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Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform if he will list the contracts his Department signed on a consultancy basis with a net value of more than £20,000 in 2006. 
Mrs. James: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform if he will make a statement on telephone call charges incurred by UK households who receive unsolicited sales calls from overseas; and what estimate has been made of the cost to UK households as a result of such charges. 
Mr. Timms: The Premium Rate Services regulator, PhonePay Plus (formerly known as The Independent Committee for the Supervision of Standards of Telephone Information Services, ICSTIS), estimates that the UK Premium Rate Services (PRS) market, is worth over £1 billion a year and comprises of around 40,000 different services. Most services do not cause any problems but the Government take consumer protection very seriously indeed and we are taking steps to prevent abuse of the system. We work with both PhonePay Plus and Ofcom, the independent communications regulator, to ensure a co-ordinated, effective response to problems as they arise.
Under the Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003, no one is allowed to make an unsolicited telephone sales call to a subscriber who has either previously notified the caller that they do not wish to receive such calls or who has been registered with the Telephone Preference Service (TPS) scheme for at least 28 days. Companies with a UK presence are legally required not to call a telephone number which has been registered with the TPS scheme, irrespective of whether the call is made from within the UK or from outside the UK. Such companies lay themselves open to enforcement action if they breach this requirement. The Government have made no estimate of costs to those UK subscribers who return unsolicited sales calls.
The Regulations require prior consent of the customer to those companies that make recorded calls to sell or promote their product or business. Also, the Regulations state that all messages must include the identity of the caller and an address or freephone number at which the caller can be contacted. Where a consumer receives an automated call they have not agreed to, there may have been a breach of the Regulations.
The Information Commissioners Office has responsibility for the enforcement of the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations. PhonePay Plus is the regulator to investigate cases, which involve PRS calls.
Mr. Keith Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will provide the (a) details and (b) conditions of the economic recovery package for Burma that the Prime Minister has proposed to other G7 leaders. 
Mr. Jim Murphy [holding answer 22 October 2007]: My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister wrote on 16 October to the UN Secretary-General, G8 and other interested colleagues proposing a meeting on Burma in the margins of the Annual Meetings of the International Financial Institutions in Washington. He proposed discussion on how an economic recovery package might be put together for Burma if sufficient concrete and verifiable steps were to be made along the path to reconciliation and reform.
The meeting took place on 20 October chaired by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for International Development, and attended by Ministers and senior representatives from Canada, Italy, Germany, France, Japan, Thailand, Singapore, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. Participants held a preliminary discussion about the role that development assistance could play in the economic assistance of Burma once verifiable steps are made, and how the international community could support change. In the short to medium term this could include establishment of a multi-donor trust fund, an investment conference, support for a process of debt relief and financial and technical support for elections. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for International Development stressed however that any package would be conditional on national reconciliation and would have to complement the efforts to that end of the UN Secretary-Generals Special Envoy, Professor Gambari.
Mr. Burns: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the answer of 16 October 2007 on Chevening scholarships, what criteria are used to determine the number of Chevening scholarships allocated to each country. 
Mr. Jim Murphy: Following the recommendations from the River Path Review of the Chevening programme in 2003, Chevening scholarship allocations have been gradually reprioritised to be more aligned with our international strategic priorities. Allocations are decided annually on a country by country basis. New EU member states' allocations were reduced, further in line with earlier decisions to phase out Chevening for the most recent EU accession states (the A10) by 2008-09. These changes have had to take place incrementally over a number of years to keep step with the capacity of posts to identify good candidates and to manage a larger or smaller programme.
To reflect their strategic significance, the top priority countries (China, India, Indonesia, Brazil, Russia, Nigeria, Egypt, Pakistan, Mexico, Iraq and Turkey) were allocated 40 per cent. of the total funds available for new scholars in 2007-08.
Mr. Burns: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the answer of 16 October 2007 on Chevening scholarships, what the reasons were for the number of scholarships granted to (a) Sri Lanka and (b) Malta. 
Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the answer of 16 October 2007, Official Report, column 999W, on David Manning: gifts, what the cost was of the dress presented to the US Secretary of State Rice by the UK Ambassador to the US; what guidance he has issued on the presentation of gifts by diplomatic staff to foreign politicians; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Jim Murphy: The dress in question was a private gift and was not a charge on public funds. However, more generally any expenditure authorised by diplomatic service staff is governed by the provisions of diplomatic service regulations. This document forms part of diplomatic service terms and conditions which apply to all diplomatic service staff and includes a code of ethics. One of the core values contained in the regulations is to ensure that public money and other resources are used properly and efficiently.
Mr. Grogan: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what plans he has to change arrangements for applications for visas at British diplomatic posts in (a) Ulan Bator, (b) Hong Kong, (c) Singapore and (d) Shanghai. 
Following the launch of biometric data collection for UK visa applicants at our Visa Application Centre (VAC) in Singapore in June and at our Mission in Hong Kong in early October, this process will be implemented at our VACs in China (including Shanghai) and our Mission in Ulaanbataar by early November. All visa applicants will have to apply in person at our respective Missions or VACs to provide their fingerscans and a digital photograph in support of their application.
Applicants in Hong Kong and Ulaanbataar will continue to submit their applications and biometric data at our Missions in those cities, and applicants in Singapore and Shanghai will continue to submit their applications and biometric data at the VACs of our commercial partner, VFS Global Ltd.
Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what proposals the UK has put forward for EU financial, technical and political support for Iraq, including to the Iraqi Neighbours process; and if he will make a statement. 
David Miliband: With France and Sweden, we have jointly proposed that the EU increases high level, political contact with Iraq and provides political support to the Iraq neighbours process. We have also suggested that the EU works closely with the UN in support of UN Security Resolution 1770; identifies targeted development and reconstruction assistance, encouraging good donor co-ordination; responds to the humanitarian situation in Iraq and the region and promotes respect for human rights. These suggestions were discussed at the EU General Affairs and External Relations Council on 15/16 October 2007. The conclusions of that discussion can be found on the EUs website: http://www.consilium.europa.eu/ueDocs/cms_Data/docs/pressData/en/gena/96535.pdf.
Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the answer of 15 October 2007, Official Report, columns 838-9W, on Iraq: peacekeeping operations, whether he has received confirmed reports of counter-terrorist operations by Turkish security forces within Iraq; and if he will make a statement. 
The UK utterly condemns Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) terrorist attacks in Turkey and strongly supports Turkish efforts to work with the Iraqi government at a national and regional level to tackle the PKK. We continue to believe that this is the most effective way forward.
Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he has received representations from the Iraqi government on its intentions to change Iraqi law governing the operation of private security firms within Iraq; and if he will make a statement. 
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the written statement of 9 October, Official Report, columns 27-8WS, on Iraq: assistance to locally employed staff,
whether Iraqi nationals who are admitted to the United Kingdom under the Gateway Protection Programme will be subject to the normal annual limit on places available under the programme. 
Subsequent to this announcement, my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary made a written ministerial statement to the House on 9 October which outlined, in more detail, the Government's intention regarding these staff.
Mr. Andrew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the convenience of the location of UK diplomatic posts in Pakistan for people submitting visa applications who have family ties with the UK. 
With effect from 27 September 2007 applicants can submit their applications and have their biometric data collected at the Visa Applications Centres run by our commercial partnersGerrys International (Pvt.) Ltd. located in Islamabad, Lahore, Karachi and Mirpur. The location of these centres reflects demand for UKvisas in Pakistan, in particular from those with family ties in the UK.
Full details of the location of the offices and application procedures are available on the Gerrys International website: www.ukvacpk.com/.
Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what proposals the UK has put forward for EU efforts to re-engage and expand the EU mission to support the Palestinian civilian police; and if he will make a statement. 
David Miliband: The UK helped secure EU agreement to the re-engagement and expansion of the EU Police Mission for the Palestinian Territories, and has supported the British Head of Missions proposals for making rapid improvements to the capacity of the Palestinian Civil Police by providing equipment, training and advice. The UK is contributing to the mission with personnel and equipment, and we are considering further financial contributions to projects that will support the work of the mission. In the longer term we support the mission's plans to drive forward transformation of the Palestinian civil police as part of wider criminal justice and security sector reform.
Mr. Jim Murphy: The UN is at the forefront of the international community's efforts to maintain international peace and security and address the challenges of the 21st century, such as sustainable development and climate change. The UK is, and will continue to be, one of the UN's strongest supporters.
My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary had a useful meeting with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on 22 October, during which he took the opportunity to congratulate him on UN day. My noble Friend the Minister for Africa, Asia and the UN, the right hon. Lord Malloch-Brown, issued a short message noting the significance of the date and the UK's ongoing commitment to the UN. This can be found on the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) website at:
I am also pleased to note that the UN Association, a non-governmental advocacy which the FCO supports, will be holding its annual Lobby for the UN event on that day. This is an opportunity to promote dialogue between voters and hon. Members about the UK's contribution to the UN's work.
9. Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what estimate he has made of the likely size of the prison population in each year until 2012 and the number of places in the prison estate needed to accommodate it. 
Mr. Hanson: The latest prison population projections were published on 31 August 2007 covering the period to June 2014. They offer three estimates of low, medium and high demand assumptions for 2012 ranging from 87,200 to 96,400.
Maria Eagle: We publish figures for the prison population every Friday. This includes the numbers held in police and court cells. The number of prisoners held in police cells on 19 October was 333. An additional five prisoners were held in police cells under local lock-out arrangements. No prisoners have been held in court cells since the night of 19 June 2007.
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