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21 Nov 2005 : Column 1593W—continued

Russia

Sarah Teather: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what the additional cost was to public funds of his return from Moscow on 9 November. [30168]

Mr. Douglas Alexander: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Mid-Worcestershire (Peter Luff) on 16 November 2005, Official Report, columns 1267–68.

Senegal

John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has had with (a) the Government of Senegal,
 
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(b) other Governments in Africa and (c) his EU counterparts regarding the extradition of Hissene Habre to Belgium. [27029]

Ian Pearson: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Sunderland, South (Mr. Mullin) on 16 November 2005, Official Report, column 1270W. In addition I can confirm that we have not had any discussions concerning the extradition of Hissene Habre with other Governments in Africa. This issue was briefly discussed in the EU Africa Working Group on 12 October 2005.

Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus

Mike Penning: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assistance his Department has provided to Mr. Andrew Gaudyn, whose daughter was abducted to the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus; and if he will make a statement. [30751]

Mr. Douglas Alexander: The British High Commission in Nicosia and Child Abduction Section (CAS) at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office have been in regular contact with Mr. Gaudyn and will continue to provide appropriate consular assistance. An official from CAS attended a meeting with Mr. Gaudyn's solicitor, the Crown Prosecution Service, Gwent Police and the National Criminal Intelligence Service to discuss the case on 20 October.

US Detention Centres

Sir Menzies Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what information (a) he and (b) his officials have received of detention centres operated by the United States Administration situated in (i) European Union states and (ii) other European states. [28403]

Mr. Straw: None.

CABINET OFFICE

Consultants

Martin Horwood: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if he will list departmental projects conducted by consultants in each year since 2000; what the cost was in each case; and what the total cost of employing consultants was in each year. [29086]

Mr. Jim Murphy: All projects in the Department are conducted by senior responsible owners who are civil servants; they may engage consultants to provide advice and assistance with the delivery of a project.

Information about the involvement of consultants in individual projects, and the cost of these, is not held centrally and may not be obtained without incurring disproportionate costs.

The total expenditure on the use of consultants since 2000 is shown in the table.
 
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£ million
2000–0110.93
2001–0216.88
2002–0313.39
2003–0415.93
2004–0512.70




Note:
Figures relating to financial years prior to 2001–02 include Centre for Management and Policy Studies, Regional Co-ordination Unit, Government Car and Despatch Agency and Central Office of Information. Figures from 2002–03 include 'core' Cabinet Office only.



Martin Horwood: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what steps the Department takes to ensure that consultancies do not claim excessive expenses while working for the Department and its agencies. [29087]

Mr. Jim Murphy: When engaging consultancies the Department would include, as part of its contract, terms and conditions which would provide for reasonable expenses to be reimbursed against receipts. That, in conjunction with appropriately robust contract management arrangements, ensures that consultancies do not claim excessive expenses.

Martin Horwood: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what mechanisms are in place to assess the effectiveness of consultant-led projects in his Department; what sanctions are available to penalise consultants who run unsuccessful projects; how many projects conducted by consultants were assessed as unsuccessful in each year since 2000; and what sanctions were imposed in each case. [29122]

Mr. Jim Murphy: All projects in the Department are led by senior responsible owners who are civil servants; they may engage consultants to provide advice and assistance with the delivery of a project.

When engaging consultants the Department would include, as part of the contract, terms and conditions that would provide sanctions should they fail to meet contractual obligations. That, in conjunction with appropriately robust contract management arrangements ensures consultants deliver work within the terms and conditions of their contract. If they were to breach their contract we would exercise our right to invoke our legal rights under the terms and conditions of the contract.

Public Service Agreement

Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what data sources he will use for the purposes of measuring performance against 2004 public service agreement target number 3. [29862]

Mr. Jim Murphy: Data sources for measuring performance against public service agreement (PSA) targets can be found in the technical notes which are in the public domain and are available on the Cabinet Office website at http://www.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/reports/service-delivery/2005/index.asp.
 
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LEADER OF THE HOUSE

Consultants

Martin Horwood: To ask the Leader of the House (1) what mechanisms are in place to assess the effectiveness of consultant-led projects in his Office; what sanctions are available to penalise consultants who run unsuccessful projects; how many projects conducted by consultants were assessed as unsuccessful in each year since 2000; and what sanctions were imposed in each case; [29119]

(2) if he will list projects conducted for his Office by consultants in each year since 2000; what the cost was in each case; and what the total cost of employing consultants was in each year; [29093]

(3) what steps his Office takes to ensure that consultancies do not claim excessive expenses. [29092]

Mr. Hoon: The Office of the Leader of the House of Commons has employed consultants on only one occasion since 2000, and this was successful.
Details of consultants employed
DateAugust 2005
Project    Review of database technical applications
Cost£3,760
Total costs£3,760

No provision was made to enable them to claim expenses.

When letting consultancy projects, we follow the principles and practices set out in the Office of Government Commerce's best practice guidance, Delivering world-class consultancy services in the public sector".

Modernisation

Ben Chapman: To ask the Leader of the House what assessment he has made of the new working hours of the House. [29757]

Mr. Hoon: I have made no formal assessment of the new arrangements.

The new working hours were agreed following a debate on 26 January this year. Given the recent history on this subject, it seems reasonable to allow time for the new hours to be tested. I do not plan to revisit this issue in the immediate future, but I remain open to representations.

CHURCH COMMISSIONERS

New Churches

26. Mr. Hollobone: To ask the hon. Member for Middlesbrough, representing the Church Commissioners if he will make a statement on the Church Commissioners' policy on encouraging the establishment of churches in new residential areas. [29662]


 
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Sir Stuart Bell: The Church Commissioners do not have a policy on the establishment of churches in new residential areas, an initiative which lies with individual dioceses. They do however make available over £4 million p.a. to support dioceses' mission initiatives.


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