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Territorial Army: Yorkshire and the Humber

Hugh Bayley: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many Territorial Army soldiers from Yorkshire and the Humber saw active service abroad in each year since 2001. [197137]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The information is not held in the format requested and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Type 23 Frigates: Costs

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to his Answer of 13 March 2008, Official Report, column 668W, on Type 23 Frigate, what the reasons are for the cost of (a) HMS Portland and (b) HMS Sutherland relative to the average cost of the other ships in the class; and if he will make a statement. [196353]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth: In order to establish the reasons for the variation in costs of HM Ships Portland and Sutherland from the Type 23 Class average, it would be necessary to investigate historic contract information that is no longer held centrally by the MOD and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.


Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what the procedures are for deciding the basis on which (a) new classes of warship and (b) individual warships are named; [197536]

(2) if he will make it his policy to recommend that the Future Surface Combatant flotilla should consist of warships named after escort vessels with distinguished records of service in the two world wars; [197537]

(3) if he will make an assessment of the impact on the (a) continuity of naval tradition and (b) motivation of ships' companies of naming warships after predecessors with past battle honours. [197538]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The Ships Names and Badges Committee has the task of assessing all the possible names for new ships before making their recommendations through the First Sea Lord and my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Defence for final approval by Her Majesty the Queen.

A new class of Royal Navy warships will have a theme as advised by the First Sea Lord in consultation with the Controller of the Navy. Names of individual ships will be informed by a number of guiding principles including: names associated with a long and illustrious heritage, tradition, Battle Honours and names classically associated with a type of vessel.

The Future Surface Combatant is in the early stages of concept design and a theme for the names will not be considered for some time. Nothing is being ruled out at this stage and names of escort warships with distinguished records of service in the two world wars would fall within the guiding principles for naming Royal Navy warships and will be considered.

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Naval tradition is intrinsic to the values of the Royal Navy and this extends to the naming of its warships. The naming of Royal Navy warships associated with an illustrious heritage instils a sense of pride, tradition and esteem in today's Royal Navy personnel.

Duchy of Lancaster

Departmental Advertising

Mr. Jeremy Browne: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster pursuant to the answer of 19 February 2008, Official Report, column 685W, on departmental advertising, how much is represented by the percentages given. [197454]

Mr. Watson: Advertising costs since 1998-99 can be found in the following table:




















The increase in advertising spend in 2001-02 was due to expenditure incurred by the Office of the E-Envoy (now known as Transformational Government) for the UK online advertising campaign, encouraging the public to use the internet, and offering help to those who wanted to do so.

Departmental Aviation

Mr. Maude: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster how much the Cabinet Office spent on domestic and international air travel in 2006-07, broken down by class of travel. [191080]

Mr. Jeremy Browne: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster how much his Department spent on travel (a) within the UK and (b) overseas in the last year for which figures are available. [191171]

Mr. Watson: Expenditure incurred by the Cabinet Office on domestic and international air travel is not held centrally and is therefore available only at disproportionate cost.

Departmental Contracts

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what contracts were awarded by his Department to (a) KPMG, (b) PricewaterhouseCoopers, (c) Ernst and Young, (d) McKinsey, (e) Deloitte and (f) other consultancy firms in each of the last 12 months; and what the (i) purpose and (ii) value was of each of these contracts. [196588]

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Mr. Watson: The information requested for the Cabinet Office is not readily available and may not be obtained without incurring disproportionate costs.

Departmental Data Protection

Mrs. Villiers: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (1) whether personal data for which his Department is responsible are (a) stored and (b) processed overseas; and if he will make a statement; [176026]

(2) what audits his Department carried out in relation to personal data and IT equipment in each of the last 10 years; [176475]

(3) what requirements his Department and its agencies place on contractors in relation to audit of personal data and IT equipment. [176630]

Mr. Watson: None of the personal data for which the Cabinet Office is responsible are stored or processed overseas.

The Cabinet Office operates in accordance with the Manual of Protective Security and the Data Protection Act. Measures are in place to monitor the personal data the Department holds. A full audit of centrally provided IT equipment was undertaken in January 2007, since then a monthly review is held to agree any changes. Information prior to January 2007 is not held centrally.

The Cabinet Office requires its contractors to comply with their obligations under the provisions of the Data Protection Act which includes taking appropriate technical and organisational measures against unauthorised or unlawful processing of personal data and against accidental loss or destruction of, or damage to, personal data and ensures the security of such data.

Departmental Pay

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what the hourly rates of pay of all non-permanent staff working for his Department and its agencies were in each of the last 12 months; and how many staff were receiving each rate in each of those months. [196441]

Mr. Watson: From latest available figures as at 31 December 2007, there were 182 non-permanent staff (FTE) working in the Cabinet Office. This figure includes staff on a fixed term or short-term appointment, staff seconded in from outside the civil service, fee-paid staff, agency staff, consultants and contractors.

Rates of pay for non-permanent appointments are not held centrally and could be collected only at disproportionate cost.

Furniture: 10 Downing Street

Mr. Hands: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what (a) office furniture and (b) home furnishings in number 10 Downing street have been (i) bought and (ii) replaced since 1 October 2007. [197496]

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Mr. Watson: Information on the cost of office furniture and furnishings will only be available when the Department's resource accounts are fully audited and laid before Parliament.

Government Departments: Data Protection

Mrs. Maria Miller: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what guidance his Department provides to Government Departments wishing to undertake a risk assessment of the security of new and existing IT systems; what obligations there are on Government Departments to follow that guidance; and if he will make a statement. [190731]

Mr. Watson: The National Information Assurance Strategy 2007 produced by the Cabinet Office states that Departments must have clear and accountable ownership of information risk management at board level.

Guidance is provided through the Manual of Protective Security issued by the Cabinet Office.

In publishing the Data Handling Procedures in Government: Interim Progress Report (the written statement of 17 December 2007, Official Report, column 98WS), the Government announced that departmental accounting officers should explicitly include the systematic coverage of information assurance in their annual statements on internal control. A final report is expected in spring 2008.

Government Departments: Internet

Mr. Harper: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what guidance his Department issues to other Government Departments on their use of the Completely Automated Public Turing Tests to tell Computers and Humans Apart (CAPTCHAs); and which Departments' websites use CAPTCHAs. [196982]

Mr. Watson: The Cabinet Office has issued no specific guidance on CAPTCHAs and it holds no central records of which departmental websites use them. Responsibility for information security and accessibility measures of individual websites lies with the individual Departments.

The overall policy for Government Departments on website registration is set out in the Registration and Authentication e-Government Strategy Framework Policy and Guidelines (Version 3.0, September 2002):

Government websites should also comply with the Government's website accessibility guidelines:

Copies of both these documents have been placed in the Libraries of the House.

ICT: Leasing

Mr. Maude: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster for what reasons the Cabinet Office
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negotiated an agreement for the early settlement of the lease for IT equipment with Hitachi Data Systems Ltd; and how many months there were before the natural termination of the lease. [191012]

Mr. Watson: The reason for early settlement of the Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) lease agreement was to allow the maintenance provisions to be separated from the underlying asset and to take advantage of a reduction to lease charges of £34,000. The maintenance provisions have been rescheduled so that they can be reused in other Government projects where HDS assets are involved at no additional cost. The lease was settled 21 months before it naturally expired.

Michael Ashcroft

Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster when he expects the appeal procedure in respect of the Freedom of Information request from the hon. Member for Pendle in relation to the undertaking given by Michael Ashcroft prior to his elevation to the peerage will be concluded; and if he will make a statement. [197392]

Mr. Watson: The appeal procedure has now been completed and a response sent to the hon. Member.

Political Office: Prime Minister

Mr. Maude: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what sub-divisions of the Prime Minister's Office there are based in (a) No. 10 Downing Street, (b) HM Treasury, (c) the Cabinet Office and (d) elsewhere. [191100]

Mr. Watson: The Prime Minister's Office forms an integral part of the Cabinet Office. All staff in the Prime Minister's Office are based in the Cabinet Office estate, which includes No. 10 Downing Street.

Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Afghanistan Security

Mr. Bone: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions he has had with his US counterpart on the political and security situation in Afghanistan; and if he will make a statement. [196264]

Dr. Howells: My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary and the US Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, held a joint seminar at Lancaster House on 6 February 2008 and visited Afghanistan together on 7 February 2008. They discussed a full range of issues regarding our shared commitment to supporting the people and the Government of Afghanistan. Since their visit they have been in frequent contact to discuss all aspects of progress in Afghanistan. The UK holds regular dialogue with all our partners in Afghanistan as part of our undertaking to help the Government of Afghanistan build a peaceful and sustainable state.

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Balkans: EC Accession

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on proposals for the European Union’s further enlargement in the Balkans. [196207]

Mr. Jim Murphy: The Government remain committed to a future for the Western Balkans in the EU. Working towards EU accession will help the region move away from the conflicts and troubles that have held it back in the past, and consolidate peace and stability. Each state should move towards EU membership by demonstrating progress against the criteria set out in the Stabilisation and Association process and the priorities identified in their individual European or Accession Partnerships. The UK is working with countries in the region to help them make the necessary reforms. We welcome the Commission’s 5 March 2008 communication reaffirming 2003 European Council conclusions for a European perspective for the region and proposing practical ways to deepen the EU’s relations with the region within the existing €4 billion Instrument for Pre-Accession funding allocated to the Western Balkans between 2007-11.

Burma: Overseas Students

Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will increase funding for scholarships in the UK for Burmese students. [196385]

Mr. Jim Murphy: Against an overall reduction in Chevening funding, the allocation for Burma for 2008-09 remains the same as for 2007-08. This has enabled 12 Burmese scholars to undertake Open university courses. We have no plans at present to increase this allocation, which has been made in accordance with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office's global priorities.

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