|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Dr. Howells: We are concerned about the security situation in Yemen, in particular because of the recent escape of 23 al-Qaeda prisoners and also the spate of kidnappings of Western tourists in December 2005 and January. We judge that there is a continuing high threat from terrorism.
We are aware that members of al-Qaeda and other similar groups continue to exist in Yemen and we monitor reports on their activities there. We maintain a wide-ranging dialogue with the Government of Yemen which includes security issues, in particular counter-terrorism (CT). We have an extensive
14 Feb 2006 : Column 1912W
programme of CT capacity-building with the Yemeni authorities; this includes training of the coastguard, as well as training in investigative techniques, forensic science and crime scene management. During my recent visit to Yemen, I expressed the hope that our CT relationship would continue to develop, with an enhanced two-way flow of co-operation.
Mark Simmonds: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of whether the Jawf and Mareb tribes in Yemen have contact with (a) al-Qaeda and (b) other Islamic fundamentalist groups; and if he will make a statement. 
Al-Jawf and Marib are regions of Yemen where members of al-Qaeda and related groups are known to have been present. It is possible that tribes living in these areas have offered funding and/or logistical assistance to members of such groups; this support may have been with or without tribal knowledge of the al-Qaeda background of the individuals concerned.
14 Feb 2006 : Column 1913W
Mr. Jim Murphy: The Transformational Government strategy was published in November 2005 and was followed by a three-month (public) consultation period. Responses are being incorporated into an implementation plan that will be published by the end of this financial year.
Mr. Jim Murphy: There have been significant increases in the proportion of women in senior posts since 1998: the civil service has met its target to double the proportion of women in top management posts, from 12.7 per cent. in 1998 to 25.5 per cent. in 2005.
Mr. Jim Murphy: There has been no need for me to have discussions with Departments. They have delegated authority to determine their own pay arrangements, outside of the senior civil service, that are tailored to meet their business needs. However, my officials have regular discussions with Departments regarding pay issues.
Mr. Jim Murphy: This Government are committed to achieving greater diversity in public appointments. All Department's including my own, will in due course publish an Annual Appointments Plan. These will provide more detail and clarity than before, on the overall policy, approach, and diversity objectives set by individual Department's to public appointments.
Mr. Heald: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster how much was spent on entertainment by his Department in 200405, broken down by (a) food, (b) alcohol, (c) staff and (d) accommodation. 
Mr. Jim Murphy: The Cabinet Office spent £571,940 on entertainment in 200405. Expenditure broken down into the four categories requested is not separately identifiable on the department's accounting system and is therefore only available at disproportionate cost.
All Cabinet Office expenditure on official entertainment is made in accordance with published departmental guidance on financial procedures and propriety, based on principles set out in Government Accounting".
Mrs. Villiers: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster how many job advertisements were placed by his Department (a) in total, (b) in print newspapers and magazines and (c) on a recruitment website in each year since 1997; and at what cost in each case. 
Mr. Jim Murphy: The Cabinet Office does not pay a specific allowance to employees located in London. There are, however, two pay scales: one covering employees located in London, Sunningdale and Basingstoke and a national pay scale for employees in other locations.
Mr. Hollobone: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster how many Government IT projects processed as part of the e-government programmes have gone (a) over budget and (b) over time since 1997. 
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|