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4 Dec 2007 : Column 1079Wcontinued
Sarah Teather: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills (1) how many times databases held by his Department containing personal information on members of the general public were accessed in each month of the last five years; 
(2) how many staff in his Department have access to electronic databases which contain personal information on members of the general public, broken down by grade of staff member; 
(3) how many electronic databases containing (a) names, (b) addresses, (c) bank details and (d) other personal information of members of the general public his Department holds; 
(4) how many requests his Department received from the National Audit Office for access to databases containing personal information on members of the general public in each year since 1997; 
(5) how many security breaches regarding access to personal data occurred in his Department in each year since 1997; 
(6) what mechanisms his Department has in place to ensure that databases held by his Department containing personal information on members of the general public are not accessed (a) by unauthorised staff and (b) by authorised staff for unauthorised purposes; 
(7) when each electronic database containing personal information on members of the general public held by his Department was first created. 
Mr. Rob Wilson: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how many breaches of the Data Protection Act 1998 requiring investigation there have been in the last five years in his Department; what the nature of such breaches were; and what the results of the investigations were in each case. 
Tom Brake: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills whether he proposes to review how his Department transports data; and whether his Department uses TNT to transport data. 
Mr. Lammy: I refer the hon. Members to the statement made by my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister on 21 November 2007, Official Report, column 1179. The review by the Cabinet Secretary and security experts is looking at procedures within departments and agencies for the storage and use of data. A statement on departments procedures will be made on completion of the review.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what proportion of 16-year-olds who had been in custody for more than one year was entered for GCSE examinations in each year since 2001; and what proportion of 16-year-olds in custody gained five A* to Cs at GCSE in each of those years. 
Jim Knight: I have been asked to reply.
I refer the hon. Member to the reply given on 19 November 2007, Official Report , column 632W.
Mr. Boswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills pursuant to the answer of 19 November 2007, Official Report, column 573W, on sector skills council: licensing, whether the Commission for Employment and Skills will be taking over from the Sector Skills Development Agency all its licensing functions; and whether the relicensing programme for sector skills councils will be a rolling process. 
Mr. Lammy: The Commission for Employment and Skills will be responsible for providing advice to the relevant Secretaries of State across the UK about which Sector Skills Councils (SSCs) should receive a new license. The new licences will be issued by the Government.
The re-licensing of SSCs will be an early priority for the Commission. The intention is that the re-licensing of SSCs will be completed by the end of 2009. No decisions have been made about the review of licenses beyond 2009.
Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what meetings have occurred between his Department and officials from the African, Caribbean and Pacific countries about economic partnership agreements; and what the outcomes were. [R] 
Mr. Thomas: Between the Department for International Development, the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office there has been close and constant contact with representatives from all the ACP negotiating regions at both ministerial and official level.
The outcome of this close contact is that we are in a position to know what the ACP countries want from these negotiations and represent their views to the European Commission and other member states. We are also able to provide them with support.
Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how economic partnership agreements will be ratified if signed; and what the role of Parliament will be in the ratification process. [R] 
Each completed Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) will need to be agreed by the European Union (EU) Council of Ministers. If the EPA is a goods only agreement and no more, it will fall within exclusive Community competence and would not require any national ratification, however if the EPA contains any elements other than trade in goods, it will have to be agreed at national level by each member state. In the UK, we must consult Parliament and each EPA must be debated and approved in both
the House of Commons and the House of Lords. We will do this by means of a statutory instrument.
We will however submit all EPA texts to Parliament for scrutiny, regardless of the formal ratification procedure.
Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps his Department is taking to ensure that any African, Caribbean or Pacific country unable to sign an economic partnership agreement by the end of 2007 does not experience more restricted market access into the EU from 1 January 2008. 
Mr. Thomas: I am concerned about what happens to countries that are unable to sign an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) by the end of year deadline. In September I wrote to other European Union Trade Ministers to press the European Commission to ensure that African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries are no worse off after the end of 2007 once the Cotonou agreement lapses.
On 20 November at the General Affairs and External Relations Council (GAERC) my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for International Development, along with other European Union member states, asked the Commission to come forward with suggestions of what will be offered to countries that are engaged with the process but not ready to sign an EPA by the end of the year. It was agreed that recommendations from the Commission will be discussed at the December GAERC to ensure that these countries do not end up facing Generalised System of Preferences tariffs.
Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much the UK spent on provincial reconstruction teams in Afghanistan in each of the last five years; and what projects such funding has supported. 
David Miliband: I have been asked to reply.
The Government spent £1.4 million through the Mazar-e Sharif Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) on police training and mentoring. Since opening in May 2006, the Helmand PRT has implemented 199 Quick Impact Projects valued at £11.6 million. This has supported a number of building projects (including schools, parks and police stations), police training and womens rights projects. A further £4.5 million has been spent on longer-term projects in support of governance in the province.
I will write to the right hon. Member with a list of projects and will arrange for copies to be placed in the Library of the House.
Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what proportion of funding for the (a) first and (b) second phase of the humanitarian response to the cyclone in Bangladesh was paid directly to non-governmental organisations. 
Mr. Malik: The UK Government have provided £7 million for Cyclone Sidr relief in Bangladesh. At least 90 per cent. of this will be channelled to non-governmental organisations (NGOs) for immediate and short to medium-term needs, with the remainder for disaster management coordination and operations.
The first tranche of £2.5 million was allocated through United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to local non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to provide immediate assistance in the form of food, clean and safe water, medical treatment, and housing repairs.
An additional £2.5 million was announced by the Secretary of State on 23 November. This will be programmed through three international NGOs: Save the Children UK, Oxfam GB, and CARE, to focus on short to medium-term needs such as water, sanitation and hygiene promotion. A further £2 million announced by the Secretary of State on 28 November, will also be allocated to support the short to medium-term response by improving access, provision of non-food items such as blankets, disaster management coordination, and the restoration of livelihoods. A significant proportion of this money will be programmed through NGOs, such as Oxfam GB for the provision of non-food items and BRAC (Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee) for livelihoods.
Mr. MacDougall: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if he will make a statement on the humanitarian situation of the Karen people in Burma. 
Mr. Malik: Like many others in Burma, Karen people are suffering from the repressive rule of the Burmese military governmentincluding restrictions on movement, arbitrary taxation and forced labour. Severe economic mismanagement has deprived Burma of the economic growth enjoyed by its South East Asian neighbours, and investment in public services has been minimal. A third of the population lives below the poverty line. Those in conflict areas, of which Karen State is one, face further human rights abuses by the Burmese military, and on occasion by the ethnic armed groups. As a consequence of the conflict, there are 500,000 internally displaced people (IDPs) in Eastern Burma, the majority of whom are Karenand their humanitarian plight is particularly severe. DFID provides assistance to IDPs using community-based groups from inside Eastern Burma, and cross-border to the most vulnerable. DFID also provides support to Burmese refugees, mostly Karen, in Thailand.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what support his Department has provided to (a) Animals Aid Foundation and (b) China Wildlife Conservation Association in relation to bear bile farming in China. 
Mr. Malik: We have not provided any support to either organisation.
Colin Burgon: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what proportion of UK assistance to Colombia is provided for projects which are not related to the Colombian security forces in 2007-08. 
Mr. Malik: The parliamentary ombudsman has upheld the UK Government's decision not to make public precise details of our counter narcotics assistance, as to do so would jeopardise the effectiveness of that dangerous work and the safety of the British and Colombian personnel involved. As such, it is not possible to say what proportion of UK assistance to Colombia for projects was not related to the security forces.
DFID channels most of its development assistance to Colombia through the World Bank, the EU, Inter-American Development Bank (IADB) and the UN. DFID trust funds with IADB specifically support six current projects in Colombia: citizen monitoring in urban governments, presidential town meetings, strengthening the auditor general, supporting community councils, job promotion in cities, and supporting indigenous small miners. In addition DFID funds a number of UK NGOs, and work on the Poverty reduction strategy.
Direct UK project assistance in Colombia is mainly funded by the FCO's Global Opportunities Fund and the Global Conflict Prevention Pool. It reflects the UK's key priorities of tackling the illegal drugs trade and improving the human rights situation. The FCO has recently placed on its website a schedule of UK human rights-related project activity:
Mr. Walker: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development whether his Department's information technology and data management systems are BS7799 compliant. 
Mr. Douglas Alexander: I refer the hon. Member to the statement made by my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister on 21 November 2007, Official Report, column 1179. The review by the Cabinet Secretary and security experts is looking at procedures within Departments and agencies for the storage and use of data. A statement on Departments procedures will be made on completion of the review.
Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what the percentage turnover of staff was in his Department in (a) the last 12-month period and (b) the last 24-month period for which figures are available. 
Mr. Malik: The Department for International Development employs both home civil servants and locally engaged staff, who work in our network of overseas offices on local terms and conditions of service. Comprehensive data on the turnover of staff in this latter group is not held centrally.
The turnover of home civil servants in the 2006-07 financial year was 9.5 per cent.; and over the two-year period covering the 2005-06 and 2006-07 financial years was 20 per cent. Turnover has been calculated as the number of leavers in the period, expressed as a percentage of the total number of staff in post at the beginning of that period.
Lyn Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what recent discussions his Department has had with the Department of Health on the Governments strategy on global health. 
Mr. Malik: Officials at DFID are in regular contact with the Department of Health as work to develop the Global Health Strategy proceeds.
My colleague Baroness Vadera sits on the Inter-Ministerial Group on Strengthening Health in Developing Countries which oversees this important agenda and will complement and reinforce DFIDs existing health strategyincluding the recent initiative that launched the International Health Partnership (IHP).
In addition to discussions about the IHP, we are considering the role that access to medicines might play in the light of the issues raised at the recent meeting of the Intergovernmental Working Group on Public Health, Innovation and Intellectual Property in Geneva.
Mr. Lancaster: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development when he expects to (a) finalise and (b) publish his Department's regional assistance plan for Latin America for 2008-2011. 
Mr. Malik: Spending on Latin America, as on all DFID's programmes, will be decided by January as part of the Resource Allocation Round. DFID's Latin America strategy will be finalised after those decisions.
Mr. Lancaster: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what financial assistance his Department will allocate to each Latin American country in 2008-09. 
Mr. Malik: DFID is currently developing detailed plans for allocating its budget over the three year period 2008-09 to 2010-11 following the outcome of the comprehensive spending review announced in October. Individual country programme allocations will not be finalised until early in 2008.
Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what recent reports he has received about the humanitarian situation in Somalia; what the response of his Department has been; and if he will make a statement. 
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