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Dr. Gibson: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (1) what estimate he has made of the proportion of contracts awarded to third sector organisations that provide services in Norwich North that are three-year contracts; 
Mr. Waterson: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (1) what progress has been made towards ensuring that third sector organisations providing services in Eastbourne are awarded three-year contracts; 
Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (1) what proportion of contracts awarded to third sector organisations that provide services in Peterborough are three-year contracts; 
Mr. Vara: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (1) what estimate he has made of the proportion of contracts awarded to third sector organisations that provide services in North West Cambridgeshire that are three year contracts; 
Bob Spink: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (1) what progress has been made towards engaging third sector organisations providing publicly-funded services in Castle Point on three-year contracts; 
Mr. Borrow: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what progress has been made towards ensuring that third sector organisations which provide services in South Ribble are awarded three year contracts; and what proportion were awarded three- year contracts in 2006-07. 
Phil Hope: This Government are committed to ensuring that three-year funding for third sector organisations becomes the norm rather than the exception. I will be reporting on Government progress in meeting this funding commitment to HM Treasury on an annual basis. The first report will be made in the autumn 2008 and will be laid before Parliament. It is expected that local authorities will be making reports on three year funding from 2009 onwards.
Andrew Mackinlay: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what the itinerary is for His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales's official visit to the Caribbean in March 2008; what the (a) date and (b) location is of each official engagement during the visit; which countries included in the itinerary His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales will be visiting as Heir Apparent to that country; and how many officials are expected to participate in the visit at public expense. 
Meg Munn [holding answer 5 March 2008]: Their Royal Highnesses the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall visited Trinidad and Tobago from 3 to 6 March, St. Lucia on 7 March, and Montserrat on 8 March and will visit Jamaica on 12 to 14 March.
The objective of the visit is to reinforce ties with the Commonwealth Caribbean. Numerous engagements are planned, but as examples, in Trinidad and Tobago, His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales undertook engagements related to crime and security; in St. Lucia engagements related to the environment, trade and investment; in Montserrat engagements related to environment and a visit to a community centre; and in Jamaica His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales will undertake engagements relating to urban regeneration and climate security. For security reasons programme details, including times and locations, are not made public before a visit takes place. I shall write to my hon. Friend with the programme when the official visit to the Caribbean has finished.
Their Royal Highnesses are being accompanied by 14 members of their staff. In addition between three and 14 members of our respective High Commissions/Governor's office are participating in the visit.
Meg Munn: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) is committed to helping its staff maintain a healthy work/life balance. We encourage staff and their managers to think creatively about flexible work patterns, including remote working.
Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how much was spent by his Department and its agencies on (a) alcohol and (b) entertaining in the last 12 months. 
Meg Munn: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), Government Hospitality Team is responsible for official hospitality at ministerial level across Whitehall. In the financial year 2006-07 Government Hospitality spent a total of £809,529.40 in direct charges to suppliers. This was divided between general catering charges, including food, staff, flowers, provision of sound equipment and alcohol as follows:
Catering costs: £700,814.16
Wine Cellar costs: £108,715.24
Officials across the FCO, both at home and overseas, commit expenditure on entertainment of official contacts in line with the FCOs objectives. This expenditure includes the costs of food, drink and sundries when official contacts are entertained at an officers home or at an external venue. This expenditure is not broken down into the requested categories, and to obtain this information would require analysis of each individual invoice. This could be done only at disproportionate cost.
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what average
hourly rate his Department paid to employment agencies for agency staff in each year since 1999, broken down by employment agency. 
Meg Munn: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) employs temporary agency staff for a variety of reasons, for example to complete a specific project, fill an advisory role on an ad hoc basis, or to cover an existing slot that could not be filled internally.
The FCO uses various agencies under the national framework for temporary staff. Most of these are for the supply of Administrative Officer (FCO grade A2) staff in central London. Rates vary according to the length of assignment and skill-set required. Information dating back to 1999 is not held centrally. However, the following table shows the hourly average rates agreed with the agencies used by the FCO since 2004.
These agreed rates are indicative and are issued to guide hiring managers across the FCO to whom responsibility for recruitment of temporary staff has been devolved. As a result the FCO cannot confirm actual average fees paid without incurring disproportionate cost.
Richard Younger-Ross: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many and what proportion of Parliamentary questions for answer on a named day to his Department received a (a) holding and (b) substantive answer on the named day in each year since 2001. 
|Foreign and Commonwealth Office named day written PQs||Number receiving a holding answer||Number receiving a substantive answer|
|(1) Data available so far this parliamentary session.|
Colin Burgon: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what reports he has received on Colombia's incursion into Ecuador; and what response he has made to the Organisation of American States declaration of 5 March on the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ecuador. 
Meg Munn: In discussions with Colombia, Ecuador and Venezuela and other international partners since the events of 1 March, we have expressed our concern about the growing tension and deployment of armed forces along the Colombian border. We have urged all parties to show restraint, to avoid any further escalation of the situation, and to seek, through dialogue, a political solution.
We welcome the outcome of the meeting of the Rio Group Summit in Santa Domingo on 7 March that has diffused tensions between the Governments of Colombia, Ecuador and Venezuela, which with other members of the Rio Group reiterated a commitment to peaceful co-operation in the region. We also welcome the initiation of a process through the Organisation of American States (OAS), including a commission to report to the scheduled meeting of OAS Foreign Ministers on 17 March.
We hope that all partners in the region can work positively together to eradicate the activity and influence of illegal terrorist groups, including the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, while ensuring that measures taken by states to combat terrorism are legal, proportionate and justifiable.
Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent assessment he has made of the security situation on the border between Ethiopia and Eritrea; and what steps the UK is proposing to reduce tensions. 
David Miliband: The Government are concerned at the tense security situation on the Ethiopia-Eritrea border. The tension is exacerbated by the large numbers of military forces deployed on both sides of the border, the incursion into the Temporary Security Zone by Eritrean armed forces, the restrictions imposed on the UN Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNMEE), the failure of Ethiopia and Eritrea to agree to re-activate the work of the Military Coordination Commission and the absence of any progress by Ethiopia and Eritrea towards agreeing a lasting settlement to their conflict, as they committed to do when they signed the Algiers Agreements of 2000.
We support the efforts of the UN with the parties, including the UN Security Council. We fully support UN Security Council Resolution 1798, adopted unanimously on 30 January 2008, and expect the parties to implement fully all its provisions, including, those elements relating to showing maximum restraints, refraining from any threat or use of force, avoiding provocative military activities and hostile statements, co-operating with UNMEE and returning to 16 December 2004 levels of military deployment.
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