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14 Dec 2006 : Column 1304W—continued

Vietnam

Mr. Burrowes: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations she has made to the Vietnamese government on the treatment of Protestants in the northern mountainous region; and if she will make a statement. [108671]

Mr. McCartney: The UK, with our EU partners, regularly raises human rights issues with the Vietnamese government. We remain concerned about the situation of non-recognised Protestant groups in Vietnam. Officials from our Embassy in Hanoi are in contact with Protestant Church leaders to keep abreast of developments. The EU will take the opportunity to again raise the issue of religious freedom with the Vietnamese government at the next EU-Vietnam Human Rights Dialogue in Hanoi scheduled to take place on 20 December.

Constitutional Affairs

Furniture

Mrs. Moon: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs how much was spent by her Department on furniture made by British firms in each year since 2000. [105145]

Ms Harman: My Department does not hold a central record of spend on furniture made by British firms. Such information could be provided only at a disproportionate cost.

Judicial Co-operation

Mr. Hayes: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs which projects have operated in the UK under the EU funding stream judicial co-operation between national judges since 1997; and if she will make a statement. [108097]

Bridget Prentice: Various EU funding programmes exist which facilitate training and co-operation among national judges. Among activities promoted are training of national judges in EC competition law and judicial cooperation between national judges. This scheme began in 2002 and since then there have been nine British projects, as follows:


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2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

Limitation Act

Linda Gilroy: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what plans she has to implement the Law Commission’s recommendation to update the Limitation Act 1980 with respect to child abuse cases. [109400]

Ms Harman: I refer my hon. Friend to the answers given to my right hon. Friend the Member for North Tyneside (Mr. Byers) on 5 December 2006, Official Report, column 348W, and to my hon. Friend the Member for Stafford (Mr. Kidney) on 6 December 2006, Official Report, column 490W.

Rural Support

Helen Goodman: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what programmes her Department operates to provide particular provision in rural areas; and what the cost of such programmes is expected to be in 2007-08. [108252]

Bridget Prentice: The Government are committed to building a strong economy and fair society where there is opportunity and security for all. This commitment applies equally in rural and urban areas. The majority of this Department’s programmes benefit both rural and urban areas. However, to provide information on the cost of these programmes in rural areas alone is possible only at disproportionate cost.

Deputy Prime Minister

Compensation Payments

Mr. Hayes: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how much in compensation payments has been paid by his Department since its establishment; and what the reason was for each payment. [108213]

The Deputy Prime Minister: Nothing.

Departmental Environment Impact

Mr. Heald: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what measures have been put in place to reduce the environmental impact of the running of his Department. [107981]


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The Deputy Prime Minister: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given on 25 July 2006, Official Report, column 1614W, to the hon. Member for Eastleigh (Chris Huhne). In addition, since 1 April 2006, all flights taken by central Government Ministers and civil servants on official business are being carbon off-set.

Departmental Gifts

Mr. Heald: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister which gifts have been given by his Department to third parties since its establishment; on what date each was given; what the reason was for giving each gift; and what the name was of the recipient. [108489]

The Deputy Prime Minister: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given on 9 October 2006, Official Report, column 74W, to the hon. Member for East Worthing and Shoreham (Tim Loughton).

Ministerial Website

Mr. Heald: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how many unique visits to his website have been recorded since it was put online. [107982]

The Deputy Prime Minister: My Department's website has recorded 2,771 separate visits and 6,836 page views since it went online in late August.

Schools

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what recent discussions he has had with ministerial colleagues from the Department for Education and others on coordination of Government policy on schools. [108810]

The Deputy Prime Minister: I am deputy chair of the Cabinet Committee on Schools Policy. In addition, I have regular discussions with ministerial colleagues on a wide range of issues. As has been the practice under previous administrations, information relating to the proceedings of Cabinet Committees and to internal meetings is generally not disclosed, as to do so could harm the frankness and candour of discussion.

Duchy of Lancaster

Civil Service

Hugh Bayley: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster how many civil service and government agency jobs were (a) created in and (b) relocated to York (i) in total and (ii) in the Central Science Laboratory at Sand Hutton in each year since 1992. [105708]

John Healey: I have been asked to reply.

The Government are committed to relocating 20,000 civil servants out of London and the South East by 2010. Pre-Budget report 2006 reported that over 10,500 posts have already been relocated. The Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs has moved 75 posts to York and the Department for Constitutional Affairs has relocated one post to York.


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Questions (a) and (b) (ii) cannot be answered, as this information is not held centrally and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

Hugh Bayley: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what the annual percentage change in (a) cash and (b) real terms was in Government expenditure on the central civil service, excluding agencies, in each year since 1997-98. [105723]

John Healey: I have been asked to reply.

A back series of Public Expenditure aggregates, in both cash and real terms, is published at Table 3.1 of the Public Expenditure Statistical Analyses (PESA) 2006 (Cm 6811) that has been placed in the Library of the House.

We do not collect separate information on spending by executive agencies. Excluding this expenditure from Total Managed Expenditure could be achieved only at disproportionate cost.

However, PESA Table 3.2 splits the back series by function in cash terms and Table 3.3 shows the same data in real terms.

European and UK Law

Mr. Hayes: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what the (a) nature and (b) extent is of liaison by civil servants with the European Commission prior to drafting domestic legislation; whether civil service guidelines exist on such liaison; and if she will make a statement. [107074]

Hilary Armstrong: The Government's approach to the preparation of primary legislation is set out in ‘The Guide to Legislative Procedure’, last published by the Cabinet Office in October 2004 and available at:

Copies are also available in the Library for the reference of Members.

The formulation of purely domestic legislation would not involve any obligation to consult the European Commission. In the case of legislation implementing EU obligations, the EU instrument may require member states to provide copies of implementing rules to the Commission.

Local Authorities

Tom Brake: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what targets her Department sets for local authorities. [108561]

Hilary Armstrong: The Cabinet Office does not set any targets for local authorities.

Ministerial Residences

Mr. Heald: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what the cost was of (a) notional rent and capital charges and (b) routine maintenance for (i) the ministerial flat above 10 Downing street and (ii) the three ministerial flats in Admiralty house in 2005-06. [102704]


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Hilary Armstrong: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to him on 24 January 2005, Official Report, column 136W.

There was no expenditure on routine maintenance works for the flat above 10 Downing street in the financial year 2005-06.

Mr. Heald: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster how much council tax is being paid on the empty ministerial residence in Admiralty house; and which Government Department is meeting the cost. [108467]

Hilary Armstrong: The Cabinet Office is responsible for payment of council tax on the official residence in Admiralty house which is currently unoccupied. The residence which is in Westminster city council is in council tax band D.

Special Advisers

Mr. Heald: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster whether the Labour party makes a financial contribution to the cost of any Government special adviser. [108478]

Hilary Armstrong: Special advisers are temporary civil servants employed to assist Ministers on matters of Government policy. It is for this reason that their salaries are paid from public funds.

Mr. Heald: To ask the Minister without Portfolio how many special advisers paid from public funds are working for her. [108479]

The Minister without Portfolio: I refer the hon. Member to the written ministerial statement made by my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister on 24 July 2006, Official Report, column 86WS.

International Development

Consultants

Mr. MacShane: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much was paid to outside consultants and other bodies undertaking work on behalf of his Department in each year since 2000. [107834]

Mr. Thomas: The total spent each year on consultancy contracts by the Department of International Development (DFID) is as follows:

Total spend on consultants
£ million

2000-01

284

2001-02

273

2002-03

274

2003-04

270

2004-05

276

2005-06

255


This includes both consultancy to deliver parts of our development programme (as covered in Statistics for International Development), where services are
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often provided to third parties such as recipient Governments, and consultancy to DFID as an organisation. It does not include all low value contracts issued by DFID departments and overseas offices, of which there are no consolidated records.

Departmental Staff

Mr. Fallon: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what the effective date is for annual pay awards to his Department’s staff; and what the actual implementation date has been in each of the last five years. [108746]

Hilary Benn: Pay arrangements for the senior civil service (SCS) are managed centrally, with the effective date of pay awards being set at 1 April each year. Within DFID, salary increases are implemented on the recommendations of the SCS Pay Committee, following the completion of annual performance assessments for each member of the SCS.

The implementation date of DFID’s SCS pay awards in each of the last five years was as follows:


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Implementation date

2002

September

2003

September

2004

June

2005

July

2006

May


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