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Mr. McCartney: The first and second rounds of voting in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) both passed off peacefully with the Congolese population turning out in high numbers to vote in a dignified manner. It is now important that all political and military actors respect the wishes of the population. We welcome the signing of an agreement by the two remaining presidential candidates to respect the results. We look forward to working closely with the new government to develop a stable and prosperous DRC.
My noble Friend the Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, Lord Triesman of Tottenham, made a press statement on30 October on behalf of the Government following the second round of voting. The full text is available on the Foreign and Commonwealth Office website at:
Chris Huhne: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what the (a) name, (b) professional and academic qualifications and (c) relevant experience are of the chief accounting officer of her Department. 
The Permanent Under-Secretary combines the role of Accounting Officer with his personal responsibility for the overall organisation, management and staffing of the department and for department-wide procedures in financial and other matters. The Accounting Officer
is assisted in the discharge of these duties by experienced and professionally CCAB-qualified senior managers such as the Chief Accountant and the Head of Internal Audit and benefits from the advice of the Chairman of the Departmental Audit and Risk Committee who is a Non-Executive Director on the FCO Board of Management and Vice-Chairman of KPMG in the UK.
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs which of her Departments databases are (a) wholly and (b) partly operated by external organisations or individuals; and which organisations and individuals own those databases. 
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs which databases operated by her Department are located (a) wholly and (b) partly outside the UK; and where each of those databases and parts of databases is located. 
Mr. McCartney: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) operates a large number of databases overseas. All of these exist on computer systems located within, and under the control of, our overseas posts in the 144 countries where the UK is represented (a full list is available on the FCO website at: www.fco.gov.uk).
Mr. Prisk: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what her Department's five most expensive (a) web and (b) non-web information technology projects have been since 2001. 
Mr. Prisk: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) for all projects valued at over one million pounds and not web-related, who won the contract and how many qualified tender proposals there were; 
(2) which non-web-related information technology projects cost her Department more than £500,000 since 2001; how many qualified tender proposals there were for each project; and which company was awarded each contract. 
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) undertakes a very wide range of IT enabled projects. Strategic projects are managed centrally, but many others are delivered under a devolved system of financial responsibility underwhich Directorates and overseas Posts have the freedom, subject to conformity with FCO technical standards and the need to demonstrate effective use of public funds, to invest in non-strategic IT systems designed to meet specific needs. The cost, time scales and
complexity of these projects vary enormously. Compiling a comprehensive answer to the hon. Members questions would require exhaustive searches of records in the UK and overseas, and could only be done at disproportionate cost.
However, a list of recent strategic information and communications technology contracts valued at over
£l million is provided in the following table. Of these, the two marked with an asterisk are web-related. The list includes, where available from the Supplement to the Official Journal of the EU, the information requested about the number of qualified tenders (which is not held centrally and cannot otherwise be obtained except at disproportionate cost):
|FCOs ICT contracts over £l million as at May 2006|
|Title of contract||Number of qualified tenders||Supplier||Period of contract||Total value of contract when let (£ million)|
Only two web-related contracts over £1 million are listed. These are the Internet Project and the FCO Website support and maintenance contracts awarded to LogicaCMG. Details of web-related projects initiated under devolved arrangements are not available centrally; the five most expensive non-web contracts are, in descending order of value: Future Firecrest, FCO Global Telecommunications Network (FTN), Prism, Focus and Biometric Passports.
Mr. Vara: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what changes to (a) her Department's structures and (b) the Minister of Europe's role have been made since 5 May; and if she will make a statement. 
Mark Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) what representations her Department has made to United States authorities on behalf of UK citizens in possession of a valid US visa who have been detained or denied entry by the US Immigration Service; 
(2) how many staff in her Department are employed in dealing with complaints by UK citizens in possession of a valid US visa who have been detained or denied entry by the US Immigration Service; 
(3) what meetings (a) Ministers in her Department and (b) diplomatic and consular staff have had with US authorities to discuss UK citizens in possession of a valid US visa who have been detained or denied entry by the US Immigration Service; 
(4) when (a) Ministers in her Department and (b) diplomatic and consular staff plan to meet the US authorities to discuss UK citizens in possession of a
valid US visa who have been detained or denied entry by the US Immigration Service. 
Dr. Howells: Although it is not appropriate for the UK to interfere in the immigration policies of foreign Governments, British officials meet their American counterparts regularly to raise issues and concerns as they arise including, when necessary, individual cases of British Nationals who have experienced difficulties at US ports of entry. Consular officials are planning to meet members of the United States embassy's consular operation later this month to discuss visa requirements. Most recently, my noble Friend the Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, Lord Triesman of Tottenham, accompanied by the Director of Consular Services, met the US Ambassador on 23 October 2006 to discuss Consular issues.
Mr. Greenway: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what progress has been made on the implementation of the EU migration strategy The Global Approach to Migration: priority actions focussing on Africa and the Mediterranean; and if she will make a statement. 
As one part of the operational response to this strategy, Frontex (the EU Borders Agency) has contributed to operations to reduce illegal immigration to the EU. This has clear benefits to reducing flows to the UK via the Mediterranean and from the west coast of Africa. Frontex has facilitated the sharing of analysis and immigration intelligence on illegal immigration routes into the EU so helping the UK and others to work on dismantling the criminal networks behind those routes.
The Global Approach strategy also encourages dialogue between the EU and Africa on migration and development with a view to joint working and improved co-operation, including building capacity to prevent illegal immigration. The July Euro-Africa regional ministerial conference on migration and development in Rabat brought EU and west African states together for the first time on a common agenda for action. The upcoming EU-pan Africa ministerial meeting will provide a further opportunity to form a joint approach, with states, this time throughout Africa.
Many of the actions in the Global Approach will be implemented over the longer term. In particular, development aid and assistance that helps to eradicate the root causes of illegal immigration will continue to form part of individual member states and the EC's collective response to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals for the foreseeable future.
The European Council in December will receive a report from the European Commission noting progress so far on the Global Approach strategy as well as indicating areas in which the Commission considers future action will be needed. On the basis of this report, the European Council will determine the EU's next steps.
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