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27 Feb 2006 : Column 56W—continued


Mr. Streeter: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps he is taking to assist the people of Tanzania in response to food, water and power shortages there. [53367]

Hilary Benn: There is considerable suffering in Tanzania owing to the present food insecurity. The Government of Tanzania has made effective use of its Strategic Grain Reserve to deliver grain to vulnerable households, although the continuing drought means this is now under pressure. A Rapid Vulnerability Assessment (RVA), conducted by the Government in response to the food and water situation was circulated on 13 February. The RVA found that 3.8 million Tanzanians need food assistance to the tune of 100,000 metric tonnes up to the next expected harvest in May. Of those, around 565,000 are considered destitute and need immediate food aid. DFID stands ready to help the Government respond to this situation. We are consulting with other agencies, notably the World Food Programme, to determine the robustness of the RVA and inform decisions on assistance. DFID's response will be based on a proposal received from the Government of Tanzania, outlining what additional resources it needs from donors, and how it would like them delivered. Other donors are also likely to respond to the Government's proposal.

In addition, should the EC's Humanitarian Organisation (ECHO) decide to provide assistance to the Government in response to the crisis. DFID would contribute as a member state.

In the longer term, we will be seeking solutions to help reduce vulnerability, through a mix of social protection, such as cash transfer schemes or food for work, and economic opportunities for poorer households to withstand shocks.

Power generation in Tanzania is likely to be based on hydro and thermal sources, both of which are subject to external influences. DFID provides technical support to a Government power sector reform programme through our support to the Parastatal Sector Reform Commission. DFID also funds technical assistance to the Energy and Water Utilities Regulatory Authority to encourage private sector investment in power generation and distribution. In the interim, our support to the Government's budget indirectly supports the national electricity utility TANESCO.
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David Simpson: To ask the Solicitor-General what his definition is of criminality. [53154]

The Solicitor-General: The term criminality" refers to conduct that is in breach of the criminal law.

Crown Prosecution Service

Mr. Djanogly: To ask the Solicitor-General what plans there are to reform the Crown Prosecution Service. [54072]

The Solicitor-General: Since 1999, the CPS has been undertaking a significant reform programme, in order to create a world-class prosecuting service that meets the needs of the public and the needs of victims and communities. The reform programme is strengthening the role of the prosecutor and putting victims and witnesses at the heart of the criminal justice process and involves the charging initiative, the prosecutors pledge, changes in work practices and the development of higher advocates.

The CPS is working with the police and courts, the Office of Criminal Justice Reform, the Home Office and the Department for Constitutional Affairs to reform the criminal justice system, whilst maintaining that independence of decision-making that is the hallmark of British prosecutors. As part of this co-operative approach, the CPS is working with Home Office and other criminal justice agencies colleagues to identify the implications of police restructuring on the CPS and the criminal justice system.

Departmental Energy Costs

Mrs. Villiers: To ask the Solicitor-General how much was spent by the Law Officers' Department on (a) gas and (b) electricity in 2004–05. [51772]

The Solicitor-General: In the financial year 2004–05 the Law Officers' Departments 1 spent the amounts on gas and electricity shown in the following table.

2 CPS will also have paid for some gas and electricity costs by way of service charges to landlords, but these figures are not separately available.

Crown Prosecution Service(14)206,6431,117,059
Serious Fraud Office16,50083,649
Treasury Solicitor's Department39,82257,841
HM Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate
Legal Secretariat to the Law Officers4,97911,040

Departmental Expenditure

Mrs. Villiers: To ask the Solicitor-General how much was spent by the Law Offices on refreshments in each year since 1997. [41251]

27 Feb 2006 : Column 58W

The Solicitor-General: The Crown Prosecution Service does not hold details centrally of how much it spends on refreshments and would incur disproportionate cost to obtain the information. The Revenue and Customs Prosecutions Office was not in being in 2004–05 being set up on 18 April 2005.

The Serious Fraud Office, Treasury Solicitor's Department (including the Legal Secretariat to the Law Officers) and HM Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate incurred the expenditure on refreshments in the following table.

Financial yearSerious Fraud OfficeTreasury Solicitor's Department(13)HM Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate

(13) Figures include expenditure by the Legal Secretariat to the Law Officers.
(14) Information is no longer available for 1997–98 and could be recovered only at disproportionate cost.
(15) HMCPSI was established on 1 October 2000 and separately accounted for from 1 April 2001.
(16) TSol has explained this by the installation of coffee making machines for staff (£5,000) and changes in the role of the GLS Secretariat occasioning increased refreshment costs for GLS events.

The figures cover working breakfasts and lunches and refreshments at meetings in addition to official entertainment. All 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 Solicitor-General how many (a) laptops and (b) mobile phones the Law Officers' Department bought in each year since 1997; and what the cost of each category of equipment was in each year. [41260]

The Solicitor-General: The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) and HMCPS Inspectorate do not purchase laptops or mobile phones. These are rented respectively from LogicaCMG and Damovo under Public Finance Initiative contracts. CPS entered into the LogicaCMG contract at the end of 2001, which by the end of each financial year in question provided the laptops shown in the following table:
Financial yearStandard laptopLightweight laptop

At 2006 rates, the monthly service charge per laptop under the LogicaCMG contract is:
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Monthly service charge
per laptop (£)
Standard laptop63.13
Lightweight laptop87.11

CPS does not hold central records on the use of laptops prior to the LogicaCMG contract.

CPS does not hold information on mobile phones prior to 1998–99 but the number of phones in circulation during a financial year is given in the following table. The mobile phone contract does not identify cost of phones but covers both rental and call charges.

Financial year
Number of phones in circulation throughout the year

The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has purchased the laptops and mobile phones shown in the following table. SFO does not hold records of purchases in individual years prior to 1999–2000; nor of the cost of the separate purchase of laptops or mobile phones and to extract this information would incur disproportionate cost.

Financial year
Number of laptop additions(17)Number of mobile phone additions
Pre 19992215

(17) Represents additions to stock but others will have been disposed off over time as they became obsolete etc does not identify cost of phones but covers both rental and call charges.

The Treasury Solicitor's Department has purchased new each year the laptops and mobile phones shown in the following table. Costs are provided for new laptops since 1998–99. Information on the costs of new mobile phones each year and laptops before 1998–99 is not available and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
Financial yearNumber of
new laptops
Cost (£)Number of
new mobiles

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The Legal Secretariat to the Law Officers has purchased the laptops shown in the following table. Records are not available prior to 1999–2000.
Financial yearNumber of laptopsCost (£)

Mobile phones are provided as part of a contract with Vodafone which covers rental and charges.

Mrs. Villiers: To ask the Solicitor-General how much his Department has spent on IT systems in each year since 1997; what the purpose of each system is; what the outturn against planned expenditure of each system was; and what the outturn time for implementation against planned time was. [41319]

The Solicitor-General: The expenditure of the Law Officers' Departments 1 on IT systems since 1997, where figures are available is shown in the following table 1.


Crown Prosecution Service and HM Crown Prosecution Service InspectorateSerious Fraud OfficeTreasury Solicitor's OfficeLegal Secretariat to the Law Officers

(18) Figures could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

The IT systems on which the above expenditure was incurred, their respective share of costs in the years in question and purpose are shown in the following tables and notes. It has not been possible to identify out-turn against planned expenditure nor the outturn time for implementation against planned time for each system without incurring disproportionate cost.
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Crown Prosecution Service

COMPASS Programme (PFI with LogicaCMG)13,52825,82738,516
Connect Programme7879,71011,53423
Payroll and HR system(19)5198755691,308
Counsel Fee Data Processing(19)126118104

(19) Payroll and HR system, Counsel fee Data Processing, CIS. The costs of the Payroll and HR system, Counsel Fee Data Processing and CIS were incorporated into the COMPASS contract in 2002–03 (CIS in mid 2002–03).

The purpose of each IT system is:

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Serious Fraud Office

The costs shown for the Serious Fraud Office in table 1 all relate to a central IT system that supports the organisation and underpins the delivery of departmental business. Within the overall system there are sub- systems for financial and document management and DOCMAN is an evidence management system that directly supports casework.
Treasury Solicitor's Department

On Line Desktop Intranet System Implementation(20)14,180(21)1,175854,231
EDRJVI—Electronic, Document and Records Management System Implementation180,478159,310
Network Expansion/Installation to building617
Groupwise Upgrade—Email System Upgrade14,615
CFACS—Financial System Implementation17,043
Personnel System Implementation45,276
Security—IT Security (BS7799) Implementation7,18123,37852,499
Internet Systems Implementation31,448
Remote Access—System Implementation77,309
Windows 2000—IT Platform Upgrade from windows 9535,741

(20) Phase 1.
(21) Phase 2 enhancement.

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