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Each GC is headed by a Chairman and is responsible for electing the Governor. Beneath the GCs are municipal councils (i.e. there are 15 in Baghdad governorate) and local councils (over 700 nationally).
Our missions in Kirkuk, Basra and Baghdad constantly monitor and report on the political progress in Iraq, including the democratic process. That process is not yet complete; the next step in the democratic calendar is for Iraq to hold provincial elections. Through elections of provincial, municipal and local councils and direct democratic accountability for Governors and Chiefs of police, the system should provide a higher degree of (indirect) democratic accountability.
Mr. Moore: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, pursuant to her answer of 5 June 2006, Official Report, columns 328-30W, on Iraq, what further progress has been made on achieving the milestones for police reform in the Iraqi provinces of (a) Al Basrah, (b) Al Muthanna, (c) Dhi Qar and (d) Maysan. 
Margaret Beckett: Since my reply to the hon. Member ( Official Report, columns 328-30W), we have trained an additional 1,300 police officers in Basra, 154 in Muthanna and 607 in Maysan. Responsibility for policing in Dhi Qar continues to lie with the Italian contingent.
Mr. Moore: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to her Answer of 5 June 2006, Official Report, column 328W, on Iraq, what progress has been made by the Joint Committee to Transfer Security Responsibility in Iraq; and what recommendations it has made on the provinces and provincial capitals ready for the transfer of security responsibilities. 
Margaret Beckett: The Joint Committee to Transfer Security Responsibility recommended to the Prime Minister of Iraq, Mr Al-Maliki, and the Iraqi Ministerial Committee on National Security, that the Province of Al-Muthanna and the Provincial Capital of Samawah were ready to transfer to Iraqi security responsibility. The Government of Iraq announced that it agreed with this assessment on 19 June 2006. The security handover in Al-Muthanna took place on 13 July. The committee is now considering recommendations in respect of the handover of further areas to Iraqi provincial control.
Mr. Moore: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to her Answer of 5 June 2006, Official Report, columns 326-7W, on Iraq, what progress has been made on the UK Governments discussions with the Iraqi Government on the release of accurate and up-to-date figures on civilian deaths in Iraq. 
Maintaining records of civilian deaths in Iraq is a matter for the Government of Iraq. We continue to assess that there are no entirely
accurate figures for civilian deaths in Iraq. Estimates vary according to the method of collection.
The Iraqi Ministry of Health has released further figures of casualties to the UK. The Ministry of Health statistics for the dead and injured include those judged by the first public responder, normally the police, Army or coalition forces, to have been victims of terrorism, or those harmed as a result of (Iraqi or coalition) military action. It is unclear if these figures include victims of crime. The figures show 21,091 injured and 7,254 killed as a result of terrorism between January 2005 and January 2006. They show 1,933 injured and 839 killed as a result of military action in the same period. The figures are collected from hospitals across Iraq, but do not include the three Kurdish provinces. The figures do not distinguish between insurgents, civilians or Iraqi security forces killed.
Mr. Moore: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to her Answer of 5 June 2006, Official Report, column 327W, on Iraq, what the priorities and aims are of rule of law development in the Iraqi provinces of (a) Al Basrah, (b) Al Muthanna, (c) Dhi Qar and (d) Maysan; and what (i) human and (ii) financial resources the UK Government has committed to this development. 
Margaret Beckett: The aim of the Governments rule of law programmes in Muthanna, Maysan and Basra provinces in Southern Iraq is to assist in the development of efficient, effective, credible and community supported security forces and criminal justice institutions.
to develop the capacity of, and links between the different elements of the criminal justice system (police, prisons and judiciary);
to develop the ability of the Iraqi security forces to investigate and remove corrupt officers, investigate major crime and to use criminal intelligence;
to develop a model for these institutions which will allow an effective hand over responsibility for security to the Iraqis authorities.
There are 170 UK police, prisons officers and lawyers providing training, mentoring and advice to the Iraqis. Since 2004, the Government have committed £22 million to rule of law development programmes in Iraq.
There is no requirement for Private Military/Security Companies (PMSCs) to register with our Embassy in Baghdad and therefore the Government does not maintain precise figures of the UK companies operating in Iraq. The non-governmental Private Security Companies Association of Iraq (PSCAI) are aware of 141 companies that describe themselves as PMSC's operating in Iraq. Of
these at least 14 are UK companies, in that they are registered under Companies House as currently operating in the UK or the Crown Dependencies.
Nick Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many licences have been issued by the Ministry of Interior in Iraq to UK private security firms in each of the last 12 months. 
Dr. Howells: By the end of 2005, 37 private military/security companies (PMSCs) of all nationalities were registered with the Iraqi Ministry of Interior. However, owing to changes in regulatory requirements from the Ministry of Interior all licences expired this year and were not renewed. The Ministry of Interior has issued new criteria and under these only three companies have been registered, all of which are Iraqi. Some UK PMSCs have applied under the new criteria and their licences are currently being processed.
Danny Alexander: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many (a) foreign and (b) domestic journalists have been killed in Iraq in each month since March 2003, broken down by nationality. 
Dr. Howells: We deplore the continuing violence in Iraq that is claiming the lives of many innocent people, including journalists who have been killed while carrying out their important work. The Government do not, however, collect statistics on civilian deaths in Iraq and we believe that there are no entirely accurate statistics on civilian casualties in Iraq over the past three years. We understand that the International Federation of Journalists produced a report detailing the journalists killed in Iraq for at least some of the period covered in question. This information can be found at www.ifj.org.
Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs who sits on the Afghanistan Provincial Reconstruction Team Executive Steering Council; what its objectives are; and how often it meets. 
Margaret Beckett: The Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) Executive Steering Committee is co-chaired by the Minister of the Interior of the Afghan government, on behalf of the President, Commander of the International Security Assistance Force and Commander Coalition Forces CommandAfghanistan. The Committee's membership is completed by the Minister of Finance, the Minister of Reconstruction and Rural Development, the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General, the Senior Civilian Representative of the NATO Secretary General, the EU Special Representative, and Ambassadors of nations contributing or potentially contributing military or other resources to PRTs. Other Ministers of the Afghan government are invited by the chairs or attend as directed by the President.
The Committee's objectives are to develop and implement policies governing operations of the PRTs, to strengthen and extend the authority of the central government throughout the country, assist in establishing stability and security, and enable reconstruction including through delivering projects and expertise. The Committee has sought to co-ordinate PRT policies and practices, provide oversight for the development of new PRTs, determine verifiable measures of effectiveness for PRTs, and establish conditions for the transition from PRTs to full Afghan Government authority.
Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what arrangements exist for the co-ordination of activities between provincial reconstruction teams, international organisations and non-governmental organisations in Afghanistan. 
Margaret Beckett: There are many fora in Kabul that help to co-ordinate activity. The primary vehicle for co-ordination of international effort in Afghanistan is the Joint Co-ordination and Monitoring Board, which seeks to ensure implementation of the Afghanistan Compact. This body brings together all donors and international organisations active in helping to rebuild the country and extend the authority of the central government beyond Kabul. In addition, co-ordination between Provincial Reconstruction Teams (PRTs) and others engaged in the regions outside Kabul is managed by the PRT Executive Steering Committee.
Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent representations she has received from the government of Afghanistan regarding (a) the level of police officers agreed in the Afghanistan Compact and (b) requests to increase the number of police officers beyond the target envisaged; and what the UK Governments position is. 
Margaret Beckett: To date, I have not received any representations from the Afghan government regarding the level of police officers set out in the Afghanistan Compact and the issue of increasing the target has not arisen.
The UK supports the Afghanistan Compact and the goals it contains and remains in close touch with the German police project and the US police reform programmes. The UK has recently appointed a Senior Police Adviser to the UK led Provincial Reconstruction Teams in Lashkar Gah to help extend national police reform programmes to the South. The UK also plans to appoint a Senior Police Adviser to work within the US-led Combined Security Transition Command-Afghanistan in Kabul.
Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment she has made of (a) the level of support given to the insurgency in Afghanistan from external sources and (b) who these sources are; and what the Governments policy is on the most effective approach to combat them. 
Margaret Beckett: There is some indication that armed groups in Afghanistan receive financial and other support from a variety of sympathisers and associates. The Government seek to combat this in a number of ways. These include political dialogue with the relevant governments in an attempt to deny the supporters freedom of action, and support for those governments to develop the capacity of their law enforcement agencies.
Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether the Government were represented at the Second Tokyo Conference on the Consolidation of Peace in Afghanistan; what the UK goals for the conference were; and what assessment she has made of the outcome. 
Margaret Beckett: Our Ambassador in Kabul led the UK delegation at the Second Conference on the Consolidation of Peace in Afghanistan, held in Tokyo on 5 July. Our goals for the conference were to reiterate the UK's support for security sector reform, to affirm support for the Disbandment of Illegal Armed Groups (DIAG) and to set out the UK's activity and achievements on counter-narcotics.
While there has been good progress made on the disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration process, there are significant challenges ahead to keep the DIAG process on track. President Karzai made a strong statement of commitment to overcoming the difficulties, but continued support from the international community will be needed.
Joan Ruddock: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations she has made to President Karzai concerning the re-introduction of the Department for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice. 
Dr. Howells: The Afghan Ministry of Hajj and Religious Affairs proposal for establishing a Department for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice was considered at Cabinet on 16 July 2006. This has now been referred to Parliament.
Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if she will make a statement on the conclusions of the 20 June meeting of the Consultative Task Force between the EU and Albania. 
Margaret Beckett: The Consultative Task Force discussed freedom of expression, property restitution, electoral reform, human rights and minority rights. This is a Commission led meeting, with member states invited as observers.
Following the meeting the Commission released a press statement that can be found on the Commission Delegations website: http://www.delalb.cec.eu.int/en/news/CTF14-date-20-June-2006-Press-Release.doc.
Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) what (a) financial and (b) technical help is being given to Albania by (i) the EU and (ii) her Department for the purpose of tackling human trafficking in the country; and if she will make a statement; 
Most recently, in March this year my hon. Friend the Member for Pontypridd (Dr. Howells) the Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, visited Tirana and as part of his discussions with senior Ministers in the Albanian Government, including the Prime Minister, raised the issue of human trafficking. Our Ambassador in Tirana regularly raises the subject with Ministers.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office is providing £238,000 to the International Organisation for Migration to implement an information campaign, including training media professionals in responsible reporting of trafficking issues, establish a national telephone hotline to provide information on safe migration, and for the public to report instances of human trafficking. We have also provided over £250,000 to a establish a forensic laboratory which contributes to the identification of forged documents.
Since 2001, through the Community Assistance for Reconstruction and Development Programme the EU have provided over €19.5 million on projects to improve border policing and the establishment and implementation of migration strategies. The end goal is for Albania to have the capacity and techniques to prevent trafficking for itself.
Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many and what percentage of ambassadors were educated in (a) the state sector, (b) the private sector, (c) Oxford or Cambridge University and (d) other universities in each of the last 30 years. 
Mr. Hoon: The Foreign and Commonwealth Offices (FCO) current management information system does not hold education details on all our staff and it would take a disproportionate amount of time to collect the data requested.
However, the FCO is committed to recruiting a talented and diverse workforce which reflects the society it serves. In this context, the FCO is active in outreach activities, such as careers fairs and community business events. The FCO has run
competence-based assessment and development centres (ADCs) to determine which members of its staff have the necessary skills required to work within its senior management structure (SMS).
Candidates attending these ADCs have their performance assessed by a mix of internal trained assessors and external professionals. All promotion recommendations made at the ADCs are performance-based and are made irrespective of an individuals educational background. At the same time the FCO has run 16 recruitment campaigns, via external recruitment agencies, for SMS positions. The recruitment process is run on the principle of fair and open competition, as laid down in the Civil Service Commissioners Recruitment Code (www.civilservicecommissioners.gov.uk). Once again, progress is merit-based, and is made irrespective of an individuals educational background.
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