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Mr. Amess: To ask the Leader of the House what (a) land and (b) property his Department (i) leases and (ii) leased in (A) 1979, (B) 1983, (C) 1987, (D) 1992 and (E) 1997 in (1) the Southend West constituency,(2) Essex, (3) Hertfordshire and (4) the Metropolitan Police area of London. 
Mr. Straw: None. During the periods mentioned, the Office of the Leader of the House of Commons occupied space in the Metropolitan Police area of London belonging to the Cabinet Office, under a Memorandum of Terms of Occupation.
Mr. Amess: To ask the Leader of the House if he will make it his policy not to table a motion for a Joint Committee on a draft Bill until the draft Bill has been published; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Straw: Motions to establish a Joint Committee on a draft Bill are occasionally tabled ahead of the publication of the draft Bill in cases where it is understood that this would assist the Committee. It has been indicated in the past that Joint Committees have found it helpful to have been established ahead of the publication of the draft Bill, to enable them to undertake preparatory work. I refer the hon. Member to paragraph 35 of the First Report of the Liaison Committee of session 2004-05 (HC 419).
Chris Huhne: To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission how much was spent on information technology (IT) sourced from outside the House in each of the last five years; who is responsible for such projects in the House service; and what IT (a) expertise and (b) qualifications they possess. 
|Members' IT equipment (£000)|
Prior to 2006 responsibility for information technology projects rested with the particular Department concerned. Cross-departmental projects, or projects which involved both Houses, were managed by projects boards established by the Board of Management. The project boards used external expertise to advise on and support the projects, and the procurement of this expertise was subject to a tender process for each project. Overall supervision was provided by a board, including Members with extensive experience in IT project management.
Since January 2006, a single service (PICT) has been established to manage IT projects and service contracts for both Houses. Project activity will be supervised by the management boards of both Houses through a joint board.
Parliamentary ICT staff are given appropriate training and a number have relevant qualifications, though details of these are not held centrally. PICT is currently in the process of adopting an approach to staff competence, training and development pioneered by the British Computer Society.
Norman Baker: To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission which company supplies the House with meat and poultry; and what steps are taken to ensure that its chickens are not fed on soya grown in the Amazon rainforest (a) on illegally deforested land and (b) with use of slavery. 
Nick Harvey: The Refreshment Department retains three suppliers of fresh meat and poultry products: Billfields Food Co Ltd., Nigel Fredericks Catering Butchers and Russell Hume Ltd. Neither Nigel Fredericks nor Russell Hume supply soya-fed chicken to the House of Commons. The Billfields Food Company is unable to guarantee that chickens supplied to the House of Commons are not reared on feeds containing soya, nor are they able to give an absolute assurance about the region of origin of soya that may be present in the animal feeds used by their suppliers.
Mr. Gregory Campbell: To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission what the cost to the House was of processing written questions in each of the last three years. 
Nick Harvey: Readily available printing and publishing costs cover both oral and written questions. We estimate the part of these costs attributable to written questions in each of the last three years to have been:
Staff costs for 2005-06 are estimated at £841,900, on the basis of the proportion of time spent on written questions by the staff involved, using 2005-06 pay rates at the midpoint of each scale, including employer's national insurance contributions and employer's pension contributions. Costs of accommodation, lighting, heating, etc. are not included. Estimates of staff costs for earlier years could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
This gives a total for 2005-06 of £2,305,800. This does not include the subsequent printing of the answers in the Official Report, indexing and entering on databases, nor the costs to the House of Commons Service of answering written questions addressed to me, representing the Commission.
Chris Huhne: To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission if he will list the 10 non-public sector entities that have received the largest total sum of payments from the House in each of the last five years. 
Nick Harvey: Details of individual financial transactions are only retained for the last three years. The 10 non-public sector entities that have received the largest total sum of payments since 2003-04 are:
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