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We are determined that the right lessons are learned from our experience this year with the Single Payment Scheme, first to prepare for the undoubted challenges that will exist in the delivery of the 2006 scheme, and secondly to move to a more stable position for the 2007 scheme year. Work has already started to this end with the measures set out on 29 March 2006, Official Report, column 305WH, by my hon. Friend the Member for Exeter
(Mr. Bradshaw) and the subsequent appointment of Mr. Tony Cooper as interim chief executive of the Rural Payments Agency. But this is a long-term project with no quick or easy solutions.
Daniel Kawczynski: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps he has taken to ensure all maps used for the calculation of single farm payments are accurate. 
Barry Gardiner: The Rural Payments Agency (RPA) is responsible for the maintenance of the Rural Land Register (RLR), and information from the RLR is used to support claims to the Single Payment Scheme. The process of digitising land and amending existing land registrations has been amended recently, with activity brought back on to RPA's main computer system. This followed a period when an outsourced provider was used to digitise land during a period of exceptionally high demand.
The digitisation process itself includes a number of quality checks to ensure that the correct land parcel and area are digitised. Where errors are found they are corrected before maps are issued to customers. Further amendments are made where customers identify issues with the maps they receive. RPA is aware of a number of cases where there have been issues with maps sent to customers. The re-establishment of an in-house process will aid the cross-check of new and amended land areas to customer details.
Mr. Roger Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the average cost is of processing a Single Payment Scheme claim; and if he will make a statement. 
Barry Gardiner [holding answer 25 May 2006]: The gross running costs of the Rural Payment Agency (RPA) for 2005-06 were £236.5 million, of which £55.1 million related to one-off costs associated with the RPA change programme and common agricultural policy reform implementation. The balance of £181.4 million represented the costs of RPAs normal operations, of which the administration of the Single Payment Scheme (SPS) forms part.
Barry Gardiner: We have identified one farmer in the Rossendale area who has an existing debt with the Rural Payments Agency (RPA). The matter has been referred to the RPA Legal Division for a decision on whether legal proceedings should be issued to recover the debt. RPA is not aware of any other existing or potential overpayments in the Rossendale area.
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what monitoring systems are in place to ensure that all Government purchased timber and timber products are procured in accordance with the Governments timber procurement policy; and what evidence is required to prove that timber purchased is derived from legally harvested trees. 
Barry Gardiner: The model conditions of contract that Departments are advised to use in respect of their timber purchases require contractors to obtain documentary evidence that the timber and wood derived products supplied are legal timber. The conditions further require the contractor to identify a chain of custody from the forest source through to delivery of the final product and to obtain independent verification if requested by the contracting authority.
Chris Huhne: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what the (a) name, (b) professional and academic qualifications and (c) relevant experience are of the chief accounting officer of his Department. 
Mr. Hain: As set out in the annual report (Col. 6385, published 25 May 2006), the Wales Office pays grant to the National Assembly for Wales, accounting directly within the Department for Constitutional Affairs (DCA) for its own expenditure of some £5 million a year. Its director is appointed as an additional accounting officer to the DCA permanent secretary. The director combines these duties with responsibility for the overall organisation, management, staffing and procedures of the Wales Office.
The director is Alan Cogbill, a graduate entrant to the civil service. He has no professional accountancy qualification. He has experience as finance director of the DCA, and has undertaken civil service training in Government finance and accounting. He is assisted by professionally qualified accountants in DCA as need be.
Dawn Primarolo: The Treasury works closely with DFID to deliver a substantial and high quality UK aid programme, and also with the international community to make progress towards the 2015 Millennium Development Goals. DFIDs budget is increasing from £3.8 billion in 2004-05 to £5.3 billion in 2007-08making a real terms increase of 140 per cent. since 1997. I have announced a timetable to reach the UN target of 0.7 per cent. ODA/GNI in 2013.
The MDGs and global poverty were at the heart of the UK Presidencies of the EU and the G7/8 in 2005. The international community committed to raise an additional $50 billion of aid by 2010, to cancel 100 per cent. of the multilateral debts of the worlds poorest countries, and to launch the International Finance Facility for Immunisation. G8 leaders also agreed to achieve universal access to AIDS treatment for all those who need it by 2010, and work on Advance Market Commitments for vaccines against malaria, HIV/AIDS and other priority diseases.
These are the sorts of measures needed to get progress towards the MDGs back on track. The key challenge now is for donors to fully implement their commitments and for developing countries to develop 10-year plans to meet the MDGs.
John Healey: Biodiesel attracts a favourable duty differential of 20 pence per litre less than that for the main road fuels. In line with the alternative fuels framework, we have guaranteed that this differential will continue until 2008-09. Changes to duty rates, including that for biodiesel, are made by the Chancellor in the light of a range of social, environmental and economic factors.
David Simpson: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to the answer of 24 May 2006, Official Report, column 1842W, on bonuses, why (a) the total amount awarded in bonuses to staff rose and (b) the total number of awards dropped between 2003-04 and 2005-06. 
John Healey: The payment of end-year bonuses is linked to an individuals overall performance mark in their annual performance appraisal for the previous year. Prior to 2004-05 HMT operated a system for staff below Senior Civil Servant (SCS) with the following categories:
Top 5 per cent.
Next 30-35 per cent.
Next 50-55 per cent.
Next 5-10 per cent.
Top 20 per cent.
Next 60 per cent.
Bottom 20 per cent.
Mr. Amess: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many girls aged 16 years and under (a) became pregnant, (b) had an abortion, (c) gave birth and gave the child up for adoption and (d) gave birth and kept the child in each year since 1985, broken down by (i) age and (ii) region. 
The National Statistician has been asked to reply to your recent question asking how many girls aged 16 and under (a) became pregnant, (b) had an abortion, (c) gave birth and gave the child up for adoption and (d) gave birth and kept the child in each year since 1985, broken down by (i) age and (ii) region. I am replying in her absence. (75626)
Available figures are estimates of the number of pregnancies that resulted in a live birth, stillbirth or termination.
Number of conceptions to girls aged under 14, 14, 15 and 16 from 1987 to 2004 (the latest year for which figures are available) are shown in Table 1. Figures for 1985 and 1986 are not provided because ONS amended the method for calculating woman's age at conception and revised data are not available prior to 1987.
Conception figures are routinely published each year by region for all girls aged under 16. Conception to girls aged 16 years by region can only be made available at a disproportionate cost.
Number of conceptions to girls aged under 16 by region from 1992 to 2004 (the latest year for which figures are available) are
shown in Table 2. There have been Government Office Regional boundary changes prior to 1992 and figures prior to then are not compatible with later years.
Number of abortions to girls aged 14 and under, 15 and 16 from 1987 to 2004 (the latest year for which figures are available) are shown in Table 3. Figures for girls for aged 14 and under are grouped to protect small numbers which may be revealed by previously published data.
Numbers of abortions to girls aged 16 and under, by regional offices in England from 1987 to 2004 are shown in Table 4.
Number of live births to girls aged under 12, 12 ,13, 14, 15 and 16 from 1985 to 2005 (the latest year for which figures are available) are shown in Table 5.
Figures on live births by region have been compiled on the same basis as conceptions and number of live births to girls aged under 16 by Government Office Region from 1992 to 2005 are shown in Table 6.
Information is not available on how many girls aged 16 years and under gave birth and gave the child up for adoption and gave birth and kept the child.
|Table 1: Conceptions to women under 17 by age, 1987-2004, England and Wales|
|Age of mother|
|Under 14||14||15||16||All under 17|
Office for National Statistics.
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