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Written Answers to Questions

Monday 31 March 2008

Electoral Commission Committee

Electronic Voting

Mr. Pickles: To ask the hon. Member for Gosport, representing the Speaker's Committee on the Electoral Commission what guidance or advice the Electoral Commission has provided on the use of electronic counting machines following faults with equipment supplied by Data Research Services in Scotland. [195296]

Peter Viggers: The Electoral Commission informs me that it has not issued guidance on the use of electronic counting machines. However, after the publication of the Gould report on the May 2007 elections in Scotland, the Electoral Commission published its views on steps that it believes the Government should take before e-counting is used in any further statutory elections.


Departmental Advertising

Mr. Jeremy Browne: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland pursuant to the answer of 18 February 2008, Official Report, column 452W, on departmental advertising, how much is represented by each of the percentages given. [197456]

David Cairns: The figures are:











SO (only)









Leader of the House

Departmental Domestic Visits

Mr. Willis: To ask the Leader of the House what visits she made to (a) Harrogate International Centre, (b) International Conference Centre, Birmingham, (c) Manchester Central, (d) Scottish Exhibitional and Conference Centre, Glasgow, (e) Edinburgh International Conference Centre, (f) Bournemouth International Conference Centre, (g) the Brighton Centre, Brighton, (h) the Riviera Centre, Torquay, (i)
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Queen Elizabeth Centre, London, (j) Excel Conference Centre, Docklands, London and (k) Business Design Centre, Islington, London, in the period 1 January 2005 to 31 December 2007; and what events she attended at each. [197157]

Helen Goodman: Neither my right hon. and learned Friend, the Leader of the House, nor any of her predecessors visited any of the listed venues in a ministerial capacity as Leader of the House between 1 January 2005 and 31 December 2007.

Members: Expenses

John Mann: To ask the Leader of the House how many hon. Members make direct contributions to the Parliamentary Resources Unit from their Incidental Expenses Provision. [197724]

Helen Goodman: In financial year 2007-08, 93 Members have made payments to the Parliamentary Resources Unit from their incidental expenses provision. In addition, 34 Members have made such payments from other allowances.


London 2012: Pay

Mr. Hayes: To ask the Minister for the Olympics how many staff in each salary band are employed in the management of the London 2012 Olympics. [190239]

Tessa Jowell: In relation to the Government Olympic Executive (GOE):

There are currently 63 members of staff working in the GOE, on the management of the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

GOE is the client for the Games on behalf of central Government. Senior staff members of GOE bring significant high-level commercial and financial experience in major, complex construction and infrastructure programmes, and policy delivery, in order to provide effective oversight of this process. Their rates of pay reflect this.

GOE's Director General has a salary of £220,000 per annum and the salary of the Director of Build and Finance is £180,000 per annum.

Four senior staff are in the senior civil service pay band 1 (£56,100 to £116,000); and three are in the senior civil service pay band 2 (£81,60.0 to £160,000).

40 members of GOE staff are in the DCMS pay bands shown in the following table:

Number Minimum Maximum

A (Upper)




















Grades A(Upper) to D pay Scales based on August 2007 settlement.

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A further 14 people working in GOE are employed through agencies on an interim basis.

In relation to the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA):

ODA employees are paid individual salaries (often known as “spot rate pay”) within a broad pay band structure, which allows for a wide range of jobs to be accommodated within a relatively small number of pay bands. This allows pay to be managed more flexibly in response to rapid organisational change or market-pressure. The basic salary bands of permanent ODA staff, excluding ODA's Chief Executive Officer (up to February 2008) are as follows:

Band Number of staff Minimum Maximum

























The ODA's Chief Executive has a salary of £372,600.

The ODA salary bands reflect the need to recruit and retain the expertise needed to deliver this unique, complex, and time limited challenge. The challenge of the ODA is without precedent and is one of the biggest jobs in the construction industry. Given the fixed deadline and the need for specialist skills in engineering, design, planning, construction, project management and other specialist areas, the ODA has had to recruit expertise most often found in the commercial sector. Rates of pay are therefore reflective of this and comparable with industry levels.

In relation to the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games Ltd (LOCOG):

LOCOG is a private company. It therefore publishes summary information about expenditure on staff salaries in its annual report, which is publicly available from Companies House.

In relation to the wider Olympic family:

Within the wider Olympic Family, staff involved in the management of the Games are employed by many other organisations, for example, by other parts of Government, the Greater London Authority (GLA), the London Development Agency (LDA), the British Olympic Association (BOA), and the British Paralympic Association (BPA). Salary information for each organisation can be found in their respective annual reports.

Olympic Games 2012: Expenditure

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Minister for the Olympics pursuant to the answer of 7 February 2008, Official Report, column 1298W, on Olympic Games 2012: expenditure, (1) how much each of the approved projects will cost; [189365]

(2) what the 19 approved projects with expenditure over £20 million are. [189366]

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Tessa Jowell: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave him on 27 March 2008, Official Report, column 371W.

Olympic Games 2012: Finance

Hugh Robertson: To ask the Minister for the Olympics when she plans to publish estimated costs for (a) the aquatic centre, (b) the velodrome, (c) the international broadcast centre/media and press centre and (d) the athletes village. [197581]

Tessa Jowell: We will make an announcement shortly that will include an update on the Aquatics Centre and the Velopark, of which the Velodrome is the main component. The combined public sector budget for the IBC/MPC and athletes village is £492 million (inc. VAT) as announced in December 2007. However, as the negotiations on both projects are continuing and commercially sensitive, it is not yet possible to announce information on costs.

Hugh Robertson: To ask the Minister for the Olympics (1) what assessment she has made of the impact of instability in the financial markets on provision in the Olympics 2012 budget for (a) the athletes village and (b) the international broadcast centre/media and press centre; and what the current estimated budget for each venue is; [197582]

(2) whether she has had recent discussions with Bovis/Lend Lease on the size of the public sector contribution to the athletes village. [197583]

Tessa Jowell: The Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) and officials from the Government Olympic Executive are meeting regularly with Bovis Lend Lease, the Department for Communities and Local Government and the Department for Children Schools and Families as commercial discussions continue.

The combined public sector budget for the IBC/MPC and the Olympic Village is £492 million (inc. VAT). However, the exact value of the overall public sector contribution will be finalised as these negotiations are closed out over the coming weeks. Negotiations are also still under way with potential developers of the International Broadcast Centre and Main Press Centre. In both cases, as sensitive commercial dialogue continues, the details of any potential impact of the current economic situation, or the project costs cannot yet be announced.

Hugh Robertson: To ask the Minister for the Olympics when she plans to start publishing (a) monthly cashflow and (b) quarterly financial updates for the 2012 Olympic Games. [197585]

Tessa Jowell: Cross-party support and proper scrutiny on the progress we are making on the Olympics is critical to the success of the games. To maintain this and to provide transparency on the games, we will publish a progress and financial report every six months—the first was published on 23 January 2008 and the next is due in June 2008. In addition I have put in place arrangements so that the hon. Member and other Opposition spokesmen may receive regular briefings on Olympic progress, including costs and cash flows. These will continue.

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The Olympic Board receives monthly reports including cashflows and publication of these would not be appropriate as this could give rise to commercial disadvantages.

The Government have already made much information available, for example, Chapter 20 of the CSR White Paper published on 9 October 2007 sets out the Government’s contribution for the next three years (2008-09 to 2010-11). The balance of the funding requirement will be met, as planned in March 2007, from contributions from the Mayor of London (GLA and IDA); from funding already coming in from Olympic lottery games; from the funds to be transferred from the National Lottery Distribution Fund; and from funds from the Sports Lottery Distributor.

Further details of ODA’s annual cash flows will be set out in future business plan summaries, which will be published in the coming weeks.

Olympic Games 2012: Ministerial Responsibility

Hugh Robertson: To ask the Minister for the Olympics what Ministerial responsibility she has to ensure the continuation of the informal cross-party agreement for co-operation over the Olympic Games. [197584]

Tessa Jowell: Cross-party support for the Olympics is critical to the success of the games. So I have put in place arrangements for quarterly briefings on our progress and finances for opposition spokesmen (both in this House and in the other place) and for the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee. I have also committed to provide an Olympics Annual Report to Parliament (the first of which was published in January), supplemented by a six-monthly update.

House of Commons Commission

Cars: Hire Services

Norman Baker: To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission how much was spent on (a) car hire and (b) taxis in each year since 1997; and whether specifications have been set out in respect of the type of cars to be hired. [195942]

Nick Harvey: The main uses of car hire and taxis are for late night staff transport and use of the government car service. Figures are only readily available from 2003.

Late n ight t ransport (£) Government c ar s ervice (£)













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