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15 July 2008 : Column 240Wcontinued
Spend in the period 2005-08 period also includes circa £40 million value of projects currently in progress.
Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many (a) new builds and (b) major refurbishments were completed by his Department for a cost in excess of £0.5 million in (i) 2005-06, (ii) 2006-07 and (iii) 2007-08 to which the Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method or equivalent was applied; how many such buildings were assessed as (A) pass, (B) good, (C) very good and (D) excellent; and if he will make a statement. 
Jonathan Shaw: The Department, excluding a number of its agencies (VMD, CSL, CEFAS) have undertaken and completed BREEAM assessments on a number of new builds and major refurbishments with a value of exceeding £0.5 million as follows:
|(1) Very Good achieved despite the building being a complex and high containment building|
(2) Very Good achieved in what is a grade 2 listed building.
Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many (a) new builds and (b) major refurbishments for a cost in excess of £0.5 million were completed by his Department in (i) 2005-06, (ii) 2006-07 and (iii) 2007-08. 
Jonathan Shaw: The Department, excluding a number of its agencies (VMD, CSL, CEFAS) completed new builds and major refurbishments with a value exceeding £0.5 million as follows:
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the (a) scheduled date and (b) title was of each conference proposed to be hosted by his Department and its agencies which was cancelled before taking place in each of the last 10 years; and what costs were incurred in respect of each. 
Jonathan Shaw: This information is not held centrally and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.
Mr. Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much his Department spent on consultancy fees in each of the last five years. 
Jonathan Shaw [holding answer 1 July 2008]: I refer the hon. Member to Figure 18, page 141 of the Departmental Report 2008 for DEFRA presented to Parliament by the Secretary of State for DEFRA in May 2008. Figures for the financial year 2007-08 are being finalised and will be available in September 2008.
Stephen Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs which make and model of car he has chosen as his ministerial car to be provided by the Government Car and Despatch Agency. 
Jonathan Shaw: DEFRA's official ministerial cars are all hybrid, with two Toyota Prius cars (1.5 litre petrol/electric) and two Honda Civic Hybrid cars (1.4 litre). The Secretary of State's car is a Toyota Prius.
The Government Car and Despatch Agency (GCDA) is responsible for providing ministerial cars in line with the Ministerial Code and the Prime Minister's guidance Travel by Ministers.
GCDA advises the Prime Minister on the suitability of cars for inclusion in his guidance, taking into account a number of criteria when assessing suitable cars including their environmental impact, running and maintenance costs and overall suitability as a ministerial car.
Lord Rooker and Helen Ghosh have both given up their GDCA allocated cars, but occasionally use GDCA pool cars and green cars where necessary, and there is no viable public transport alternative.
David Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to the answer of 26 November 2007, Official Report, column 34W, on departmental official hospitality, when he expects the list of hospitality received by senior civil servants in his Department in 2007 to be published. 
Jonathan Shaw: I refer the hon. Member to the answer the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster gave him on 7 May 2008, Official Report, column 885W.
Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many and what proportion of staff in his Department received bonus payments in each of the last five years; what the largest single payment was in each year; and if he will make a statement. 
Jonathan Shaw: The following table shows details of performance bonuses awarded to staff in DEFRA in each financial year since November 2004. Data prior to November 2004, are only available at disproportionate cost.
|Period||Number of staff awarded bonuses||Proportion of workforce (Percentage)||Highest bonus paid (£)|
|(1) This figure includes in-year performance bonuses only, which are paid to staff at grade 6 and below.|
(2) These figures include annual performance bonuses paid to staff in the SCS and at grade 6 and below. They also include in-year performance bonuses paid to staff at grade 6 and below.
(3) The figure quoted represents the highest bonus paid to a permanent member of staff. However, a higher bonus award of £34,040 was paid as an exceptional one-off circumstance, to a fixed-term appointee, as part of their contractual provisions.
The data cover annual performance bonuses paid to SCS and annual and in-year performance bonuses paid to staff in core-DEFRA and those Executive Agencies covered by the core-Departments terms and conditions (i.e. Animal Health, Marine and Fisheries Agency, Veterinary Medicines Directorate, Government Decontamination Service and Pesticides Safety Directorate (who merged with the HSE on 1 April 2008).
Separate performance bonus arrangements operate for staff in the SCS and those at grade 6 and below.
Non-consolidated cash payments, otherwise known as bonuses, are used to reward in-year performance in relation to agreed objectives, or short-term personal contribution to wider organisational objectives. Bonuses are paid addition to base pay increase and do not count towards pension.
Bonuses are allocated by departments from a pot' expressed as a percentage of the SCS salary bill, which is agreed centrally each year following the SSRB recommendations. The intention is that the bonus decisions should be differentiated in order to recognise the most significant deliverers of in-year performance.
The Department has limited discretion in the application of the policy, as the criteria for the operation of the arrangements are determined centrally by the Cabinet Office.
For staff at grade 6 and below
The High Performance Bonus schemes introduced in April 2005, provide staff in core-DEFRA and those Agencies covered by the core-Departments pay arrangements (i.e. Animal Health, Marine and Fisheries Agency, Veterinary Medicines Directorate and Government Decontamination Service), with recognition and reward for delivery of an outstanding outcome or performance that significantly exceeds normal expectations.
The process should provide staff at all grades with an opportunity to earn a bonus, and ensure that achievements in operational, policy and corporate services areas are recognised as being of equal esteem.
In-year high performance bonuses paid to individuals or teams in recognition of one-off achievements during the year; and
Annual high performance bonuses, which are paid to the top 10 per cent. of performers in each DG for delivery of an outstanding outcome or performance sustained throughout the whole year.
Pete Wishart: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what procedures his Department uses to ensure equal opportunities in relation to staff secondments to the Department. 
Jonathan Shaw: The Department has clear guidance on the use of inward secondments, defined as a posting for an individual from a non-civil service organisation.
allow the Department to seek specialist expertise which cannot be provided by existing staff and for which recruitment to permanent posts is not appropriate;
enable the Department to offer to other organisations the broadening, personal development and skills enhancement we seek for our own staff;
foster mutual understanding and co-operation and promote links between the Department and particular sectors or organisations.
They are not a means of addressing the Departments long-term in-house staffing needs and do not restrict opportunities for permanent staff.
For all secondment appointments below senior civil service which will exceed one year, modified rules of fair and open competition apply. The business unit must
provide evidence that they have created as wide a field of candidates as they can in the circumstances; that they have selected the best candidate; and that the candidates qualifications and experience are such as to qualify them to undertake the duties required. However, a single body may be approached where it is the only likely source of a particular expertise, where the secondment is intended to foster a particular relationship between the Department and an external organisation, or where it is part of a recognised programme.
Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many days of sick leave were taken by his Departments employees in each year since 1997. 
Jonathan Shaw: Information on sickness absence in the civil service is available at:
Published data are available from the 2004 calendar year to the 2006-07 financial year. The number of working days lost due to sickness in DEFRA was as follows:
Data on days lost to sickness before 2004 could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
Mr. MacNeil: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the cost of overseas visits by each Minister in his Department has been since 1997. 
Jonathan Shaw: Since 1999, the Government have published the total cost of all overseas travel by Ministers and a list of all overseas travel by Cabinet Ministers costing over £500. Information for the last financial year was published on 25 July 2007, Official Report, column 1112W. Details for the financial year 2007-08 will be published before the summer recess and will include details of overseas visits undertaken by all Ministers. All ministerial travel is undertaken in accordance with the Ministerial Code.
Information in respect of overseas visits by all Ministers for the period 1997-99 could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
Mr. Jenkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps his Department has taken to reduce the volume of waste produced by it and sent to landfill in each of the last two years. 
Jonathan Shaw: The Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs can confirm that between 2005-06 and 2006-07 the Department's waste arisings decreased by 8 per cent.
DEFRA has taken steps to reduce its waste by ensuring that printers are automatically set to duplex and have the ability to print more than one page to a side. The Department has stopped providing printed copies of its weekly Office Notices, saving over two million sheets of paper, in its place the Office Notice is published electronically on the DEFRA intranet.
DEFRA has also increased recycling by 8 per cent. between 2005-06 and 2006-07 resulting in less waste being sent to landfill.
The increase in recycling can be attributed to staff awareness campaigns and improved site recycling facilities.
At this time the Sustainable Development Commission have yet to verify Government data for 2007-08. Therefore we are unable to provide this information.
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