Robert Neill: To ask the hon. Member for Middlesbrough, representing the Church Commissioners how many home information packs have been commissioned by the Church Commissioners or its representatives to market a residential property; for which properties; at what cost; and whether a voluntary home condition report was purchased as part of the packs. 
Sir Stuart Bell: Home information packs have been provided by the Church Commissioners in relation to 143 The Quadrangle Tower, London W2 (at a cost of £359.65), 114 The Quadrangle Tower, London W2 (at a cost of £347.65), and Flat 4 Devonport, London W2 (at a cost of £359.65).
Robert Neill: To ask the hon. Member for Middlesbrough, representing the Church Commissioners if he will place in the Library a copy of the guidance provided by the Council for the Care of Churches on approaches to the inspection of memorials. 
Robert Neill: To ask the hon. Member for Middlesbrough, representing the Church Commissioners how many Church of England churches in England have been taken out of use for worship in each year since 1997. 
|Churches closed for regular public worship
Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Cotswold of 23 April 2008, Official Report, column 2046W, on the Cromwell Green entrance, whether the Commission has now considered the review of lessons learned from the visitor reception building project; and if he will make a statement on its main findings. 
Nick Harvey: The independent post-project review of the Cromwell Green visitor reception building, undertaken by Roy Davis Associates LLP, has now been received by the Clerk of the House. It was reported to the Commission at its recent meeting, and will be reported to the House of Lords House Committee in October.
The review presents a thorough analysis of the project. The Cromwell Green entrance opened on 21 April 2008 and has been operating successfully since as an important enhancement of visitor reception at Westminster. But its construction was subject to exceptional delay and significant cost overruns. The main findings of the review are:
until autumn 2007 the governance of the project was poor, and it is questionable whether the Houses were advised in sufficient detail to make balanced decisions;
the initial project delivery date of September 2006 drove the project but was not achievable;
once on site, delays occurred due to the complexity and uniqueness of the design, the fact that it was incomplete and uncoordinated, which required it to be extensively reworked during construction, and the lack of resolution of critical issues;
the requirements of major parts of the project brief were ignored;
the management of the design and the construction was undermined by the split responsibilities of project managers and the lack of ownership of the project; and
both the cost management and advice and the procurement and production of contracts for consultants and the contractor were poor.
The repeatedly escalating costs and continued slippages in this project have raised serious questions about project management competences in the House service. A number of key steps have already been taken. As part of a reorganisation following the review by Sir Kevin Tebbit it was decided to create a reunified Parliamentary Estates Directorate and recruit senior managers with appropriate skills. The Directorate is now under the direct responsibility of a Director General of Facilities. As part of their recruitment, both new postholders have been required to demonstrate competence, and personal track records of delivery, in the areas of estates and works matters.
Further improvements relating to transparency and control of projects are under way, and these will take account of recommendations for future practice from the post-project review. The Commission will receive a progress report from the Clerk of the House in the autumn on the establishment of the revised management arrangements and the effectiveness of the new controls over projects. It supports the Clerk of the House in his determination to ensure that full lessons are learned from this major failure in project management.
Steve Webb: To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission what the Houses policy is on the purchase of cleaning products that have been tested on animals. 
Nick Harvey: The House of Commons does not have a policy on cleaning products being tested on animals. The specification for the new parliamentary cleaning contract requires that all materials and chemicals used must minimise environmental impact and be fit for the purpose intended. The safest possible product is to be used.
Nick Harvey: Portcullis House has 112 basins in lavatories, bathrooms and tea points. A survey on 17 July found that four plugs were missing. Work is in hand to replace them. Included in this number are 20 wash basins in accessible lavatories which, by design, do not have plugs.
Lynne Jones: To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission what redundancy package is available for (a) Officers of the House and (b) other staff of the House; what the reasons are for the provisions of each; and if he will make a statement. 
Nick Harvey: No redundancies are currently contemplated, nor have there been any redundancies in recent years. Were redundancies to be necessary, the packages available are the same as those available to the civil service under the Civil Service Compensation Scheme, which are set out on the civil service pensions website:
The Solicitor-General: The Attorney-General's Office are in the process of reviewing our post room services. This includes usage of Royal Mail services, DX membership, Government Car Despatch Agency's Government mail service (formerly IDS) and our messengers hand delivery services in order to achieve greater efficiency and savings.
The Solicitor-General: The Government's policy is to pay all undisputed invoices promptly. The Department is covered by this policy. The Department aims to secure good value for money from all of its suppliers and our commitment to prompt payment is one of the factors that allows us to negotiate competitive prices. We do not seek additional discounts for making payments swiftly and in compliance with Government policy.
David Simpson: To ask the Solicitor-General how many and what percentage of staff in the Attorney-General's Office have had more than two periods of sickness absence of less than five days in each of the last three years. 
|Number of staff
|Percentage of staff
Mr. Tyrie: To ask the hon. Member for Gosport, representing the Speaker's Committee on the Electoral Commission whether the Electoral Commission plans to publish, or otherwise make available for independent scrutiny, the accounts submitted by the Labour party for 2007. 
Sir Peter Viggers: The Electoral Commission informs me that as required by section 46 of the Political Parties, Elections and Referendum Act 2000, the Electoral Commission makes all statements of accounts available for public inspection. Statements of accounts for 2007 submitted by parties with income or expenditure over £250,000, including the Labour party, are due to be published on the Commission's website on 30 July 2008.
Mr. Tyrie: To ask the hon. Member for Gosport, representing the Speaker's Committee on the Electoral Commission what procedures are followed by the Electoral Commission in circumstances where a party is unable to submit signed-off accounts demonstrating its financial validity as a going concern; and if he will make a statement. 
Sir Peter Viggers: The Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 requires registered parties to submit an annual statement of accounts to the Electoral Commission. Where the gross income or total expenditure of the registered party during the period of those accounts exceeds £250,000, that statement of accounts must be submitted within six months of the party's financial year end, and must be audited by a qualified auditor. The legislation provides for civil penalties where these requirements are not met and a failure to comply may also give rise to a criminal offence.
The Electoral Commission informs me that it reviews all statements of accounts, publishes them on its website and pursues the penalties provided for in cases where the requirements have been breached. The Electoral Commission further informs me that it publishes guidance for parties on preparing their statements of accounts. This guidance is available on the Commission's website at
Mr. Tyrie: To ask the hon. Member for Gosport, representing the Speaker's Committee on the Electoral Commission whether the Electoral Commission has produced guidance on the declaration of donations and sponsorship by trade unions by declared electoral candidates outside of election periods. 
Sir Peter Viggers: The Electoral Commission informs me that it has published Donations and loans: guidance for regulated donees in Great Britain. Regulated donees include members of registered political parties who receive donations for their use and benefit in connection with their political activities, such as campaigning outside the relevant regulated period. This guidance covers the reporting of all donations from all permissible donors, including trade unions.
Mr. Tyrie: To ask the hon. Member for Gosport, representing the Speaker's Committee on the Electoral Commission pursuant to the answer of 7 July 2008, Official Report, columns 1309-10W, on political parties: finance, on what dates the Electoral Commission met the Secretary of State for Justice to discuss the White Paper on party finance and expenditure ahead of its publication. 
Sir Peter Viggers: The Electoral Commission informs me that the chairman of the Commission, Sam Younger, and Commission officials met with the Secretary of State for Justice on 12 November 2007 and 14 April 2008. A range of matters were discussed regarding party and election finance, some of which are addressed by the Governments White Paper, Party finance and expenditure in the United Kingdom.
Mr. Tyrie: To ask the hon. Member for Gosport, representing the Speaker's Committee on the Electoral Commission pursuant to the publication of the White Paper on party finance and expenditure, when the Electoral Commission plans to consult on guidance on the new triggering rules. 
Sir Peter Viggers: The Electoral Commission informs me that it will consult on any guidance relating to new provisions proposed in the Political Parties and Elections Bill after the Bill has been passed by both Houses of Parliament.
Roger Berry: To ask the hon. Member for Gosport, representing the Speaker's Committee on the Electoral Commission (1) which donations to regulated donees entered on the Commission's register pursuant to section 69 and Schedule 7 of the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 were registered after the statutory deadline in 2001;