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14 May 2007 : Column 489W—continued

Overseas Aid

Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what proportion of his Department’s total spending on technical assistance for all-country programmes was paid in consultancy fees to individuals, firms or companies based outside the recipient country in the last period for which figures are available. [133504]

Mr. Thomas: Information on the proportion of DFID expenditure on technical assistance for country programmes which was paid in consultancy fees to individuals, firms or companies based outside the recipient country is not available directly from central systems. Collation of this information would incur disproportionate cost.

Tamils

Keith Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what recent representations he has received from Tamil community groups in the UK. [135965]

Mr. Thomas: In my capacity as Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for International Development I met with my hon. Friend the Member for Hendon (Mr. Dismore) and 20 representatives from the Tamil community in July 2006. Issues discussed included Tsunami relief, the peace process and DFID’s programme of assistance.

Northern Ireland

Compensation: Applications

Lady Hermon: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many compensation applications were (a) rejected and (b) accepted by the Compensation Agency in each of the last six years; and how much was paid out by the Agency in compensation over the same period broken down by type. [136042]

Maria Eagle: This is the operational responsibility of the Compensation Agency. The chief executive has advised me of the following:


14 May 2007 : Column 490W
Criminal Damage (Compensation) (Northern Ireland) Order 1977
Accepted Rejected Amount (£)

2001-02

860

1,228

21,531,204

2002-03

854

984

10,542,281

2003-04

638

916

7,869,361

2004-05

417

654

6,172,714

2005-06

402

572

5,267,180

2006-07

631

667

5,709,917


Criminal Injuries (Compensation) (Northern Ireland) Order 1988
Accepted Rejected Amount (£)

2001-02

7,687

4,877

43,275,687

2002-03

7,527

4,624

43,888,946

2003-04

6,195

4,687

39,901,101

2004-05

3,034

1,811

28,824,198

2005-06

1,640

935

19,481,233

2006-07

753

415

11,950,313


Criminal Injuries (Compensation) (Northern Ireland) Order 2002
Accepted Rejected Amount (£)

2001-02

2002-03

4

439

75,000

2003-04

782

4,361

2,967,518

2004-05

2,177

7,623

7,879,701

2005-06

3,218

8,057

14,247,747

2006-07

2,497

5,623

13,788,603


Terrorism Act 2000
Accepted Rejected Amount (£)

2001-02

3,303

334

1,892,009

2002-03

7,371

543

2,400,603

2003-04

3,675

1,332

1,055,052

2004-05

381

600

227,264

2005-06

125

103

125,387


Departments: Energy

Mr. Spellar: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what (a) instructions are issued to staff in his Department and (b) technical procedures are in place to shut down computers at night. [136100]

Paul Goggins: Northern Ireland Office staff are requested to minimise energy waste by turning of their computers and monitors at the end of each working day. There are no technical procedures in place to shut down computers at night.

Departments: ICT

Chris Huhne: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what the (a) originally estimated, (b) most recently estimated and (c) outturn cost was of the five largest information technology contracts agreed by his Department with outside suppliers over the last five years. [135686]

Paul Goggins: The following tables cover the NIO Core Department, agencies, the legal offices (Public Prosecution Service and Crown Solicitors Office) and the Bloody Sunday Inquiry (BSI). It does not cover the Northern Ireland Departments, the police or other independent bodies.


14 May 2007 : Column 491W

14 May 2007 : Column 492W
£ million
Project Purpose Originally estimated (£ ex. VAT) Most recently estimated (£ ex. VAT) Outturn cost

Prism

To provide a prisoner record system for the Northern Ireland Prison Service

6.15

8.111

(1)3.5

Causeway (PPP project to 2013)

A joint enterprise by criminal justice organisations in Northern Ireland to share information electronically

45

(2)59

(1)27

Flax

Replace NIO IT infrastructure, provide internet and intranet and meet electronic document and records management targets

8.5

8.5

(3)8.5

Wide area network

Managed Service contract to provide ICT connections to all NIO sites

2

2.2

(1)1

(1) ongoing
(2 ) Causeway—The increased estimated costs in relation to the Causeway Programme resulted primarily from delays in implementation due to resourcing difficulties within the Criminal Justice Organisations and the additional complexity of amending these systems. A revised Programme Plan and updated Business case was approved by the NIO in January 2007 to reflect the impact of maintaining programme support, development and implementation resources for a longer period than anticipated.
(3) complete

Bloody Sunday Inquiry
Project Purpose Total outturn cost (£)

2002

Bloody Sunday Inquiry—Londonderry and London

Implementation of IT systems to support the work of the inquiry

7.1 million

2003

Bloody Sunday Inquiry—Londonderry and London

Implementation of IT systems to support the work of the inquiry

5 million

2004

Bloody Sunday Inquiry—Londonderry and London

Implementation of IT systems to support the work of the inquiry

2.6 million

2005

Bloody Sunday Inquiry—Londonderry and London

Implementation of IT systems to support the work of the inquiry

3.7 million

2006

Bloody Sunday Inquiry—Londonderry and London

Implementation of IT systems to support the work of the inquiry

836,000


Departments: Trade Unions

Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many meetings (a) he and (b) his Department’s Ministers held with trade union representatives in 2006. [128760]

Mr. Hain: Ministers and civil servants meet many people, including union representatives as part of the process of policy development and advice. To provide specific details of such meetings would require a manual trawl of ministerial diaries and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Drugs

Lady Hermon: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many Police Service of Northern Ireland officers were assigned to the force’s Drug Squad in each of the last three years, broken down by grade; and what financial resources were allocated to tackling illegal drugs in Northern Ireland over the same period. [130918]

Paul Goggins: The operational deployment of officers is a matter for the Chief Constable. To provide information on the number of officers deployed could have adverse security or operational implications.

In addition to general police resources, the financial resources allocated to tackling illegal drugs in each of the last three years is shown in the following table.

Financial year Budget (£ million)

2004-05

2.3

2005-06

2.3

2006-07

2.3


Drugs: Prisons

Lady Hermon: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many people were caught smuggling drugs into each prison establishment in Northern Ireland in each of the last three years; and what penalty was imposed in each case in which all legal proceedings are complete. [136043]

Paul Goggins: In 2004, there were 46 occasions when people were caught smuggling drugs into a prison establishment. 25 resulted in the visitor being banned for a period from visiting the establishment and 21 resulted in the imposition of ‘closed’ visits conditions. In 2005 there were 24 such occasions. 12 resulted in a ban and 12 in ‘closed’ visits conditions.

The figures for 2006 were 27, 15 and 12 respectively.

All these cases were reported to the PSNI. The Prison Service does not hold full information on the subsequent outcome.

Northern Ireland Executive: Flags

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what the Government’s policy is on the use of (a) the Ulster flag, (b) the Cross of St. Patrick, (c) the Union flag, (d) the European
14 May 2007 : Column 493W
Union flag and (e) the Irish Republic flag on government buildings in Northern Ireland. [135038]

Mr. Hain: The Flags Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2000 regulates the flying of the Union flag from Government buildings on specified days in Northern Ireland. It also permits the European flag to be flown, in conjunction with the Union Flag, on Europe Day at Government buildings that have more than one flagpole.


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