|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Jeremy Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much (a) direct and (b) bilateral aid his Department has allocated to Angola in 2006-07; how much he expects to be allocated in 2007-08; and if he will make a statement. 
Relief and recovery. This includes support for bridge repairs that are necessary to allow humanitarian aid to reach affected areas of the country. Funding has also been provided for emergency operations to contain the outbreak of the Marburg virus in 2005.
Strengthening democratisation. Our work here focuses on decentralisation and supporting civil-society contributions to the elections process. We also work with the World Bank to try and improve governance in the country and support the Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative.
Urban poverty in Luanda. This programme has created space for local communities to organise and better engage with local government on a range of issues, such as local water supply. The programme will end this year.
HIV and AIDS. We are providing support for condom promotion, access to testing and behaviour change programmes, and are also providing anti-retrovirals.
This year, Angola has also received approximately £1.3 million from the Africa Conflict Prevention Pool (ACPP). ACPP funds are agreed on a yearly basis. In addition, DFID continues to support de-mining operations in Angola. £1 million has been provided this year for de-mining in the country. A similar commitment is expected in 2007-08.
Angola will also be involved in regional programmes that DFID in Southern Africa is currently developing. This regional programme is a £20 million per annum commitment, addressing regional peace and security, trade and growth, and resilient livelihoods concerns. As part of this regional commitment, we have recently approved an £18 million UNICEF programme to address children affected by AIDS. Around £3 million of this programme will be directed to Angola.
Allocated bilateral expenditure from DFID is expected to be £3 million for 2007-08. Angola also benefits from DFID contributions to European Union and the World Bank operations in Angola. The EU has committed €146 million over the five year period from 2002-07. The World Bank's contribution this year is approximately US$30 million.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if he will list his Department's (a) advisory bodies and (b) committees concerned with animal health and welfare; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Thomas: I refer the hon. Member to the response given by my hon. Friend the Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs(Mr. Bradshaw) on 9 May 2006, Official Report, column 127W.
Hilary Benn: DFID staff continually monitor the humanitarian situation (including food needs) in Chad, and undertake periodic assessments in the east of the country. Of immediate concern is the food situation of the estimated 50,000 Chadians who have been displaced as a result of attacks and violence in the border area with Darfur. The World Food Programme (WFP), along with other UN agencies and non governmental organisations (NGOs), are currently assessing needs and are launching programmes to assist these displaced and vulnerable people.
Another critical issue at this time of year is the pre-positioning of food aid for the 205,000 Darfur refugees in Chad prior to the start of the rains. The WFP has indicated that, despite the deterioration of security in April, this process is on-track. The UK provided the WFP with £2 million for its operations in Chad last financial year, and we are considering providing further support.
David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many people in his Department have been (a) disciplined and (b) dismissed for (i) inappropriate use of the internet while at work and (ii) using work telephones to access premium rate telephone numbers in each of the last five years. 
Mr. Thomas: All DFID staff can access the internet while at work. Our policy on the Acceptable Use of IT is set out in our security manual, available on our intranet, and is drawn to the attention of staff on first appointment. Each time staff log on to our computer network, they are required to acknowledge that they have read and agree to comply with the Acceptable Use of IT policy. Our system also alerts staff when logging in that their activity on the system may be monitored. The policy provides clear guidance that misuse of official equipment will be a disciplinary offence, and, subject to the particular offence, could lead to dismissal. The policy applies to civil servants working in the UK and overseas, and to our locally appointed staff overseas, who work under local contacts.
Although internet activity on all DFID computers is logged every day, analysis is only undertaken when suspicion of misuse is raised. All premium rate telephone numbers are barred from DFID office telephones except for mobile telephones. Itemised bills for DFID mobile telephones are checked by individual departments.
DFID did not hold a central disciplinary record until October 2004. In the last five years, we have details of one disciplinary case which did not result in dismissal and three dismissals (one of whom was provided by an agency and dismissed by the agency) for inappropriate use of the internet while at work. The following table lists the cases by year.
|(1 )one locally appointed and one agency staff|
David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many (a) EU foreign nationals and (b) non-EU foreign nationals have been employed in his Department in each of the last five years; what vetting procedures are in place for each category of staff; and whether these include liaison with foreign law enforcement agencies. 
Mr. Thomas: DFID collects information on Ethnic Origin and nationality for its home civil service (HCS) and equivalent staff in line with the categories defined in the 2001 Census and which were agreed with the Commission for Racial Equality. Provision of this information by staff is voluntary.
Our records show that in the years 2001 to 2006, 115 HCS staff have declared their Ethnic Origin as Any other which is defined as other than British or Mixed British; English; Irish; Scottish or Welsh.
For our HCS and equivalent staff, DFID carries out a basic verification check of identity and eligibility to work in the UK for EU foreign nationals and non-EU foreign nationals, when candidates attend the selection process. Further vetting for selected candidates, which can include criminal record checks with foreign law enforcement agencies, is undertaken by our Security Section.
In addition to HCS staff, DFID also employs staff appointed in country (SAIC) in our overseas offices. We do not hold specific nationality information on these staff, but the vast majority are nationals of the country in which they are appointed, and, therefore non-EU foreign nationals. We do not hold a central record of annual appointments, but the total numbers of SAIC in post in each year since 2001, is as follows:
|SAIC staff numbers|
For Staff Appointed in Country, our Security Section carries out a basic check of identity, including references. The DFID overseas offices are required to confirm to Security Section that they have completed the relevant police checks for criminal records, where possible, with the local police authorities in the country of appointment.
Mr. Thomas: DFID's current retirement age is (i) for UK staff below the senior civil service and our locally appointed staff overseas who work under local contracts (unless local law dictates otherwise)60, with staff having the option to continue working up to 65 if they wish, subject to continued capability and satisfactory service; (ii) for the senior civil service60. We have flexibility to retain members of the senior civil service beyond 60 in certain circumstances if it is judged to be in the public interest, and similarly, exceptionally, staff below the senior civil service beyond 65. Currently there are three senior civil servants aged beyond 60, and three staff below the senior civil service aged beyond 65.
From 1 October 2006, the Employment Equality (Age) Regulations come in to force, introducing wide ranging provisions against discrimination on age in employment and vocational training. The Regulations introduce a default retirement age of 65. DFID is presently considering what its retirement age should be from October 2006. For the senior civil service, it will be 65, in line with the default retirement age. DFID retains its delegated authority to set the retirement age for staff below the senior civil service and will decide shortly whether to adopt the default retirement age of
65 or to have no retirement age at all. The Age Regulations also introduce a "duty to consider" procedure to ensure retirements at whatever age are fair. This will allow employees to request to work beyond the normal retirement age, and require discussions between DFID and the employee about when the employee will retire. Both parties will have to give adequate notice in order to ensure the retirement constitutes a fair dismissal in employment law.
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|