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HMRC is currently running a campaign focused on 35 areas of the UK, including parts of Wales, with the aim of increasing take-up. The campaign runs from 29 October until 25 November and uses a combination of radio advertising and door drops.
Mr. Malik: Many bulk commodities are brought by rail to Afghanistans borders and then transported by truck around the country. In early 2006 Afghanistan began work on a railway project connecting Hirat city to the Iranian border at Sangan. 60 per cent. of the project is funded by the Iranian Government. Discussion is under way on constructing lengthier railways in Afghanistan. However, there needs to be a very careful economic cost-benefit analysis of any major railway investments to ascertain whether this is the best use of investment resources as compared with other priority investments.
The Government of Afghanistan plan to focus on improving roads and airports as priority areas of transport over the next five to 10 years, as outlined in the draft Afghanistan National Development Strategy (AMDS) transport sector plan. Railhead transfer stations at the borders are likely to be improved so that the cost of changing freight from trains to trucks is lowered, thus lowering the cost of Afghanistans international trade.
Mr. Malik: We do not have detailed information on the number of kilometres of metalled road constructed in Helmand Province since 2001. However, we are aware of USAID funding for 8 km of metalled road between Lashkar Gah City and Qala-i-Bost and 40 km of metalled road between Lashkar Gah City and the Duari Junction on the provincial border with Kandahar Province. In addition to this, the Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) have funded 5.2 km of metalled road in the Lashkar Gah District Centre. Under the DFID supported Helmand Agricultural and Rural Development Programme (HARD-P), 49 km of roads has almost been completed in Lashkar Gah, including Bolan Road (12 km); Qala-i-Bost (14 kms); Lashkari Bazar (8 kms) and Sarkar (17 kms). However, these are not metalled roads as they do not provide the best value for money. The current preferred surface option for the majority of rural access roads is the double bituminous surface treatment (DBST) method.
At the national level, nearly 1,500 km of the 4,900 km national (secondary) road network, and several thousand kilometres of tertiary roads, all with gravel surfaces, have been improved. By June 2007, about 2,500 km of the original 2,900 km of paved regional
road network had been reconstructed or rehabilitated to national standards and paved with asphalt concrete.
Mike Penning: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if he will take steps to ensure that English wine is served exclusively or at the request of guests at meals, parties and receptions hosted by his Department; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Malik: All public procurement procedures must comply with the EC Treaty. The key principles of the Treaty, from a public procurement point of view, are the free movement of goods and services, and non-discrimination on the grounds of nationality. This legislation is designed to ensure that all public procurement across the European Union is fair, transparent and non-discriminatory.
Danny Alexander: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many people aged (a) 30 to 39, (b) 40 to 49, (c) 50 to 59 and (d) 60 to 69 years have (i) applied for jobs, (ii) received interviews and (iii) gained (A) temporary and (B) permanent jobs in his Department in 2007. 
Mr. Malik: DFID complies with Age Legislation introduced on 1 October 2006 and does not ask people to disclose their age when they apply to work with DFID. However, after selection every new starter completes a personal data form which includes an age field and this information is recorded in our personal information management system.
|Starters in 2007|
|Age||Temporary staff||Permanent staff||Total|
David Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what entertainment or hospitality members of the Departments management board have received in each of the last three financial years; and if he will make a statement. 
Paragraph 4.3.5 of the Civil Service Management Code sets out the rules on the registration of hospitality. The Government are committed to publishing an annual list of hospitality received by
members of departmental boards. The first list for 2007 will be published as soon as it is ready after the end of the current calendar year.
Mr. Keith Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many studies his Department has (a) started and (b) completed into the consequences of the Iraq war for his Department and lessons learnt; and if he will place copies in the Library. 
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what annual rate is being charged by his Department to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office for the use of the official ministerial residence of the Admiralty House flat by Lord Malloch Brown. 
Dr. Cable: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what departmental assets are planned to be sold in each financial year from 2007-08 to 2010-11; what the (a) description and (b) book value of each such asset is; what the expected revenue from each such sale is; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if he will place in the Library a copy of the list being drawn up of departmental assets planned to be sold in each financial year from 2007-08 to 2010-11, including the (a) description, (b) book value and (c) expected revenue from sale of each such asset. 
Gillian Merron: The Cabinet Office is currently engaged in identifying assets which could be potentially sold. This work is ongoing and for the later years, may not be finalised until nearer the relevant date.
Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster how many applicants for information, requested under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, to his Department requested an internal review in cases where the request had been turned down, in each year since the Act came into force; what the (a) average, (b) longest and (c) shortest time taken was to conduct an internal review in that period; and what was the total cost of such reviews in that period. 
Edward Miliband: Data on the performance of central Government Departments under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 are available on the Ministry of Justice website at: http://www.foi.gov.uk/reference/statisticsandreports.htm. Copies are also available in the Libraries of the House.
Edward Miliband: The Cabinet Office intends to produce its autumn performance report 2007 (APR) to the timetable set by HM Treasury. The deadline set this year by HM Treasury for Departments to produce their APR is prior to 15 December 2007. There is not a separate APR produced by No. 10 Downing street.
Mr. Maude: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what legal advice has been commissioned on the pension claim by the former Lord Chancellor, Lord Falconer; and how much has been spent on commissioning advice. 
Gordon Banks: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what estimate he has made of the proportion of the voluntary sector organisations using Linux Open Source computer software; and if he will make a statement. 
Peter Luff: To ask the Leader of the House why no organisations from the West Midlands are listed in Annex 1 of the Governments Draft Legislative ProgrammeTaking a Wider View as having participated in regional consultation events. 
Mr. Vara: To ask the Leader of the House how many responses the Government received to its consultation on the Draft Legislative Programme; and how many of those responses were received via the Leader of the Houses website. 
Helen Goodman: The consultation on the draft legislative programme was made up of a number of events and activities. Debates were held in both Houses of Parliament, copies were sent to a wide number of stakeholders, Regional Ministers organised 11 events around England at which over 250 organisations were represented, and a National Workshop was held in London which was attended by 76 members of the public from England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. In addition the Draft Legislative Programme was published on the Cabinet Office and Leader of the House of Commons website. 106 responses were received in writing or by email and 30 were received by the Leader of the House of Commons website. The Leader of the House of Commons published The Governments Legislative ProgrammeTaking a wider view on 14 November 2007 which summarised the activity that had taken place this year.
Bill Wiggin: To ask the Leader of the House what steps she took to consult (a) local authorities and (b) businesses in the West Midlands on the Governments draft legislative programme published in July 2007; which organisations in the West Midlands were contacted about the programme; and if she will make a statement. 
Helen Goodman: The Draft Legislative Programme and other issues of key concern to the West Midlands have been discussed by the Minister for the West Midlands with the following individuals and stakeholders since August 2007:
Advantage West Midlands
Armac Manufacturing Ltd.
Arts Council England
Big Lottery Fund
Birmingham Chamber International Trade Team
Birmingham City Council
Birmingham City University
Black Country Consortium
Cabinet Member for Economic and Community Issues with Hereford Council
CEO Advantage West Midlands (AWM)
Chairman North Staffordshire Regeneration Partnership Development Group
Chairman of Dermal Technology Laboratory (DTL Ltd.)
Chairman of Rural Affairs Forum
Chamber of Commerce Herefordshire and Worcestershire
Newcastle Borough Council
North Staffordshire Chamber of Commerce
Staffordshire County Council
Stoke-on-Trent City Council
Telford and Wrekin Council
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