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13 Oct 2005 : Column 575W—continued

Nuclear-capable Countries

Mike Penning: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list countries assessed to be nuclear capable according to open source material; and if he will make a statement. [16703]

Dr. Howells: For the purposes of this answer 'nuclear capable' is taken to refer to countries capable of producing fissile material for nuclear weapons, other than the five nuclear weapons states recognised by the nuclear non-proliferation treaty (NPT) and the other states which have carried out nuclear test explosions (India and Pakistan).

To produce fissile material, a state must master enrichment or reprocessing technology. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has listed the following non-nuclear weapons states (NNWS) as having
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enrichment plants, including pilot plants: Argentina, Brazil, Germany, Iran, Japan, and the Netherlands. It has also listed the following NNWS as possessing chemical reprocessing plants, including pilot plants: the DRPK, Germany, Italy and Japan. Israel is also widely assumed to possess reprocessing facilities.

Possession of enrichment or reprocessing facilities does not imply an intention to produce fissile material for nuclear weapons. But nor does the lack of such facilities mean that a country could not acquire them in the future. A number of other states would be capable of constructing enrichment or reprocessing facilities if they chose to do so.

This is why the NPT remains such an important instrument. It enshrines the principle that, with the exception of the nuclear weapon states, who are bound by the disarmament principles of Article VI, States Party to the Treaty will not manufacture

or otherwise acquire nuclear weapons and will allow any nuclear material that they do possess to be subject to IAEA safeguards.

The hon. Member may find further information on IAEA assessments at


Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on his policy on the transfer of powers from the EU to national Governments; and which powers he has identified as best run at national level. [16088]

Mr. Douglas Alexander: Any changes in the division of competences between the EU and member states would require negotiation and agreement of a new Treaty by all 25 member states. The Government's focus during the UK presidency of the EU is on taking forward a wider debate about the future direction of the EU, rather then looking once again at its institutional architecture.


Olympic Games

Sarah Teather: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what representations she has made to the football associations of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland on the formation of a British football team for the 2012 London Olympics; and if she will make a statement. [16912]

Mr. Caborn: Ultimately, this is a matter for FIFA, the four home nations' football associations, and the organisers of the Olympic tournament. However, the Secretary of State has discussed the issue of a Great British football team for the Olympics with the Football Association of England on a number of occasions.

The Government believe that a GB Olympic football team at a 2012 London Olympics could be very exciting for football fans and discussions between the various parties continue. The Government also believe this
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should not affect the rights of the four home nations to compete separately in international football tournaments—an important part of our footballing tradition.

Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment

Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what assessment she has made of the outcome of the independent investigation into potential conflicts of interest at the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment; what changes have been implemented following the investigations; and if she will make a statement. [16939]

Mr. Lammy: When the report by AHL Ltd. on "Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment, audit of conflicts of interest" was published in June 2004 (HC 678), the Department and the Commission (CABE) announced that we had accepted all of the report's 28 recommendations. These have all been implemented as set out in the following table:
RecommendationAction/current state
Recommendations relating to Nolan principles
1. Where potential for conflicts of interest exists the DCMS should formally document the assessment of any risks arising including whether this impacts on the suitability of a candidate for the proposed public position. The risk assessment should be re-performed at the time of re-appointment to ensure any change in circumstances is understood. The risk assessments should be retained as part of the appointment process. Actions required on the part of CABE to manage potential conflicts of interest should be agreed between the DCMS and CABE at the time of appointment. (15.3)Done—Implemented for the last appointments of CABE Heritage commissioner and chairman. DCMS NDPB chairs informed of new conflict of interest procedures on re-appointment in DCMS letter of 20 August 2004.
2. The profile of the future chair of CABE should be re-defined to minimise the risks associated with any public perception of conflict of interest arising. It is not in the public interest for the post to be held by a person with material commercial interests that may come into conflict with CABE's remit (16.9)Done—Detailed role specification prepared as part of recruitment of chairman.
3. Given the growth both in CABE and Stanhope, we have concluded that the position of chair of CABE should, in the future, not be held by a property developer, with significant commercial interests. (16.10)Done—Role specification included the criterion "demonstrate an understanding of CABE's remit and a sensitivity to the interplay between that remit and wider commercial interests".
4. DCMS should review the balance of the commissioners active in the industry and those from an independent but relevant background. (17.5)Done—recruitment for new commissioners in 2006 to start shortly.
5. A risk assessment should be formally undertaken as part of the appointment of the chair of Design Review. Such an assessment should be undertaken for the existing post and any future appointments. Consideration should be given to extending this approach to the appointment of chair of all of the commission's sub-committees. (20.19)Done as part of appointment of Les Sparks in September 2004. Concept of Nominations Panel accepted and risk assessment to be rolled out to each sub-committee chair.
6. Interests must in the future be declared to CABE at the time of intent rather than commitment, as this is when the potential for conflict arises. (18.9)Done—intentions declared on CABE's log of intentions.
7. The direct commercial relationships between the commissioners, or the chair, should continue to be monitored and recorded in the register of interests. (18.14)Done—register of interests pro forma has been amended to include commissioners' commercial relationships.
8. The Audit Committee should review the risks of declared interests to CABE. This should be repeated twice a year to ensure risks are reassessed against any changes in the profile of an existing interest The findings of this review should be reported to the commission and also to the DCMS. (18.11)This is now done twice a year. The Audit Committee assesses the register of interests in March and September. The assessment is reported to commissioners and DCMS.
9. A copy of the register of interests should be formally circulated to commissioners once a year to ensure the extent and depth of interests is understood (18.12)Done, 27 October 04. Due to be done again in October 2005.
10. The appointments process for Design Review panel members must be seen to be an open, as well as fair process. Implementation of the recommendations made by CABE on how this should be achieved is endorsed. (20.11)Done. The competition process was agreed by CABE's Operations Committee on 2 September 2004. Appointments announced January 2005. The process will be repeated annually.
11. In line with standard governance practice, training on an annual basis for Commissioners should be provided. (17.6)Done—The first training event was held on 16 March 2005. The next event will be in March 2006.
12. Commissioners should sign a statement on appointment confirming their acceptance and understanding of the Nolan principles and their attendance on the induction training programme. (17.7)Done—introduced for new commissioner appointments from November 2004.
13. CABE should further consider the need to make the register of interests more publicly available, for example by including it on the website. (18.13)Done—notice put on CABE's website ( stating that the register is available for inspection or a copy will be provided (in either electronic or paper form).
Recommendations to improve procedures in managing
conflicts of interest
14. The commissioners' register of interests forms should be revised to include requirements to outline where an interest may amount to a potential or perceived conflict to CABE; record interests of connected parties on the register so that relevant familial or company interests are also reported. (18.10)Done—CABE's register pro forma amended to explicitly capture this information. Conflicts of interest guidance revised and expanded. Requirement to register perceived or potential conflicts included in guidance.
15. If professional advisors are used which also represent public sector board members in a private capacity, different partners should be involved, and the interest declared (19.3)Done: (a) DCMS issued new guidance to all its executive NDPBs on 24 March 2004. (b) CABE: different legal advisers have been retained to ensure separation on this issue.
16. The general principles adopted to determine at which level of Design Review a scheme should be reviewed, should be documented. (20.4)Done—Principles considered and agreed by Operations Committee on 2 September 2004.
17. The induction process for Design Review panel (DRP) members should be extended by:Done—Considered and agreed by Operations Committee on 2 September 2004. Implemented for new DRP members starting in January 2005. Each new DRP member will have a 1:1 induction meeting with the Director of Design Review.
Providing further formal guidance on managing conflicts of interest;
Documenting the induction process to ensure the importance of meeting public sector standards is covered, including Nolan principles and conflicts of interest. (20.15)
18. The person specification for 'chair of Design Review' should be included in the terms of reference for the Design Review Committee. (20.20)Done—Considered and agreed by Operations Committee on 2 September 2004.
19. A register should be maintained of Design Review panel members' current employment. This should be circulated to all commissioners and Design Review members (20.25)Done—last circulated to commissioners in October 2004, and due to be circulated again in October 2005.
20. CABE's internal auditors should provide the Audit Committee with an annual assurance on the management of Design Review, in respect of propriety and regularity, including conflict of interest (20.27)CABE's internal auditors are due to provide an annual review of Design Review from 2005–06.
21. CABE should include in the form completed by those presenting to Design Review the fact that the opinion given will be in the public domain unless the developer requests that it be kept confidential. In instances where it is requested that an opinion remain confidential, the developer should also be required to maintain confidentiality and advise CABE when the scheme is to enter the public domain. (20.31)Done—CABE's procedures on confidential advice were agreed at a commission meeting on 15 September 2004 and formalized in a procedure note agreed by the Operations Committee on 16 February 2005.
22. Where relevant, the final opinion letter should reflect the fact that the scheme has been reviewed by CABE over a period of time. (20.34)Done—this is now done explicitly in all cases.
23. The Conflicts of Interests Guidance Note should be revised to reflect recommendations arising from this review. (21.7)Done—Revised conflicts of interest guidance and new conflicts of interest policy agreed by Operations Committee on 16 February 2005.
24. The process for declaring new interests that are made during the year should be formalised and care taken that paper and electronic copies of the register match each other. (21.8)Done—A form for notifying changes has been produced by CABE. CABE's head of corporate governance now formally monitors amendments.
25. The risks to CABE arising from interests declared by staff should be assessed, documented and reported to the Audit Committee. (21.9)Done—CABE staff register of interests and risk assessment considered by Audit Committee 8 December 2004. Next review due November 2005.
26. The internal audit strategy should include annual internal audit reviews of Conflict of Interest Management. (21.10)Done—first annual internal audit conducted in March 2005.
27. A risk mitigation plan should be put in place for managing the risk of conflicts of interest. (21.11)Done—CABE Audit Committee reviews risk register every six months; conflicts of interest are a top priority.
28. CABE should develop a handling strategy for conflicts of interest. (21.12)Done—handling strategy agreed by Audit Committee on 16 March 2005.

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This updates the table (CAB33(a) ) published in the ODPM Housing, Planning, Local Government and the Regions Committee's report, "The Role and Effectiveness of CABE", Fifth Report of Session 2004–05, HC 59, March 2005.

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