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Mr. Gauke: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what percentage of his Department's computer systems use open source software; what percentage of the systems planned to be installed use such software; and whether he plans to increase the use of open source software in his Department. 
Mr. Hain: All computer systems in the Wales Office are supplied by the Department for Constitutional Affairs under its contracts. Figures for the Wales Office could be supplied only at disproportionate cost.
26. David Taylor: To ask the hon. Member for Gosport, representing the Speaker's Committee on the Electoral Commission what assessment the Speaker's Committee has made of the recommendations of the Committee on Standards in Public Life on the Electoral Commission; and if he will make a statement. 
Peter Viggers: The Speaker's Committee supported the Committee on Standards in Public Life in undertaking this review of the role and governance of the Electoral Commission. As I told the hon. Member for Liverpool, Walton on 19 January 2007, Official Report, column 1398W, the Speaker's Committee will give careful consideration to the recommendations made in the CSPL report, a number of which are specifically addressed to it. The report was, however, published only recently, and the Speaker's Committee has not yet had an opportunity to form a considered view on it.
Mr. Thomas: All procurement within DFID is undertaken in line with the ECs procurement rules and to obtain value for money for the Department. Precise records are not maintained, but taking account of seasonal variations, our caterers estimate that 60 per cent. of produce served was of British origin in both 2005 and 2006.
Mr. Thomas: DFID supports country-led national AIDS and tuberculosis (TB) control programmes in a number of high HIV prevalence countries. DFID also made significant contributions to the Global Fund to fight AIDS, TB and Malaria which supports country programmes for AIDS and TB. The UK has committed £359 million to the Fund for 2002-07, including £100 million for 2006 and the same for 2007, subject to performance. We have also made a long-term commitment to UNITAID, the new international drug purchase facility, scaling up to £40 million per year by 2010, subject to performance. These initiatives provide countries with access to increasing resources for scaling up HIV and TB interventions.
Most countries with HIV and TB co-epidemics already have national plans to address these epidemics in increasingly co-ordinated programmatic ways and many have also finalised universal access plans to dramatically scale up these responses. Scaling up access to antiretroviral therapy offers opportunities to better control TB and has been shown to decrease the incidence of TB by 70-80 per cent. in people already infected with HIV.
DFID is contributing to strengthening national health systems to scale up the delivery of basic services to the poor that include TB and HIV prevention and treatment. An example of this is the Malawi Emergency Human Resources Programme that is making more health workers available to deal with increasing numbers of patients who are infected with both HIV and TB.
DFID is also funding research working to identify better ways to deliver services tackling the co-epidemics. We are also supporting the work of WHO, for example the STOP TB programme, which is supporting countries to develop co-ordinated HIV and TB responses.
Mr. Thomas: On 21 January, an earthquake measuring 7.5 on the Richter scale occurred under the Molucca sea, 110 miles east of Manado, Sulawesi Island. News reports, both local and international, indicate that the earthquake did not cause serious damage. Some buildings in Manado reportedly suffered cracks. Four deaths and four injuries were reported.
John Austin: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what estimate he has made of the numbers of displaced Palestinians in (a) Iraq and (b) at temporary refugee camps at (i) Ruwayshid in Jordan, (ii) El Hol in Syria and (iii) Al Tanf on the Iraq-Syria border; and what assistance is provided to them by (A) the UN High Commission for Refugees and (B) other international bodies. 
Hilary Benn: UNHCR estimate there are 15,000 Palestinians remaining in Iraq, less than half the estimated figure in 2003. We believe the majority of these are based in Baghdad. Latest reports from UNHCR estimate that there are 119 refugees in Ruwayshid camp, Jordan, 420 in Al Tanf camp, Syria and 340 in El Hol camp, Syria. UNHCR is extremely concerned by these disturbing developments and will take up the issue with the Iraqi authorities. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), with UNHCR support is preparing delivery of relief items including tents, blankets, mattresses, lanterns, kitchen sets, stoves and plastic sheets. Water, kerosene and food are already available.
The UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) is providing schooling, medical services, and basic social services to the 352 Palestinian refugees in Al Tanf camp between Syria and Iraq. UNRWA is also providing some educational activities and contributing to a knitting workshop to the 319 refugees who are in the temporary camp of El Hol in the north-east of Syria. During 2006, the Department for International Development (DFID) provided more than £15 million in funding support to UNRWA's work among refugees in the Middle East and also signed a Memorandum of Understanding providing UNRWA with £76.6 million of funding over the next four years.
In addition, DFID has just announced a £4 million contribution to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to continue to provide emergency assistance, including water, medical supplies and rehabilitation of health infrastructure. This brings our total humanitarian contribution for Iraq to over £120 million since 2003. We are also considering the UNHCRs appeal to help refugees in neighbouring countries. Above all the first priority of the Iraqi Government must be to end the violence that is causing this situation, with the support of the international community and the region.
John Austin: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what estimate he has made of the numbers of displaced Palestinians in Baghad; and what assessment he has made of their situation and humanitarian needs. 
Hilary Benn: UNHCR estimate there are 15,000 Palestinians remaining in Iraq, less than half the estimated figure in 2003. We believe the majority of these are based in Baghdad where many face sectarian attacks and are increasingly vulnerable. UNHCR is extremely concerned by these disturbing developments and will take up the issue with the Iraqi authorities. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), with UNHCR support is preparing delivery of relief items including tents, blankets, mattresses, lanterns, kitchen sets, stoves and plastic sheets. Water, kerosene and food are already available.
DFID has just announced a £4 million contribution to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to continue to provide emergency assistance, including water, medical supplies and rehabilitation of health infrastructure. This brings our total humanitarian contribution for Iraq to over £120 million since 2003. We are also considering the UNHCR's appeal to help refugees in neighbouring countries. Above all the first priority of the Iraqi Government must be to end the violence that is causing this situation, with the support of the international community and the region.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development pursuant to the answer of 18 December 2006, Official Report, column 1466W, on retirement age, what the evidential basis is for applying age-based work force planning. 
Mr. Thomas: DFID does not apply age-based work force planning. Retirement dates are just one of the factors we consider in work force planning to allow managers and human resources division to plan for loss of skills and succession.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development pursuant to the answer of 18 December 2006, Official Report, column 1466W, on retirement age, on what grounds requests to work beyond 65 have been denied since establishment of the procedure; what criteria are used in making such decisions; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Thomas: DFID expects there to be few staff due to retire at age 65 between now and 2011. We have calculated the numbers to be less than five in each year for 2007 and 2008. DFID has not set criteria for making decisions to deny requests to work beyond age 65. To date, there has been no usage of the right to request procedure.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assistance he has made available (a) bilaterally and (b) through the world food programme to those experiencing drought in Karamoja, Uganda. 
Hilary Benn: DFID has recently pledged £6 million for the world food programmes (WFP) emergency activities in Uganda during 2007. This money will be used by WFP to purchase food locally for distribution to drought affected people in Karamoja and people in northern Uganda who are internally displaced as a result of the conflict involving the Lords Resistance Army.
DFID has also recently committed £4.7 million towards a joint UN emergency health programme in both northern Uganda and in areas of Karamoja where high mortality rates have been reported. Just over £750,000 of this money has been allocated by the UN agencies for specific activities in the Karamoja region.
The Government support the production of biofuels as part of our overall strategy for improving sustainability and reducing the impact of
climate change. We are aware of the potential for agriculture and are working closely with farmers and industry to develop markets and promote uptake.
The production and use of biofuels is incentivised by a 20 pence per litre duty rate cut for biodiesel and bioethanol, which has been extended to 2008-09. To further develop the supply of biofuels, a Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation (RTFO) will be introduced in April 2008, which will require five per cent. of fuel sold in the UK to come from a renewable source by 2010.
A number of companies are building, or planning to build, biofuel processing plants in the UK which will use UK-grown crops such as oilseed rape, wheat and sugar beet as feedstocks. The Home-Grown Cereals Authority and the Renewable Energy Association have recently held a series of regional biofuel workshops across England aimed at helping to develop a UK biofuels industry. The workshops covered Government policy, local activities and opportunities for farmers.
Farmers can claim the Single Payment for biofuel crops grown on set-aside land or where the €45 per hectare energy aid payment is claimed for crops on non-set-aside land. The development of second generation biofuels should offer opportunities in the future to use feedstocks such as grasses and woody biomass.
Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment he has made of the areas of unproductive agricultural land which may be suitable for growing crops to make biofuels; and what financial support or subsidies are available to land owners interested in growing feedstock for biofuels. 
Ian Pearson: Agricultural land taken out of production is termed set-aside. The European Union (EU) permits the growing of crops on set-aside for industrial uses and energy production. Between 560,000 and 800,000 hectares of land have been set-aside in the UK over the last 10 years. While this may in some cases represent some of the least productive land on farms, it is all capable of supporting arable production. In 2005, 14.5 per cent. of set-aside land was used for industrial crop production, the vast majority of which was for energy end uses. It is anticipated that this figure will grow significantly as the demand for transport biofuels increases.
Farmers growing energy crops on set-aside are entitled to receive the single farm payment. In addition, where crops are grown for energy uses on non set-aside land, growers can claim the EUs €45 per hectare energy aid payment. From 2007, under the Rural Development Programme for England, the Government have given a commitment to support energy crops.
Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will publish benchmarks to assist those interested in choosing the most environmentally beneficial carbon offsetting schemes. 
The Governments standard for carbon offsetting would be based on the use of certified credits from the established Kyoto market, through sources such as the UNs Clean Development Mechanism. These credits are backed by an international framework and institutions to ensure that real emission reductions take place, as well as providing a clear audit trail.
The code of practice proposes that offset providers supply consumers with clear information and transparent prices. Defra plans to support the standard by providing guidance to consumers on offsetting, which will also help consumers to make informed decisions about their actions.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what plans he has to ban the entry of cloned farm animals into the UK; what regulations he plans to put in place to control domestic production of cloned farm animals; and what consultation he proposes on this issue. 
Barry Gardiner: The Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 restricts cloning in the UK to licensed procedures and animals protected under this Act could not be used for farming purposes. Animal welfare legislation ensures the health and welfare of all livestock reared in England by both natural and artificial breeding methods.
Products derived from cloned animals (or from animals descended from clones) are subject to the provisions of the European Commission (EC) Novel Foods Regulation. Before marketing such products, an expert assessment of their safety for the food chain must be carried out and approved at European level. To date, no such applications for assessment under this regulation have been made.
At an EC working group on 12 January 2007, member states agreed that there should be a discussion at an EC Standing Committee to clarify which sections of the EC Novel Foods Regulation apply to cloned animals and their offspring. It was also agreed that the European Food Safety Authority should be consulted on the safety of products from cloned animals and their offspring. The Commission will be producing a paper on these points for discussion at a future EC Standing Committee.
The Government are currently consulting on their response to the Farm Animal Welfare Council (FAWC) report on the Welfare Implications of Animal Breeding and Breeding Technologies in Commercial Agriculture. The outcome of this consultation will inform our position on welfare aspects and contribute to the broader consideration of whether there is a need for further regulatory controls.
Barry Gardiner: The Department has asked the Natural England Board to come forward with recommendations to improve access to the coast by the end of February 2007. We will then issue a consultation paper this spring setting out the facts, a range of options and the costs and benefits associated with each.
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