The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (Paul Goggins): I have placed copies of the Northern Ireland Prison Service's Corporate and Business Plan for 2007-2010 in the Libraries of both Houses.
7. To ensure 87 per cent. of prisoners serving six months or more are working to a resettlement plan and that 97 per cent. of lifers work to a life sentence plan, including preparation of the plan, within the first six months of sentence.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (Paul Goggins):
The targets, which have been set for 2007-08, are based on the strategic aim and objectives of the Agency as set out in Section 4 of its Corporate and Business Plan. The targets are in line with the Department's policy of seeking to improve the service provided to the Agency's clients in terms of both quality and value for money and I am
satisfied that they present a demanding challenge for the Agency. A copy of the Corporate and Business Plan will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.
1. A total of 95 per cent. of the service provided by the Agency's Client Support staff to external clients to be regarded as satisfactory, of which 35 per cent. of the service to be regarded as either very good or excellent.
2. A total of 95 per cent. of the service provided by the Agency's Project Management staff to external clients to be regarded as satisfactory, of which 35 per cent. of the service to be regarded as either very good or excellent.
3. A total of 95 per cent. of the service provided by the Agency's Specialist Engineering staff to external clients to be regarded as satisfactory, of which 35 per cent. of the service to be regarded as either very good or excellent.
4. Issue all Medical Device/Equipment Alerts with an Immediate Action level of urgency designated initiated by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) within three working days on receipt of final MHRA Alert (provided that no further consultation is involved).
5. Issue all Medical Device/Equipment Alerts with an Action level of urgency designation initiated by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) within five working days on receipt of final MHRA Alert (provided that no further consultation is involved).
6. Issue a High Voltage Alert within four working days from receipt and assessment of an applicable Electricity Network Association Notice or other safety information in relation to High Voltage equipment installed in the HPSS.
8. Complete an assessment of the HPSS position against Essence of Care in regard to the Council of Europe Statement on hospital food nutrition by 30 November 2007 and lead the exploration of appropriate initiatives to improve nutritional standards by 31 March 2008.
The Prime Minister (Mr. Tony Blair): I have appointed Ian Beesley to write the official history of the Secretaries to the Cabinet. I have also appointed Dr. Michael Goodman to write the official history of the Joint Intelligence Committee.
The Minister for Trade (Mr. Ian McCartney): We welcomed this Office of Fair Trading (OFT) report, which was published on 12 December 2006. As part of their statutory role, the OFT actively investigates markets that do not appear to be meeting the needs of consumers and publishes the results of these inquiries. Market studies are undertaken in areas where there are concerns that a particular market is not working well for consumers but where competition or consumer regulation enforcement action does not appear, immediately, to be the appropriate response.
While we note that the focus of the report is related to the functions of the independent competition authorities, we recognise the value of an early response to the three particular issued aimed at Government, namely:
Government should publish criteria for de-designation of airports.
The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) should advise the Department for Transport (DfT) whether to de-designate Manchester airport before the statutory price control reference to the Competition Commission (CC) is due.
Government should consider transferring decisions on designation to the CAA.
These recommendations are fully in line with Government policy that regulation should only be necessary when a competitive environment cannot deliver benefits to consumers. The DfT published a consultation document on the de-designation criteria on 26 February 2007 and once the outcome of this is known, they will undertake a further consultation on the de-designation of Manchester and Stansted airports. However, we believe it would be premature to consider transfer of decisions on designation to the CAA in advance of a reference by OFT of the supply of airport services to the CCwhich OFT also announced it proposed to do in its report. The airport services market could be significantly altered by the outcome of such a reference.
The full Government action plan copies of OFTs report will be placed in the Members Library. In preparing this response, we have worked closely with the relevant Government Departments, in particular the Department for Transport, which is responsible for policy on airports in the UK.
The Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (Mr. Alistair Darling): Further to my statement to the House on Wednesday 18 April 2007, Official Report, columns 301-02, I am now able to announce the terms of reference for the inquiry that I have asked Mr. Michael Redfern QC to carry out. They are as follows.
(a) Having regard to the provisions of the Human Tissue Act 1961, the Coroners Rules 1984, the Coroners Act 1988 and predecessor legislation, to inquire into the circumstances in which, between 1961 and 1992, organs/tissue were removed from 65 individuals, and were sent to and analysed at Sellafield.
(i) when, where, by whom and by what means the taking of organs/tissue was requested and authorised;
(ii) whether the taking of organs/tissue was based on informed consent by the family and/or surviving relatives;
(iii) the purpose to be achieved by the retention and analysis of the organs/tissue removed; the generic results of analysis; and the identity of all publications in which the results were presented and commented upon;
(iv) whether the families or surviving relatives were informed of the results of the analysis, or the identity of the relevant publications;
(v) when and by whom the retention, storage, transportation, analysis, reporting and disposal of the organs/tissue was authorised;
(vi) the circumstances in which the organs/tissue were retained, stored, transported, analysed, reported upon and disposed of;
(vii) the general purpose to be served by such retention, storage, analysis and publication of the results;
(viii) when this activity ceased, and the circumstances in which it ceased.
Since my statement to the House, the UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA) and the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) have begun to examine their records to identify if tests on autopsy tissues were carried out at any of the sites for which they are, or have been responsible, other than Sellafield. The UKAEA tell me that they believe such work was carried out at Harwell, at least until the early 1980s, and possibly at other UKAEA sites, potentially involving work related to individuals who had not been employed at nuclear sites. The AWE believes that there could have been additional testing on their employees. In light of this information, and in line with what I told the House last week, I have therefore asked Michael Redfern QC to make this additional information part of his considerations.