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Intelligence Service

Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many complaints have been made to the relevant Tribunal or Commissioner in relation to the actions of the Intelligence Service since the enactment of the Intelligence Service Acts and Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000; and how many complainants had their complaint upheld in each year. [13171]

Mr. Straw: The number of complaints received by the Tribunal/Commissioner under section 9 of the Intelligence Services Act 1994 were as follows:
DateNumber of complaints (Secret Intelligence Service and General Communications Headquarters)Of which, complaints referred to Commissioner in respect of property
January to
September 2000

On no occasion did the Tribunal/Commissioner uphold any complaint.

The Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT), established under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA), came into being on 2 October 2000. From that date the IPT assumed responsibility for the jurisdiction previously held by, among others, the Intelligence Service Tribunal. As the Intelligence Services Commissioner explains in his 2000 and subsequent annual reports to my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister, complaints to the IPT cannot easily be categorised" under the three Tribunal system that existed prior to RIPA. Consequently, I am unable to detail those complaints that relate solely to the actions of the intelligence services. I can only provide information on the total number of complaints made to the Tribunal."

The total number of complaints received by the IPT are as follows:
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DateNumber of complaints

(96)October to December.
(*1) Figures to be published shortly in the Commissioner's Annual 2004 Report.

On no occasion has the IPT concluded that there has been a contravention of RIP A or the Human Rights Act 1989. Consequently no complaints have been upheld.


Mr. Martyn Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what estimate he has made of the number of civilians killed in Iraq by (a) insurgent forces and (b) coalition forces since April 2003; and if he will make a statement. [14840]

Dr. Howells: We believe that the Iraqi authorities remain in the best position to record the civilian casualties in their country. The Iraqi Ministry of Health (MOH) has released figures covering the period from 5 April 2004, when collation of statistics began, to 5 April 2005. These figures show that 6,629 Iraqis were killed and 28,838 injured during that period. The MOH records roughly the kind of incident that caused the deaths but cannot be definitive on who was responsible for the incident. The figures cover all Iraqis, including civilians, Iraqi Security Forces and insurgents, killed as a result of violence.

Islamabad (Visa Applications)

Mike Gapes: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the length of time taken by the British High Commission in Islamabad to produce the explanatory statement required by the Home Office to initiate a visit visa appeals process. [9671]

Dr. Howells [holding answer 6 July 2005]: I would like to apologise to my hon. Friend for the delay in replying.

The visa section in Islamabad aims to meet best practice targets on the issue of family visit appeals, which, prior to a change in the appeals procedure, were dispatched directly to the Immigration Appellate Authority (IAA). The Asylum and Immigration Tribunal have now replaced the IAA. Best Practice target guidance requires visa sections at British overseas missions to issue papers to the UK within one month of receipt.

Management Consultancies

Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs which five management consultancies received the highest value of contracts awarded by his Department in each of the last three years; and what the total value was of the contracts awarded to each. [12583]

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Mr. Straw: I refer my hon. Friend to the reply I gave him on 18 July 2005, Official Report, column 1372W. Expenditure specifically on management" consultancy is not categorised separately from that for external consultancy as a whole.

However, the following details of our expenditure with our main suppliers of external consultancy in general over the period in question may be helpful:

Logica UK3,425,0001,937,000843,000
Parity Resources1,474,0001,848,0000
PA Consulting1,079,0001,255,000590,000
Cedar Enterprise Solutions1,177,000771,0000
WS Atkins1,132,000703,0000

Media Relations

Mr. Salmond: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how much the Department has spent on external media relations in each month of the last year. [14679]

Ian Pearson: In the financial year 2004–05, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) spent £543,160 on external media relations. Of this total consular directorate spent £458,160: £425,160 in June 2004 for the Know Before You Go" consular campaign and £33,000 in March 2005 for work on the forced marriage publicity campaign. EU Directorate paid £12,500 each month from October 2004 to March 2005 and £10,000 to the Central Office of Information in March 2005 for managing external media relations in connection with the UK's presidency of the EU. In total EU Directorate paid £85,000.

The FCO's overseas posts and its non-departmental public bodies also incur costs on external media consultants. Information about these could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

Middle East

Mr. Dismore: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he is making to the Palestinians to stop the Qassam missile attacks on Israeli communities; and if he will make a statement. [14192]

Dr. Howells: We are pressing the Palestinian Authority to take immediate and effective action against those involved in attacks on Israelis. The Palestinian Security Forces have made some efforts, which we have encouraged, to tackle those attempting to launch Qassam rockets.

Mr. Dismore: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the impact of the recent missile attacks on Israeli communities from Gaza on the Israeli Gaza disengagement plan; and if he will make a statement. [14193]

Dr. Howells: We condemn unreservedly the recent and continuing missile attacks on Israel. We also condemn violence by Palestinian militants against
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Palestinian security personnel. At the same time, we view with great concern attacks by the Israeli Air Force that have killed a number of Palestinian militants in the West Bank and Gaza. We urge Israel to exercise maximum self-restraint and urge co-operation between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. We also call for immediate and effective Palestinian action against those involved in attacks on Israelis.

It is very important that the momentum of recent months is not lost, and that the Palestinian Authority and Israel work together to focus on the opportunity that disengagement offers. Successful disengagement will offer greater security for Israel and a chance for a better life for Palestinians, as well as a critical opportunity for both parties to return to the Roadmap.

NATO Parliamentary Assembly

Graham Stringer: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list the members of the UK delegation to the NATO Parliamentary Assembly. [14104]

Mr. Douglas Alexander: The following right hon. and hon. Members and Peers will represent the United Kingdom at the NATO Parliamentary Assembly:

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