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Danny Alexander: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many and what percentage of staff employed in his Department were registered disabled in each year since 2001. 
Barry Gardiner: Data on the disabled status of DEFRA employee, for the years requested, are available on the civil service website. The latest available data are as at April 2005 and these, together with previous years data, can be found at the following website addresses:
Chris Huhne: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what his Department's budgeted expenditure against outturn has been in each month since April 2006; and if he will make a statement. 
Barry Gardiner: Departmental expenditure is assessed against Estimate and Treasury control limits on a financial year basis. Analysis of expenditure across months within a financial year is not undertaken in this manner, but is subject to sound internal financial management control towards achieving an outturn within Estimate and control total limits at the end of the financial year.
Mr. Paice: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what the Departments capital expenditure (a) budget and (b) out-turn was in each year since 2001-02 in cash terms, broken down by estimate subhead; 
Barry Gardiner: The 2005-06 outturn is stated according to Treasury guidance on the treatment of capital grants to third parties for 2006-07. Such grants are treated as current grants for estimate purposes, but are capital grants for budgeting purposes. The Treasury were content with this treatment, which is set out in the Public Expenditure White Paper for 2005-06, CDM 6883.
Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many staff were employed on a consultancy basis in (a) his Department and (b) each of its agencies in each of the last five years for which information is available; and what the (i) average and (ii) longest period was for which a consultant was employed in each year. 
Information is not held centrally on how many personnel were engaged on a consultancy basis in the Department and each of its agencies in each of the last five years and on what the average and
longest period was for which a consultant was employed in each year. The information could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what his Department's annual budget is for employing workers on a consultancy basis; and how much of this budget has been used in each of the last five years for which records are available. 
Barry Gardiner: The Department does not set an annual budget for engaging workers on a consultancy basis. There is no presumption in favour of consultancy and it is bought in when it is needed. From data held centrally, the amount spent on management and business consultancy in each of the last five years is as follows.
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Figures for the financial years 2004-05 onward include spending on management and business consultancy combined, following reclassification of expenditure on professional services. Figures for previous financial years reflect expenditure on management consultancy alone.
Mrs. Villiers: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much his Department spent on statistics relating to the work of his Department in each of the last five years. 
Barry Gardiner: There is no definition of the term statistics relating to the work of the Department and no centrally held information on either the volume or costs of statistics published each year on this basis.
Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs which studies have been commissioned by his Department from (a) external agencies, (b) companies, (c) academics and (d) individuals in 2006. 
Mr. Roger Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the value of cross-compliance penalties relating to 2005 single farm payment has been; and what European Commission guidance there is on the percentage of single farm applications which require cross-compliance checks made on them. 
The competent control authority shall, with regard to the requirements or standards for which it is responsible, carry out checks on at least 1 per cent. of all farmers submitting aid applications.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what his policy is on the proposals of EU Commissioner Mariann Fischer Boel to cap payments under the Single Farm Payment. 
Barry Gardiner: Mariann Fischer Boel has not made a proposal to cap farm payments under the SFP. We expect proposals on a number of aspects of the SFP under the Healthcheckand this might be one of themalthough do not expect these to emerge for at least a year.
When Franz Fischler proposed a cap of 300 000 euros in Agenda 2000 we opposed it on the basis that this would: be distorting to the industry by discouraging the adoption of sensible, market-based, business models; prove administratively burdensome; and imbalance the CAP budget by penalising yet further net contributors to the budget like the UK and Germany. Nor did we agree that capping is an effective or rational way of supporting poor farmers as it has no direct bearing on income. The solution for poor farmers is through normal social security channels and encouraging a profitable farm sector, not perpetuating a distorting CAP.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when he will respond to the comments made in the National Audit Office report into the administration of the 2005 single payment scheme. 
Barry Gardiner: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has welcomed the NAOs thorough report and made clear that the Department and Rural Payments Agency will draw on its findings and recommendations in taking forward work on the single payment scheme (SPS). Formal responses will be made in course to the forthcoming reports on the subject from the Public Accounts Committee and the EFRA Select Committee.
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many
individuals are involved in the administration of the Single Payment Scheme, in terms of (a) headcount and (b) whole-time-equivalent. 
Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) pursuant to the answer of 27 November 2006, Official Report, column 306W, on the Rural Payments Agency, how many of the single payment scheme cases which are difficult to resolve are due to (a) partnership disputes, (b) liquidation and (c) divorce; and what assessment has been made of the merits of providing for additional compensation in these cases; 
(2) pursuant to the answer of 27 November 2006, Official Report, column 306W, on the Rural Payments Agency, how many of the single payment scheme cases which are difficult to resolve are due to (a) partnership disputes, (b) liquidation and (c) divorce; and what assessment has been made of the merits of providing for additional compensation in these instances. 
Barry Gardiner: There are currently eight priority one cases falling into the difficult to resolve category. Since the answer given on 27 November one has been paid and one has been established as not being due a payment.
John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps he is taking to ensure that private organisations contracted to work (a) in his Department and (b) for non-departmental public bodies and executive agencies for which his Department is responsible are aware of their duties under gender equality legislation when exercising public functions on behalf of public bodies. 
Barry Gardiner: DEFRAs General Conditions of Contract require contractors to take all reasonable steps to ensure the observance of the provisions of the Sex Discrimination Acts 1975 and 1986 and any other relevant statutory employment obligations. This requirement extends to all servants, employees or agents of the contractor and all sub-contractors employed in the execution of contracts. Further, DEFRAs tendering procedures will refer also to the Equal Opportunities Commissions (EOC) Code of Practice of the Gender Equality Duty and any further EOC guidance when available.
From 6 April 2007, private sector organisations, when carrying out functions of a public nature on behalf of public authorities, will be required to comply with the general gender equality duty which is to have
due regard to the need to eliminate discrimination and harassment and promote equality of opportunity between women and men.
John Penrose: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the Government considers minimum safe crop separation distance to prevent cross-pollination between GM and non-GM plants and crops by (a) insects and (b) wind. 
Ian Pearson: Genetically modified (GM) crops will not be grown unless they pass a rigorous case-by-case assessment of their potential impact on human health and the environment. This means that separation distances are unnecessary for safety reasons, although they are still applied, on a precaution basis, in the context of GM trials.
Separation distances should be based on the relevant evidence on cross-pollination for each crop species in question, which will reflect whether the crop is largely insect-pollinated or wind-pollinated. The science indicates that most cross-pollination takes place at relatively short distances. However, it can occur infrequently over very long distances, depending on insect movements and the prevailing weather conditions.
Based on a report by the National Institute of Agricultural Botany, proposed separation distances for maize and oilseed rape were included in our consultation paper on the co-existence of GM and non-GM crops. This is available at:
Chris Huhne: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much (a) capital and (b) revenue funding was (i) allocated and (ii) spent on Information Technology by his Department and each of its agencies in each financial year since 2001-02 in 2006-07 prices. 
BVPIs have statutory performance targets and are monitored by the Audit Commission to ensure the robustness of data. As a standardised suite of performance indicators, BVPIs help central Government and the public to monitor, analyse and compare the achievements of a local authority.
BV82aHousehold waste management (recycling)
BV82bHousehold waste management (composting)
BV82cHousehold waste management (energy recovery)
BV82dHouse waste management (landfill)
BV84aHousehold waste collection (kilograms per head)
BV84bHousehold waste collection (percentage change in kilograms per head)
2BV86Cost of household waste collection
BV87Municipal waste disposal costs
BV91aKerbside collection of recyclables (one recyclable)
BV91bKerbside collection of recyclables (two recyclables)
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