9 Feb 2005 : Column 1502W—continued

Staff Surveys

Mr. George Osborne: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) how much was paid to consultants carrying out staff surveys in the Department and its predecessors in each year since 1997; [213666]

(2) what the cost of staff surveys in the Department and its predecessors was in each year since 1997. [213674]

Alun Michael: Defra uses staff surveys to examine staff opinions on a wide range of issues, including working practices, satisfaction and leadership. The results help the Management Board to identify areas of strength (which can be shared with other Government Departments as good practice) and areas for improvement, on which action can be taken.
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Since 2004, key measures in the Department's Corporate Balanced Scorecard have been informed by staff survey results. They are also used to measure progress against meeting Defra's Performance Partnership Agreement.

MAFF carried out one census (all staff) survey in 2000. Defra was formed in June 2001 and has since run two census staff surveys and four sample (25 per cent. of staff) surveys.

A breakdown of expenditure on staff surveys since 1997:
April to March:Expenditure (£)
2004 to present44,965.23


Community Amateur Sports Clubs

Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if she will make a statement on community amateur sports clubs. [214835]

Mr. Caborn: I welcome the fact that over 2,000 Community Amateur Sports Clubs (CASCs) have now registered with the Inland Revenue and received an estimated total of £5 million in tax reliefs as a result of doing so.

Last month my Department published Growing Community Sport", a leaflet publicising the CASC scheme. I have sent copies to many hon. Members and hope that they will make use of this leaflet to tell their constituents about the benefits available to sports clubs.

Special Advisers

Mr. Tyrie: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if she will list the occasions between 31 March 2003 and 31 March 2004 when special advisers attended meetings with external representatives at which Ministers were not present. [210533]

Mr. Caborn: Special advisers hold meetings with a wide range of external representatives in their official capacity. All such meetings are conducted in accordance with the requirements of the Code of Conduct for Special Advisers.

Mr. Tyrie: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if she will list the speeches her special advisers made in an official capacity between 31 March 2003 and 31 March 2004, broken down by date. [210560]

Mr. Caborn: The special advisers at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport have not given any speeches during the period between 31 March 2003 and 31 March 2004.
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Welsh Language Scheme

Mr. Llwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport whether her Department's Welsh language scheme was approved by the Welsh Language Board; and on what date the scheme was implemented. [211328]

Mr. Caborn: DCMS does not have a Welsh Language Scheme approved by the Welsh Language Board. However our good practice policy is to ensure that Welsh versions are available of all reports where DCMS has policy responsibility in Wales.


Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards

Mr. Sanders: To ask the hon. Member for Roxburgh and Berwickshire, representing the House of Commons Commission, what the cost was in 2003–04 of dealing with complaints to the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards which (a) did and (b) did not lead to the making of a report by the Commissioner; and how many such complaints there were in each case in 2003–04. [214159]

Sir Archy Kirkwood: The Commissioner received 96 specific complaints against a named Member in 2003–04, of which six were the subject of reports to the Committee on Standards and Privileges. A detailed analysis of these figures is given in the Commissioner's Annual Report for the year in question (HC 716, Session 2003–04).

The cost of the Commissioner's office in the same period was £335,258, of which £20,153 can be attributed directly to costs (mainly of transcription) arising from a particular inquiry. It is not possible to attribute the bulk of the office's costs (which relate to staff) to individual complaints.



Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Solicitor-General when she expects to have completed her consideration of the representations she has received about the desirability of allowing prosecutors direct access to witnesses in order to assess their credibility. [214591]

The Solicitor-General: The Report setting out the Attorney-General's conclusions on the issue of whether in principle prosecutors should be able to interview witnesses in criminal trials was published on 20 December 2004. Copies were placed in the Libraries of both Houses on that date.


Cleaning Costs

Mr. George Osborne: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what the costs of cleaning the Department were in each year since 1997. [213781]

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Ms Hewitt: The total cost of cleaning all the Department's buildings internally and externally is:
Financial year£ million

Costs are not available for years prior to FY 2001–02.

All contracts for cleaning are competitively tendered on a regular basis.

Independent benchmarks show our costs at or below the average for equivalent buildings in London.

Energy Policy

Paddy Tipping: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will set out the (a) scope and (b) terms of reference of the study on the Effects of the Renewables Obligation on the wood panel industry; when the study was commissioned; and when she expects it to be published. [214852]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: The purpose of the study is to establish the current and likely future impact of the Renewables Obligation on the wood panel industry, relative to other factors affecting the commercial position of the industry.

We have not yet commissioned the study but plan to do so shortly.

We expect the study to take several months to complete.

Nuclear Security Conference

Llew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what involvement her Department has had in the (a) planning and (b) arrangements for the international conference on nuclear security in London on 16 to 18 March; which Ministers and officials in her Department are planning (i) to attend and (ii) to give a presentation at the event; what estimate she has made of the likely cost of hosting the event; and which officials of non-departmental public bodies responsible to her Department are expected to attend. [214248]

Nigel Griffiths: The UK is hosting this international conference on nuclear security on behalf of the IAEA as part of its activities under the G8 Global Partnership during its G8 presidency year. The Department of Trade and Industry has been represented on the programme committee for the conference by an official from the Office of Civil Nuclear Security. In addition, officials from the Energy Group at DTI have been involved in planning the event. FCO conference services have undertaken most of the practical planning elements of the event in liaison with the IAEA's conference services.

I will be hosting a reception on the first evening of the conference, 16 March, and my right hon. Friend the Minister of State for the Middle East, Foreign Office will be speaking during the opening session. Senior officials from both DTI and FCO are planning to give presentations at the event. Officials from the DTI's
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Export Control and Non-proliferation Directorate, Energy Group and Office of Civil Nuclear Security will be attending this conference.

The current estimate of the cost to DTI of holding this event is for between £110,000 and £140,000 depending on the final number of attendees. There will be an additional cost incurred by Government Hospitality for the reception on 16 March.

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