Previous Section Index Home Page

19 Mar 2007 : Column 618W—continued


Where developing country Governments do not have the capacity to provide good quality infrastructure and services for their people, PPIAF helps them to develop sound policies, regulations and institutions. PPIAF does
19 Mar 2007 : Column 619W
this by providing developing country Governments with technical assistance which they can use to tap the full potential of public private partnerships in infrastructure. PPIAF also identifies, communicates and promotes best practice on matters relating to public private partnerships in infrastructure. It is also recognised as a leading resource for training and best practice in the role of public private partnerships in infrastructure service delivery.

There are may examples of PPIAF’s success. For example Kenya PPIAF provided technical assistance and training to enable micro-credit banks to lend to small water providers to provide clean water to rural and semi-urban communities. This has led to 21 micro-credit investments and an output based grant which will result in 60,000 people gaining access to clean water.

Also in Ghana, PPIAF supported the Ghana Community Water and Sanitation Agency with regulatory and legal reform to improve small town water services. This has allowed local water operators to provide clean water to communities for the first time. Communities themselves were involved in the selection of the water providers. This has been successfully implemented in three towns and will be extended to 300 small towns across the country.

After the war in 2002, the Government of Afghanistan recognised that they needed to expand telecommunications access and improve service delivery. They encouraged private mobile phone operators into their market, and asked the PPIAF to help them develop the initial regulatory framework and build the Government’s own capacity and understanding of technical, commercial and regulatory issues. Today, where once there were only two telephones for every 1,000 people, there are now more than 1 million mobile phone subscribers with national and global access, and prices have declined by 70 per
19 Mar 2007 : Column 620W
cent. through competition. This allows a journalist in Kabul to host a phone-in radio programme providing counselling to women, and helps small scale businesses like carpet merchants, brick sellers and mechanics to manage their businesses effectively and successfully.

An independent strategic review of PPIAF in 2004 and internal DFID reviews have concluded that PPIAF is successful in what it does. Specifically, it has helped developing country Governments’ capacity to improve their policies, laws, regulations and procedures that have resulted in better infrastructure and better services for their people. The PPIAF has also been recognised as a centre of excellence for advice to developing countries on public private partnerships, and there is high demand for PPIAF’s services.

Further information about the PPIAF and its successes can be found in the document entitled ‘Public Private Infrastructure Advisory Facility (PPIAF): Helping developing countries to eliminate poverty and achieve sustainable development through Public-Private Partnerships in Infrastructure’, copies of which have been placed in the Libraries of the House.

Northern Ireland

Refuges

Lady Hermon: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how much funding was allocated by his Department in each of the last three years towards providing shelters and other emergency accommodation for those affected by domestic violence. [128182]

Mr. Hanson: The information requested is shown in the following table.

The ‘supporting people funding’ provided by the Housing Executive for accommodation and support services for those affected by domestic violence
£
2004-07( 1) 2006-07 2005-06 2004-05

Accommodation-based

8,219,866.54

2,809,610.44

2,739,370.18

2,670,885.92

Floating support services

2,421,522.90

827,694.22

807,001.86

786,826.82

Total

10,641,389.44

3,637,304.66

3,546,372.04

3,457,712.74

(1) Three year total

The total amount of housing benefit paid with respect to such accommodation over the last three financial years was £1,003,636.62. This is in addition to the figures detailed above.

In the current financial year £676.439 in housing association grant has been allocated for the provision of accommodation to go on site this year.

Constitutional Affairs

David Kelly

Norman Baker: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs at what time and at what location on 14 August 2003 the resumed inquest into the death of Dr. David Kelly took place. [126379]

Ms Harman: I am informed by the Oxfordshire coroner that the resumed inquest into the death of Dr. David Kelly took place at approximately 10 am in the Old Assize court at County Hall Oxford.

Norman Baker: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs whether the resumed inquest on 14 August 2003 into the death of Dr. David Kelly was a public hearing; who was given prior notification of the intention to hold this hearing; and on what date that notification was given. [126380]

Ms Harman: I am informed by the Oxfordshire coroner that the resumed inquest into the death of Dr. David Kelly was held in public on 14 August 2003. Notification was given to the interested persons and the press by telephone shortly beforehand.


19 Mar 2007 : Column 621W

Norman Baker: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what the statutory basis was on which the Lord Chancellor asked the Oxfordshire coroner, in a letter dated 12 August 2003, to (a) keep the proceedings relating to the inquest into the death of Dr. David Kelly as short as possible and (b) take the evidence in writing. [126381]

Ms Harman: In his private secretary's letter of 12 August 2003 the Lord Chancellor required the Oxfordshire coroner to adjourn the Kelly inquest in accordance with section 17A of the Coroners Act 1988. He also requested that the coroner keep the proceedings as short as possible and, as far as the Coroners Rules allowed, to take the evidence in writing. There was no statutory basis for these requests.

Norman Baker: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs if she will make a statement on the compliance by the Oxfordshire coroner, in his consideration of the death of Dr. David Kelly, with the requirements of Rule 37 of the Coroners’ Code, with particular reference to (a) the likelihood of documentary evidence being disputed and (b) the issuing of a public announcement relating to the admission of documentary evidence. [126382]

Ms Harman: The coroner is an independent judicial officer. I do not comment on such decisions which are made in the coroner’s judicial capacity.

Departments: Work Permits

Mr. Clegg: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs how many work permits were applied for by (a) her Department and (b) its agencies in each of the last five years. [126794]

Vera Baird: It is part of standard pre-employment checks at recruitment stage to ensure that staff applying to be employed within the Department for Constitutional Affairs and its agencies are eligible to work in the civil service and meet the civil service nationality rules. Individuals who require a work permit may be employed in the civil service, but only in exceptional circumstances. Under TUPE terms staff from the 42 former Magistrates Courts Committees, each of which has separate terms and conditions, are exempt from civil service nationality rules. Information on how many work permits have been applied for in each of the last five years is not held centrally. To calculate the precise number of work permits applied for would incur disproportionate cost to the Department and its agencies.

Entry Clearances: Pakistan

Mr. Lidington: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs whether the Immigration Appeal Tribunal has sent the decision papers on cases VA/08797/2006, VA/08788/2006 and VA/08793/2006 in which the Immigration Judge ruled on 6 October 2006 to (a) the Home Department and (b) HM High Commission, Islamabad. [127754]


19 Mar 2007 : Column 622W

Bridget Prentice: Information shows that the Immigration Judge determinations for appeal references VA/08797/2006, VA/08788/2006 and VA/08793/2006 were served upon the Immigration and Nationality Directorate (IND) of the Home Office on 16 October 2006.

In Entry Clearance and Family Visitor appeals the determination is served upon IND, which will arrange for the forwarding of the determination to the entry clearance post that made the original refusal. Checks of the UK Visas database show that the determinations were received at HM High Commission in Islamabad on 9 November 2006.

Incapacity Benefit: Appeals

Lynne Jones: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what the average time was between submission of appeals against refusal of incapacity benefit and a decision being taken in each of the last three years. [127722]

Vera Baird: The information my hon. Friend has asked for is contained in the following table.

IB cleared appeals March 2003 to April 2006: Average clearance time from lodged to first hearing
Weeks
Financial year Average clearance time

2003-04

20.24

2004-05

19.48

2005-06

19.19

Notes:
1. All figures are subject to change as more up to date data become available.
2. Figures for the latest months may increase substantially as information feeds through to the Appeals Service.
3. Migration of customer records from the existing Generic appeals processing systems (GAPS) to the new G2 system commenced on the 5 June 2006. Consequently during the migration period information from GAPS will over time diminish while G2 will increase and statistical data after May 2006 will not available until the new data processing procedures are in place.
4. “Lodged” denotes when an appeal is submitted to the first tier agency. Lodged data only enter the GAPS database when the appeal reaches the Appeals Service
Source:
100 per cent. download of the generic appeals processing system.

Lynne Jones: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs how many appeals against refusal of incapacity benefit have been received in each of the last 12 months; and what the range of dates of submission was of the appeals that were considered in February 2002. [127723]

Vera Baird: The information my hon. Friend has asked for is not available in the format requested as data are not collated on the ranges of dates of appeal submissions that reach a tribunal hearing. At present, data can only be supplied up to the period March 2006 due to the change over of computer systems.

The following table, therefore, provides information on the number of appeals against the refusal of incapacity benefit received in each of the 12 months between April 2005 and March 2006.


19 Mar 2007 : Column 623W
All incapacity benefit appeals in 2005-06
Lodged Received

2005

April

5,490

4,710

May

5,500

4,860

June

5,660

5,960

July

5,090

5,700

August

5,440

5,540

September

5,110

5,260

October

4,800

5,270

November

5,440

5,780

December

4,790

4,140

2006

January

4,890

5,410

February

5,440

5,030

March

6,690

5,980

2005-06

64,320

63,650

Notes:
1. All figures are subject to change as more up to date data become available.
2. Figures for the latest months may increase substantially as information feeds through to the Appeals Service.
3. Figures are rounded to the nearest 10.
4. Totals may not sum due to rounding.
5. Migration of customer records from the existing generic appeals processing systems (GAPS) to the new G2 system commenced on the 5 June 2006. Consequently data after May 2006 are not available until the data from G2 are processed.
6. “Lodged” denotes when an appeal is submitted to the first tier agency. Lodged data only enter the GAPS database when the appeal reaches the Appeals Service.
7. “Received” denotes the number of appeals registered at the Appeals Service
Source:
100 per cent. download of the generic appeals processing system.

Public Accounts Commission

Departments: Databases

Mr. Clegg: To ask the Chairman of the Public Accounts Commission what databases are controlled by the National Audit Office; and what percentage of the data in each database is estimated to be inaccurate or out of date. [124044]

Mr. Alan Williams: The National Audit Office maintains databases principally for the purposes of collecting internal management information. Its management information is updated on a regular basis and the Office has quality assurance arrangements to ensure that it remains reliable and up to date.

Duchy of Lancaster

Departments: Work Permits

Mr. Clegg: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster how many work permits were applied for by the Prime Minister's Office in each of the last five years. [127725]

Hilary Armstrong: The Prime Minister’s Office forms part of the Cabinet Office. Information is provided for the Cabinet Office as a whole.


19 Mar 2007 : Column 624W

The Cabinet Office does not apply for work permits, but as part of our pre-appointment checks we require a candidate to have a work permit, where appropriate, in order to be employed by the Cabinet Office.


Next Section Index Home Page