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5 July 2006 : Column 1161W—continued

UK Ambassadors

Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what the names are of those who (a) approve and (b) select UK ambassadors. [80046]

Mr. Hoon: All Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) appointments are made in accordance with the rules in the Diplomatic Service or Home Civil Service Orders in Council.

As with other FCO appointments, applications for Heads of Mission positions are invited and candidates considered by the relevant FCO Selection Board, as follows:

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Some Heads of Mission appointments will be considered by interview panels, at the discretion of the Boards.

My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary approves all Head of Mission appointments, and my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister approves all Head of Mission appointments in Pay Bands 2-4 and all Governorships of Overseas Territories, before the names of the individuals are submitted to Her Majesty the Queen for her approval.


Mr. Gregory Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent representations she has made to the Zimbabwean authorities on freedom of expression by opposition spokespersons in Zimbabwe. [81865]

Mr. McCartney: Our ambassador in Harare, Dr. Pocock, makes repeated representations to the Government of Zimbabwe and the Zimbabwe African National Union Patriotic Front leaders to reverse their policies which are causing immense suffering to Zimbabweans and to restore the democratic space, including by permitting freedom of expression for all Zimbabweans as well as civic society and opposition representatives. Dr. Pocock made these representations most recently during a call on Minister Mnangagwa on 17 May.

We will continue to work for the restoration of good governance and the rule of law in Zimbabwe.

Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what estimate the Government has made of the amount of Zimbabwean beef licensed for export to the EU which comes from confiscated (a) land and (b) stock. [81944]

Mr. McCartney: The Statistical Office of the European Commission estimate that around 33 tonnes of beef products were imported into the EU from Zimbabwe in 2005. It is not possible to identify whether this came from confiscated land or stock. It is clear, however, that seizures of commercial beef farms have greatly affected production, and further demonstrates the extent of the damage caused by the Zimbabwe Government’s misguided policies.

Constitutional Affairs

Crown Courts

Dr. Starkey: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs when her Department expects to finalise plans to increase Crown court capacity in Buckinghamshire; and what assessment has been made of providing Crown court facilities at (a) Aylesbury, (b) Milton Keynes and (c) both. [82285]

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Ms Harman: A strategic business case has been prepared which outlines the need to seek to replace the current Aylesbury Crown court facilities with modern premises that provide additional capacity for the future.

The business case was prepared on the basis of reviewing the current and future requirements for the county of Buckinghamshire including Milton Keynes Unitary Authority.

At this stage it is considered that the facility will be in one location, still to be defined, and will serve the county of Buckinghamshire, including Milton Keynes.

The business case has been submitted to Her Majesty’s Courts Service (HMCS) to be reviewed and receive detailed consideration by the National Property Board in the coming months. If the business case is determined as appropriate, it will be subject to prioritisation in the future HMCS building programme, and will then be dependant on Treasury approval of the HMCS capital spending programme.

In the meantime, the current Crown court requirements for Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes are being reviewed to ensure that all courtroom capacity in the Thames Valley HMCS area is fully utilised to facilitate the early scheduling of cases. This does, on occasions, require the transfer of cases to other locations until a new facility is built to replace Aylesbury Crown court.

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It is not anticipated that any new court building would be available before 2010, should it receive an early approval by the National Property Board for inclusion in current and future building schemes.

Parliamentary Papers

Mr. Amess: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs if she will make it her policy to make copies of Deposited Papers available in (a) the Vote Office and (b) Printed Paper Office at the same time as copies are deposited in the Library of the House; and if she will make a statement. [81454]

Vera Baird: I refer the hon. Gentleman to the answer given on 3 July 2006, Official Report, column 729W by my right hon. Friend the Leader of the House.

Work and Pensions

Accident Victims

Mr. Dismore: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions in how many cases recoupment of benefits for accident victims has taken place in the last three years; how much was recouped (a) in total, (b) for road accident cases, (c) for accidents at work cases, (d) for clinical negligence cases and (e) in other cases; and if he will make a statement. [75994]

Mr. Plaskitt: The information is in the following tables.

Total cases where recoupment from damages awarded to accident victims has been made by the Compensation Recovery Unit in each of the past three years
Total cases Road accident victims (motor) Accidents at work (employer) Clinical negligence Other cases



















Amounts recovered by the Compensation Recovery Unit by way of recoupment from damages awarded to accident victims in each of the past three years
Total Amount (£) Road accident victims (motor) Accidents at work (employer) Clinical negligence Other cases



















Notes: 1. The column titled “Other Cases” includes other, public and unknown liabilities. 2. The figures in table (2) are rounded up to the nearest £. Source: Figures are taken from the Compensation Recovery Unit's management information statistics.

Departmental IT Systems

Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions pursuant to the answer to my hon. Friend the Member for Chipping Barnet (Mrs. Villiers) of14 March 2006, Official Report, column 2167W, on departmental IT systems, if he will list the suppliers and contractors involved in each project; and what proportion of listed outturn for each project was paid to each supplier and contractor involved. [61401]

James Purnell: The following table shows the project name, purpose, actual end date and outturn included in the answer to the hon. Member for Chipping Barnet (Mrs. Villiers) of 14 March 2006, Official Report, column 2167W. We have added supplier/contractor and
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proportion of outturn columns and included the name of the principal IT suppliers/contractors for each
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project and the proportion of the outturn paid to these suppliers/contractors.

Project/purpose Actual end date Outturn (£ million) Supplier/contractor Proportion of outturn paid to the supplier/contractor (percentage)

Customer Management System

This system is an information gathering business process for working age income support, jobseeker’s allowance and incapacity benefit claims and changes of circumstances. It will allow information supplied by the customer to be gathered electronically by staff, improving efficiency and customer service. Staff will be able to check information supplied against that already held

November 2005






ISCS/JSA Modernisation Project

Delivered initiatives that enhanced or augmented existing Working Age IT systems. These included the sharing of electronic data with disability living allowance, attendance allowance and personal details computer systems

August 2004




Digital Office Infrastructure

DOI provided a modern IT infrastructure platform across the Department providing access for all staff to the internet and intranet and modern business software

June 2004






Managing Core Systems Estate

To improve the ways in which our core legacy systems are managed

February 2005






Pensions Forecasting Programme

To establish the new Combined Pension Forecasting Service and enhance and replace the existing individual Pension Forecasting IT system

April 2005




Pensions credit

This project successfully introduced pension credit in October 2003. It delivered new IT functionality to existing DWP systems, and associated business products (eg training, staff guidance, customer notifications)

October 2004




Payment Modernisation Programme

The Payment Modernisation Programme aims to establish direct payment into a bank or building society account as the normal, method of payment for all customers. This includes those who wish to collect their money from the Post Office

June 2005




ATOS Origin


(1) This resource expenditure relates to 64 per cent. of the total DOI figure. The remaining 36 per cent. of the total relates to capital expenditure—the records that would allow us to provide an accurate picture of how this capital expenditure was split over the suppliers has been archived. The costs associated with the retrieval of these documents, and the accompanying staff time costs required to go through the records to identify these by supplier/contractor, would be excessive and time consuming. Notes: 1. Outturn figures show the final investment cost for the completed projects. 2. The New Tax Credits project has not been included above as the project is still ongoing. It was inadvertently shown as completed in my response to the hon. Member for Chipping Barnet (Mrs. Villiers) of 14 March 2006, Official Report, column 2167W.

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