Previous Section Index Home Page

21 Nov 2005 : Column 1538W—continued


Army Prosecuting Authority

Mr. Mullin: To ask the Solicitor-General what arrangements exist for independent inspection of the Army Prosecuting Authority; and if he will make a statement. [29563]

The Solicitor-General: At present no arrangements exist for an independent inspection of the Army Prosecution Authority.

Departmental Skills Development Plan

Mr. Gibb: To ask the Solicitor-General if he will place in the Library a copy of his Department's Skills Development Plan. [23862]

The Solicitor-General: I am answering this question on behalf of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), Treasury Solicitor's Department (TSol), Serious Fraud Office (SFO), Revenue and Customs Prosecution Office (RCPO) and HMCPS Inspectorate (HMCPSI).

The CPS, as the largest of my departments has a skills strategy, which is part of their workforce development plan. I will place a copy in the Library.

TSol addresses its skills and development needs via its annual training and development plan. This plan aims to ensure that everyone in TSol has the knowledge, skills and abilities necessary to undertake their jobs effectively and to realise their potential. A copy of this plan will be placed in the Library.

SFO currently does not have a departmental skills development plan; and RCPO as a new department has yet to devise its detailed training and development plan.
21 Nov 2005 : Column 1539W

HMCPSI is considering how best to take forward its skills development plan in the context of the specialist nature of inspection work, the requirements of professional skills for Government and the work of the Government legal service. Many of HMCPSI staff are on loan to the Inspectorate and will fall within the remit of their parent Department skills development plans.

Domestic Violence

Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Solicitor-General how many prosecutions for domestic violence in the jurisdiction of London courts have (a) come to court and (b) resulted in conviction in each of the last five years. [28395]

The Solicitor-General: During the year April 2004 to March 2005, there were a total of 2,807 prosecutions for domestic violence in the jurisdiction of the London courts. Of these, 1.365 (48.6 per cent.) were convicted, 1,187 (42.3 per cent.) were dropped, and 255 (9.1 per cent.) were acquitted.

For the current year from 1 April 2005 to 9 November 2005, there were a total of 2,568 prosecutions for domestic violence. Of these 1,330 (51.8 per cent.) were convicted, 995 (38.7 per cent.) were dropped and 243 (9.5 per cent.) were acquitted.

Comparable figures are not held for previous years.


Departmental Spending

David T.C. Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how much his Department spent on items of art in 2004–05. [23463]

David Cairns: The Scotland Office has not spent any money on the purchase of works of art in 2004–05.

Scottish Grand Committee

Mr. Moore: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many meetings of the Scottish Grand Committee there were in (a) 2004 and (b) to date in 2005; where the meetings were held; and what the subject matter of debate was in each case. [29792]

David Cairns: There have been no meetings of the Scottish Grand Committee in the period stated and neither have there been any requests for meetings.


Carbon Management Programme

Norman Lamb: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether his Department will sign up to the Carbon Trust's carbon management programme. [23718]

Ms Buck: The Department will consider joining the carbon management programme and officials have made contact with the Carbon Trust regarding this initiative. A decision will be taken in light of these discussions and after the Defra experiences have been evaluated.
21 Nov 2005 : Column 1540W

The Department has already pledged to offset the carbon dioxide from DfT official air travel as part of a Government wide commitment and is leading a pan-government contract to facilitate the purchase of emission reductions generated by a Clean Development Mechanism project or portfolio of projects. This project, or projects, will need to provide Certified Emissions Reductions to offset at least 100,000t CO 2 emissions, associated with pan-government air travel, per year and provide significant and quantified sustainable development benefits.

Cargo Transfers

Mark Lazarowicz: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what measures are in place to allow relevant local authorities a role in the supervision of ship-to-ship cargo transfer operations in estuaries around the UK coast; [19650]

(2) what account he will take of the protection of the marine environment when he decides on the application by Melbourne Marine Services for ship-to-ship cargo operations in the Firth of Forth; [19673]

(3) when he expects to make a decision on the application by Melbourne Marine Services for ship-to-ship cargo transfer operations in the Firth of Forth. [19674]

Dr. Ladyman: Local authorities do not have a role in the supervision of ship-to-ship cargo transfer operations.

The application which has been submitted to the Department's Maritime and Coastguard Agency is from Forth Ports plc, and relates to the oil spill contingency plan for Forth Ports plc's harbour authority area and its revision and amplification to address the specific risks associated with ship-to-ship transfers of oil in that harbour authority area. The Secretary of State for Transport does not decide whether a ship-to-ship transfer may or may not take place. The MCA's role is limited to approving harbour authorities' oil spill contingency plans which address the potential risks of such activities.

As the Secretary of State for Transport announced today, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) is to co-ordinate a public consultation to assess the implications for relevant nature conservation sites of Forth Ports plc's revised and amplified oil spill contingency plan. The consultation will last 12 weeks, and is designed to establish whether the revised and amplified plan will adversely affect the integrity of those nature conservation sites.

At the end of this process, in the light of the consultation responses and taking into account the advice of Scottish Natural Heritage, the statutory nature conservation authority, the MCA will finalise its appropriate assessment and consider whether any amendments to the plan are needed.


Martin Horwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps the Department takes to ensure that consultancies do not claim excessive expenses while working for his Department and its agencies. [29061]

21 Nov 2005 : Column 1541W

Ms Buck: Where a consultant incurs travel and subsistence expenses as a result of carrying out contracted service for the Department, the costs will either be included in the tendered price or recovered separately, depending on the nature of the work and the amount of travel involved.

Where expenses are included in the tendered price, the Department's conditions of contract stipulate that the rates shall not exceed the upper limit of allowances payable to departmental staff of equivalent status. Where expenses are recovered separately they are reimbursed at cost, subject the upper limit of allowances payable to departmental staff of equivalent status.

The Department's conditions of contract make it clear that any travel undertaken as a consequence of performing the contract must utilise the most effective means (taking into account the cost of travel, the cost of meals and accommodation and savings in time) for the whole journey, and that claims for travelling and subsistence must be related to the performance of the duties for the purposes of the contract, and be certified as such. Visits abroad require the prior approval of the Department.

It is the responsibility of the Department's contract manager in each case to ensure that all invoices submitted by the consultant are in accordance with the Department's terms and conditions of contract.

Departmental Assets

Mike Penning: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will list the 10 most valuable (a) movable and (b) immovable assets owned by his Department. [27378]

Ms Buck: The information is as follows:
Departments 10 highest movable and immovable assets

Movable assets
Cnis System ReplacementMCA2,097,774
Automatic Identification SysMCA1,348,547
Data WarehouseMCA592,655
ICCS Milford Haven CommsMCA460,072
Road Inspection VehicleHA888,000
SAP SystemDSA1,355,000
Internet Booking SystemDSA701,000
ASR SystemDSA671,000
PCs in Test Centres NetworkDSA443,000
Sciter digital printersDVLA1,825,300
Immovable assets
Channel Tunnel Rail Link LandDfT (c)1,554,100,000
Transport Direct PortalDfT (c)23,715,970
IMO Building—4 Albert EmbankmentDfT (c)21,816,387
Trunk Road NetworkHA72,144,374,000
Land at DartfordHA35,989,000
National Traffice Control CentreHA46,714,000
Directs Road UserDfT(c)8,739,607
Cardington Training Centre (Freehold)DSA7,513,000
Main HQ, YorkSRA13,000,000
Kew Bridge NorthSRA9,000,000

21 Nov 2005 : Column 1542W

Next Section Index Home Page