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8 Oct 2007 : Column 260W—continued

Our visa sections in Russia exceeded these standards in the 2006-07 and 2005-06 financial years. In 2005-06, an average of 92 per cent. of PSA 1 applications were processed within 24 hours, 97.4 per cent. of PSA 2 applications were processed within 15 days, and 100 per cent. of PSA 3 applications were processed within 12 weeks.

Provisional figures for 2006-07 show that, on average, 92 per cent. of PSA 1 applications were processed within 24 hours, 97 per cent. of PSA 2 applications were processed within 15 days, and 100 per cent. of PSA 3 applications were processed within 12 weeks.

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what information is provided to Russian applicants for visas to visit the UK. [153776]

Dr. Howells: The information provided to Russian applicants is a combination of generic material that applies to all visa applicants and tailored guidance relevant to applications in Russia.

This information is available primarily through the UKvisas main website: www.ukvisas.ov.uk, our embassy in Moscow's website: www.britaininrussia.ru and the website of UKvisas' commercial partner in Russia: www.ukvac-ru.com.

A range of printed information on applications and procedures is also available at the four visa application centres in Russia operated by VFS.

Special Envoys

Mark Pritchard: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many special envoys have been appointed to (a) foreign countries, (b) overseas and dependent territories and (c) states under UN mandates since 27 June 2007. [155403]

Dr. Howells [holding answer 17 September 2007]: Two special envoys to either foreign countries, overseas and dependent territories or states under UN mandates have been appointed since 27 June 2007. Michael Williams has been appointed the UK Special Representative on
8 Oct 2007 : Column 261W
the Middle East and Special Projects. (Further information is available on the Foreign and Commonwealth Office website at:

My right hon. Friend the Member for Enfield, North (Joan Ryan) has been appointed as the Special Representative to Cyprus, (further details are available on the No. 10 website at:

Timor-Leste: Extradition

John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has had with Indonesian officials on the extradition to East Timor of Col. Burhanuddin Siagian. [156433]

Meg Munn: My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary has had no discussions with Indonesian officials on the extradition to East Timor of Indonesian Colonel Burhanuddin Siagian. We believe that this is a matter for consideration between the Indonesian and East Timorese Governments.

The UK has consistently expressed concern to both the Indonesian and East Timorese Governments about impunity for those responsible for human rights abuses in East Timor. These issues are pursued through their bilateral Commission for Truth and Friendship (CTF). We have encouraged both governments to make the CTF a process that enjoys the confidence of the victims and the international community.

UK Trade and Investment: Information Officers

Mr. Spring: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many press officers are employed by UK Trade and Investment. [154137]

Meg Munn: Four press officers are employed by UK Trade and Investment.

Visa Facilitation Services

Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what the total cost has been to public funds of payments made to Visa Facilitation Services for the provision of an online visa application service in (a) India, (b) Nigeria and (c) Russia. [154638]

Dr. Howells: The Visa Facilitation Services online application services in India, Nigeria and Russia are funded by a handling fee charged to applicants. No public funds have been involved in the provision of this service.

Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he plans to seek financial compensation from Visa Facilitation Services for the security failures set out in the report of the Independent Investigation published on 28th July; and if he will make a statement. [154639]


8 Oct 2007 : Column 262W

Dr. Howells: No, as no financial loss was incurred. The independent investigator concluded that she could find no evidence that any personal data were misused as a result of the breach of security at the Visa Facilitation Services online visa application facility. We are committed to working with Visa Facilitation Services to ensure that a high standard of customer service is maintained under the contract, which replaces the previous arrangements.

Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether his Department has any remaining contracts with Visa Facilitation Services in force; and if he will make a statement. [154640]

Dr. Howells: UKvisas signed a commercial partnership agreement with VF Worldwide Holdings Ltd. (Visa Facilitation Services) on 27 February 2007. This contract provides that VF Worldwide Holdings will supply UKvisas with visa application and related services in the far east, Former Soviet Union, Gulf and Pakistan, South Asia, South East Asia (excluding Australia and New Zealand), Southern, Central and Eastern Africa and West Africa. This contract is being rolled out across the world gradually throughout 2007. As it comes into effect in each country, it will supersede any previous existing contracts between UKvisas and Visa Facilitation Services in that country.

Visa Facilitation Services currently provides a service for UKvisas in China, India, Qatar and Russia under contracts which have not yet been superseded by the 27 February 2007 contract.

Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether disciplinary action has been taken against members of staff at UKvisas following the report of the Independent Investigator into breaches of data security in the Visa Facilitation Services online visa application facility; and if he will make a statement. [154641]

Dr. Howells: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has accepted all of the recommendations made by the independent investigator in her report into the data breach at the Visa Facilitation Services online visa application facility. None recommended disciplinary action against UKvisas staff.

Zimbabwe: Entry Clearances

Ian Stewart: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when he expects a determination to be made on visa application number VC 005578 submitted on 7 September 2006 at the British embassy in Zimbabwe. [154309]

Dr. Howells: Our embassy in Harare issued visa application number VC 005578 on 20 August, following the authentication of the applicant's documents by the Zimbabwean authorities on 16 August.

Ian Stewart: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what the average time was that the British embassy in Zimbabwe had to
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wait to receive a response from the Zimbabwean authorities for the authentication of documents submitted with a visa application in the latest period for which figures are available. [154310]

Dr. Howells: The waiting time for our embassy in Harare to receive a response from the Zimbabwean authorities for the authentication of official documents submitted with a visa application over the last 12 months has varied from four weeks to 12 months.

Visa section staff at our embassy in Harare have no control over the time the Zimbabwean authorities take to respond to such requests, and continue to chase any request for authentication of documents.

Health

Accident and Emergency Departments

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many attendances there have been at Type 1
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accident and emergency departments (a) in total and (b) per 100,000 population in each year since 1997-98 in England, broken down by strategic health authority area. [154273]

Mr. Bradshaw: Prior to quarter 1 (April to June) 2001-02, attendance data were collected only as a total figure for all types of accident and emergency (A and E) department (major departments, single specialty departments and minor injury and illness services, including minor injury units). A and E attendances split down into A and E type were first collected in quarter 1 (April to June) 2002-03. Therefore, it is not possible to provide Type 1 attendance figures prior to 2002-03.

The following tables show data on the number of attendances and the number of attendances per 100,000 head of population, at Type 1 A and E departments for strategic health authorities in England since 2002-03 to 2006-07.

Number of attendances and the number of attendances per 100,000 head of population, at Type 1 A and E departments, strategic health authorities in England, 2002-03 to 2006-07
Attendances Attendances per 100,000 population
SHA name 2002-03 2003-04 2004-05 2005-06 2002-03 2003-04 20040-05 2005-06

England

11,994,874

12,665,482

13,265,820

13,553,686

24,158

25,399

26,473

26,857

Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire HA

389,855

417,568

444,667

448,799

17,758

18,808

19,836

19,787

Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire HA

337,644

358,192

388,508

399,056

20,939

22,100

23,899

24,369

Essex HA

324,991

367,679

396,113

405,789

20,002

22,505

24,100

24,485

North West London HA

622,819

649,680

712,502

750,612

34,660

36,128

39,447

41,021

North Central London HA

402,706

472,524

484,899

465,785

33,257

38,838

39,583

37,544

North East London HA

469,186

521,654

579,140

619,790

30,606

34,007

37,809

40,375

South East London HA

472,742

499,162

568,346

605,915

31,198

33,037

37,494

39,654

South West London HA

380,761

388,186

419,437

424,193

29,168

29,761

32,013

32,074

Northumberland, Tyne and Wear HA

345,136

382,487

395,566

377,803

24,746

27,441

28,412

27,067

County Durham and Tees Valley HA

280,953

316,367

333,263

337,807

24,511

27,567

28,981

29,276

North and East Yorkshire and Northern Lincolnshire HA

334,151

352,206

364,041

368,819

20,404

21,337

21,851

21,978

West Yorkshire HA

682,502

693,594

682,662

672,156

32,592

32,975

32,220

31,384

Cumbria and Lancashire HA

455,401

463,772

476,314

493,601

23,837

24,131

24,629

25,415

Greater Manchester HA

835,341

872,133

891,915

942,652

33,174

34,501

35,205

37,064

Cheshire and Merseyside HA

691,484

724,804

739,599

743,840

29,431

30,833

31,444

31,595

Thames Valley HA

388,628

411,055

441,969

441,598

18,459

19,433

20,802

20,600

Hampshire and Isle of Wight HA

284,580

280,685

292,302

303,593

15,905

15,606

16,191

16,688

Kent and Medway HA

348,210

364,667

381,477

337,381

21,904

22,783

23,651

20,764

Surrey and Sussex HA

591,294

585,689

619,186

642,238

23,074

22,767

23,978

24,732

Avon, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire HA

463,443

502,901

526,092

533,569

21,230

22,878

23,743

23,829

South West Peninsula HA

283,567

307,891

315,325

316,105

17,826

19,217

19,496

19,357

Dorset and Somerset HA

207,990

230,925

216,882

224,147

17,337

19,170

17,946

18,455

South Yorkshire HA

367,323

389,572

400,211

414,050

28,920

30,593

31,285

32,155

Trent HA

492,666

500,782

527,973

541,243

18,579

18,736

19,580

19,934

Leicestershire, Northamptonshire and Rutland HA

231,337

239,112

257,124

268,756

14,736

15,121

16,122

16,669

Shropshire and Staffordshire HA

279,512

289,741

299,524

302,595

18,721

19,328

19,904

20,043

Birmingham and the Black Country HA

700,556

733,077

750,350

786,128

30,854

32,240

32,930

34,347

West Midlands South HA

330,096

349,377

360,433

385,666

21,553

22,704

23,356

24,847


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