Mr. Vara: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much funding was provided by (a) the UK and (b) the EU in the form of aid to African countries in each of the last five years, broken down by country. 
Mr. Douglas Alexander: I have placed in the Library a table which details the level of Official Development Assistance (ODA) provided by the United Kingdom, the EU15 and European Commission to African countries over the period 2002-06. I have also included data on the level of UK ODA to African countries in 2007.
Mr. Ivan Lewis: The Department for International Development's (DFID) work to facilitate trade between African countries is mainly focused in east and southern Africa. In east Africa, DFID is preparing a major new regional programme which will help to facilitate trade between East African Community member states (Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi). It will focus on reducing the costs of trading across borders by supporting one stop border posts, customs reforms and the development of revenue sharing arrangements between countries.
In southern Africa, DFID funds the Regional Trade Facilitation Programme. This aims to make it quicker and easier for businesses to trade between countries. Important activities include harmonisation of trade-related regulations and procedures, introduction of one stop border posts, and promotion of exports into the south African market.
Tom Levitt: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what measures his Department is supporting to promote the manufacture of goods marketed in finished form from Africa, rather than the export of raw materials. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: Much of Sub-Saharan Africa has been a relatively difficult place for manufacturing activities. Key reasons for this are poor infrastructure, particularly roads, ports and power infrastructure, a poor business environment and restrictive rules of origin in trade agreements.
The Department for International Development (DFID) works on all of these agendas. For example, DFID provides support to the Infrastructure Consortium for
Africa (ICA). This encourages a joined-up approach among donors and partner governments to meet Africa's urgent infrastructure needs. We also provide support to the Investment Climate Facility for Africa which is a new private-public partnership, focused on improving the investment climate in African countries.
DFID's soon to be launched Aid for Trade Strategy will set out how we will support countries to become more competitive traders. In parallel, DFID continues to press for more development-friendly trade agreements with African countries. This is particularly evident in the ongoing negotiations on Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs), where we are arguing for more liberal rules of origin for African exports.
Mr. Carmichael: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps his Department is taking to encourage other donors to contribute to the joint UN-NGO fund in response to the cyclone in Burma, launched on 10th July. 
Mr. Michael Foster: On 9 July the Secretary of State for International Development wrote to a range of like-minded development Ministers urging them to offer generous support to the UN appeal for Burma which was to be launched the following day. The Secretary of State has also offered to support the United Nations Under-Secretary-General for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, John Holmes, in his efforts to encourage other donors to contribute more to the UN appeal. The Department for International Development (DFID) and Foreign and Commonwealth (FCO) officials have followed up through bilateral contacts with other donors and in international forums.
The Secretary-General of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN), Dr. Surin Pitsuwan, is also working to encourage other donors to increase their contributions to the Burma cyclone relief effort.
Jo Swinson: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development (1) what financial and other support the Government has provided directly or via multilateral agencies to assist with reconstruction in Cuba following hurricanes Gustav and Ike; and whether further assistance is planned; 
Mr. Michael Foster:
The Department for International Development (DFID) has provided £250,000 in direct humanitarian aid to Cuba through the International Red Cross for shelter material and water filters for some 40,000 people. In addition, the European Commission Humanitarian Office (ECHO) has announced a relief contribution of €2 million, of which 17.5 per cent. is funded by DFID. The United Nations Relief Agencies have mobilised $8.6 million for relief and rehabilitation works in Cuba, $1.6 million of which is funded by DFID through the UN. However, the UN remains in negotiation with the Cuban authorities on full access and co-operation in order to use that money. We also understand that the Cuban government have received
offers totalling $30.5 million from a number of countries to assist with their reconstruction and emergency response efforts following the impact of the recent hurricanes.
Beyond humanitarian relief we do not provide direct reconstruction or long-term development aid to Cuba. We do not have direct access in Cuba either for making our own assessments of humanitarian or reconstruction needs and rely on assessments and programmes undertaken by international agencies such as the World Bank.
Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if he will place in the Library a copy of his Department's rest and recuperation leave policy for civilians working in operational theatres. 
Mr. Douglas Alexander: Arrangements for rest and recuperation leave (breather breaks) are developed in response to specific operational needs and the changing context of each country. They currently apply to staff working Iraq and Afghanistan.
Employees are entitled to a two week break away from post for every six weeks worked. Breaks are usually taken within the employee's home country but can be taken elsewhere on condition that this is of equal or lesser cost.
David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment he has made of the cost effectiveness of Government-commissioned advertising in the last 12 months relating to matters falling within the remit of his Department. 
Mr. Michael Foster: The Department for International Development's (DFID) main area of advertising spend is recruitment and procurement advertising which is assessed in terms of response rate and quality. However, DFID is introducing an e-enabled recruitment system that will help with this evaluation in the future.
In the last 12 months DFID has moved increasingly towards advertising via electronic media, which is much easier to track and evaluate in terms of responses to adverts and in terms of which method provides the best value for money. This is an ongoing process and the results are being used to inform future campaigns and promotional work.
David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many non-pensionable bonuses were awarded to members of staff in his Department in the last 12 months; and at what cost. 
Mr. Douglas Alexander: DFID paid a total of £641,510 in non-consolidated performance bonuses to 71 senior civil servants in the last year in recognition of their performance during the 2007-08 reporting year.
Mr. Lancaster: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development pursuant to the answer of 6 October 2008, Official Report, column 1043W, on departmental public expenditure, whether the programmes to which underspend can be re-allocated must be within the same country budget as the programme in which the underspend occurred. 
Mr. Prisk: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much (a) his Department and (b) its executive agencies spent on (i) recruitment consultants and (ii) external recruitment advertising to recruit staff in each of the last five financial years; which recruitment consultants were employed for those purposes in each of those years; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: In accordance with the Civil Service Recruitment Code, all external appointments to the Department for International Development (DFID) are made on merit on the basis of fair and open competition.
Job advertisements for vacancies at the Department for International Development (DFID) are placed in the national press or specialised magazines, in addition to appearing on DFID's own website and on the Civil Service Recruitment Gateway website. DFID does not routinely use recruitment consultants to fill vacancies for permanent posts. However, the central framework of executive search services, which is owned by the Cabinet Office, was used in February 2008 to engage Russell Reynolds Associates, at a cost of £43,671, to help identify suitable applicants for the post of Permanent Secretary in DFID.
DFID also periodically engages temporary staff through recruitment agencies, mainly in administrative grades. A management fee is included in the salary costs for each person supplied by the agency, but it is not possible to disaggregate the management fees from the total amount charged by the agencies without incurring disproportionate costs.
Mr. Douglas Alexander: The Department for International Development has a strong set of controls to manage the risk of misuse of funds. Throughout the management of our programmes, there is a strong emphasis on establishing comprehensive arrangements to guard against fiduciary risks. The rules of UK Government accounting are rigorously applied.
DFID checks on the use of funds by requiring recipients to provide audited financial statements and by conducting annual monitoring reviews. DFID's programme management is supported by regular audits by DFID's Internal Audit Department and the National Audit Office, both providing further evidence of the correct use of aid funds.
DFID's programmes are designed to respond from the outset to the risks of fraud or corruption which are identified through planning tools such as the fiduciary risk assessment;
A specialist Counter Fraud Unit coordinates DFID's response to allegations or suspicions of fraud and corruption, and provides support to management to strengthen systems and processes to prevent or detect future losses; and
Action is taken to recover funds which are lost, and DFID takes a robust approach in dealing with anyone found to have diverted UK aid funds away from their intended recipients. This includes disciplinary sanctions, criminal prosecutions, recovery of losses and the suspension of aid.
Ben Chapman: To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission how much space, in square feet, was occupied by all House staff in each of the last five years. 
Nick Harvey: Figures on this basis are not readily available. Evidence given to the Administration Committee in March 2006 showed the total floor area occupied by House staff was 13,140 sq m (Third Report 2005-06, HC 1279, p Ev 52). Details of the size of the different buildings on the parliamentary estate were given in my answer to the hon. Member for Lewes (Norman Baker) on 13 November 2007, Official Report, column 87W.
Andrew Mackinlay: To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission what representations the Commission has received from the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment on the erection of temporary structures on the Terrace; what the Commissions policy is on the erection and dismantling of such structures; and if he will make a statement. 
Nick Harvey: The Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment has advised that the erection of temporary structures on the Terrace is more a matter for the local planning authority advised by English Heritage rather than their organisation.
The House does not have a policy on the erection of temporary structures, the matter being delegated to the Director General of Facilities who will consult the appropriate authorities according to the sensitivity of the proposal.
Conservation bodies have expressed concern for some time about the appearance of the marquees on the Terrace. However, Members and their visitors greatly value the facilities they provide and they are in considerable demand. The existing structures are, however, coming to the end of their economic life. The question of their replacement will need to be addressed soon requiring wide consultation in both Houses before deciding on a way forward.
Charles Hendry: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what steps her Department is taking to support the development of improved large conference facilities in the South East. 
Mr. Khan [holding answer 17 October 2008]: The Department for Communities and Local Government does not actively support or engage in the development of improved large conference facilities in the south-east. Planning Policy Statement 6 (PPS6): Planning for Town Centres sets out the Government's national policies for town centres and main town centre uses, including the provision of conference facilities.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if she will bring forward proposals to regulate the work of fire assessors, with particular reference to the accuracy of advice provided by them. 
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