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Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if she will make a statement on the future of the vetoes held by individual member states over measures proposed in the European Council. 
Chris Huhne: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how much was spent on information technology (IT) sourced from outside her Department in each of the last five years; who is responsible for such projects in her Department; and what IT (a) expertise and (b) qualifications they possess. 
Some of these contracts run for more than five years. The total includes a £180 million contract with Global Crossing for provision of both voice and data communications for the FCO's Telecommunications Network.
In accordance with the Office of Government Commerce (OGC) best practice, each project has a senior responsible owner at an appropriate level with responsibility for, and knowledge of, the business requirement. Project management is provided internally or sourced externally according to the skills and qualifications required for the scale of project concerned. All IT-enabled projects above the relevant threshold are approved and monitored by the FCO's Investment Committee, and are subject to external validation through the OGC Gateway review process. Both ensure that the project team is adequately staffed and professionally skilled to deliver effectively. To give full details of all staff concerned would incur disproportionate cost.
Dr. Howells: All applications from the UK are rigorously assessed on a case-by-case basis against the Consolidated EU and National Export Licensing Criteria, taking full account of the prevailing circumstances at the time of application. This process includes specific criteria whereby we will not issue a licence where there is a clear risk that the proposed export might be used for internal repression, might aggravate existing tensions or conflict in the country of final destination or that the export may be used aggressively against another country. Details of all export licences approved to Nepal are available in the Quarterly and Annual Reports on Strategic Export
Controls (available on the Foreign and Commonwealth Office website at: http://www.fco.gov.uk/servlet/Front? pagename=OpenMarket/Xcelerate/ShowPage&c= Page &cid=l089131553823), and are subject to detailed retrospective scrutiny by the Quadripartite Committees.
Jeremy Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what monitoring of the ceasefire in Nepal is undertaken by UK representatives; and if she will make a statement. 
Dr. Evan Harris: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations she has received from the US Administration in the last six months regarding UK policy on the transfer of prisoners held by UK forces in (a) Iraq and (b) Afghanistan to the custody of US forces in those countries. 
Dr. Howells: We have received no formal representations in the last six months. But we regularly discuss the range of issues relating to the operational theatres in Iraq and Afghanistan, including detention, with the US.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment she has made of reports that the British law firm Denton Wilde Sapte is to prosecute the Ugandan opposition leader Dr. Kizza Besigye for treason in a trial which carries the death penalty; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. McCartney: We are aware of media reports that a British firm of solicitors may have been approached by the Ugandan public prosecutor to assist in the prosecution of Dr Besigye. This is a matter for the parties concerned.
The prosecution has however given no indication that they will seek the death penalty should Dr. Besigye be convicted. The last occasion on which a capital sentence imposed by the High Court was carried out in Uganda was in 1999. We have repeatedly made clear to the Ugandan Government our opposition to the death penalty and the need for a fair and transparent judicial process.
Mr. McCartney: Uganda faces two main internal challenges: developing and sustaining democratic accountability and good governance, and bringing to an end the long-running conflict in the North. We have a regular dialogue with the Ugandan authorities on both issues and my right hon. Friend the Secretary of
State for International Development discussed them in depth during his visit on 15-16 May. He emphasised that this was a crucial time in Ugandas political development. The re-introduction of a multi-party political system after 25 years was an important achievement: both Government and Opposition must work together to achieve an accountable and transparent political process. He welcomed the Presidents manifesto commitment to tackle corruption and to hold those responsible to account. We welcome commitments by the Government of Uganda to deal with the conflict in the North.
Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the answer of 16 May 2006, Official Report, columns 905-7W, on UK prisoners abroad, how many UK citizens detained in overseas gaols had a last residential address in (a) Essex and (b) Southend West. 
Dr. Howells: As British nationals detained overseas are not required to inform local consular officials of their last UK residential address, I am unable to provide the information requested by the hon. Member.
Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if she will take steps to ensure that Arthur Mutambara of the Movement for Democratic Change is released from custody in Zimbabwe or given a fair trial. 
Mr. McCartney: We note with concern the arrest of Arthur Mutumbara and his party colleagues. They were released on 19 May. It is not yet clear if charges will be pressed. Our embassy in Harare has been and remains in contact with Mr. Mutambara's associates. This appears to be yet another instance of the Zimbabwean Government harassing those who oppose them. We will continue to press for the restoration of democracy and the rule of law.
Chris Huhne: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster how much was spent on information technology (IT) sourced from outside her Cabinet Office in each of the last five years; who is responsible for such projects in the Cabinet Office; and what IT (a) expertise and (b) qualifications they possess. 
Mr. McFadden: The amount spent on information technology (IT) hardware, software, consultancy and services sourced from outside the Department in each of the last five financial years is shown in the table.
Overall policy for IT projects in the Department falls under the shared services director in the e-Government unit. The current post holder has 20 years experience in IT management roles in both private and public sectors and is a qualified accountant.
Mr. Allen: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what the average length of time in office has been for (a) Cabinet Ministers, (b) Ministers of State and (c) Parliamentary Under-Secretaries of State since 1997. 
Anne Main: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what assessment she has made of the role of budget airlines in reducing social exclusion by enabling passengers wider access to foreign and internal travel; and if she will make a statement. 
Hilary Armstrong: No formal assessment of the role of budget airlines in reducing social exclusion has been made, however we recognise the value that access to affordable travel may have in helping promote social inclusion.
Tackling social exclusion is one of this Governments most ambitious and important goals and transport problems can reinforce social exclusion. The social exclusion unit has focused on ensuring that local services and activities are accessible, and as a result of the 2003 Making the Connections: Transport and Social Exclusion report, accessibility planning is now a central feature of local transport plans.
Mr. McFadden: Given that the vast majority of Cabinet Office employees are located in central London and travel to and from work by public transport, the Cabinet Office does not offer specific incentives to encourage its employees to share vehicles when travelling to work.
Despite this, the Cabinet Office will be encouraging more sustainable travel (business and travel to and from work) among its employees depending on the nature and circumstances of particular sites. For example, the Cabinet Offices Environmental Policy is currently being revised and the travel policy section is being strengthened to this effect and will encourage employees to car share where public transport is not reasonably accessible travelling to and from work.
Further initiatives will be considered as part of any Government-wide publicity campaigns on travelling more sustainably and the Cabinet Offices membership of the Civil Service Travel Group (CSTG). The CSTG aims to improve travel sustainability across the entire civil service by developing and delivering on action plans for each Department.
Norman Baker: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister under what circumstances ministerial cars and drivers under the control of his Department may be used to transport his personal acquaintances on private business; and whether it is his policy to reimburse the costs of such use. 
My Permanent Secretary at the then Office of the Deputy Prime Minister has replied, on his own behalf and that of the Cabinet Secretary, to a letter from the hon. Member for Old Bexley and Sidcup (Derek Conway) concerning the alleged misuse of my ministerial car. A copy of this reply has been made available in the Library of the House. The Permanent Secretary confirmed he was satisfied that the Department had appropriate systems in place and that at no time did I direct that my car be used as had been alleged.
Mark Durkan: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many security guards wearing Crown-based insignia (a) there are in and (b) have been contracted by the civil service, broken down by community background. 
|Security guards employed and contracted by NICS|
The following table provides a breakdown by community background for the entire NICS guard force, as the information for only those supplied with uniforms with crown based insignia or who are contracted by the NICS is not readily available.
|Community background||Number of staff|
Mark Durkan: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (1) what steps are being taken to address the reasons for the moratorium preventing local councillors from serving on the boards of arms length companies; 
At present, district councils do not have the power to establish or participate in companies. However, the Department of the Environment will commence consultation very shortly with district councils and other interested parties on a proposal to make subordinate legislation to allow councils, in exercising certain functions, to establish or participate in companies in order to carry out their duty of Best Value. The legislation will enable councils to appoint councillors or officers to serve as directors of such companies.
In the meantime, until this subordinate legislation is made, the Department has agreed to give sanction to district councils under Article 19 of the Local Government (Northern Ireland) Order 2005 in respect of payments of attendance allowance and expenses to councillors and officers who represent their councils on companies. The approval of the Department prevents local government auditors from taking action which would result in persons responsible for the expenditure having to repay it.
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