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Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to the answer of 1 July 2008, Official Report, column 766W, on the Commission for Rural Communities, how much funding each of his Department's (a) executive agencies and (b) sponsored bodies will receive for the 2009-10 financial year. 
|(a) Executive Agencies: 2009-10 budgets|
Defra's other Executive Agencies: the Central Science Laboratory (CSL), the Veterinary Laboratories Agency (VLA), the Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD)
and the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (CEFAS) recover their full economic costs through charges made to customers for services provided.
|(b) Key sponsored bodies: budgets|
Bill Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what funding he has allocated for evaluation of the biodiversity value of areas of rainforest left within oil palm plantations; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Woolas [holding answer 15 September 2008]: We have not allocated funding specifically for an evaluation of the biodiversity value of areas of rainforest within oil palm plantations. However, biodiversity issues have been covered within broader studies such as the Review of Work on the Environmental Sustainability of International Biofuels Production and Use, funded by Defra and published in April this year as well as Defra's September 2007 report on Sustainable Commodities (Defra research project EV02019) which examined the environmental and social impacts of eight commodity groups, including palm oil.
Defra is also contributing towards the Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB) study which will examine, among other things, the costs of biodiversity loss in the main biomes. This study is due to be published in 2010.
Bill Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many slaughterhouses available to cull cows born before 1996 there will be by the end of 2008; and if he will make a statement. 
[holding answer 15 September 2008]: There are currently nine slaughterhouses in the UK licensed and available to handle pre August 1996 cattle: five in England; two in Scotland; one in Wales and in Northern Ireland. In order to manage the seasonal fluctuations in cattle presented under the Older Cattle
Disposal Scheme (OCDS), Government and industry colleagues worked together to provide a booking system, the purpose of which is to be able to predict the demand for the scheme and to match slaughter capacity. At present the abattoir capacity is undersubscribed.
Sir John Stanley: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps he is taking to improve the speed of performance, technical competence and overall efficiency of Warm Front and Warm Front contractors; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Woolas [holding answer 17 September 2008]: DEFRA works very closely with eaga plc regarding the delivery of the scheme to ensure that clients receive an efficient and effective service. In addition, the Department has a contract with independent quality assessors who monitor quality issues and report on a regular basis to the Department.
Janet Anderson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will direct the White Young Green review team and representatives of his Department to meet representatives of J and L National Energy Saver Ltd to discuss the evidence submitted by that company relating to its suspension from the Warm Front 2 scheme and to produce a supplementary report; if he will place in the Library a copy of the White Young Green report on the suspension of J and L National Energy Saver Ltd from the Warm Front 2 scheme; and if he will make a statement. 
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment he has made of the (a) effectiveness, (b) value for money and (c) compliance with open tender
requirements of the establishment by Eaga of a co-venture with Ideal Boilers to undertake annual service visits on behalf of Eaga and the Warm Front 2 scheme; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Woolas [holding answer 17 September 2008]: As part of the open, audited and fully competitive tendering process for Warm Front, DEFRA ensured that the management of the scheme, including provision of aftercare services, provided value for money and complied with tender requirements.
All aspects of management of the Scheme, including provision of aftercare services, is subject to regular audits by DEFRA's independent quality assessors to ensure it is providing an effective service.
Janet Anderson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment he has made of the (a) effectiveness and (b) accordance with the principles of natural justice of the procedures for terminating contracts of Warm Front 2 scheme sub-contractors; what the procedures are; and what notice is required to be given. 
Mr. Woolas [holding answer 17 September 2008]: The terms of termination are defined in the contract between eaga plc and Warm Front contracted installers, which are agreed prior to their acceptance to work on the scheme.
Janet Anderson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what procedures were followed by (a) his Department, (b) White Young Green and (c) Eaga in (i) the suspension of J and L National Energy Saver Ltd from the Warm Front 2 scheme and (ii) the investigation and review of that suspension, with particular reference to consideration of representations from that company; what the reasons were for that suspension; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Woolas [holding answer 17 September 2008]: DEFRA has looked into the dispute between eaga plc and J and L heating, both in terms of the reasons for the action taken and the procedures followed by the scheme manager, eaga plc. This report has been provided to J and L National Energy Saver Ltd and is available from DEFRA upon request.
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs further to his Departments press release of 2 June 2008, on recycling in public places, whether waste collection authorities may issue fines to members of the public who place the wrong sort of rubbish into a public (a) residual waste or (b) recycling bin. 
Joan Ruddock: Certain offences exist on incorrect disposal of rubbish for which a fine can be issued, either in the form of a fixed penalty notice or a fine imposed by the Courts. Examples of offences include incorrect disposal of household, commercial or industrial waste, fly tipping and littering. Deliberate disposal of rubbish in the wrong place could constitute an offence, depending on the circumstances of the case.
Recycle on the Go, which was launched on 2 June 2008, does not introduce any new offences relating to litter bins nor recycle bins. Instead, it saw the publication of a Voluntary Code of Practice and guidance to make it easier for people to recycle when out and about, for example through the use of consistent signage so that people know what they can recycle, wherever they might be.
Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what information technology projects initiated by her Department and its predecessors have been cancelled prior to completion in the last five years; and what the cost of each such project was to the public purse. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: The Department for Transport does not hold centrally collected records on all IT projects carried out by the central department and its seven executive agencies. Available information shows that the following four IT projects were cancelled during the last five years.
In general such projects are cancelled if it becomes clear that the costs of completing the project are not justified by the benefits to be obtained. For example, in relation to the DVLA Tracking vehicles through the trade project, IT developments in the vehicle trade presented a lower cost solution. This is now being explored by DVLA, informed by the specification that was developed during the original project.
Highways Agency: CEO and Correspondence Unit Document Management System. Cost at cancellation: £227,574.
DFT (central): Electronic Documents and Records Management System. Cost at cancellation: £853,899.
DVLA: Tracking Vehicles Through the Trade. Cost at cancellation: £7,867,000.
DVLA: Electronic Licensing for Fleets. Cost at cancellation: £270,000.
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