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Mr. Greg Knight: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the cost was of administering the speed camera network in each safety camera partnership area in the last year for which figures are available. 
|Partnership||Final year end positionexpenditure (£)|
|(1) Joined safety camera programme 1 April 2005|
Mrs. Dunwoody: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether he plans to change the level and degree of technical examination in the Single Vehicle Approval Test; and if he will make a statement. 
Dr. Ladyman: I have no plans at present. However, I will be considering whether any action is necessary once the draft revision to the Motor Vehicle Type Approval Framework Directive 70/156/EEC is agreed and published. My starting point for any changes would be to do no more than what is required to ensure that the test is compatible with our European obligations, maintains current levels of road safety and environmental protection and place the minimum burden on industry.
Mrs. Dunwoody: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the Departments estimate is of the percentage error rate in the annual tests of (a) cars, (b) light goods vehicles, (c) motorcycles, (d) heavy goods vehicles and (e) passenger carrying vehicles. 
The Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) publishes error rates for Heavy Goods Vehicle (HGV) and Passenger Service Vehicle (PSV) tests annually in an Effectiveness Report which is
available at the House of Commons Library, Business & Transport section and on-line at: www.vosa.gov.uk.
|VOSA test stationsresults of error rate checks from April to September 2006|
|MOT garagesnumber of tester assessments requiring follow-up action|
Mrs. Dunwoody: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many front line technical staff employed in the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency are involved in the statutory testing of vehicles; how the number is expected to change within the next 12 months; and if he will make a statement. 
Dr. Ladyman: The Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) currently has 675 front line technical testing posts. VOSA anticipates that with its current programme of work, 573 front line technical testing posts will be needed in 18 months time. Should new work be undertaken, these resources will be re-considered.
Mrs. Dunwoody: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what plans the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency has to implement the results of its market research on the preferred wishes of heavy goods vehicles and passenger carrying vehicles operators on the location and provision of facilities and services in conducting the annual testing of vehicles. 
Dr. Ladyman: The Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) conducts a number of market research surveys. The views of the Heavy Goods Vehicle and Passenger carrying operators will be taken into account as part of VOSAs wider Strategic review. This includes the current study into the possible outsourcing of work. It is too early to say what conclusions will be reached in relation to implementing the trade's wishes.
Mrs. Dunwoody: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what elements made up the output units used by the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency in assessing its performance in conducting the statutory testing of vehicles (a) in 2005-06 and (b) when first introduced; what the weighting of each element was in each case; what changes have been made to the (i) elements and (ii) weighting of the elements; and when each such change was made. 
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the cost was of creating the new
Vehicle and Operator Services Agency Directors suite on the second floor of Berkeley House in Bristol, broken down into (a) building works, (b) redecoration and furnishing, (c) IT infrastructure and (d) other costs. 
Dr. Ladyman: The Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) is in the process of refurbishing its ageing headquarters office block in Bristol. To date, VOSAs costs for the refurbishment to the second floor in Berkeley House, Bristol, have been:
Mr. Hoon: Although the UK continues to have some concerns about the human rights situation in Algeria, we recognise the improvements made in recent years. These include the criminalisation of torture, a new police code of conduct and regional elections which addressed the concerns of Kabylie groups about under-representation. Amnesty Internationals report of its most recent visit to Algeria in May 2005, acknowledges that there has been progress on strengthening safeguards to protect detainees in custody and a fall in the number of allegations of torture in custody.
My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister has paid tribute to President Bouteflika for the changes he has brought about in Algeria. In a referendum in 2005, the Algerian people voted for a Charter for Peace and National Reconciliation. The Charter, which came into force in February 2006, granted an amnesty to those convicted of terrorist offences or prepared to surrender themselves to the security service. More than 2,000 terrorist prisoners have been released. In addition, the Charter provides for the families of victims of terrorism to register the disappearance or death of their relative and obtain compensation.
John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions she has had with the government of South Korea about human rights and political freedom in Burma. 
I raised the human rights situation in Burma with the South Korean Ambassador on
12 October. I also discussed the issue with the South Korean Foreign Minister on 20 July and again with the First Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade on 4 September.
John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) what plans she has to encourage Burmas State Peace and Development Council to invite independent, international monitors to (a) the constitution-drafting process in the National Convention and (b) the proposed referendum; 
(2) what assessment she has made of the National Convention in Burma; and what steps she plans to take to encourage the State Peace and Development Council to ensure that the constitution-drafting process and the proposed referendum meet international standards. 
Mr. McCartney: The National Convention has come together intermittently over the last 13 years to draw up a Constitution for Burma. The latest meeting of the Convention began on 10 October. The State Peace and Development Council has consistently ignored international appeals, including those of the UN Secretary General, to ensure the process is genuinely inclusive. It has resisted calls to open the process to outside observers.
The UK has consistently urged the Burmese government to ensure the National Convention meets international standards. In my letter to the Burmese Foreign Minister on 5 July 2006, I reiterated the importance we attach to ensuring that the National Convention is inclusive and transparent, but that it had, in our view, failed to meet these requirements to date.
We will continue to encourage greater inclusiveness and transparency and, as the process moves forward, will be considering with our partners what our response should be, including the question of whether to offer to send international observers to monitor the proposed referendum and general election.
Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions (a) she and (b) her officials have had with the Governments of (i) United Arab Emirates, (ii) Qatar, (iii) Pakistan, (iv) Bangladesh and (v) Sudan on the use of children in camel jockey racing. 
Dr. Howells: There have been no recent discussions on the issue of children being used as camel jockeys. In Qatar and the United Arab Emirates there have been no reports of abuses since legislation was introduced banning the practice in early 2005.
Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs further to her Departments Human Rights Report 2005, what progress has been made with the Global Opportunity Fund project to end the use of children as camel jockeys; and if she will make a statement. 
No projects have been funded on ending the use of children as camel jockeys under the Foreign and Commonwealth Offices (FCO) Global
Opportunities Fund. The FCOs Human Rights Project Fund co-funded an Anti-Slavery International project to end the use of camel jockeys. This project was focused mainly on Qatar and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). It ceased on 30 September 2004.
In 2005 Qatar issued a law banning the employment, training and use of children under the age of 18 in camel races. In the UAE a presidential decree was issued banning the use of boys who were under 16 years of age. The Ministry of Interior replaced the camel racing federation as the organisation responsible for regulating the sport. New measures have been introduced such as stringent immigration checks and a requirement for all children to have their own passport. Breaching these rules will result in a fine and persistent offenders may receive a jail sentence. The UAE also signed an agreement with the United Nations Childrens Fund (UNICEF) whereby UNICEF will process the registration, repatriation and integration of camel jockeys in their home countries. This venture is entirely funded by the UAE. Both countries have also conducted successful tests into the use of robot jockeys.
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