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9 Feb 2006 : Column 1406W—continued

Pingat Jasa Medal

Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what estimate he has made of the number of soldiers, sailors and airmen serving in Malaysia between 31 August 1957 and 31 December 1966 would be eligible for the Pingat Jasa medal if approval for wearing it were given. [48213]

Mr. Touhig: No centrally collated figures are available to show the total number of individual service personnel who served in the Federation of Malaya and subsequently in the Federation of Malaysia between 31 August 1957 and 31 December 1966 and such figures could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Further, as the Malaysian Government have not yet released a definitive qualification criterion for the Pingat Jasa medal, it would not be possible to estimate the numbers who might be eligible even if the overall figures for those who served in the area were available.

Post-traumatic Stress Disorder

Jeremy Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what estimate he has made of the average annual amount spent by the Government in a year on the treatment of servicemen and ex-servicemen suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and related conditions over the last five years. [49471]

Mr. Touhig [holding answer 7 February 2006]: Figures are not held centrally on the total number of Service personnel who are suffering from post traumatic stress disorder and related conditions. Information on the amount spent could only therefore be provided at disproportionate cost.
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Furthermore, we do not hold information on the treatment received by ex-Service personnel because the NHS has responsibility for the treatment of ex-Service personnel suffering from both mental and physical disorders.

For those ex-Service personnel whose condition is due to service and for whom it is appropriate, courses of remedial care are funded at facilities provided by the charity, Combat Stress. For the year ending December 2005, funding was some £2.8 million.

Press Coverage

Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence on how many occasions since 1 April 2003 he has complained to the Press Complaints Commission about the coverage in the press of (a) Ministers or officials and (b) his Department; and how many of these complaints were upheld. [47091]

John Reid: Since 1 April 2003 the Ministry of Defence has made four complaints to the Press Complaints Commission; all by the then Secretary of State, my right hon. Friend the Member for Ashfield (Mr. Hoon). Three were upheld and one was not pursued.

Public Relations

Mr. Gale: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much was spent on his Department's public relations and information services in each of the last five years for which figures are available. [48962]

Mr. Touhig: The Ministry of Defence engages in a range of public relations activities in order that the work of the MOD and armed forces is communicated to the general public. While the MOD, its Agencies and the Services employ full-time and part-time Communications staff, and who, on occasion, engage external PR consultancies to assist them, the Department does not centrally record overall expenditure on public relations. This information therefore could be supplied only at disproportionate cost.

Neither does the Department centrally record expenditure on information services, a broad term that could refer to a range of activities from press offices, to internal communications, to web services.


1911 Census

Andrew Mackinlay: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs if she will authorise the early release to the Public Records Office of the 1911 census for England and Wales. [49704]

Bridget Prentice: The Government's policy is to make the decennial census returns publicly available after a period of 100 years, in order to honour assurances given about the confidentiality of personal information contained in census returns. The National Archives is, therefore, developing plans to release the 1911 census in 2012.
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Freedom of Information Act

Mr. Heald: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs whether it is Government policy that civil servants routinely remove their names from documents before releasing them under the Freedom of Information Act 2000; and if she will make a statement. [49032]

Bridget Prentice: Disclosing or withholding officials' names in freedom of information releases is dealt with on a case-by-case basis. The names of many officials are already made public in a variety of ways, such as in the civil service yearbook or as speakers at conferences, therefore it is unnecessary to redact names. However, there may be cases in which it is necessary to remove officials' names, for example for health and safety purposes or because releasing their name into the public domain could cause disruption to their day-to-day work.

Road Traffic Claims

Mr. Nicholas Brown: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what assessment her Department has made of the effects of the introduction of predictable costs in road traffic claims where damages are under £10,000. [48629]

Bridget Prentice: Research on the operation of fixed recoverable costs for road traffic accident claims is underway, and it is expected that this will be completed in summer 2006.

Small Claims (Personal Injuries)

Dr. Kumar: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs pursuant to the answer of 28 November 2005, Official Report, column 130W, on small claims (personal injuries), if she will list the organisations she plans to consult as part of the review of personal injuries limits for small claims. [48462]

Bridget Prentice: A list of consultees is not yet available. I will ensure that a copy is sent to the hon. Member when the consultation paper is published.

Unsafe Gravestones

Mr. Todd: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what progress has been made in discussions with (a) burial authorities and (b) other interested parties on the means of promoting best practice in dealing with unsafe gravestones. [49432]

Bridget Prentice: We expect to complete very shortly our assessment of existing guidance and then to discuss our findings with burial professionals and others. Subject to their views and any need to obtain any further technical advice, we aim to publish more comprehensive guidance later this year.



David T.C. Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what steps he is taking to improve education standards in Northern Ireland. [48315]

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Angela E. Smith: We are committed to driving up performance in schools in Northern Ireland by taking forward a wide range of initiatives aimed at raising standards, tackling under achievement and targeting funding at those areas of greatest social need. These include:

This is underpinned by an ongoing programme of monitoring and evaluation, including not only inspection activity but also self evaluation by schools.

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