Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what steps he is taking to tackle the impact on road traffic in England of the long-term closure of the A5 in North Wales; and what information he has received about when it is likely to open again. 
Mr. Hain: The Welsh Assembly Government took the decision to close a short section of the A5, between Ty Nant and Dinmael, in the interests of public safety. The Assembly Government are continuing to work with local authorities, business and tourist representatives to minimise any adverse effects.
I understand that remedial works could take around six months to complete, depending on site conditions. However, the meantime, urgent steps have been taken to provide an alternative route to alleviate pressures. As a result, the old A5 was re-opened to vehicles not exceeding 7.5 tonnes on 16 June.
Danny Alexander: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many working days were lost to his Department and its executive agencies in each year since 1997 due to staff absenteeism, expressed as the average annual number of absent days per employee; and what the estimated total cost to the Department and its agencies of absenteeism was in each year. 
Mr. Hain: Since 2004 the Wales Office has formed part of the Department for Constitutional Affairs (DCA) for sickness monitoring purposes. Prior to 2004 it was included with those of the National Assembly for Wales.
Figures regarding sickness absence are contained in the annual report, "Analysis of Sickness Absence in the Civil Service", published by the Cabinet Office. Reports for each year since 1999 are available in the Library and on the civil service website at:
The Solicitor-General: The pension liabilities of the Crown Prosecution Service, Revenue and Customs Prosecutions Office, Serious Fraud Office and Treasury Solicitor's Department (including HM Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate and the Attorney-General's Office) are not estimated by individual departments. Civil service pension liabilities are estimated for individual pension schemes as shown in the breakdown of liabilities per scheme given in Table 1 of the technical Note by HM Treasury, placed in the Library of the House on 2 March 2006, Official Report, columns 388-90, following an oral Statement in Parliament by the then Chief Secretary to the Treasury.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the cost was of compiling, printing and posting the leaflet Single Payment Scheme: Additional Cross-compliance Requirements; and whether there are plans to issue further single payment scheme publications in the current financial year. 
Barry Gardiner: The Rural Payments Agency (RPA) has not issued a publication entitled the Single Payment Scheme: Additional Cross-compliance Requirements. RPA did publish recently a supplement of the Cross Compliance Handbook for England 2006, for which the cost of compiling, printing and posting was £85,871.00.
There are plans to produce a 2007 version of the Cross Compliance Handbook for England, incorporating any new statutory management requirements that have to be implemented under EU Regulations and a 2007 supplement for the current Set aside Handbook and Guidance.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will ensure that those claimants whose 2005 single farm payment claims were paid after 31 March 2006 receive their 2006 single farm payments before those whose 2005 claims were paid before 31 March 2006. 
Barry Gardiner: No. This would not ensure the optimal and earliest delivery of the maximum subsidy to claimants. Priorities will therefore be drawn up with the view to maximising payments as early as possible within the regulatory payment window, starting on 1 December 2006.
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether he maintains a register of central Government building and refurbishment projects in relation to ensuring compliance with the Governments timber procurement policy. 
Barry Gardiner: The Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs does not hold a register of central Government building and refurbishment projects. There is an annual Sustainable Development in Government report in which Departments are encouraged to report their timber purchases as appropriate.
Mr. Randall: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when he plans to consult on the Joint Nature Conservation Committees proposed list of bird species to be included on schedule 4 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. 
Norman Baker: To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission whether plans are in place to introduce battery recycling facilities on the parliamentary estate. 
Nick Harvey: Batteries from electrical equipment owned by the two Houses are stored for collection by a contractor for recycling. It is intended to extend this facility in due course to all used batteries on the estate and this will be publicised to Members and staff when more details are available.
Chris Huhne: To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission what the (a) name, (b) professional and academic qualifications and (c) relevant experience are of the Chief Accounting Officer of the House. 
Section 3 (2) of the House of Commons (Administration) Act 1978 gives the Commission power to appoint an Accounting Officer responsible for accounting for the sums paid out of money provided by Parliament for the service of the House of Commons. The current Accounting Officer is the Clerk of the House and Chief Executive of the House of Commons Service, Roger Sands, who has been in that position since January 2003. The details of his qualifications and career in the House of Commons Service are available in a number of reference books. In common with other Accounting Officers, he has undertaken the centrally provided training
given to Accounting Officers on their appointment. He is assisted in the discharge of his Accounting Officer responsibilities by appropriately qualified and experienced staff in the Directorate of Financial Management.
Mr. Dismore: To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission what accommodation is made available to Officers of the House; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Amess: To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission pursuant to the answer of 25 May 2006, Official Report, column 1907, on security (Abingdon Street barrier), if he will place in the Library a copy of the review; what representations he has received about the review; what the cost was of undertaking the review; when he expects a final decision to be made about the arrangements at the steel barrier; what complaints the Commission has received about the waterproof equipment issued to officers working at the steel barrier in Abingdon Street; and if he will make a statement. 
Nick Harvey: The review consists of an ongoing process rather than a written report. Regular meetings are held involving the management of the security team and those representing both police and security officers. The purpose of these meetings is to keep under continual review all matters relating to the steel barrier, with a particular emphasis on operating guidelines and the health, safety and welfare of staff operating the system. It was through this process that the issue of improved clothing was identified, and is being provided following discussions with uniform specialists within the Metropolitan Police Service.
Mr. Amess: To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission how often and for what length of time (a) police officers and (b) security officers are required to serve at the steel barrier in Abingdon Street; whether there are plans to increase these duties; what representations the Commission has received from (i) the Police Federation and (ii) others representing police officers and security officers on the matter; and if he will make a statement. 
I understand that the overall hours worked at the Corus barriers by police and security officers are in line with other posts where there is limited protection from the elements. It is not the practice to give rostering details of security staff. These working arrangements continue to be discussed between the security team management and those representing both police and security officers. The Commission has not received any representations from either the Police
Federation or others on this matter. Recognising the nature of these duties, the parliamentary authorities have been very supportive of reducing the operating hours of the scheme where possible; for example, during each parliamentary recess.
Mr. Amess: To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission how many (a) police officers and (b) security officers were on (i) short-term and (ii) long-term sick leave after a period of service at the steel barrier in Abingdon Street in each week since October 2005; and if he will make a statement. 
Nick Harvey: I understand that a total of two police officers and one security officer have reported sick following alleged incidents while operating the Corus barriers which began in October 2005. The total number of days lost to sickness is 157. All these incidents occurred within the first three months of operation of this scheme. Regular risk assessments and health and safety advice from both the House authorities and the Metropolitan Police Service have resulted in the introduction of additional safety measures which appear to be working effectively.
Chris Huhne: To ask the hon. Member for Gosport, representing the Speaker's Committee on the Electoral Commission what the (a) name, (b) professional and academic qualifications and (c) relevant experience are of the Chief Accounting Officer of the Electoral Commission. 
Peter Viggers: The Electoral Commission does not have a Chief Accounting Officer. The Electoral Commission's Accounting Officer, who is designated by the Speaker's Committee in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000, is Peter Wardle, the Commission's chief executive. Mr. Wardle has a Bachelor of Arts degree. Before becoming chief executive of the Electoral Commission in December 2004 he had been a senior civil servant for 10 years, including periods as Principal Finance Officer at the Cabinet Office and Director of Strategy and Planning at the Inland Revenue.
Rwandas Prosecutor General is seeking support to establish within the national Public Prosecution Service a protection service for victims and witnesses of crime, including genocide survivors who may be at risk of harassment and intimidation. The Director of the Survivors Fund UK, a British NGO, has also discussed with me the need for witness protection in Rwanda. The Public Prosecution Service
has an important role to play in ensuring that the rights of Rwandas citizens are protected and that they have access to justice.
DFIDs office in Rwanda has been in discussion with the Prosecutor General and is currently assessing how best to support the national victim protection service. The United Nations Development Programme is already providing modest support for this and it will be important to ensure that any DFID funding complements and does not duplicate existing funding. On this point, the DFID office is currently taking forward discussions with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). DFIDs response will depend upon the outcome of these discussions.
Kate Hoey: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry whether UK companies would be obliged to report on (a) relationships with suppliers in Zimbabwe and (b) their own operations in Zimbabwe under the provisions of the proposed Business Review contained within the Company Law Reform Bill. 
Margaret Hodge: Under clause 399 of the Company Law Reform Bill, all companies, apart from small companies, will continue to be required to produce a Business Review, in accordance with the EU Accounts Modernisation Directive. Information on the company's relationships with suppliers and on their operations wherever located must be included in the Review to the extent necessary to provide a balanced and comprehensive analysis of the company's business consistent with the size and complexity of the business.
Kate Hoey: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry to what extent the Business Review provided for in the Company Law Reform Bill will oblige UK companies to report on their operations in states which the UK Government consider to be perpetrating abuse of human rights. 
Margaret Hodge: Under clause 399 of the Company Law Reform Bill, all companies, apart from small companies, will continue to be required to produce a Business Review, in accordance with the EU Accounts Modernisation Directive. Information on the company's operations wherever located must be included in the Review to the extent necessary to provide a balanced and comprehensive analysis of the company's business consistent with the size and complexity of the business.
Mr. Djanogly: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what estimate he has made of the likely monetary effects on British business following amendment of the Company Law Reform Bill in the House of Lords. 
Margaret Hodge: The Regulatory Impact Assessment for the Company Law Reform Bill was updated after the Bill was brought from the House of Lords (24 May 2006) to reflect the amendments that had been made to the Bill since introduction. The Bill is expected to bring savings for business of some £250 million a year, of which £100 million will be for small businesses. As well as the direct savings, the Bill is also expected to lead to indirect benefits, through improved performance, for example through encouraging good practice in company decision-making.
The direct costs associated with the Bill are expected to be in the range of £8 million to £47 million. The majority of these costs (£6 million to £36 million) are associated with opposition amendments to the "Exercise of Members' Rights" provisions made in the House of Lords. The Government intend to reconsider these during the consideration of The Bill in the House of Commons.
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