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8 Nov 2006 : Column 1521W—continued


We are unable to provide a breakdown for all activities in each quarter, since some data are provisional, have not been validated, or are based on forecasts.

Progress on our efficiency programme is reported to Parliament and the public twice yearly in our departmental report and autumn performance report. The last assessment was in the departmental report 2006, published in May. This is available on the DFID website (http://www.dfid.gov.uk/pubs/files/departmental-report/2006/default.asp) and in the House of Commons Library. The next assessment will be in the ‘Autumn Performance Report 2006’ which will be published on 7 December 2006.

Julia Goldsworthy: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many full-time equivalent staff reductions have been made by his Department as a result of the Gershon efficiency agenda, broken down by (a) activity and (b) quarter; and if he will make a statement. [100281]

Hilary Benn: DFID reduced its full-time equivalent UK-based staff by 164 posts between June 2005 and September 2006. 97.5 of these posts were in operational delivery, four were in policy, and 62.5 were in corporate services. Further reductions will take place between now and March 2008. Most of these reductions will be in our corporate services departments, allowing us to increase the proportion of staff devoted to operational delivery.

By quarter, cumulative reductions have taken place since April 2005 as follows:

Number

June 2005

24

September 2005

78

December 2005

79

March 2006

106

June 2006

139

September 2006

164


DFID also reduced its staff appointed in country headcount from 1,162 to 914 by September 2005, meeting our target reduction of 124 posts.

Departmental Expenditure

Grant Shapps: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much was spent by (a) his Department, (b) its agencies and (c) its non-departmental public bodies in respect of hotel and other similar privately-provided accommodation (i) in the UK and (ii) abroad for (A) Ministers, (B) staff and (C) other persons in each year since 2001-02. [91887]


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Hilary Benn: DFID does not hold specific records in respect of hotel and other similar privately-provided accommodation, and could not obtain this information without disproportionate cost.

DFID has policy responsibility for three non-departmental public bodies, but does not hold records of any hotel expenditure. DFID has no agencies. DFID uses consultants for a range of development tasks, but our policy is not to book their accommodation or maintain disaggregated records of their travel-related expenditure.

All hotel claims are made in accordance with published departmental guidance on financial procedures and propriety, based on principles set out in Government Accounting and in accordance with the requirements of the Ministerial Code.

Information relating to overseas travel by Ministers is published on an annual basis. Information for the period 2 May 1997 to 31 March 2006 is available in the Library of the House. Information for the financial year 2006-07 will be published as soon as it is ready after the end of the current financial year.

Departmental Redundancies

Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many redundancies there were in the Department in each year since 1997; what the cost of such redundancies was in each year; how many temporary staff were employed in each year; and how many staff were seconded by outside organisations to posts within the Department in each year. [95247]

Mr. Thomas: Since 1997, DFID has had no compulsory redundancies, but there have been voluntary early departures. The numbers of staff taking voluntary early departure are set out in the following table:

Number of staff Cost

1997

26

926,268

1998

6

494,903

1999

9

620,471

2000

3

422,910

2001

9

562,967

2002

10

581,708

2003

24

1,639,414

2004

13

1,257,039

2005

11

1,039,270

2006

24

2,408,021


In addition, 14 staff have been offered an opportunity to leave under an early departure scheme in 2007 at a cost of £1,381,375 and six staff will leave in 2008 at a cost of £694,050. DFID is currently considering whether to re-open this scheme.

Information is not held centrally on the use of all temporary staff on an annual basis, and could be secured only at disproportionate cost.

The number of staff seconded in to DFID were as follows:


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Number of staff

1997

1998

1999

2000

2001

4

2002

10

2003

41

2004

109

2005

151

2006

121


The Department has no information prior to 2001 and those figures until 2004 are tentative as no central records were held over that period. As staff are normally seconded in for a two-year period, they appear in more than one year. DFID has participated in the central Government initiative on interchange, and seconds staff out to other organisations as well as taking inward secondments.

Development Aid

Julia Goldsworthy: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what percentage of gross domestic product he expects UK official development aid to be in each year up to 2013; and if he will make a statement. [100279]

Hilary Benn: The UK has announced a timetable to reach the UN target of 0.7 per cent. of ODA as a proportion of gross national income by 2013. The 2004 comprehensive spending review set out the proposed trajectory to this by establishing 0.47 per cent. as the UK target for 2007-08 and stating the intention to continue the rate of increase to ensure that the ratio was 0.7 per cent. by 2013. Specific annual targets for 2008-09 to 2010-11 will be decided as part of the 2007 comprehensive spending review and published next year.

Indonesia

Tim Farron: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what progress has been made in the aid effort in the Aceh region of Indonesia; and what measures are in place to ensure aid funds are applied to their objectives. [99816]

Mr. Thomas: The Aceh region and neighbouring island of Nias bore the brunt of the earthquake and tsunami of December 2005 in terms of the number of lives lost, communities destroyed and infrastructure damaged.

All DFID emergency relief projects (£55 million was committed for Indonesia) have been successfully concluded. The evaluation of all relief projects is set out in the document “Report on DFID’s response to the Indian Ocean Disaster”, copies of which have been placed in the Libraries of the House and can also be found on the DFID website.

DFID’s approach has been to work through partners in support of high quality projects which target those most in need of assistance, fill key gaps and meet urgent needs.


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For longer term recovery needs in Aceh, DFID has allocated a total of £58 million, with expenditure of over £20 million so far. These funds are being channelled primarily through the following programmes:

Both the MDF and ERTR programmes have been reviewed positively in recent independent reviews as well as by DFID’s own monitoring activities. Progress has been made, but there is still a long way to go. For example, the Government of Indonesia’s Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Agency for Aceh and Nias (BRR) (http://www.e-aceh-nias.org) estimates that 120,000 units of new housing are required, and as of April 2006, 41,734 had been built.

All DFID programmes in Indonesia and elsewhere have agreed objectives which are jointly monitored by DFID and our partners, which often include Government and other donors. These describe the outcomes which should be achieved as a result of DFID support, and to what degree the planned activities fit in to broader or higher-level strategies. Progress against objectives and objectively verifiable indicators is monitored through annual reviews and on project completion.

Iraq

Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what estimate he has made of the (a) number of and (b) recent trends in the number of internally displaced people in Iraq. [100453]

Hilary Benn: It has not been possible to provide an answer in the time available before Prorogation.


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Peru

Mr. Caton: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment he has made of the likely environmental effect of Globeleq’s power plant being built south of Lima. [99455]

Mr. Thomas: Globeleq is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Capital for Development (CDC) group plc. that deals with CDC’s holdings in the power sector. CDC is, in turn, wholly-owned by DFID, but operates independently and reports to its own board of directors.

In March 2004, the Secretary of State for International Development signed an agreement with the CDC board, laying down CDC’s mission to invest in the poorer developing countries and how and where it should operate. This investment policy includes the ‘business principles’. These require CDC to apply best practice in environmental, accounting, management, legal, health and safety and labour standards. DFID does not interfere or seek to direct or influence CDC’s commercial decisions. Instead, DFID holds the board of CDC responsible for ensuring that the company invests responsibly and complies with the agreed investment policy.

Reliable and well-managed power supplies are crucial to economic development and I welcome Globeleq’s initiative to expand power-generation capacity in developing countries. I have been assured that Globeleq has carried out all the necessary environmental assessments for its new development in Peru and that the new 168 megawatt power-plant at Kallpa will comply with all relevant Peruvian national and local government regulations as well as meeting World Bank guidelines. The plant will use Peruvian natural gas, which affords the cleanest immediate solution to meeting the rising demand in Peru for reliable supplies of electricity.

Recruitment

Dr. Gibson: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if he will introduce a scheme to recruit medical students for work on graduation in the developing world. [99989]

Ms Rosie Winterton: I have been asked to reply.

Lord Crisp is undertaking a review for the Prime Minister, the Department of Health and the Department for International Development on how the United Kingdom's experience and expertise in delivering health services can be used to support the developing world. The report of the review is expected at the end of the year and will make recommendations on how we can maximise the safe and effective contribution of national health service staff.

Romania

Mr. Iain Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps his Department is taking to improve (a) the quality of care, (b) access to education and (c) other support for orphaned children in Romania. [99315]


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Mr. Thomas: DFID’s bilateral programme to Romania ended in March 2005. However, we continue to support Romania through the European Community Budget. The UK’s share of the EC Budget is around 17 per cent.

The EC has provided some €35 million over the last five years to improve public care for children. This has helped local authorities to make the transition from old style residential institutions to providing a range of child protection services, including foster care. Since 2004 the focus of the programme has shifted to promoting the social inclusion of the Roma population, in particular improving access to education.

DFID provided some £1.8 million in bilateral aid between 2000 and 2005 in direct support of the EC’s programme. This was through a project which aimed to help the Romanian National Authority for Child Protection and Adoption to develop an inspection, monitoring and evaluation system for child care services. This helped in particular with the closure of large-scale institutions.


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