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3 Sep 2007 : Column 1588Wcontinued
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development whether (a) his Department and (b) its agencies have made payments to Flint Bishop Solicitors since 1997. 
Mr. Thomas: Since 1997, DFID has no record of having made any payments to Flint Bishop Solicitors.
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much was spent by his Department on flowers in the last 12 months. 
Mr. Thomas: Occasionally DFID may incur expenditure on flowers as part of our fees for a conference or event however we cannot disaggregate these costs from total spend without incurring disproportionate cost.
John Hemming: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many ministerial red boxes the Department bought in each of the last five years; what the cost of each was; who the suppliers were; and what tendering process was used in selecting them. 
Mr. Malik: Ministerial boxes are used by successive Ministers over many years. Information requested by the hon. Member is available for the year 2006. Two ministerial boxes were purchased directly from Barrow and Gale in 2006. There is no current long term contract in place.
Details of costs are as follows:
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much was spent by his Department on newspapers and magazines in the last 12 months. 
Mr. Thomas: During the period July 2006 to July 2007 DFID recorded spend of £64,367 on newspapers and magazines. This includes the costs of subscriptions centrally funded in our Headquarters offices. Within DFID, individual departments and overseas offices may on occasion subscribe to relevant publications. To identify all non-centrally funded costs within our current systems would incur disproportionate cost.
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development whether his Departments departmental magazine, Developments, is distributed in biodegradable packaging . 
Mr. Thomas: The current stocks of polybags used for posting out individual copies of Developments magazine are not biodegradable. These polybags are ordered in bulk and, at the time of ordering, a biodegradable alternative was ruled out due to high cost and short shelf-life.
The current stock will be used until it runs out and is expected to cover the next one and a half mailings. The next order of polybags will be made with a new supplier who can provide a suitable biodegradable alternative. These will be used to complete the mailing of Developments magazine due out at the end of this year and for all subsequent issues.
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much was spent by his Department on staff away days in the last 12 months. 
Mr. Malik: Individual departments within DFID plan and manage development away days and team building exercises for their staff in accordance with their specific needs in the context of business planning, continual professional development and performance improvement. Costs are usually met through delegated divisional or departmental training budgets.
DFID does not separately record its expenditure on staff away days, and therefore is unable to provide the breakdown requested without incurring disproportionate costs.
Mr. Dunne: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what representations his Department received from Mr. Howard Horsley, former Education Field Office Manager in Ghana, before his dismissal in January 2000 on corruption and misconduct. 
Mr. Thomas: DFIDs records show that Mr. Horsley made representations on attempted corruption in a letter of 7 July 1999. Separately, but within the same letter, he raised unrelated concerns on the conduct of a colleague. He later made further non corruption related representations calling for that colleague to be the subject of a disciplinary investigation in correspondence on 14 October and 12 November 1999.
DFID maintained a dialogue with Mr. Horsley throughout the period he was employed in Ghana. In the years since his dismissal Mr. Horsley has put forward a series of concerns which have been reviewed by DFID and independently by Cabinet Secretaries and the National Audit Office. All parties across Whitehall have been satisfied that DFID acted correctly in relation to Mr. Horsleys dismissal and found no evidence of financial impropriety and DFIDs position has been upheld.
John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development (1) what assessment he has made of the management of oil revenues by public officials in the Republic of Congo (Brazzaville); 
(2) what representations he has received on the management of oil revenues in the Republic of Congo (Brazzaville); 
(3) what representations he has received on the involvement of Denis Christel Sassou-Nguesso in the management of oil revenues in the Republic of Congo (Brazzaville); 
(4) what assessment he has made of the extent of corruption within the Congolese (Brazzaville) oil sector; 
(5) what recent discussions he has had with (a) the International Monetary Fund, (b) his counterparts at the EU and (c) the government of the Republic of Congo (Brazzaville) about management of oil revenues. 
Mr. Thomas: DFID has not made its own assessments of the management of oil revenues or the extent of corruption within the oil sector. It relies on the assessment of the IMF and World Bank, for reasons of efficiency and the avoidance of duplication. Their latest assessment of progress in improving oil sector governance and reducing corruption indicates progress on increasing transparency has been slow. The World Bank is providing technical assistance to ensure that there are no capacity constraints preventing the Congolese authorities from implementing the necessary transparency reforms.
The UK discusses governance issues and the need for increased transparency in the oil sector with the Congolese government in conjunction with European partners and through the World Bank and IMF. The IMF missions to Brazzaville (October 2006 and May 2007) met with the President, Prime Minister, Planning and Finance Ministers, Central Bank Director and other senior officials, representatives of the donor community and civil society. We continue to urge for greater political support for improvements in accountability, and have argued strongly that oil revenue windfalls should be directed to activities which support poverty reduction.
DFID has not received any recent representations on the management of oil revenues in the Republic of Congo, nor of Mr. Sassou-Nguessos involvement.
Sarah Teather: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform if he will publish the names of the 2,500 post offices likely to be closed under the closure programme. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: I have been asked to reply.
On 17 May my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State announced the Governments response to public consultation on the Post Office network.
Now that the Government have announced their decisions it will be for Post Office Ltd. to strategically develop the network through 50 to 60 local area implementation plans over the next 18 months.
Following initial input from sub-postmasters, Postwatch and local authorities these plans will include closure proposals which will then be put to local consultations ahead of final decisions.
Tim Farron: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform if he will set up an inquiry into the accounts of the Stuffed Shirt Company following its liquidation. 
Mr. McFadden: The only company that has been registered at Companies House with the name The Stuffed Shirt Company Limited was placed in creditors' voluntary liquidation in 1998. In 2001 the company was dissolved which means that it lies outside the scope of the investigation powers exercised by my Department's Companies Investigations Branch. If the hon. Member is referring to a more recent company, I would invite him to write to me so that I can consider his request more fully.
Nick Harvey: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster whether the Government are (a) conducting and (b) contributing to studies into the effects of depleted uranium ammunition on the population of Iraq as referred to in the answer of 20 October 2004, Official Report, column 714W. 
Derek Twigg: I have been asked to reply.
Research into the effects of depleted uranium (DU) specifically on the population of Iraq is primarily the responsibility of the Government of Iraq. However, the scientific literature already contains a substantial number of reports which indicate that DU has not had, and is very unlikely to have, any significant impact on the population.
As announced in the House on 20 July 2005, Official Report, column 1755W, and 23 January 2006, Official Report, column 1713W, we will provide help and advice to assist the Government of Iraq and other authorities such as the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) in any further research they may undertake. MOD has provided information on its use of DU munitions and on its monitoring in Iraq in 2003. MOD officials attended a UNEP seminar at which DU matters, including environmental monitoring and sampling techniques, were discussed with Iraqi scientists. More recently, MOD provided Iraqi scientists with protective equipment to carry out DU contamination surveys and with information on the composition of the DU used in UK munitions.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Minister for the Olympics what representations she has received from the International Shooting Sport Federation on the ability of Woolwich to accommodate the Olympic shooting events; and if she will make a statement. 
Tessa Jowell: Representations about venues will be received by the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games (LOCOG).
The Royal Artillery Barracks at Woolwich was agreed as the venue for shooting events after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) gave feedback on the accessibility, athlete experience and proximity to the Olympic park on the venue portfolio submitted by London 2012 as an applicant city in 2004. The International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) supported the choice of venue.
Woolwich was chosen as it offers a venue close to the Olympic park and provides good accessibility.
Mr. Hollobone: To ask the Minister for the Olympics how many spectators are expected to be able (a) to walk the course and (b) to spectate at the equestrian events in Greenwich Park at the 2012 Olympics. 
Tessa Jowell [holding answer 23 July 2007]: The London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) is responsible for each of the 2012 games venues during games time. As part of their preparation, they are currently developing detailed overlay plans for each venue.
The Candidate File identifies capacity at Greenwich park as 23,000 for the main arena. LOCOG have now appointed a course designer and further detailed work is being undertaken to identify the optimum layout of Greenwich park as a whole, and the siting of the arena and competition courses. This work also takes into consideration health and safety, security, operational requirements and the ecology of Greenwich Park. Until this work is complete, exact spectator numbers, including people walking the course, cannot be given.
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Minister for the Olympics pursuant to the answer of 9 July 2007, Official Report, columns 1292-93W, on the Olympic games: Greater London, whether civil servants in her Department compiled the information given by KPMG at the cost review group meetings into a report or presentation document. 
Tessa Jowell: Departmental officials took the minutes of the cost review group meetings. However, they did not compile the information given by KPMG at these meetings into a report or presentation document.
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Minister for the Olympics pursuant to the answer of 9 July 2007, Official Report, column 1292W, on the Olympic games: Greater London, in what form the cost review group presented to her Department the savings it identified in different areas of the budget. 
Tessa Jowell: The cost review group presented the savings they identified in the form of oral presentation and updates to financial estimates.
The savings identified were incorporated into the Olympic park masterplan announced on 7 June 2006, and continuing work on the development of the funding package which I announced to the House on 15 March.
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Minister for the Olympics pursuant to the answer of 9 July 2007, Official Report, column 1292W, on the Olympic games: Greater London, on what date the cost review reached its conclusions. 
Tessa Jowell: The cost review culminated in the statement I made to the House on 15 March 2007.
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Minister for the Olympics pursuant to the answer of 16 July 2007, Official Report, column 43W, on the Olympic games: Greater London, who the other members of the team within the then Interim Olympic Delivery Authority were. 
Tessa Jowell: In October 2005 the Department commissioned KPMG to provide advice on the cost of the Olympic games.
KPMG also provided advice under contract to the then interim Olympic Delivery Authority and later the Olympic Delivery Authority. KPMG provided advice on venues in partnership with Davis Langdon LLP, and on infrastructure in partnership with Faithful and Gould. Further details are set out in paragraphs 40-41 of the National Audit Office's report The budget for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games published on 20 July 2007.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what his policy is on the future of the (a) British Film Institute and (b) National Film Theatre; and if he will make a statement. 
Margaret Hodge: The British Film Institute will continue to support and enhance film culture and education across the UK. In 2007-08, they will receive £16 million of grant in aid funding. Since 1998, they have received £162 million.
The recently redeveloped BFI Southbank, which houses the National Film Theatre, is a focal point for this work. It provides a platform for the BFI to show a diverse range of films to a wide audience; to offer pioneering access to the BFI National Archive; and to engage new audiences with an expanded programme of education and learning.
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