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Thank you for your recent Parliamentary questions requesting information on the complaints dealt with by the Standards Board for England (the Standards Board) and the Adjudication Panel for England (APE). The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government has asked the Standards Board to reply directly to your request. I am copying this reply to her officials.
The information you have requested has been placed in a table format for ease of reference. The table is on the enclosed sheet. In summary, 91 per cent. of cases referred to them have been upheld by the APE.
We did not refer any completed investigations for adjudication by the APE until October 2002, since the Code of Conduct was not approved by Parliament until November 2001. You may also note that there were a relatively high number of cases referred to the APE in the financial year 2002-2003. This is because a majority of the first cases referred to the APE were register of interest cases that involved parish councillors who were opposed to the register of interests being imposed halfway through their term of office.
You will also note from the table of statistics that the APE received and determined fewer cases than the Standards Board referred to it. This is because when the APE receives multiple cases about the same member it will normally consider all the cases at the same time, and therefore consider them as a single case.
There is also a disparity in each year between the numbers of cases the APE received and the number it determined. This is because the APE will receive cases near the end of a financial year that it will subsequently determine in the following financial year. The normal handling time, allowing for circulation of papers and responses, is around 16 weeks.
We have been able to provide you with the number of cases referred to the APE by the Standards Board since 2001 by region. However, we do not collate this regional information by each type of authority so I am unable to provide you with this information broken down between parish/town councils and the other remaining local authorities. This is however an area of our statistical analysis that we will look to provide in the future.
We cannot provide any statistics on complaints relating to local authorities in Wales as, under the Local Government Act 2000, the Standards Board does not have the power to consider complaints against members of local authorities in Wales. Under the Act the Standards Board only has the power to issue guidance on the Code of Conduct to Welsh police authorities. It is the Public Service Ombudsman for Wales that considers complaints against members of local authorities in Wales, and you would need to contact him direct for any information you require.
It is interesting to note that an increasing proportion of the complaints we receive are submitted by members of the public. 51 per cent. of the complaints we received in 2003-04 were from the public, rising to 60 per cent. in 2004-05 and rising further to 64 per cent. in 2005-06.
I hope that this information is helpful. If you would like any further information please do not hesitate to contact me.
Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what response the Government plans to make to President Musharraf's call in his recent meeting with the Prime Minister for increased UK aid for South Eastern Afghanistan. 
Hilary Benn: Since 2001, DFID has spent over £390 million on reconstruction and development in Afghanistan. Afghanistan is DFID's fifth largest programme and we are the second largest bilateral donor, spending over £100 million in 2005-06.
This includes £2 million of DFID money spent on quick impact projects (QIPs). Examples of what that funding has delivered include humanitarian assistance to IDPs and drought victims, permanent vehicle checkpoints to improve security, river bank walls reinforced and flood defences built.
It also includes £11 million to the government of Afghanistan which is supporting agriculture and rural development (Helmand Agricultural and Rural Development Programme). The first tangible results will be seen in the next few weeks when the first of 200 wells will be dug in and around Lashkar Gah and construction of 49 km of roads begun.
DFID expects to spend at least £50 million in Helmand over the next three years. Helmand gets more aid than any other province in the south of Afghanistan, according to government of Afghanistan figures. We are in discussion with donor partners on their plans for development assistance in the south of Afghanistan.
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many countries to which his Department has contributed funds via (a) basket funding and (b) direct budget support have provided evidence of funds being spent as agreed with
the (i) UK and (ii) lead donor; and in how many recipient countries audits of such budgets have been undertaken by non-governmental auditors. 
Hilary Benn: DFID country offices monitor how basket funding and budget support is spent to ensure that there is evidence it has been used for the purposes agreed with partner governments. An important aspect of country monitoring arrangements is ensuring adequate audit arrangements are in place.
Given the diverse nature of the countries in which DFID works and the different partners (both government and international) involved, the design of monitoring and audit arrangements varies considerably for both basket funds and budget support. The best figures we can provide are for funds disbursed in the 2005 budget year of the countries concerned.
DFID contributed to some 45 basket funds in 18 different countries in 2005 and delivered aid through poverty reduction budget support in 16 countries. In all these cases, DFID staff reviewed relevant financial information on how funds were used and participated in meetings with government and donor partners to discuss progress.
Around half of the basket funds were audited by the national audit institution and half by a specially appointed auditor. Poverty reduction budget support in 11 countries was audited by the national audit institution and in five, by a specially appointed auditor.
The nature of basket funding and budget support means that common agreements usually exist between government and donors on how funds will be used and the monitoring and auditing arrangements. Therefore there is no distinction between UK and lead donor arrangements.
There is no standardised definition of a basket fund. In order to respond to the question, we have defined it as having a common bank account into which at least two donors pool resources to support a government to implement an agreed sector programme or set of activities; and procedures relating to the operation of the bank account are additional to governments own procedures and are governed by an agreement between government and donors.
Nearly all national audit institutions are statutorily independent of the executive branch of government and in this sense are non-governmental auditors, although they are the auditors of governments expenditure. In many cases and particularly in regard to budget support, this is the form of independent audit carried out. This reply distinguishes between audit by the national audit institution and an audit carried out by a private sector auditor appointed outside normal national procedures to meet donor requirements.
Mr. Lilley: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much of the total amount for aid recorded as bilateral aid on page 9 of the 2005 Statistics for International Development publication was given to each multilateral aid agency (a) to administer specific projects agreed with his Department and (b) in total. 
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