Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs which projects run by the consultancy Ecotec his Department has funded since 1997; and what the (a) cost and (b) objective was of each project. 
|(1) First six months|
Mr. Jenkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many species were (a) put on and (b) taken off the endangered species list in each of the last 10 years. 
Barry Gardiner: I am unsure to which list the hon. Members question refers. Various lists of endangered species exist, including the World Conservation Union (or IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), the Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC) Species Status Assessment project and the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (as amended).
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many farmers are in (a) entry level stewardship schemes and
(b) higher level stewardship schemes; how many in each scheme (i) received payment on the due date and (ii) are awaiting payment; and what assessment he has made of the reasons for delays in payment for each scheme. 
(a) Entry level stewardship26,482;
(b) Higher level stewardship1,168.
(i) Paid by the due date30,427;
(ii) Awaiting payment683.
(i) Paid by the due date557;
(ii) Awaiting payment7.
Where a payment is still outstanding, this will usually be because there is a flag on the IT system which is preventing it from being processed. There are a number of reasons why this might be the case. For example, there may be outstanding issues arising from a compliance monitoring inspection or from cross-checks against land parcel data held on the rural land register, both of which we are required to carry out in order to demonstrate our ability to comply with EC Regulations. Delays may also be caused by one of a number of IT-related problems such as the agreement being under amendment, data integrity issues or invalid agreement holder details. However, in all these circumstances, officials make every effort to resolve the issues delaying payments as quickly as possible.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will take steps to ban the (a) sale and (b) importation of foie gras; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Bradshaw: Banning the sale and importation of foie gras will be illegal under the treaty of Rome, which requires member states of the European Union to allow free circulation of goods. However, we do believe that the production of foie gras using force-feeding gives rise to serious welfare concerns.
Kerry McCarthy: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether the Government remain committed to the 2012 deadline for the prohibition of battery cages in the UK. 
Paul Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what (a) correspondence and (b) other communications (i) he, (ii) other ministers and (iii) officials had with the Committee on Radioactive Waste Management (CoRWM) on CoRWM recommendation 2 (1), on the security vulnerability of above ground nuclear waste stores against terrorist threats, before preparing the reply to this recommendation published in the Reponse to the Report and Recommendations from the Committee on Radioactive Waste Management (CoRWM) by the UK Government and the devolved administrations on 25 October 2006. 
In formulating the response, DEFRA consulted other Government Departments, the devolved Administrations and the independent environment and nuclear safety regulators. There was no correspondence or other communications between the Government and CoRWM on recommendation 2 (1) during this time.
As our response states, the security of all stores is of paramount importance. The Nuclear Decommissioning Authoritys contractors are regulated and advised by the Office for Civil Nuclear Security and already take account of such matters. These include the design and engineering of new stores and the refurbishment of existing ones in the light of the risks to the security of their contents, now and in the future. This includes, but is not limited to, the vulnerability of the waste form and the degree of protection provided against attack.
Ian Pearson: We are keen to continue to build on the momentum that the Committee on Radioactive Waste Management (CoRWM) has helped to establish and expect to advertise for applicants for the reconstituted CoRWM shortly. I will write to the hon. Member alerting him to the advert when it is published.
Mr. Willis: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment he has made of the impact of the Marine Climate Change Impacts Partnership report; and if he will make a statement. 
Ian Pearson: On 29 November, I launched the first annual report card (ARC) of the Marine Climate Change Impacts Partnership (MCCIP), the first ever holistic assessment of the impacts of climate change on UK seas. It shows us, at a glance, the latest knowledge of climate impacts on marine sectors. This is an important wake-up call to us all on the dangers faced by our greatest natural resource.
The ARC has been delivered to all Government Departments and agencies, and copies have been placed in the Library of the House. It is important that this work is considered in developing policy across Government.
Though the ARC has only recently been released, over 10,000 copies have been downloaded from the website, 5,000 hard copies have been distributed, and more copies are being printed to meet demand. A report on the impact of the ARC on policy developments will be produced at the time of its annual review.
Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs for what reasons the way in which farmers fields were identified and set out in information supplied for the purposes of the single farm payment scheme has been changed in comparison to previous years. 
Barry Gardiner: For both 2005 and 2006 Single Payment Schemes (SPS), individual parcel data were pre-populated on application forms, where possible, but in slightly different formats reflecting the manner in which the data were extracted from the Rural Land Register. For the 2007 SPS, the pre-population of forms is expected to be more extensive and will follow a format that stakeholders have agreed will be the most user-friendly for applicants.
Mr. Heald: To ask the Solicitor-General how many cases of electoral malpractice were reported by the police to the Crown Prosecution Service in each year since the introduction of the Representation of the People Act 2000. 
The Solicitor-General: Electoral malpractice is not a category for which data are available. The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) records files received under the classification election offences. The relevant figures are as follows:
Other electoral malpractice allegations have been prosecuted as conspiracy to defraud, forgery and perjury and are not captured in these data. Identifying all cases amounting to electoral malpractice could be done only at disproportionate cost (Code of Practice on Access to Government Information, part 2, clause 9).
Mr. Jeremy Browne: To ask the Solicitor-General what assessment he has made of the capacity of the Serious Fraud Office to detect and investigate financial crime; and if he will make a statement. 
The Solicitor-General [holding answer 1 February 2007]: Detecting fraud is not within the remit of the Serious Fraud Office. Cases are generally referred to the SFO by investigating authorities. The SFO does not have to accept all cases that are referred to it.
Simon Hughes: To ask the Solicitor-General how many investigations were begun by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) in each year since 1996; how many such investigations were completed by the SFO and followed by an (a) successful and (b) unsuccessful prosecution; and how many such investigations were discontinued before they were completed. 
A = Case prosecuted resulting in one or more convictions.
B = Case prosecuted resulting in no convictions (including dismissed cases).
C = Investigation initiated but case not prosecuted.
D = Case still live (either being investigated or proceedings under way).
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