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The period reported on includes a planned technology refresh programme for all desktop computers and a proportion of laptop computers in DFID. This programme enabled DFID to obtain a highly competitive price for a bulk purchase of desktop computers in April 2005, which is reflected in the figures.
Desktop and laptop computers are purchased centrally in the UK for all DFID offices worldwide. Some smaller electronic devices and consumables are purchased locally overseas. These local purchases are not included in the figures in the table as records are not held centrally, and could not be included without incurring a disproportionate cost.
Hilary Benn: Ituri is one of the areas of the Democratic Republic of Congo most affected by insecurity. Current estimates from the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) suggest that there are over 200,000 internally displaced people (IDPs). The worst affected area is around the villages of Gety and Aveba, where over 40,000 people have sought shelter in camps. Attacks on these IDPs and on international non-governmental organisation (NGO) staff by rebel groups make it extremely difficult to provide support for these people, many of whom had been hiding in the surrounding forests for some time. Shortages in food supplies and logistical constraints have compounded a very serious humanitarian situation.
However the situation has now stabilised and food and other support is reaching people in the camps. Food rations supplied by the World Food Programme (WFP) were being distributed in Gety during the visit of one of DFIDs humanitarian experts in the second half of September. Additional resources have been allocated to WFP in DRC this year to cover food, transport and logistics costs through the Central Emergency Relief Fund (CERF) and the DRC Humanitarian Pooled Fund. Both these funds were established with strong encouragement from DFID and the UK is a major contributor to both.
|Year||Estimated Carbon Emissions|
|( 1)No data available prior to 1999|
DFID is strongly committed to the targets set out in the Framework for Sustainable Development on the Government Estate which were revised in June 2006. DFID achieved very good and excellent BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Methodology) ratings for the last refurbishments of the UK estate. The increase in levels of carbon emissions in recent years has mainly been due to increased staffing levels, new IT systems/equipment requiring new test and production environments, and more IT equipment supporting our overseas estate.
DFID has recently signed up to the Carbon Trust (CT) Framework Agreement. The CT consultants have now conducted an energy audit of both UK offices and
concluded that the buildings are well operated and maintained and inherently energy efficient. We are nevertheless working with the CT to make further improvements to our energy efficiency through such measures as energy efficiency campaigns.
Mr. Thomas: To support parents in making their own choices about where and what type of child care they want for their children, the Department for International Development (DFID) offers a number of options.
We introduced a salary sacrifice scheme in April 2005. This enables our employees to take part of their salary in child care vouchers and generates a tax and national insurance saving for the employee. This scheme offers the advantage of supporting parents to make their own choices about where and what type of child care they want for their child. From April to July 2006, £36,521.22 was the total value of vouchers obtained by employees through salary sacrifice of which £33,615.68 was exempt from tax and national insurance.
DFID also reimburses child care expenses for parents who are required to work or travel on days they would not normally work. 22 employees have been reimbursed this financial year, amounting to £8,641.25.
DFID provides a holiday playscheme on site for its employees in London as part of the Westminster Holiday Playscheme. The scheme is administered and run by BUPA Childcare under contract. DFID is one of four sites in Central London open to participating Government Departments. 12 DFID parents have used the playscheme in this financial year, at a cost of £1,365.78. This is half of the total cost of playscheme places, with DFID subsidising parents costs by 50 per cent.
Mr. Thomas: The Department for International Development (DFID) provides child care facilities on the premises of its London office. This is in the form of a holiday playscheme, part of the Westminster Holiday Playscheme, administered and run by BUPA Childcare on contract. The scheme is open to participating Government Departments, and takes children between the ages of four years 10 months (as long as they are in full-time education) and 12 years. The Westminster Holiday Playscheme caters for 96 children in total, 36 of which are able to use the DFID site.
The Department for International Development (DFID) does not maintain a waiting list for staff who are unable to obtain places on the Westminster Holiday Playscheme. The administration
is dealt with by the child care providers, BUPA Childcare, and they maintain a centralised waiting list for unsuccessful parents from all of the participating Government Departments, allocating places when they become available. Places are allocated on a first come, first served basis.
Simon Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many of his Department's employees have been (a) dismissed, (b) suspended and (c) subject to disciplinary action for criminal activity in each year since 1997. 
Mr. Thomas: DFID's disciplinary procedure is fully compliant with UK legislation and applies to civil servants working in the UK and overseas. We also apply it to our locally appointed staff overseas, who work under local contracts, unless local law dictates otherwise. The procedure covers serious criminal or other unlawful acts, which may be regarded as gross misconduct justifying summary dismissal and, in some case, criminal prosecution.
DFID did not hold a central disciplinary record until October 2004. There has been only one disciplinary case, in 2005, relating to an unlawful act involving a locally appointed member of staff overseas which resulted in dismissal.
Mark Simmonds: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many pensions his Department has recently overpaid; what total amount such overpayments represent; what proportion of these overpayments his Department expects to recover; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Thomas: The Department for International Development (DFID) is responsible for pension costs for staff leaving on early departure grounds only (excluding ill health retirement). The Department is responsible for meeting the full costs of compensation, including the early payment of pensions until age 60. We are not aware of any recent overpayments of these pensions.
Capita Hartshead is responsible for paying all civil service pensions after age 60. Capita Hartshead provides this service under contract to the Cabinet Office who are the managers of the civil service pension schemes.
Pension awards for DFID staff who are members of the civil service pension arrangements are calculated by our pensions administrator, Paymaster. The awards are based on information on salary and service provided by DFID to Paymaster. We are not aware of any errors in the awards calculated.
DFID does however pay pensions to former colonial public servants and their dependants. The following tables show the number of overpaid pensions recorded together with those recovered, written off and actively being pursued: (a) in the financial year 2005-06 and (b) in the current financial year, for the period to 31 July.
By far the majority of recorded overpayments relate to part month recoveries resulting from death
notifications being received after the current months pension payment had been made, almost all of which are recovered in a short period of time. Overpaid pensions represent only a very small percentage of the total value of pensions paid.
|Financial year 2005-06|
|Financial year 2006-07 (to 31 July 2006)|
| Note: In 2005-06 DFID made a total of 219,004 colonial pension payments to a value of £114.8 million. The equivalent figures for 2006-07 (to July 2006) are 70,105 and £37.2 million respectively.|
Mr. Thomas: Publications issued by DFID since 1 July 2005 are listed in the following table. This sets out the total quantity produced as a full account of circulation for each individual title would incur disproportionate cost. The titles issued have been produced by teams across the Departmentsome for a broad public audience, others for more specialist stakeholders. DFID publications are generally available for free from the website, www.dfid.gov.uk, and many of the more specialist titles are now produced in electronic format only. Evaluation studies have been listed separately.
|Printed publications issued by DFID|
|Title||Quantity||Design/print cost (£)|
|(1) Produced by FCO.|
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