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22 Nov 2005 : Column 1886W—continued


Domestic Violence (Wales)

Mrs. Moon: To ask the Solicitor-General how many domestic violence prosecutions were undertaken in Wales in each year since 2002, broken down by region. [30786]

The Solicitor-General: The following table shows the number of Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) prosecutions for domestic violence offences, finalised in Wales, in the last two financial years, together with comparable figures for each of the four CPS areas located in Wales. The table also shows the number and proportion resulting in conviction and in unsuccessful outcomes.

The CPS does not have comparable full records of domestic violence proceedings before 2004.
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Proceedings for domestic violence—Wales: 2004–06

ConvictionsPercentageUnsuccessful outcomesPercentageTotal
Dyfed Powys13858.59841.5236
North Wales29767.714232.3439
South Wales62152.556147.51,182
2005–06 (1 April 2005 to 17 November 2005)
Dyfed Powys11963.07037.0189
North Wales31368.014732.0460
South Wales45551.842448.2879

Serious Fraud Office

Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Solicitor-General if the Serious Fraud Office will investigate the allegations concerning British companies contained in the Volcker report into the UN Oil-for-Food operation in Iraq; and if he will make a statement. [29685]

The Solicitor-General: The Serious Fraud Office is reviewing the Volcker report to determine whether any circumstances mentioned in the report justify involvement of the Serious Fraud Office.

As part of our responsibilities under the OECD convention against corruption the Serious Fraud Office will review all allegations of corruption referred to it against United Kingdom companies or individuals in overseas jurisdictions to determine whether an investigation is warranted.

Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Solicitor-General what assessment the Attorney-General has requested the Serious Fraud Office to produce of the difficulties the Serious Fraud Office faces in detecting, investigating and prosecuting corruption. [31181]

The Solicitor-General: The Attorney-General routinely meets with the Director of the Serious Fraud Office and other senior SFO officials. A standing agenda item at these meetings are case updates and significant allegations reported to the SFO. The updates include briefing on difficulties faced by the SFO at any stage of an investigation or prosecution, for any type of case.


Royal Prerogative

Mr. Greg Knight: To ask the Leader of the House if he will bring forward proposals in this Session of Parliament to modernise and improve the parliamentary scrutiny process of ministerial decisions made using the royal prerogative. [29797]

Mr. Hoon: The Government have no plans to alter the present procedures for parliamentary scrutiny of ministerial decisions involving the royal prerogative. The Government accepts and welcomes scrutiny of any of their actions, including those taken under the prerogative. Ministers are already accountable to Parliament for action taken under prerogative powers, as for anything else.
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I refer the right hon. Member to the Government Response to the Fourth Report of the Public Administration Committee (HC422) of session 2003–04.


Care Home Closures (Legal Challenges)

Andrew Mackinlay: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what the policy is of the Legal Services Commission on the granting of legal aid to those seeking to challenge closure of local authority care homes on human rights grounds; and if she will make a statement. [29721]

Bridget Prentice: The Legal Services Commission assesses applications for Community Legal Service funding, including those on human rights grounds, on a case by case basis against the criteria set out in the Funding Code, as established under the Access to Justice Act 1999. This involves consideration of the client's means, the prospects of success for the case, the likely cost, and the benefit to the client and wider public as a whole.


Sir Gerald Kaufman: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs if she will require the Crown Prosecution Service to reply to the letter dated 28 September to the Secretary of State from the right hon. Member for Manchester, Gorton which was forwarded to the Crown Prosecution Service on 7 October. [29108]

Ms Harman: The Crown Prosecution Service sent the right hon. Member a substantive reply on 16 November about prosecution aspects of the case. The Lord Chancellor will reply about other aspects of the right hon. Member's letter.

Legal Aid

Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs how many (a) women and (b) men received legal aid in respect of care and custody proceedings in each of the last three years for which information is available. [31020]

Bridget Prentice: I will reply to the hon. Member as soon as possible.
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Ministerial Travel

Norman Baker: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs how much has been spent in each year from 1 May 1997 on ministerial travel, broken down by (a) provision and running costs of vehicular transport, (b) first class travel by rail, (c) standard class travel by rail, (d) first class travel by air, (e) club or equivalent class travel by air and (f) economy class travel by air. [27788]

Bridget Prentice: A year-by-year and travel class breakdown cannot be provided without incurring disproportionate cost. However, my hon. Friend the Parliamentary Secretary at the Cabinet Office has asked Roy Burke, Chief Executive of the Government Car and Despatch Agency (GCDA) to write to the hon. Member with details of the costs of ministerial vehicles provided to Departments in 2004–05. Copies of his letter will be placed in the Library.

For information for the financial years 2000–01 to 2003–04, I refer the hon. Member to the letters from the Chief Executive of the GCDA to the hon. Member for Buckingham (John Bercow) dated 10 January 2005 and to the then hon. Member for Arundel and South Downs (Howard Flight) dated 13 September 2003. Copies of these letters are available in the Library.

In respect of overseas travel by Ministers, since 1999 the Government have published an annual list of all visits overseas undertaken by Cabinet Ministers costing £500 or more during each financial year. The Government have also published annually the cost of all Ministers' visits overseas. Copies of the lists are available in the Libraries of the House. These report information for the financial years 1995–96 to 2004–05. Information for 2005–06 will be published as soon as it is ready after the end of the current financial year. All Ministerial travel is undertaken in accordance with the rules set out in the Ministerial Code" and Travel by Ministers", copies of which are available in the Libraries of the House.


Drug Crimes

Mr. Peter Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many (a) recorded cases of, (b) prosecutions for and (c) convictions for drug crimes there have been for (i) illegal importation of drugs, (ii) illegal cultivation of drugs, (iii) possession of drugs with intent to supply, (iv) possession of drugs, (v) money laundering-related drugs offences and (vi) other drugs offences in each of the last five years, in each district command unit in Northern Ireland. [28880]

Mr. Woodward: The information requested by the hon. Gentleman has been placed in the Library.

Public Bodies

Mr. Peter Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will list the public bodies in Northern Ireland which (a) fall within the remit of (i) the Office of the Commissioner for Public
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Appointments for Northern Ireland and (ii) the Office of the Commissioner for Public Appointments and (b) are outwith the remit of either body. [30245]

Angela E. Smith: The information requested by the hon. Gentleman has been placed in the Library.

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