Mr. Hayes: To ask the Leader of the House what the 20 largest procurement projects initiated by the Privy Council Office since May 1997 were; what the (a) original budget, (b) cost to date and (c) consultancy fees were; and what the final cost was of each project which has been completed. 
Mr. Straw: The information requested is set out in the following table, for the whole period from May 1997 to date. Details of the original budgets associated with these procurements are not held centrally and are only available at disproportionate cost. No consultancy fees were incurred in connection with these procurement projects.
|Project||Cost to date||Final costs|
Leader of the House of Commons T.V screens & Video Equipment
Electrical upgrades for posts and sockets, 2 Carlton Gardens.
All questions to the Leader of the House can be found on:
Philip Davies: To ask the Solicitor-General what his most recent estimate is of the average preparation time by a Crown Prosecution Service lawyer for cases in magistrates courts; and if he will make a statement. 
The Solicitor-General: The estimations made by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) of the average preparation time by a prosecutor for a case in the magistrates courts vary depending upon the type and outcome of the case.
The following estimates are for the most common types of cases:
Philip Davies: To ask the Solicitor-General what estimate he has made of the number of cases where the Crown Prosecution Service have not had the relevant file with them at court in the latest period for which figures are available; and if he will make a statement. 
The Solicitor-General: The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) maintains no central record of occasions on which a case file is not available at court. The information is held on individual files and could only be obtained by locating and examining relevant files in each CPS office, which would incur disproportionate costs (Code of Practice on Government Information, part 2, clause 9).
It is however the case that defendants often appear before the court after having been arrested late at night or in the morning and files will need to be put together at very short notice by CPS staff and the police, therefore the file may sometimes arrive after the day court proceedings begun.
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Solicitor-General what guidance he has provided to the Crown Prosecution Service on the prosecution of the perpetrators of false rape claims. 
The Solicitor-General: I have not provided specific guidance to the CPS on this issue, and neither has the Attorney-General.
As the Crown Prosecution Service is now responsible for advising the police on cases for possible prosecution and deciding whether to charge in all but the most minor of cases, cases involving false rape allegations will be referred to prosecutors for a charging decision. Potential charges are wasting police time and perverting the course of justice.
All cases must be reviewed in accordance with the code for Crown Prosecutors. Application of the code means that a case is prosecuted when there is sufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction and that the prosecution is in the public interest.
Specific guidance on public justice offences is published jointly by the CPS and the Association of Chief Police Officers. The guidance provides that it is likely that a charge of perverting the course of justice will be appropriate when the making of a false allegation wrongfully exposes another person to the risk of arrest, imprisonment pending trial, and possible wrongful conviction and sentence.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Solicitor-General if he will implement a pilot scheme to assess the merits of more formal plea bargaining. 
The Solicitor-General: The report of the Fraud Review that was published in July 2006 included a recommendation that there should be a formal system of plea bargaining in fraud cases. The report has been the subject of consultation, the results of which will be taken into account when the Government respond to all of the recommendations early in the new year.
Ms Katy Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when he expects free local bus travel to be available to all pensioners. 
Gillian Merron: From April this year, older and disabled people have been guaranteed free off-peak local bus travel within their local authority area. From April 2008, this will be extended further allowing free off-peak local bus travel anywhere in England.
Free concessionary bus travel schemes already exist in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. The Concessionary Bus Travel Bill introduced on 27 November includes a power to allow via regulations in the future for mutual recognition of concessionary bus passes across the UK.
David T.C. Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what proportion of his Departments budget was allocated to railway transportation in each of the last five years. 
Mr. Tom Harris: The proportions of departmental budget allocated to railway transportation in each of the last five years, in terms of near cash in the departmental expenditure limit (DEL) are as follows:
Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many value for money exercises on the use of (a) management consultants and (b) professional advisers were conducted by his Department in each of the last five years for which information is available; and if he will make a statement. 
Gillian Merron: The Department completes the annual Office of Government Commerce (OGC) value for money return, and has done so since the Department was created in May 2002. This uses methodologies published by OGC to measure value for money gains across the whole procurement function. Information about specific value for money exercises for individual projects is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
The Department follows Government procurement policy and OGC-published guidance on best practice in procurement of goods and services. Procurement will mostly be by competitive tender with the contract being awarded to the supplier offering best overall value for money. In the case of consultancy and professional advisers the Department also makes use of pre-completed framework agreements negotiated centrally by OGC Buying Solutions on behalf of central Government.
The internal audit programme regularly includes audits that check compliance with procurement policies and procedures.
Mr. Iain Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what work his Department undertakes with the Department for Education and Skills to ensure that further education establishments teach road safety and driver education to young people; what plans he has to increase such work; and if he will make a statement. 
Dr. Ladyman: No such work is undertaken because there is no national curriculum for the post-compulsory education sector. Further education institutions develop a curriculum reflecting the needs of the community they serve. The Departments Driving Standards Agency delivered over 4,700 arrive alive presentations in 2005-06 in schools, colleges, young offenders institutions and other organisations. Arrive alive provides information and road safety education to 16 to 19-year-old pre-drivers.
Reducing accidents involving young drivers is a key consideration in the second review of the road safety strategy currently being undertaken by the Department.
Mr. Rob Wilson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what discussions he has had with his counterparts in EU member states on exchanging information on (a) non-UK driving licence holders who have received driving endorsements whilst driving in the UK and (b) UK driving licence holders who commit offences whilst abroad. 
Dr. Ladyman: There have been no recent EU wide ministerial discussions on these issues. However, I and the Irish Minister of Transport have continuing bilateral discussions on initiating such cooperation on driving disqualifications and lesser motoring infringements.
Mr. Rob Wilson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many non-UK driving licence holders received driving endorsements in the UK in each of the last five years. 
Dr. Ladyman: This information is only available at disproportionate cost.
Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the (a) cost of providing and (b) price of sitting a driving theory test was in each of the last five years; and if he will make a statement. 
Dr. Ladyman: The increases in cost and price of the Driving theory test are shown in the following tables.
|Financial year||Cost of test delivery (£)|
|Period||Fees charged by DSA (£)|
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|