Mr. Brady: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list draft EU laws in respect of which the Government have made representations seeking their withdrawal. 
Mr. Douglas Alexander: As part of their better regulation efforts, the European Commission is reviewing over 200 legislative proposals with a view to their possible withdrawal or modification. They include proposals for which no impact assessment was carried out; on which substantial progress has not been made for some time; or where new scientific evidence, market developments or social change justify a review. We fully support this initiative and have suggested two specific proposals that could be considered in this review:
Mr. Salmond: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what his policy is on Scottish Executive Ministers (a) attending EU council meetings, (b) chairing EU council meetings during the UK presidency and (c) leading the UK delegation to EU council meetings. 
Mr. Douglas Alexander: Scottish interests are represented at all EU council meetings by the UK delegation. On certain occasions Scottish Executive Ministers also attend council meetings, as part of the UK delegation. This happened most recently at the Agriculture and Fisheries Council in Luxembourg on 2021 June 2005 (Scottish Executive Minister Ross Finnie). I am informed that the Scottish Executive is also consulted, as a matter of course, on devolved matters likely to be raised at council meetings.
Mr. Douglas Alexander: Scottish Executive Ministers have attended EU Council meetings on 68 occasions since 1999, leading the UK delegation on three occasions. Details of attendance can be found at http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Government/Internation al-Relations/Europe/Page6
|8 June 2000
|12 February 2001
|4 June 2001
Mr. Salmond: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list the EU council meetings to be held in (a) London, (b) England, (c) Wales, (d) Northern Ireland and (e) Scotland during the UK presidency of the EU. 
Mr. Douglas Alexander: Details of UK contributions to the EU budgets are set out in HM Treasury's White Papers on European Community Finances which are available in the Library of the House. The budget statements for 2003, 2004 and 2005 cover UK contributions since 1997.
Pete Wishart: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many Freedom of Information Act 2000 requests have been answered by the Department; and in how many cases (a) information was wholly exempted, (b) information was partly exempted and (c) the requests were answered in full. 
Mr. Straw: Freedom of Information (FOI) Act 2000 statistics published by the Department for Constitutional Affairs on 23 June show that during the period 1 January to 31 March 2005, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) answered 491 requests, of which 61 were wholly exempted, 222 were partly exempted, and 92 were answered in full. Of the remaining 116 requests, no information was held in 27 cases, and in 89 the FCO required further information in order to identify and locate the information requested.
The Department for Constitutional Affairs (DCA) is committed to publishing quarterly updates in relation to departmental performance under FOI, including information on both the volume and outcomes of requests. The first of these updates was published on 23 June 2005 and can be found both on the DCA website at http://www.foi.gov.uk/statsjan-mar05.htm and in the
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Library of the House. The next bulletin is due in the autumn of this year, while an annual report is also to be published in early 2006.
Andrew Mackinlay: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what responsibilities fall (a) to him and (b) to the Permanent Under-Secretary in relation to complaints of misconduct against officers appointed to senior positions in the Department. 
All diplomatic service officials can appeal to the Diplomatic Service Appeal Board (DSAB) against dismissal. All home civil servants can appeal to the Civil Service Appeal Board (CSAB). The DSAB and CSAB would submit their recommendations to me.
The Permanent Under-Secretary would hear any appeal by a senior FCO official in his direct line management chain. This would be when an allegation of misconduct had previously been upheld by the offending official's line manager.
Andrew Mackinlay: To ask the Secretary of State forForeign and Commonwealth Affairs when the (a) First Division Association and (b) each of the otherrepresentative bodies of his Department's staff were consulted about the last substantive revision of theDepartment's grievance procedure; and whatrepresentations were made by each representative body. 
Mr. Straw: The First Division Association and the two other trade unions recognised by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), were fully consulted during the drafting and review process of the Department's grievance procedure via the Trade Union Secretariat, in August 2004 prior to its implementation.
The views of all the constituent unions were collated by the Trade Union Secretariat during the review process. Those views included concerns about the handling of grievances by line managers and the provision of relevant training for those managers. These concerns were largely addressed at the time the updated procedure was implemented.
Andrew Mackinlay: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when his Department's grievance procedure underwent a substantive revision; what the consequential principal variations in the procedure and appeal machinery are; and if he will make a statement.