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Mr. Hancock: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what recent discussions her Department has held with the Information Commissioner on the 100-year Census rule; and if she will make a statement. 
Danny Alexander: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs how many and what percentage of staff employed in her Department were registered disabled in each year since 2001. 
Vera Baird: Data on the disabled status of civil servants, for the years requested, are available on the civil service website. The latest available data are as at April 2005(1) and these, together with previous years data, can be found at the following website addresses:
(1) Staff from the former 42 Magistrates Courts Areas joined DCA 1 April 2005 with variable terms and conditions and management information. An exercise is under way to collate this information and create a single HR database for the DCA.
Rosie Cooper: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs (1) which officials were involved in the monitoring process of alternative dispute resolution in her Department in each year since 2001; and what the (a) grades and (b) qualifications were of those officials; 
Bridget Prentice: Since 2000, our strategy for the promotion of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) has been monitored through our PSA targets to reduce the proportion of disputes that are resolved by resort to the civil courts. Since 2001, the three Senior Civil Service Directors in charge of civil justice policy have been responsible for the monitoring and reporting of these targets over the three Spending Review periods.
Rosie Cooper: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what steps have been taken to improve flexibility in reaching agreement on financial compensation under alternative dispute resolution; and whether independent assessment of settlement proposals has been undertaken. 
Bridget Prentice: The Department encourages the use of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) precisely because it is able to deliver more flexible agreements than would be possible via a court hearing. Much of the Departments ADR strategy has been built around the promotion of mediation, where the terms of the settlements are agreed by the parties themselves. Since such agreements are confidential, it is not possible to conduct any detailed assessment of the terms of those agreements. However, all mediators provided through court mediation schemes are required to comply with certain quality standards, since all such providers must be accredited by the Civil Mediation Council, which prescribes standards of conduct, training and continuing professional development.
Mr. Hayes: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs which studies have been commissioned by her Department from (a) external agencies, (b) companies, (c) academics and (d) individuals in 2006. 
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs how many applications were made to the National Archives for Freedom of Information Act disclosures of extracts from the 1911 census for specific addresses in England or Wales in each month between January 2005 and November 2006; and when the National Archives began to include in refusal notices particulars of the complainants right to appeal to the Information Commissioner. 
|1911 FOI requests|
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what recent assessment she has made of the (a) benefit to the public and (b) effectiveness of section 50 decision notices; and if she will make a statement. 
Bridget Prentice: The Information Commissioner, under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, section 50, must inform a complainant that he has not made any decision as a result of a complaint, or he must issue a notice stating his decision and the steps which must be followed to comply with it to the complainant and the public authority. The Commissioner is independent in his decision making. Under section 54 of the Act, if a public authority fails to comply with a decision notice, the Commissioner may certify this fact to the court. The court may inquire into the matter and deal with the authority as if it had committed a contempt of court. The Commissioner has not yet had cause to use this power. In addition, under section 57 the complainant or the public authority may appeal to the Information Tribunal against a decision notice.
Mr. Hayes: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what the 20 largest procurement projects initiated by her Department since May 1997 have been; what the (a) original budget, (b) cost to date and (c) consultancy fees have been; and what the final cost was of each project which has been completed. 
Bridget Prentice: Individual project managers, in my Department, are responsible for keeping detailed records on a projects budgeted and actual expenditure including that on consultancy. This information is not held centrally, and the collection and analysis of it could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.
The Department ensures that job vacancies are advertised in a wide range of publications, including those targeted at minority communities. Details of vacancies are placed on the civil service Recruitment website, which was launched in December 2002 as the site of first choice for central government recruitment. There is no advertising cost associated with this facility.
As a part of the civil service Reform agenda, at senior levels, applications from outside the civil service and from all sections of the community are encouraged. External recruitment support may be used to facilitate this.
Bridget Prentice: On 12 June the Prime Minister and my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Environment and Rural Affairs announced new sustainable operations targets for the Government Estate. Government Departments are mandated within the new targets to source at least 10 per cent. of electricity from renewables (such as wind, wave, tidal, solar, thermal and photovoltaics (PVs)) by March 2008. This target is a continuation of an existing operations target, originally set in 2003.
During 2005-06, 13 per cent. of the energy consumed was from renewable sources. This figure is in excess of the target outlined in The Framework for Sustainable Development on the Government Estate, and is set to rise during the forthcoming year.
Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what estimate she has made of the number of schools which closed in Afghanistan as a result of violence or intimidation in each year since January 2002. 
Margaret Beckett: I refer the right hon. Member to the reply my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for International Development gave to him and the hon. Member for The Wrekin, (Mark Pritchard) on 21 November 2006 , Official Report, column 23W.
Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what estimate she has made of the number of Afghan (a) teachers, (b) students and (c) schools officials killed in Afghanistan in each year since January 2002. 
Margaret Beckett: Figures published by the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) in October this year detail the number of fatal attacks against the school community in Afghanistan in 2005 and 2006. These figures do not distinguish between teachers, students and schools officials. In 2005 UNICEF records that there were five fatal attacks against the school community across Afghanistan. In October this year the figure for 2006 stood at six, with an additional 35 injured. We do not hold figures for previous years.
Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps are being taken by international agencies in Afghanistan to counter violence and intimidation against those in the education system; and what role the UK is playing. 
Margaret Beckett: The United Nations Childrens Fund (UNICEF) is the leading international agency working with the Afghan Government to tackle the serious issue of violence and intimidation against schools and the school community across Afghanistan. Working closely with UNICEF, the Afghan Government are actively countering violence and intimidation against those in the education system and co-ordinating efforts to restore normal functioning of schools. A special commission on schools protection under the chairmanship of the Minister of Education has been formed to address threats to schools, students and teachers.
A comprehensive strategy to address these issues has been formulated by the Ministry of Education with support from UNICEF and partner agencies. Key elements of the strategy include: collection of regular and accurate information on security-related incidents; appointment of 34 Provincial Protection Advisors to the Governors office to review issues relevant to school protection and decisions on mitigating actions to be taken; and placement of Mobile Protection Teams, comprising of 85 protection officers in all 34 provinces proportionate to the number of schools and size of province, to collate information on school protection issues for consideration by Provincial Protection Advisors on a regular basis.
The United Kingdom, as part of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force, is engaged in improving the security situation in the country as a whole, providing the secure space for the Afghan Government to revive and rehabilitate Afghanistans education system.
Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many attacks against schools by anti-Government elements in Afghanistan there were in each year since January 2002. 
Margaret Beckett: Figures published by the United Nations Childrens Fund (UNICEF) in October this year detail the number of acts of violence and intimidation against schools and the school community in 2005 and 2006. In 2005 there were 272 incidents of violence or intimidation against schools across Afghanistan. In October this year the figure for 2006 stood at 117. We do not hold figures for previous years.
Margaret Beckett: Figures published by the United Nations Childrens Fund (UNICEF) in October this year detail the number of acts of violence and intimidation against schools and the school community in 2005 and 2006 by anti-Government groups. In 2005 there were 272 incidents of violence or intimidation against schools across Afghanistan. Of these, 238 were threats and 34 physical attacks. In October this year the figure for 2006 stood at 117, of which 37 were threats and 80 physical attacks. The figures do not attribute incidents to particular insurgent groups.
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