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1 Apr 2008 : Column 736Wcontinued
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will set a target to increase the use of video-conferencing by his Department to reduce the need to travel to meetings. 
Mr. Woodward: My Department makes regular use of the video conference facilities it has in its offices in Belfast and London. These facilities are capable of handling multi person meetings and therefore significantly reduce the level of travelling required between both locations. Staff are actively encouraged to use these facilities to reduce travel cost and save time. The possibility of a VCR meeting is always considered before travel is approved.
The amount of travel undertaken fluctuates depending on business pressures at the time, and some meetings can only be effectively undertaken face to face, therefore I do not believe it is possible to set targets in this area.
The NIO participates in the DEFRA-managed Government Carbon Offsetting Scheme which offsets the carbon emissions from ministerial and official air travel.
Mr. David Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what guidance is issued to members of his Department on the authorship and publication on the internet of material relating to their official duties; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Douglas Alexander: All authorship and publication by Department for International Development (DFID) staff of material which draws on official information or experiences is governed by the Civil Service Code, which states:
You must not:...disclose official information without authority. This duty continues to apply after you leave the Civil Service.
Guidance to DFID staff states that if they wish to publish books or other works (articles, electronic media including blogs, broadcasts etc.) which draw on official information or experiences, they must, at the outset, apply for permission to do so from the Director of Finance and Corporate Performance (FCPD). If initial permission is granted, they must then submit the final text for scrutiny and clearance to the Director FCPD before proceeding with the publication.
Mr. Andrew Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development pursuant to his answer of 20 March 2008, Official Report, column 1273W, on departmental publications, if he will place in the Library a copy in electronic format of his Departments web-based staff handbook. 
Mr. Douglas Alexander: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 20 March 2008, Official Report, column 1273W. The Department for International Developments staff handbook has been replaced by a new web-based system, PeopleSight, that provides a wide variety of information for DFID staff. This information could be downloaded only at disproportionate cost.
However, I have arranged to place in the Library a document setting out the contents of PeopleSight.
Mr. Moore: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what contribution his Department plans to make to the United Nations Development Programme Trust Fund to support the work of the Quartet Special Envoy in financial year 2008-09; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Douglas Alexander: There are currently no plans to allocate more support to the United Nations Development Programme Trust Fund in addition to the £400,000 provided in 2007. The UK, however, continues to give vital assistance to the office of the Quartet Special Envoy, including the key secondment positions of chief of staff and governance adviser.
The joint Department for International Development (DFID) and World Bank New Market Development project is one of the confidence building measures promoted by the Quartet Special Envoy. Through this project, DFID will provide £3 million in matching grants for Palestinian firms and business associations over three years.
Ann McKechin: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development with reference to the answer of 19 February 2008, Official Report, column 609W, on overseas aid, when he expects to announce the funding allocated to civil society through the Partnership Programme Agreement for 2008-09 to 2010-11; and whether he expects this allocation to increase in proportion to the overall change in his Departments expenditure. 
Mr. Malik: We informed Partnership Programme Agreement (PPA) partners on 28 February about their PPA funding allocation for 2008-09 to 2010-11. Each PPA partner will receive an increase of 3 per cent. per year over this period.
I anticipate that overall support to civil society through central schemes over the next three years will grow by around 50 per cent. in line with overall growth in the Departments expenditure.
Mr. Moore: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development pursuant to the answer of 20 March 2008, to question 195258, on the United Nations Development Programme Trust Fund, what the (a) grade and (b) pay band was of the civil servant seconded from his Department; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Douglas Alexander: The civil servant seconded was employed at grade A1. The pay scale for this grade for 2005-06 was £49,189 to £62,728.
Mr. Brazier: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport who has advised her Department on air cabin quality and possible contamination in the last five years; to which institutions they are affiliated; which other organisations they have advised over that period; and which of those organisations operate on a commercial basis. 
Jim Fitzpatrick [holding answer 31 March 2008]: The advice the Department is acting upon comes from two sources; the Committee on Toxicity, an independent scientific committee that provides advice to the Food Standards Agency and Government Departments, and whose evidence review into cabin air was published in September 2007; and the House of Lords Science and Technology Committee whose report into Air Travel and Health was published in December 2007. Following this advice the Department is developing cabin air sampling research with a number of participating airlines to assemble real time data on substances which may be in cabin air during fume events. We are taking technical advice from a research team and steering group on how to collect and analyse the air samples.
John Thurso: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many passengers went through airport security in Great Britain in the last 12 months; how many of them had their hold luggage searched by hand; and how many (a) arrests, (b) charges and (c) convictions arose from these searches. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: The National Aviation Security Programme requires that all passengers departing from a UK airport must pass through security and their cabin and hold baggage must be screened prior to being allowed on to an aircraft. The Government do not maintain any records of the number of passengers passing through security or how many had their hold baggage hand searched or any consequences arising from this.
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport on what dates since 1 January 2007 (a) Ministers and (b) officials met representatives from (i) Stagecoach, (ii) First Group, (iii) Go-Ahead and (iv) Arriva to discuss bus-related matters. 
Ms Rosie Winterton [holding answer 20 March 2008]: Ministers and officials have met representatives from these companies on many occasions since 1 January 2007 to discuss bus-related matters.
Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps the Government have taken to encourage car sharing. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: Car sharing is one of the sustainable travel measures (Smarter Choices) being promoted by the Department. We encourage local authorities to include schemes, such as car sharing, in their local transport plans. The Government provide Local Transport Plan funding through the integrated transport block grant (£372 million in 2008-09) and the transport component of the revenue support grant. It is for local authorities to decide how they spend this money. We have provided best practice advice and guidance, including Making Car Sharing and Car Clubs Work in 2005.
On 20 March the Secretary of State opened the UK's first motorway high occupancy vehicle lane on M606/62 between Bradford and Leeds. We will continue to consider such lanes for use across the network alongside other measures.
Transport Direct provides links to car sharing organisations, which are provided along with the results of journey plans. We also propose this year to develop car sharing messages under the ACT ON CO2 campaign. Car sharing can be an important part of workplace, school and other travel plans. As such we have included it in guidance on travel planning, such as the Essential Guide to Travel Planning, and promote it via our National Business Travel Network.
Mr. Goodwill: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what estimate she has made of the net change in annual revenue of ceasing to levy the Dartford Crossing toll. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: Ceasing to levy the Dartford-Thurrock River Crossing Road User Charge would mean there was no annual revenue. Revenue for 2006-07 was £69.0 million.
Stephen Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many members of her departmental staff, in each pay band, have been working on high speed rail links from London to Birmingham, Manchester and Scotland in each of the last five years. 
Mr. Tom Harris [holding answer 19 March 2008]: Departmental staff work on matters relating to inter-urban rail, though none have been dedicated to work on high-speed rail links.
The Secretary of State recently invited Network Rail to begin work to develop a better understanding of some of the complex rail options, such as new lines, that we may have in future.
Mr. David Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what guidance is issued to members of her Department on the authorship and publication on the internet of material relating to their official duties; and if she will make a statement. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: In pursuing Transformational Governments objectives to rationalise the web presence of Government Departments, our aim is to ensure that any new departmental information published online is published on either the DfT/Executive Agency websites for corporate content; Directgov, for citizen-facing content; and Business Link, for business-facing content.
We publish material in accordance with cross-Government guidance on propriety and the Civil Service Code. In addition, our departmental intranet provides guidance on how to get content published on the website. This guidance sets out the steps involved, which include the need for ministerial approval and procedures for converting documents into HTML (in accordance with Government web guidelines).
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when her Department plans to publish its sustainable operations policy statement. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: The Department for Transport's sustainable operations policy statement was published on 25 October 2007 and is available for viewing on the DfT website as follows:
Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many staff in her Department and its agencies have attended the (a) Influencing with Integrity, (b) Emotional Intelligence, (c) Counselling Skills for the Workplace, (d) Managing your Confidence, (e) Balancing Work/Life Realities and (f) Working Assertively training course run by the National School of Government in the last 12 months for which information is available; and at what cost. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: The total number of staff in the Central Department for Transport and its agencies who have attended the aforementioned National School of Government courses over the last 12 months, and the costs are set out in the table:
|Working Assertively||Managing your Confidence||Influencing with Integrity||Emotional Intelligence|
|Department/ Agency||Number||Cost (£)||Number||Cost (£)||Number||Cost (£)||Number||Cost (£)||Total (£)|
Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much her Department and its agencies spent on first class travel in the last 12 months for which figures are available, broken down by staff grade. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: Travel arrangements are made in the most efficient and cost effective way, all official travel is undertaken in accordance with the rules set out in the Department/agency staff handbook.
DfT(C) and five of its agencies do not record travel expenditure differentiated by staff grade or class of travel. The information could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
Two of the Departments agencies record first class travel separately. DVLA spent £431,000 during the last 12 months, but do not record staff grade. Highways Agency spent a total of £1,780,142 broken down as follows:
|Grade (HA Pay Band)||Value (£)|
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