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In 2004, DEFRA published guidance for dairy farmers on the control of Johnes Disease in dairy herds. This was done in conjunction with the Northern Ireland Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARDNI), the Scottish Executive Environment and Rural Affairs Department (SEERAD) and the Welsh Assembly Government (WAG) and is available on the DEFRA website at:
DEFRA is also working in partnership with the beef industry to reduce the spread of Johnes Disease in the cattle sector. This will help to raise production efficiency and allow for high value cattle to be sold on the export market.
i. determine herd-level prevalence of the disease;
ii. determine the effect of management practices and herd location on disease prevalence;
iii. establish the genetic diversity of MAP in the UK to help understand its spread and provide a baseline for comparison with human isolates;
iv. assess methodologies for future monitoring of the disease.
(1) The study is a collaboration between the Veterinary Laboratories Agency (VLA), the Scottish Agricultural college (SAC), Moredun Research Institute, the Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI) in Northern Ireland. The study is funded by DEFRA, SEERAD and DARDNI.
Under the Civil Service Order in Council 1995, individual Government Departments and agencies have delegated authority for the recruitment of staff to the home civil service. The central rules on recruitment are set out in chapter 1.1 of the Civil Service Management Code.
When advertising a post, the vacancy manager will look to use the media most likely to attract people with the necessary skills. Within Defra a range of media are used from local newspapers, specialist magazines eg The Economist, Veterinary Record or People Management; the internet, to the more general public sector sections of the national newspaper job advertising eg The Guardian, The Sunday Times.
The cost of placing these adverts is met from local budgets and to provide the information requested would require an exercise to contact all current budget holders within Defra. Changes of structure within the Department would make it difficult to source the information for certain sectors.
Mr. Spellar: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to the answer of 27 November 2006, Official Report, column 306W, on the Rural Payments Agency, how much Johnston McNeill has been paid since he took leave of absence. 
Barry Gardiner: Johnston McNeills employment was terminated on 1 December 2006. The cost of employing Mr. McNeill since his removal from office on 16 March 2006 to 1 December 2006 is £81,410.55 in basic salary.
Chris Huhne: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether the former chief executive of the Rural Payments Agency remains on his Departments payroll; and if he will make a statement. 
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs why Irelands Farms Ltd. of North Rauceby, Lincolnshire, had not received the full amount of 2005 single farm payment
due as of 7 December 2006; and if he will make arrangements for an early payment of the balance. 
John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what proportion on average of the costs of the installation of a £700 boiler through the Warm Front initiative he would expect (a) the scheme and (b) the householder to pay. 
Ian Pearson [holding answer 10 January 2007]: The Warm Front Scheme provides a range of energy efficiency measures to qualifying households. A grant maxima applies for each household; £2,700, but rising to £4,000 where an oil fired central heating system is recommended.
Installers are appointed to work on Warm Front via a competitive tendering process. This also includes consideration of installers technical competence, qualifications, track record and financial probity, alongside the price quoted to install energy efficiency measures.
Once appointed, the installers work to competitive harmonised prices that are set by Warm Front for different geographical areas. A labour rate is set for heating work as well as a rate, per property type, for insulation. Again, that rate can differ from area to area. Labour charges are reviewed annually to ensure best value for the Scheme.
Ian Pearson [holding answer 10 January 2007]: DEFRA employs a firm of Independent Quality Assessors, White Young Green, to carry out a periodic series of assessments of the Warm Front Scheme. The most recent audit was carried out in late 2006 and the report is being finalised prior to submission to the Department.
The Warm Front Scheme Manager employs Price Waterhouse Coopers, as independent financial auditors, to review the Scheme on a six-monthly basis. The most recent audit was completed for the period ending 30 September 2006.
Paul Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether she has made representations to the Afghan Government on the decision to remove the Mahammad Daud as Provincial Governor of Helmand province. 
Mr. Hoon: The United Kingdom is the second largest donor of development assistance to Afghanistan and the second largest troop contributor. As lead nation for the Helmand Provincial Reconstruction Team, we had confidence in Governor Daud.
Decisions on appointments are for the Afghan Government to make. We welcome the positive relationship that our officials have already established with Governor Wafa, with whom we are working closely and constructively.
My noble Friend the Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, visited Chile from 18 to 19 December 2006. He undertook a bilateral programme in Santiago and had wide-ranging discussions covering bilateral, regional and global
issues with senior representatives from the Chilean Government, opposition parties and industry.
The UK regards Chile as a leading regional player and an important international partner. Chile has become a model of political stability, good government and sound economic management in Latin America and makes a positive contribution to the global agenda. In recognition of this, my noble Friend Lord Triesman inaugurated a process of regular UK-Chile high level political talks with Foreign Minister Foxley. At the International Relations Institute in Santiago my noble Friend Lord Triesman delivered a keynote speech on Latin America which can be found in the Latin America section of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) website at:
Mr. Jenkin: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether she expects the UK to be represented at (a) a meeting of the 18 EU states which have ratified the EU Constitutional Treaty to be held in Madrid on 26 January 2007 and (b) a meeting of EU states which have not ratified the EU Constitutional Treaty to be held on 27 February 2007; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Hoon: The UK is not among the EU member states which have ratified the Constitutional Treaty and has not been invited to attend the meeting in Madrid on 26 January 2007. The UK has not yet received an invitation to the meeting reportedly scheduled in Luxembourg on 27 February. We will take a decision on attendance if and when such an invitation is received.
I made a written ministerial statement to the House on 5 December 2006, Official Report, columns 10-11WS regarding the UKs approach to the forthcoming future of Europe discussions. This continues to be the Governments position.
Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the answer of 23 November 2006, Official Report, columns 247-48W, on the Middle East, when the proposals of the United States Security Co-ordinator, General Keith Dayton, are expected to be reported; what progress has been made by the Security Committee established by General Dayton; and if she will make a statement. 
In my reply to the right hon. Members question on 23 November 2006, Official Report, columns 247-48W, there was a factual error with regard to United States Security Co-ordinator, General Keith Daytons establishment of a security committee. I can confirm that the Crossings Steering Committee (CSC) is the security committee that was envisaged under the Movement and Access Agreement of November 2005. I apologise for the error. The
committee first met in October 2006. The CSC continue to meet to discuss on-going proposals for the development of crossing points between Gaza and Israel. During my right hon. Friend the Prime Ministers visit to the region, he discussed the Kami crossing with Prime Minister Olmert and President Abbas.
Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many written parliamentary questions to her Department in the 2005-06 Session were answered with a reply that it had not been possible to reply before prorogation. 
Margaret Beckett: 56 written parliamentary questions tabled to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) in the 2005-06 parliamentary Session received a reply that it had not been possible to reply before prorogation. Of these 56 written parliamentary questions, 25 questions were tabled on 6 November, two days before Parliament prorogued. The FCO was therefore unable to provide a substantive answer to those 25 questions before the House prorogued.
The FCO received 4,305 written parliamentary questions in the 2005-06 parliamentary Session, of which 3,460 were answered within one week. The FCO received 954 named day questions during the same Session, of which 723 were answered on the allocated day.
Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many written parliamentary questions to her Department in the 2005-06 Session were not answered wholly or in part on grounds of disproportionate cost. 
Margaret Beckett: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office does not record the information requested by the right hon. Member. In order to answer this question officials would need to check every parliamentary question received during the 2005-06 Session. This in itself would incur disproportionate cost.
News and Views, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in-house staff magazine, is an
internal publication which carries sensitive information about staff movements as well as some personal details. It would not, therefore, be appropriate to place News and Views in the Library of the House.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if she will make a statement on the situation in Somalia; whether she has received reports of refugees having been denied legitimate entry into Kenya; and what discussions she has had with (a) the transitional government, (b) the Government of Ethiopia and (c) representatives from the Union of Islamic Courts on an early cessation of violence. 
Mr. McCartney: We are concerned about the reports from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) about refugees being denied entry into Kenya. UK officials have raised the matter with the Kenyan authorities. We call on all states to comply with their international obligations to refugees. We understand that the UNHCR has offered Kenya extra assistance to meet its obligations while addressing its legitimate security concerns.
Our high commissioner in Nairobi urged President Yusuf of the Somalia Transitional Federal Government to grasp the current opportunity to move the internationally agreed process in Somalia forward, as envisaged in the Somalian Transitional Federal Charter, and to be inclusive in the reconciliation process. We are committed to supporting the Transitional Federal Government in this process.
Our ambassador in Addis Ababa discussed the situation with Prime Minister Meles of Ethiopia. We believe that the deployment of a regional force under the terms of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1725 will create the conditions for the withdrawal of Ethiopian troops while preventing a security vacuum emerging.
UK officials met representatives of the moderate elements of the Union of Islamic Courts in 2006 but no discussions with them have been possible since the recent outbreak of violence. The earliest opportunity to resume discussions will be taken.
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