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Mr. Heald: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs how many confirmed security breaches of computer databases controlled by her Department have occurred in each year since its establishment. 
Gregory Barker: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what refrigerant is to be used in the large air conditioning system recently installed in her Department's proposed new office at 50 Queen Anne's Gate; and if she will make a statement. 
Ms Harman: The refrigerant to be used is R134a (HFC 134a). This is in line with my Department's policy for all major construction projects. The Department's policy is for natural ventilation for buildings whenever possible and only to install cooling systems where absolutely necessary. Where cooling cannot be avoided, designers are required to investigate systems which minimise environmental impact in terms of ozone depletion and global warming, using refrigerants with a zero ozone depletion potential (ODP) such as R134a and R66.
The Design stage of the 50 Queen Anne's Gate refurbishment has been assessed under BREEAM for Offices 2004 and has achieved a rating of "Excellent". BREAAM is a rating method to assess and improve the environmental performance of buildings.
Vera Baird: During the period specified, officials undertook numerous missions to Brussels and other European capitals for official EU working groups, meetings at the European Parliament and (during the UK presidency) drafting meetings. Officials also accompanied Ministers to overseas meetings including meetings in Australia, New Zealand and Hong Kong, the United States and South Africa and to the Justice and Home Affairs Council in Brussels and Luxembourg, and the European Parliament. Officials have also attended meetings at the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, the Hague Conference on private international law, as well as various bilateral meetings and conferences.
Bill Wiggin: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs how much funding her Department allocated to the Information Commissioners Office in each year since 2003; and if she will make a statement. 
The grant in aid in 2003-04 and 2004-05 covered the Information Commissioners responsibilities for data protection and freedom of information. During this period the Commissioner collected notification fees paid by data controllers under the Data Protection Act 1998, section 26, and returned them to HM Treasury. For 2005-06 and 2006-07 the Commissioner, with the agreement of HM Treasury, retained the notification fees to fund his data protection work; the grant in aid covered only his freedom of information responsibilities.
Mr. Heald: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what advice her Department has issued on the recommended maximum length of time that a public authority should take to consider an internal review under the Freedom of Information Act 2000. 
Vera Baird: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State and Lord Chancellor has issued a code of practice under section 45 of the FOI Act advising public authorities that complaints on the handling of freedom of information requests should be dealt with in accordance with their own complaints procedures. They may set their own target times for dealing with complaints, but these should be reasonable and subject to regular review.
Guidance issued by my Department to public authorities on conducting internal reviews advises that they should be completed in a reasonable timescale. It recommends that simple reviews should be dealt with within two to three weeks. Complex reviews should be dealt with within six weeks. This guidance is also available on my Departments website (http://www.foi.gov.uk/guidance/proguide/chap09.htm).
Mr. Heald: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what the average time taken for a public authority to conduct an internal review of a freedom of information request has been since 2000-01. 
Vera Baird: Since the Freedom of Information Act 2000 came into force in January 2005, the Department for Constitutional Affairs has published quarterly statistical data on the volume, timeliness of responses, and initial outcomes of requests received by 42 central Government bodies. My Department does not presently collect information on the average time taken for a public authority to conduct an internal review under this regime.
However, as noted in the Governments response to the Constitutional Affairs Committee Report, Freedom of Information: One Year On, the Government will examine the feasibility of including statistics on the duration of internal reviews in its FOI monitoring regime.
Bill Wiggin: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what mechanisms are in place for the Information Commissioner to report to Parliament on (a) his work and (b) the running of his office. 
Both Acts require the Commissioner to lay annually before Parliament a general report on the exercise of his functions under the Act. The Acts also provide that the Commissioner may from time to time lay before each House of Parliament such other reports on his functions as he thinks fit. The Commissioner is also required for each financial year to prepare a statement of account which is examined by the Comptroller and Auditor General and laid before each House of Parliament. The Commissioner as Accounting Officer is answerable to Parliament for the moneys allocated to him.
The Constitutional Affairs Committee is appointed by the House of Commons to examine the expenditure, administration and policy of the Department for Constitutional Affairs and its associated public bodies.
Mr. Heald: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs whether any of her staff are classed as key workers for the purposes of the low-cost home ownership or shared ownership schemes. 
The Cabinet Office does not separately record on the Departments accounting system expenditure spent on organising and hosting conferences. This information is therefore available only at disproportionate cost.
All official travel in the Department is undertaken strictly in accordance with the rules contained in the Cabinet Office Management Code. All ministerial travel-related costs are undertaken fully in accordance with the rules set out in the Ministerial Code and Travel by Ministers, copies of which are available in the Library for the reference of Members.
Mr. Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what average hourly rate her Department paid to employment agencies for agency staff in each year since 1999, broken down by agency. 
Mr. Hoon: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) uses various agencies under the national framework for temporary staff. Most of these are for the supply of Administrative Officer (grade A2) staff in Central London. Rates vary according to the length of assignment and skill-set required. Information dating back to 1999 is not held centrally. However, the following table provides information from 1 April 2004 on the hourly rates paid to agencies used by the FCO where applicable.
Dr. Howells: Burma is identified as a country of concern in our 2006 Annual Report on Human Rights. The Governments policy is to promote full respect for human rights in Burma encouraging the rule of law, democracy and good governance, and the freedom of association and speech in accordance with international human rights law.
We have been at the forefront of international efforts over many years to bring pressure to bear on the military regime to re-establish democracy and to respect human rights. We take every opportunity to raise human rights issues with the regime and remind them of their obligations to adhere to international human rights law. Our embassy in Rangoon also delivers capacity-building assistance in support of these objectives.
The UK works closely with the EU and other international partners, including the UN and the Association of South East Asian Nations, to promote human rights in Burma, and fully supports the efforts of the UN Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in Burma, Professor Sergio Pinheiro.
We fully support all action in the UN, including in the Security Council, which helps to promote reform and positive change in Burma and have supported the US proposal for a UN Security Council Resolution.
Mr. Rooney: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when she will reply to the letter from the hon. Member for Bradford North dated 4 September on serious malpractice at Islamabad. 
Mr. Gibb: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether her Department recognises the International GCSE as an acceptable substitute for a GCSE for the purposes of recruitment. 
Mr. Hoon: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office recognises all international qualifications that are equal to the published minimum requirements for recruitment. This includes accepting the International GCSE as a substitute for the standard GCSE qualification.
Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment she has made of the opportunities to reduce carbon emissions from air travel undertaken by Ministers and officials of her Department by greater use of video-conferencing for meetings involving international participation. 
Mr. Hoon: We are currently examining the feasibility of expanding significantly our video conference facilities. Environmental issues will be given full consideration. Staff are already encouraged to consider video-conferencing as an alternative to air travel: usage in our current facilities has increased at approximately 75 per cent. year on year.
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