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I also refer the hon. Member to the Responses to Requests which are published on the Cabinet Office Freedom of Information publication scheme website (http://www.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/publicationscheme/). Copies have also been placed in the Library of the House. Information for 2006-07 will be published as soon as it is ready after the end of the financial year.
Tim Loughton: To ask the Prime Minister (1) pursuant to the answer of 9 October 2006, Official Report, column 4W, to the hon. Member for Orkney and Shetland (Mr. Carmichael) on gifts, on what basis the decision was made that it would be inappropriate to disclose the information requested; 
(2) when gifts have been given to overseas dignitaries at public cost by his Office in accordance with the rules set out in the Ministerial Code at paragraph 10.19 since 1997; to whom such gifts were given; what the gifts were; what the value of each gift was; and whether gifts were offered in exchange in each case. 
To ask the Prime Minister (1) when he last held discussions with the Cabinet Secretary about the exchange of gifts with overseas dignitaries; what discussions the Cabinet Secretary has with
departmental permanent secretaries on the advice they should provide to Ministers on the (a) exchange and (b) offering of gifts to overseas dignitaries; and what consideration has been given to the inclusion of explicit guidance on this issue in the Ministerial Code; 
(2) pursuant to paragraph 10.19 of the Ministerial Code, what the applicable rules are governing the offer of gifts to members of other governments or governmental organisations; and on what basis permanent secretaries determine whether rules are applicable. 
The Prime Minister: Guidance about the giving and receiving of gifts, and the role of permanent secretaries is set out in the Ministerial Code. Information relating to internal meetings, discussion and advice is not disclosed as to do so could harm the frankness and candour of internal discussion.
Michael Fabricant: To ask the Prime Minister what action he has taken in response to his meeting with hon. Members from Staffordshire on the future of the Staffordshire ambulance service and its First Responders. 
David T.C. Davies: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what estimate she has made of the cost to her Department of commissioning the Carter Report into Legal Aid Services. 
David T.C. Davies: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs how much has been spent by her Department on (a) chartering aircraft and (b) non-scheduled air travel in each of the last five years. 
Vera Baird: It is not possible to list the costs spent on chartering aircraft and non-scheduled air travel in each of the last five years without incurring disproportionate costs as the expenditure is not separately identifiable within the Departments accounts.
Total overseas travel costs for civil servants for the Department, which includes Court Service (Her Majestys Court Service from April 2005), Public Guardianship Office and Department for Constitutional Affairs Headquarters, are set out in the following table:
In respect of overseas travel by Cabinet Ministers, since 1999 the Government have published an annual list of all visits overseas undertaken by Cabinet Ministers costing £500 or more during each financial year. Where non-scheduled aircraft are used this is shown in the list. Information for 2005-06 was published on 24 July 2006. Copies of the lists are available in the Library for the Reference of Members.
All Ministerial travel is undertaken in accordance with the rules set out in the Ministerial Code and Travel by Ministers, copies of which are available in the Library of the House for the reference of Members. All official travel by civil servants is undertaken in accordance with the requirements of the Civil Service Management Code, a copy of which is also available in the Library of the House for the reference of Members.
Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what average sentence was (a) given and (b) served for those convicted of possession of a firearm in each of the last five years. 
The table shows the average length of custodial sentence (excluding life) imposed by the courts for the various offences involving the unlawful possession of firearms in England and Wales for the years 2000 to 2004, the latest year for which figures are currently available. It is compiled on the principal offence basis. Although care is taken in collating and analysing the returns used to compile such figures, the data are of necessity subject to the inaccuracies inherent in any large-scale recording system. Consequently, although some figures may be shown to the last digit in order to provide a comprehensive record of the information collected, they are not necessarily accurate to the last digit shown. Data on average time served, which are obtained from the prison IT system, are not available separately for specific offences as accuracy at this level of detail cannot be guaranteed. We have started a programme of work in the Home Office looking at the quality of existing court sentencing and prison data and how this might be improved.
|Average length of immediate custodial sentences (excluding life) for unlawful possession of a firearm at all courts: England and Wales 2000 to 2004|
|Average sentence lengths (excluding life)|
|(1) A minimum five year sentence was introduced for offences committed from January 2004. Notes: 1. Figures are compiled on the principal offence basissee para. 3.13 of Appendix 3 of Sentencing Statistics 2004, England and Wales (Home Office Statistical Bulletin No. 15/05). 2. Although care is taken in collating and analysing the returns used to compile such figures, the data are of necessity subject to the inaccuracies inherent in any large-scale recording system. Consequently, although figures are shown to the last digit in order to provide a comprehensive record of the information collected, they are not necessarily accurate to the last digit shown. Source: RDS NOMS 24-07-2006|
Chris Grayling: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs pursuant to her answer of 20 June 2006, Official Report, column 1762W, on the Parliamentary Ombudsman, to which recommendations her Department has declined to give full effect. 
Vera Baird: The two occasions where the Department has declined to give full effect to recommendations relate to the following two cases A7/03 and A16/03 made under the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information.
Information on these cases A7/03 and A16/03 is set out in the Ombudsmans report Access to Official Information: Investigations Completed: November 2002June 2003 (HC 951 July 2003), and can also be accessed through the Ombudsmans website at http://www.ombudsman.org.uk/improving_services/selected_cases/AOI/aoi0306/index.html
Simon Hughes: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs how many defendants in rape trials were (a) acquitted and (b) convicted in each year since 1997, broken down by the (i) sex and (ii) age of the alleged victim. 
|Number of defendants found guilty and acquitted( 1) at all courts for rape offences, for which the age of the victim is specified in the offence description, England and Wales 1997-2004( 2,3)|
|Number acquitted||Found guilty|
|(1) Includes defendants discharged and dismissed at magistrates courts and not tried and acquitted at crown courts.|
(2) These data are provided on the principal offence basis.
(3) Every effort is made to ensure that the figures presented are accurate and complete. However, it is important to note that these data have been extracted from large administrative data systems generated by the police forces and courts. As a consequence, care should be taken to ensure data collection processes and their inevitable limitations are taken into account when those data are used.
(4) Offences came into effect in 2004 when the sexual Offences act 2003 came into force.
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