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11 Dec 2006 : Column 739Wcontinued
Mr. Hayes: To ask the Prime Minister how many civil servants have requested permission under business appointments rules to join a consultancy firm on their departure in the 2005-06 financial year. 
The Prime Minister: The independent Advisory Committee on Business Appointments publishes in its annual reports statistical information about the total number of applications considered by Departments and agencies, and its recommendations on the appointments taken up by the most senior Crown servants. The Committees Eighth Report covering 2005-06 was published on 24 July 2006. Copies are available in the Libraries of the House, and on the Committees website at www.acoba.gov.uk
Mr. Hayes: To ask the Prime Minister (1) on which occasions items on the donated asset reserve held by his Office have been used; 
(2) how items on the donated asset reserve held by his Office are stored; where they are stored; and if he will make a statement; 
(3) what mechanism is in place in his Office for making decisions on whether to retain locally items from the donated asset reserve; and who makes those decisions. 
The Prime Minister: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave him on 27 November 2006, Official Report, column 330W.
Mr. Hayes: To ask the Prime Minister pursuant to the answer of 27 November 2006, Official Report, column 330W, on gifts, (1) what provisions have been made under chapter 5 of the Ministerial Code authorising retiring Ministers to take items of the donated asset reserve with them on their departure since 1997; and if he will list the assets and Ministers involved; 
(2) what provisions are made besides chapter 5 of the Ministerial Code for the (a) storage and (b) use of donated asset reserve wine held by his Office; who decided to retain it; and whether the wine which was held by his Office has been drunk. 
The Prime Minister: I have nothing further to add to the answers I gave the hon. Member on 27 November 2006, Official Report, column 330W.
Mr. Heald: To ask the Prime Minister pursuant to his answer of 30 November 2006, Official Report, column 897W, whether his Office grades or classifies written parliamentary questions according to their political sensitivity. 
Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Prime Minister what changes to security considerations underlay the decision to make a 20 per cent. reduction in the operationally available nuclear warheads on Trident set out in his foreword to the White Paper on The Future of The United Kingdoms Nuclear Deterrent,Cm 6994. 
The Prime Minister: I refer the hon. Member tomy statement of 4 December 2006, Official Report, columns 21-24.
Mr. Allen: To ask the Prime Minister if he will submit his Strategy Units document Strategic priorities for the UK: the policy review to (a) consultation with hon. Members, (b) a debate in the House and (c) scrutiny by relevant select committees; and if he will make a statement. 
The Prime Minister: The Strategy Units presentation Strategic priorities for the UK: the policy review is available on the Cabinet Office website and a copyhas been placed in the Library of the House. A consultation process for the policy review is currently being developed which will closely involve Parliament. The conclusions of the policy review will be subject to proper scrutiny by Parliament and select committees in the usual way.
Anne Main: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what steps he is taking to achieve his Department's objective of supporting the principle of collective responsibility. 
The Deputy Prime Minister: The Ministerial Code sets out the requirements in relation to collective responsibility.
Mr. Hayes: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister which 10 consultancy fees charged to his Office since its establishment were the most expensive. 
The Deputy Prime Minister: Since its establishment, my Department has not let any consultancies.
Anne Main: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister pursuant to the answer of 27 November 2006, Official Report, columns 275-76W, on departmental expenditure, by what percentage he expects his Department's expenditure to change between the 2006-07 and 2007-08 financial years. 
The Deputy Prime Minister: My Department will apply for a parliamentary vote for financial year 2007-08 at the appropriate time.
Mr. Hayes: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how many temporary employees were contracted to work for his Department since its establishment; and what the total cost of such employees was in each year in that period. 
The Deputy Prime Minister: The Deputy Prime Minister's Office was formed on Friday 5 May 2006. One temporary member of staff was employed for a short time after that date. Given the small number of staff in my office, it would be inappropriate to give details of their salary.
Anne Main: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister whether his Department has given away promotional stationery since its establishment. 
The Deputy Prime Minister: It has not.
Stephen Hesford: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what recent discussions he has had with other states party to the Kyoto Protocol; and if he will make a statement. 
The Deputy Prime Minister: The Government believe it is vital to secure continuing action at the international level to take forward the post-Kyoto agenda. Last week, I held discussions with the UN Secretary-General and his Deputy on a variety of issues, including climate change. On a recent trip to Asia on behalf of the Prime Minister I undertook a large number of engagements including meetings with senior government ministers. Among these were the Prime Ministers of Japan and South Korea, the UN Secretary-General designate and the Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia. These meetings covered a range of issues, including climate change, sustainability and energy security.
Mr. Hayes: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what the largest procurement project initiated by his Department has been since it was established; andwhat the (a) original budget, (b) cost to date and (c) consultancy fees have been. 
The Deputy Prime Minister: Currently there are no procurement projects.
Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment he has made of which African countries will reach all Millennium Development Goals by 2015. 
Hilary Benn: The official assessment of progress towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) is conducted by the UN at regional level and shows that for sub-Saharan Africa as a whole, progress towards each of the MDGs is slightly or seriously off track.
Based on international MDG data, DFID assesses progress towards the international goals on a country-by-country basis. This years analysis suggests that
many African countries will achieve some of the MDGs by 2015, or will have made substantial progress towards the goal, even though if current trends prevail, none is likely to achieve all MDGs by 2015.
For example, in Uganda, the education MDG ison track, with primary enrolment (MDG2) having increased from 62 per cent. to 86 per cent. in the decade to 2002. In Rwanda, the proportion of women in Parliamentary seats (MDGS) increased from one in six in 1990 to almost 1 in 2 in 2005. And although the child mortality remains high in that country, it is estimated to have reduced from 200 deaths per thousand children aged under five in the 1990s to about 150 per thousand in 2005.
It is important to note that while the Millennium Declaration was signed by member states and while countries have undertaken to monitor the MDG indicators, interpretation at country level may vary. Indeed, some MDGs targets are not applicable to all countries (e.g. some countries have no forest), while others may be too ambitious (e.g. a large number of countries in Latin America and the Caribbean have already achieved the goal of reducing extreme poverty by half with respect to 1990). On the contrary, some may not be ambitious enough. Countries make their own assessment of progress in national MDG reports, following their own customisation of the MDG framework. In total, about 40 countries in Africa have produced national MDG reports, which can be found at http://www.undp.org/mdg/tracking_countryreports2.shtml.
John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment he has made of the impact of corruption and poor governance upon aid effectiveness in Africa. 
Hilary Benn: The UK Governments July 2006 White Paper puts governance at the centre of development and commits us to adopt a new quality of governance assessment to monitor standards of governance, and to intensify our efforts to help improve governance and combat corruption.
The quality of governance clearly matters for development. One study found that the efficiency of governance (among other issues) was associated with better rates of investment and growth and corruption with worse rates. The World Development Report of 1997 highlighted the importance of property rights, judicial reliability and control of corruption for investment and growth. Econometric studies have shown that the benefits of public health spending on child and infant mortality rates are greater in countries with better governance and that as countries improve governance, public spending on primary education becomes more effective in increasing primary attainment. Researchers have estimated that a country which improves its governance from a relatively low level to an average level could almost triple the per capita income of its population in the long term and similarly reduce infant mortality and illiteracy.
Aid funded projects are less likely to succeed where there is corruption and poor governance. A 1997 analysis of the impact of governance on the performance of a large number World Bank projects found that rates of return were higher in nations with
greater civil liberties. Work at the World Bank Institute has highlighted a relationship between country corruption ratings and World Bank project successespecially for infrastructure projects.
These general observations and findings have a particular significance for Africa, the continent with the lowest overall standards of governance, as illustrated by the World Bank Institutes worldwide governance indicators for the period 1996 to 2005.
DFIDs allocation of bilateral aid among low-income countries takes into account the likely effectiveness of aid in reducing poverty in each country. This is assessed by reference to the World Banks Country Policy and Institutional Assessment index, which includes governance indicators. Other factors are also taken into account, including relative need.
Focusing exclusively on countries with better governance and less corruption could be a way of reducing the risks of aid being wasted or misused, but would not produce the best overall impact. Since the mid-1990s, greater donor emphasis on rewarding countries with relatively effective governments and stable macro-economic policies has led to some neglect of fragile states, which have poor governance. Many of the poorest people live in these states and meeting the Millennium Development Goals will require progress there. Therefore, despite the risks and the challenges, DFID is committed to working not only in countries which are performing well, but also in fragile states and to finding ways of working more effectively in these states.
Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development to which aid organisations working in (a) Iraq, (b) Afghanistan, (c) Pakistan, (d) Yemen, (e) Somalia, (f) Ethiopia, (g) Iran, (h) the Palestinian Territories and (i) Lebanon his Department has given funding in each of the last five years. 
Hilary Benn: This information is not held centrally and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.
John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps are being taken by his Department to improve the availability of anti-retroviral drugs for children. 
Mr. Thomas: The UK is a founding member of UNITAID, a new global initiative whose purpose is to increase funding and reduce prices for HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria drugs, and which is specifically targeting paediatric AIDS drugs. The UK is making a long-term commitment to UNITAID over a 20-year period, starting at €20 million in 2007 and, subject to the outcome of a joint assessment of the performance of UNITAID, rising to €60 million per year by 2010. With the help of the Clinton Foundation, UNITAID will expand significantly the children on paediatric AIDS and tuberculosis drugs.
The US Presidents Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief has formed a public-private partnership to promote
scientific and technical discussions on solutions for paediatric HIV treatment, formulations and access. The UK has been invited to join this new venture and has accepted.
John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what recent estimate he has made of the number of people who have been internally displaced within Chad as a result of violence which has spread from Darfur. 
Hilary Benn: As of 30 November, the UN reported that 91,657 people have become internally displaced within Eastern Chad as a result of both cross-border violence from Darfur and from rising levels of conflict within Chad itself. However, this number has further risen in the past week due to the deterioration in the security situation following the new rebel offensive. The UN is currently assessing the levels of newly displaced.
Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what funds and assistance his Department has made available to the Clinton Foundation; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Thomas: DFID has provided £1 million to the Clinton Foundation in India for the training of physicians as part of the treatment roll out.
We have worked closely with the foundation in a number of areas; in ensuring the effective use of a grant from the Global Fund to fight AIDS, TB and Malaria in the Caribbean, and in relation to UNITAID, an international drug purchasing facility to negotiate the reduction in price of essential medicines. The UK is a founding member country of UNITAID, and has made a 20-year commitment, which starts with €20 million in 2007, and subject to performance, rises to €60 million by 2010. Last week, the Clinton Foundation negotiated lower prices for HIV/AIDS treatment with $35 million of UNITAID money.
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