Nick Harvey: Mr. Speaker announced on 28 June that Sir Philip Mawer had written to him saying he wished to step down from the appointment as Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards on 31 December 2007. By that date, Sir Philip will have served for almost six years. The Commission has agreed that the process of recruiting a successor by open competition should begin. The post was advertised in the press on 22 July and the Commission plans to make a recommendation for the House to consider early in the new Session.
The Serjeant at Arms was appointed on a three year contract starting in December 2004. Following the Tebbit review of the management and services of the House, involving a re-allocation of duties (including the creation of a new post to direct key support services and facilities for Members and others) and after careful consideration the Speaker accepted the House authorities recommendation not to approve renewal of the contract. Further details on implementation of the Tebbit recommendations are contained in my answer to another question today from the Chairman of the Administration Committee.
Nick Harvey: The House of Commons Commission has fast tracked several areas of the Tebbit review on management and services. These include the amalgamation of Estates and Works; the expansion of the Office of the Clerk into that of the Chief Executive and the reorganisation of the Board of Management on functional lines.
A new Parliamentary Director of Estates is to be appointed to take forward an estate strategy which will prioritise large and costly projects facing the House in the future, including refurbishment of the cast iron roofs and large scale mechanical and electrical works servicing the Chamber.
The Commission has instructed the Clerk of the House to push ahead with a reorganisation of the Office of the Clerk (to be named Office of the Chief Executive) which will be at the centre of moving forward a coordinated strategy for achieving delivery of services, ensuring better planning, customer satisfaction and value for money which are highlighted in the Tebbit report. The Commission also approved proposals for restructuring of the Board of Management on functional lines in terms of Chamber and allied services, support facilities for Members, their staff and others on the estate, information and communication services (including IT/IS), and finance/HR, with the possibility of two external members of the board.
David Cairns: The Scotland Office was established on 1 July 1999 and has respectively supported and been responsible for two Acts; the Sunday Working (Scotland) Act 2003 and the Scottish Parliament (Constituencies) Act 2004. All the provisions of both Acts remain in force.
Jo Swinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland on what date the request was received from the Electoral Commission Inquiry to bring forward legislation to allow it to access the ballot papers from the recent Scottish Parliamentary election. 
David Cairns: A request from Mr. Ron Gould, who is leading the Electoral Commissions review of the Scottish elections in May, was received on 14 June 2007, for access to the electronic images of ballot papers. Following consultation with the Electoral Commission including statutory consultation on the draft order, legislation to allow access both to the electronic images and to the ballot papers themselves was introduced on 2 July, debated in both Houses on 17 July and approved by Parliament on 23 July.
Mr. Dismore: To ask the Solicitor-General who the 10 highest paid barristers were in respect of fees paid by (a) the Treasury Solicitors and (b) the Crown Prosecution Service in each of the last three years; what the fee income was in each case for each year; and if he will make a statement. 
David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much was spent on overnight accommodation by civil servants within his Departments areas of responsibilities in the last 12 months. 
Mr. Malik: It is not possible to disaggregate costs in respect of hotel accommodation without incurring a disproportionate cost. We are able to provide figures for travel and subsistence costs for our Department, which reflect all domestic and overseas travel for Ministers, Advisors and Officials and include costs for all travel, accommodation and subsistence. The cost for the last 12 months was £10,838,328.
Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many overseas visits were made by (a) officials and (b) Ministers within his responsibility, and at what cost, in each year since 1997. 
Mr. Malik: This information can be provided only at disproportionate cost. Since 1999, the Government have published on an annual basis, a list of all overseas visits by Cabinet Ministers costing in excess of £500, as well as the total cost of all ministerial travel overseas. Copies of the lists are available in the Libraries of the House. Information for 2006-07 is currently being compiled and will be published before the summer recess. All travel is undertaken in accordance with the Civil Service Management Code and the Ministerial Code.
Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what support he has given to governments in developing countries to provide (a) training for water and sanitation workers and providers and (b) education for water and sanitation workers and providers. 
DFID recognises that capacity building is vital to achieving the millennium development goal targets for water and sanitation. DFID supports a
range of institutions and initiatives that have capacity building at the core of their work. In particular, DFID:
funds capacity building networks such as the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council and the Global Water Partnership;
works closely with UNICEF at country level in both Africa and Asia in its work in supporting governments implement water and sanitation projects and programmes, as well as centrally with their head office;
works with others to build capacity e.g. DFID supports the World Banks Community Driven Development Programme and is planning to provide funding for another World Bank programme building district level capacity in Ethiopia;
funds programmes to strengthen research networks in developing countries (e.g. the £3.9 million RiPPLE programme in Ethiopia);
will build on the work it has done in the past through the WELL Resource Centre supporting centres of excellence in Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana, Zimbabwe, India;
is providing over £1 million of additional funding for the Partners for Water and Sanitation capacity building initiative, working in Ethiopia, South Africa, Uganda and Nigeria.
John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment he has made of the Republic of Congos (Brazzaville) compliance with its commitments under the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries initiative. 
Mr. Thomas: DFID has not made its own assessment as it relies on the assessment of the IMF and World Bank, which administer HIPC. According to the Annual Report of the World Bank and IMF Boards in May 2006 the Republic of Congos overall progress in the necessary reforms has been limited and slow. There have been improvements in the management of forestry, the social sectors and health, as well as in developing a poverty reduction strategy. However, there has been limited progress in procurement, debt management, the oil sector and civil society involvement in reducing corruption. There has been no progress in strengthening public investment management.
Mr. Ian Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what financial support his Department has provided for palliative care in Sierra Leone in the last three years; what support is planned for the future; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Thomas: DFID has not provided financial support for palliative care in Sierra Leone within the last three years. DFID Sierra Leone has pledged £50 million over the next 10 years to strengthen basic health systems and is currently working on the design of a health programme.
Hugh Bayley: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many (a) fatal and (b) serious travel-related accidents there were in (i) the City of York and (ii) Yorkshire and the Humber in each year since 1992. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: The number of reported fatal and serious personal injury road accidents in the City of York local authority and Yorkshire and the Humber in each year since 1992 are given in the following table.
|Number of accidents|
|City of York||Yorkshire and the Humber|
|(1) In April 1996 the City of York local authority became a unitary authority and increased in size.|
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