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That said we recognise that more veterans, some of whom decided against joining the Group Action, might come forward. This is despite being assured by the Claimants solicitors that the Group Action had been publicised and that those who remained in the group had been carefully selected on the basis that each had a meritorious claim for personal injury said to have been caused by exposure to a specific chemical warfare or treatment agent which was supported by expert evidence. I should make clear that the MOD did not compensate individuals for mere attendance at Porton Down.
Against this background, the MOD has decided that it will consider any additional meritorious claims that are made on or before 30 June 2008; after that date, the MOD reserves the right to plead a defence based on the provisions of the Limitation Act 1980.
Any veteran now considering pursuing a claim for compensation might wish seek advice to establish whether they have a reasonable claim against the Department. One option would be to contact the solicitors involved in the Group Action who have considerable experience already in handling such cases. They are:
Leigh Day & Co.
25 St. Johns Lane
Thompson Snell & Passmore
3 Lonsdale Gardens
John Battle: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what criteria his Department used in the process which resulted in Adventure Capital Fund being awarded a contract to distribute grant funding; and if he will make a statement. 
quality and efficiency of service;
quality of bidding organisation or consortium;
engagement with the Government's aims for the third sector; and
The Cabinet Office used the European Union model known as the competitive dialogue process, which allowed the Cabinet Office to discuss its needs and requirements with a pool of potential bidders with the aim of selecting one or more solutions capable of meeting its needs.
Phil Hope: The tripartite agreement between Cabinet Office, Futurebuilders England and Charity Bank expires on 31 March 2008. In recognition of its success to date, Ministers have decided to continue the programme into a second phase. The second phase of the programme will see the arrangement moving to a bipartite structure, between the Cabinet Office and the fund manager. Under new procurement rules, this required a new tender process. Following this process Cabinet Office have appointed the successful bidder to run the fund from April 2008 to April 2011.
Mr. Goodwill: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what methodology for assigning international aviation emissions to the national emission inventories the Government are advocating in the international negotiations for a post-2012 framework to tackle climate change. 
DEFRA commissioned a study, published in 2006, which examined what the different allocation methodologies proposed by the UNFCCC Subsidiary Body on Scientific and Technical Advice (SBSTA) would mean to greenhouse gas inventories (UK and all others). No judgement was made on which methodology the UK advocated.
The inventory includes domestic aviation and international aviation as a memo item (using bunker fuel sales to estimate the GHG emission). A recent workshop in Oslo looked at methodological issues with regards to the climate change impact of aviationit was concluded that whilst it is technically feasible to include international aviation in a post-2012 agreement, there is a political barrier to this at present.
Jo Swinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many confirmed security breaches of databases controlled by her Department occurred in each of the last five years; whether the breach resulted from internal or external sources in each case; how many records were compromised on each occasion; and what estimate was made of the total number of records accessible to the individuals concerned. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: Except in exceptional cases, when it is in the public interest, it has been the policy of successive Governments not to comment on breaches of security. However, following the publication of the Data Handling Procedures in Government: Interim Progress Report on 17 December 2007, Official Report, column 98WS, all Departments will cover information assurance in their annual reports.
Mr. Walker: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what mechanisms the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency uses to check the bona fides of private parking control companies before releasing personal data relating to vehicle owners and operators to them; what steps the Agency takes to assess the uses to which such data is put by such companies; and if she will make a statement. 
Jim Fitzpatrick [holding answer 7 January 2008]: In the Secretary of State for Transport's statement to Parliament on 17 December she outlined measures to improve the security of personal data in the context of the Cabinet Secretary's review of data across Government.
She also advised that, to ensure greater clarity of responsibility, the Permanent Secretary has written to senior officials in the Department, including Agency Chief Executives, drawing their attention to current guidance on the application of the Data Protection Act 1998. This includes the main principles of the Act, information on handling personal data appropriately and the role of the Information Commissioner.
New measures for companies requesting information manually were introduced on 1 November 2006, following the review of the release of information from the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency's (DVLA) records announced by the then Minister of State for Transport, my hon. Friend the Member for South Thanet (Dr. Ladyman). The use of company headed paper has been replaced by the introduction of two new formsV888/2 and V888/3. All applications must be supported with a business resume outlining details of the company's operations and provide details of why they want the information and how it will be used, as well as evidence to corroborate their request.
Car park enforcement companies have to confirm that a parking charge scheme is in operation, and provide evidence that they are operating on the instruction of the landowner. All forms contain a note that reminds applicants that it is a criminal offence under Section 55 of the DPA to falsely obtain personal information.
Companies that request and receive data via a secure electronic link do so under strict contractual terms and must firstly complete a six-month probationary period making manual requests, during which time their behaviour in the use of the information is monitored. The level and nature of any complaints is taken into account before an electronic link is established. Since 1 October 2007, all organisations that do not have a statutory regulator are required to be a member of a DVLA Accredited Trade Association (ATA).
An ATA must have a clear, enforceable code of practice (COP) governing the conduct and business practices of their members and will publish that COP on their website, along with a list of their members. ATAs that fail to enforce their COP will lose their accreditation and their members will forfeit their entitlement to request and receive DVLA data electronically.
The Agency has the right to carry out ad-hoc audits on companies to ensure that inquiries are appropriate. Any evidence of abuse will be referred to the Information Commissioner for investigation and, when appropriate, prosecution.
Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport under what circumstances the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency may release details of vehicle ownership to private companies; and if she will make a statement. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: In the Secretary of State for Transport's statement to Parliament on 17 December, she outlined measures to improve the security of personal data in the context of the Cabinet Secretarys review of data across Government.
She also advised that, to ensure greater clarity of responsibility, the Permanent Secretary had written to senior officials in the Department, including Agency Chief Executives, to draw their attention to current guidance on the application of the Data Protection Act. This includes the main principles of the Act, information on handling personal data appropriately and the role of the Information Commissioner.
Regulation 27(1)(e) of the Road Vehicles (Registration and Licensing) Regulations 2002 requires the DVLA to release information to any person who can demonstrate reasonable cause to have that information.
The term reasonable cause is not defined in legislation but the DVLA has always taken the view that release should normally be associated with road safety or events occurring as a direct consequence of the use of the vehicle. Everybody that applies for personal information is required to produce evidence that they have reasonable cause for requesting the information.
A full list of the circumstances that the DVLA has, in the past, considered to meet reasonable cause has been published on the DVLA and Direct.gov websites. The website also contains a list of bodies that it has released information to and the names of companies that have approved conditional access (ACA) which allows companies to request and receive information via an electronic link.
Justine Greening: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many responses have been received to the Adding Capacity at Heathrow Airport consultation; and how many of these were from (a) individuals, (b) organisations and (c) groups of individuals. 
Jim Fitzpatrick [holding answer 25 March 2008]: The Adding Capacity at Heathrow Airport consultation ended on 27 February. We are not yet in a position to provide data on the numbers of responses received or provide any breakdowns.
Mrs. Villiers: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what consideration (a) her Department and (b) its agencies have given to widening the M1 between junctions 10 and 13; what estimate she has made of the cost to the public purse of such motorway widening; and when she expects such work on widening to commence. 
Mr. Tom Harris: A scheme to widen the M1 between junctions 10 and 13 is currently being prepared by the Highways Agency. Following the publication of the Advanced Motorway Signalling and Traffic Management Feasibility Study on 4 March 2008 we have also asked the Agency to examine whether active traffic management with hard shoulder running might be a cost effective alternative to widening on some sections. The scheme cost and the timetable for works to commence are dependent on the option that we decide to take forward.
Mrs. Villiers: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what her policy is on widening parts of the M62; what research her Department and its agencies have commissioned on M1/M62 widening and improvements in the last three years; what estimate she has made of the cost of such widening and improvements; and when she expects work to commence on the outstanding sections of the M1/M62 widening and improvements package. 
Mr. Tom Harris: It is our policy to provide targeted improvements on seriously congested sections of the road network, subject to schemes offering value for money and being affordable. The Highways Agency has carried out detailed investigations over the last three years into options for increasing capacity on the M62 between junctions 25 and 28 and on the M1 between junctions 30 and 42. A scheme to widen the M1 between junctions 31 and 32 was opened to traffic in December 2007 and fully complete in February 2008.
In light of the results of the Advanced Motorway Signalling and Traffic Management Feasibility Study published on 4 March, the Highways Agency will be examining whether Active Traffic Management including hard shoulder running would provide a cost effective means of providing additional capacity on the other sections. The scheme cost and delivery timetable are dependent on the options that we decide to take forward for each section.
Mrs. Villiers: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what estimate she has made of the cost of widening the M6 between junctions 11a and 19; when she expects such work to commence; and whether plans for such widening include (a) a stretch of four-laned motorway through the East Midlands, (b) climbing lanes for lorries and (c) junction improvements; 
(2) what progress has been made on the widening of the M6 between Manchester and Birmingham; and what account she has taken of the potential for hard shoulder running in developing those proposals; 
Mr. Tom Harris: The Highways Agency has been preparing proposals for widening the M6 between junctions 11a and 19. However, in light of the findings of the Advanced Motorway Signalling and Traffic Management Feasibility Study published on 4 March, the Agency will carry out a detailed assessment of whether Active Traffic Management, including hard shoulder running, would be a more cost effective method of adding capacity than widening on sections of the M6 between junctions 11a and 19. The assessment will also include examination of the case for climbing lanes and junction improvements. The cost and delivery timetable for these improvements are dependent on the option selected. This section of the M6 does not run through the East Midlands.
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when she plans to publish the report of the study of longer, heavier road vehicles commissioned by her Department in December 2005; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Todd: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether she has made an assessment of the effectiveness of measures for improving the safety of motorcycle users established in the Governments motorcycling strategy; and if she will make a statement. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: The Governments motorcycling strategy includes a wide range of actions. We regularly keep each of these under review, working with motorcycling industry and user groups through the National Motorcycle Council and its four sub-groups.
Stephen Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what estimate she has made of the (a) cost and (b) time required to complete high speed rail links from London to (i) Birmingham, (ii) Manchester and (iii) Scotland. 
Mr. Tom Harris [holding answer 19 March 2008]: In developing the July 2007 Rail White Paper, the Department for Transport commissioned work on various inter-urban capacity options. One element of this work suggested a high-speed line between London and Birmingham, Manchester and Glasgow might cost £29 billion. It should be noted that, informed by this and other work, the White Paper made clear that a new line was not necessary in the period 2009-14.
Stephen Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what her policy is on committing to (a) network wide electrification, (b) a high speed line and (c) other all or nothing projects. 
Mr. Tom Harris [holding answer 20 March 2008]: Electrification and new rail lines are not necessarily all or nothing projects. We are beginning work with the rail industry to re-examine the long-term cases for electrification and new lines. Options identified may include incremental solutions such as electrifying short stretches of line where there is a strong argument in favour of doing so.
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