Hilary Benn [pursuant to the reply, 24 May 2006, Official Report, c. 1780-81W]: The figure given for DFIDs spend in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) in 2001-02 was £7 million. This should have read £5.6 million, mostly on humanitarian interventions.
An estimate was made for DFIDs expenditure in 2005-06. This was premature, however, as DFIDs 2005-06 out-turn figures have yet to be confirmed but are expected to be finalised by the end of August 2006.
Mark Durkan: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment he has made of the effect on treatment of HIV/AIDS in African countries of the departure of qualified doctors and nurses from the developing world for employment in the developed world. 
Mr. Thomas: DFID supported analysis of the human resources for health crises in Africa for the High Level Forum for Health in November 2005. The migration of skilled health workers from poorer African countries to developed countries in Europe, the United States and elsewhere has a significant impact on the capacity of African national health services to deliver HIV and AIDS treatment, prevention and care. However, migration to other more developed African countries and internal migration from rural to urban areas are also important factors. Health worker shortages are exacerbated by AIDS-related mortality among the health work force. The result is an overburdened health work force and weak health systems with inadequate capacity to deliver services.
DFID is working at country level to address human resources capacity and support Governments to implement policies on retention, skill mix and deployment. For example, DFID is supporting the health sector in Malawione of the most severely affected countries, with £100 million over five years. About £55 million of this is earmarked for the Emergency Human Resources Programme of the Malawi Government. This programme is aiming to increase recruitment and retention of staff
by raising health worker salaries by 50 per cent., providing housing and improving training. This is expected to double the number of nurses and triple the number of doctors in trainingwhile using international volunteers to fill gaps in the meantime. DFID is also funding country HIV and AIDS programmes to mitigate the impact of HIV and AIDS on the health workers.
DFID is also working closely with the Department of Health (DH) to address pull incentives, preventing the targeting of developing countries in the international recruitment of health care professionals within the NHS through the Code of Practice for International Recruitment of Healthcare Professionals.
The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), Revenue and Customs Prosecutions Office (RCPO) and HM Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate (HMCPSI) book hotel accommodation for civil servants with First Option through an Office of Government Commerce framework agreement. The agreement enables the CPS, RCPO and HMCPSI to secure specifically negotiated rates and value for money in hotel accommodation. Individual discounts are not available to civil servants under the contract but a rebate is paid at the end of each year.
SFO books hotel accommodation through Expotel under an Office of Government Commerce framework agreement, unless exceptional circumstances apply. The Expotel agreement seeks the best rate within Government prescribed rates and also allows for a subsequent rebate.
Mr. Drew: To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission what environmental and social sustainability criteria are applied when purchasing food for the House dining rooms. 
Nick Harvey: Last year, the House of Commons Commission approved and adopted an outline strategic plan covering the five years from 2006 until 2011. This plan explicitly states that the House administration must match current public service standards, including in the area of environmental protection. Food procurement tenders include consideration of bidders' environmental and ethical policies and procedures, but the precise evaluation criteria applied differ according to the nature of foods being supplied.
Nick Harvey: The Refreshment Department would have been pleased to support English Wine Week, which ran from 29 May until 6 June. This coincided with the spring bank holiday recess, so that most of the restaurants and bars in the House were closed. It was not considered viable to run a special promotion for the two days the House was sitting during this period.
Norman Baker: To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission if the Commission will take steps to ensure that a Sussex sparkling wine is added to the House of Commons wine lists. 
Nick Harvey: The Refreshment Department is always pleased to consider new wines for addition to its wine lists. The Director of Catering Services is happy to advise any suppliers how to apply to have their wines included on the House of Commons wine lists.
Norman Baker: To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission if the Commission will take steps to ensure that Harvey's beer is considered for stocking in House of Commons bars during Cask Beer Week in September 2006. 
Nick Harvey: The Refreshment Department supports the small independent brewers of Britain by offering a guest ale, changed weekly, in two of the House of Commons bars. This scheme does not operate during parliamentary recesses, when the bars are very quiet. It would therefore not be economic to support Cask Beer Week in September 2006 by stocking Harveys or any other real ale. I have asked the Director of Catering Services to contact the hon. Member in relation to the prospects for offering Harvey's as a guest ale.
Mr. Dismore: To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission what the (a) shortest, (b) longest and (c) average time it has taken over the last 12 months to obtain security clearance for a House of Commons pass for hon. Members' staff working at Westminster; and if he will make a statement. 
Nick Harvey: In the past 12 months it is estimated that the shortest time it has taken to obtain security clearance for a House of Commons pass has been approximately three weeks, the longest approximately 12 months, and the average approximately one month. This is dependent upon the nature of foreign connections, and the multiplicity of addresses which have to be checked by agencies both in this country and abroad.
As hon. Members have been informed, the Deputy Serjeant at Arms can in certain circumstances authorise the issue of a pass on the basis of satisfactory references pending the receipt of final clearances.
Mr. Dismore: To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission if he will estimate the unit cost of the (a) organisation of a tour of the House and (b) cost of the tour itself; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Dismore: To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission how many tours requested by hon. Members the House provided in the last 12 months; and if he will make a statement. 
Nick Harvey: Between June 2005 and May 2006, 7,374 tours were organised for hon. Members of both Houses by the Central Tours Office, covering around 119,000 guests. Some tours contained the guests of more than one hon. Member.
Mr. Dismore: To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission what percentage of the House's senior staff are of minority ethnic origin; and if he will make a statement. 
The proportion of ethnic minority staff across all pay bands is 19 per cent. The Commission is committed to valuing diversity throughout its workforce, and the board of management has made a commitment in its 2006 corporate plan to monitor the development of a diverse workforce at all levels by establishing gender and ethnic profiles by band and role.
Dr. Pugh: To ask the Leader of the House what the total cost is of the IT refreshment scheme to replace and install new computers for hon. Members; and how much of that cost is to be spent on (a) implementing, installing and administering the scheme, (b) leases of equipment and (c) licensing of software. 
Mr. Straw: The cost of Members IT installation and upgrade programme is borne mainly on the House of Commons: Members Estimate; but some costs are borne on the House of Commons: Administration Estimate which is the responsibility of the House of Commons Commission. The maximum estimated cash costs expected to be paid from the Members Estimate are:
The figures are provisional at this stage, as they depend significantly on the choices Members themselves make about the amount, type and location of the equipment they require.
I understand that the costs borne on the Administration Estimate cannot easily be disaggregated from the other running costs of the Parliamentary ICT Service.
Dr. Pugh: To ask the Leader of the House what percentage of hon. Members have had their leased equipment replaced under the IT refreshment scheme; and if he will list the hon. Members concerned. 
Mr. Straw: 58 per cent. of Members have now received their new equipment. The IT refresh project is being undertaken in phases, and all Members will have been given an opportunity to refresh their equipment before the summer recess, provided forms are returned and survey and installation dates are agreed as set out in the guidance issued to Members. Equipment is loaned and not leased to Members and whether Members choose to use their allowance or not is a matter for them.
Mr. Straw: The Prime Minister announced on 16 March that there was to be an independent review of the funding of political parties. Sir Hayden Phillips is currently undertaking this review. It would neither be appropriate nor courteous to publish a response to the Commissions report prior to Sir Hayden Phillips reporting.
Bill Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the average period was between (a) the state veterinary service and (b) his Department receiving urgent animal welfare complaints and the making of a visit to the premises being complained about in the latest period for which figures are available. 
Mr. Bradshaw: Any complaints received by the Department are immediately passed to the state veterinary service (SVS). The SVS aims to respond within 24 hours of receiving a complaint. The figures for April 2005 to March 2006 show the average response time was 0.5 days.
The Government announced in November 2005 that a Renewable Transport Fuels Obligation (RTFO) will be introduced from 2008 which will require all suppliers of transport fuels in the UK to ensure that a certain percentage of their total annual sales is made up of biofuels. The level of the obligation will rise from 2.5 per cent. in the financial year 2008-09 to 3.75 per cent. in 2009-10 and 5 per cent. in 2010-11. This should ensure that, by 2010, biodiesel sales in the UK will amount to over a billion litres a yeara 20-fold increase from where we are today.
This Department has funded research in recent years into different aspects of biofuel production and use, but none has considered individual biofuels in any detail. Our research has focused instead on the potential environmental and other impacts of significant use of biofuels in the longer term, and on the emissions consequences and economics of various bioethanol and biodiesel blends. Research into biofuels will continue as part of the work the Department has commissioned to develop a carbon and environmental assurance scheme to underpin the RTFO.
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