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Written Answers to Questions

Monday 17 November 2008

Northern Ireland

Bloody Sunday Tribunal of Inquiry

Mr. Gregory Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland with reference to the answer of 21 February 2001, Official Report, columns 772-74W, on the Saville inquiry, whether the information provided on cash expenditure and main categories of expenditure included all the costs incurred by the Saville inquiry to the end of October 2006; and what expenditure in categories other than those listed in the answer has been incurred since October 2006. [236344]

Paul Goggins: The answer of 21 February 2007, Official Report, columns 772-74, provided a breakdown of expenditure on the Bloody Sunday inquiry into six categories: legal fees; accommodation; transportation; provision of IT equipment; hiring of halls and other. The final category included all spend on the inquiry not falling into the first five categories. As such, there is no expenditure incurred by the inquiry since October 2006 that could not be included in categories listed in this answer.

Departmental ICT

Paul Holmes: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many (a) memory sticks, (b) laptop computers, (c) desktop computers, (d) hard drives and (e) mobile telephones were (i) lost by and (ii) stolen from his Department in each year since 1997. [234083]

Paul Goggins: No memory sticks or desktop computers have been lost or stolen in the period 2001-08.

Between 2001 and 2008 five laptops were stolen; one in 2001, one in 2006 and two in 2007. There were none lost in this period.

One hard drive was reported stolen in 2001.

Between 2001 and 2006 22 mobile phones were lost; seven in 2001, two in 2002, two in 2003, two in 2005, two in 2006, five in 2007 and two in 2008. In the same period six were reported stolen; one in 2001, three in 2004, one in 2005 and one in 2007.

Figures prior to 2001 are not available.

Departmental Lost Property

Grant Shapps: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what (a) equipment and (b) data was lost by his Department in the last 12 months; and if he will make a statement. [231435]

Paul Goggins: The information is as follows:


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This answer relates to the core Northern Ireland Office Department and its agencies only.

Departmental Written Questions

Mr. Gibb: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many Questions for written answer were tabled to his Department in Session (a) 2002-03, (b) 2003-04, (c) 2004-05, (d) 2005-06, (e) 2006-07 and (f) 2007-08 to date; and how many were (i) answered substantively and (ii) not answered on grounds of disproportionate cost. [235387]

Mr. Woodward: Parliamentary questions for my Department are recorded by calendar year rather than by parliamentary Session.

The total number of questions received per year are as follows:

Number of questions

2002

1,729

2003

2,908

2004

4,137

2005

4,476

2006

5,046

2007

1,896

2008 (up to 11 November)

1,336


These figures cover questions tabled in both the House of Commons and House of Lords, including oral questions in the House of Commons. They exclude transferred or withdrawn questions.

In order to determine what proportion of questions were answered substantively and which were not answered on the grounds of disproportionate cost would require a manual trawl of all 21,528 questions. This information could therefore be provided only at disproportionate cost.

However, as an illustration of the proportion of questions not answered on the grounds of disproportionate cost my officials have carried out a manual trawl for questions tabled in 2008. Of the 1,336 questions received, 23 received no substantive answer on the grounds of disproportionate cost. This represents 0.02 per cent. of the total.

Irish Language

Mr. Paterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many of his Department's employees are fluent in Irish. [234636]

Paul Goggins: The Northern Ireland Office does not hold a record of the number of its employees who are fluent in Irish.

Recruitment: Religion

Mr. Paterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many people who are (a) Catholic and (b) Protestant were recruited by his Department in the last two years; and what percentage of the number of recruits this represented. [234639]


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Paul Goggins: In compliance with the Fair Employment and Treatment (NT) Order 1998 monitoring regulations, all NIO staff working in Northern Ireland, both home civil servants and Northern Ireland civil servants, are monitored for community background. The Department also has a small number of staff working in London whose community background is not monitored.

164 permanent staff were recruited to the NIO core Department in the last two years, of whom 73 (44.5 per cent.) were Protestant and 75 (45.7 per cent.) were Roman Catholic. Of the remaining 16, the community background of 15 (9.1 per cent.) could not be determined, while 1 (0.6 per cent.) was recruited in London.

Saville inquiry

Mr. Paterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland when he expects the Saville inquiry to report. [234175]

Mr. Woodward: Lord Saville wrote to me on 4 November 2008 stating that the tribunal now expects to deliver the completed report to me in autumn of next year.

Olympics

Brazilian Grand Prix

Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Minister for the Olympics how many people attended the Brazilian Grand Prix at the expense of her Office; what the purpose of the visit was in each case; and what estimate she has made of the costs incurred. [234828]

Tessa Jowell: This Government publish an annual list of all ministerial travel costing over £500. The list includes a breakdown of travel by all Ministers and the global figure for the cost of ministerial travel includes the cost of staff accompanying Ministers. Detail of travel taken in the current year will be published as soon as it is ready after the end of the financial year. All ministerial travel is undertaken in accordance with the Ministerial Code.

Departmental Written Questions

Mr. Gibb: To ask the Minister for the Olympics how many Questions for written answer were tabled to her in each Session since she was appointed; and how many were (i) answered substantively and (ii) not answered on grounds of disproportionate cost. [235386]

Tessa Jowell: The number of written questions tabled (and transferred) to me as Minister for the Olympics is as follows:

Number

2006-07

82

2007-08

293


Information obtained from the DCMS Parliamentary Questions Database.


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Information on how many written questions were answered substantively and not answered on grounds of disproportionate cost is not readily available and could be provided only at disproportionate cost. However all of my answers are a matter of public record and can be found in the Official Report.

Scotland

Departmental Consultants

Mr. Heald: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many external consultants work for his Department. [236643]

Ann McKechin: As at 30 October 2008, the Scotland Office had one external consultant.

Departmental Lost Property

Grant Shapps: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what (a) equipment and (b) data was lost by his Department in the last 12 months; and if he will make a statement. [231432]

Ann McKechin: The Scotland Office, in accordance with Cabinet Office guidance, did not report any personal data related incidents for the period 2007-08; or lost any equipment in the same period.

Hotels

Mr. Heald: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how much was spent on hotel bills by his Department in 2007-08. [236642]

Ann McKechin: The Scotland Office does not separately record expenditure on overnight accommodation from other forms of subsistence such as meal allowances, day subsistence, incidental expenses and motor mileage.

Performance Appraisal

David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many staff in his Department did not achieve an acceptable assessment grade in their annual report in the latest reporting year for which figures are available. [235213]

Ann McKechin: All the staff in the Scotland Office are on secondment from the Scottish Executive or the Ministry of Justice who hold the individual personnel records, including annual performance. Poor performance is dealt with by line management within the procedures prescribed by the parent Departments. The Office does not maintain a central record of the performance of staff.

House of Commons Commission

Performance Appraisal

David Simpson: To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission how many staff in the House service did not achieve an acceptable assessment grade in their annual report in the latest reporting year for which figures are available. [235221]


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Nick Harvey: The total number of staff in the House of Commons service who did not receive an acceptable assessment grade in 2007-08 was 12 out of a total of 1,402 staff. These figures exclude staff within catering and retail services who do not receive an annual performance assessment.

Church Commissioners

Departmental Written Questions

Mr. Gibb: To ask the hon. Member for Middlesbrough, representing the Church Commissioners how many questions for written answer were tabled to the hon. Member representing the Church Commissioners in Session (a) 2002-03, (b) 2003-04, (c) 2004-05, (d) 2005-06, (e) 2006-07 and (f) 2007-08 to date; and how many were (i) answered substantively and (ii) not answered on grounds of disproportionate cost. [235399]

Sir Stuart Bell: The Commissioners' records of questions are not ordered by parliamentary Session but in calendar years and they do not differentiate between questions for written and oral answer.

However, I can tell the hon. Gentleman that the total numbers of questions I have answered for the Church Commissioners in each of the calendar years since 2002 are as follows:

Questions (oral and written)

2002

82

2003

54

2004

57

2005

56

2006

71

2007

69

2008 to date

42


I believe that they have all been answered substantively and none, so far as I can recall, have not been answered on grounds of disproportionate cost.

Older Workers

Mr. Burstow: To ask the hon. Member for Middlesbrough, representing the Church Commissioners how many people recruited by the Church Commissioners in 2007-08 were aged over (a) 55 years and (b) 60 years; and what percentage this represented of the number of new recruits in each case. [235250]

Sir Stuart Bell: In 2007 the Commissioners recruited one person aged 60 (representing 12.5 per cent. of their new recruits in that year). They have not recruited anyone over 55, so far in 2008.

Wales

Departmental Internet

Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales for which Government websites his Department is responsible; how many visitors each received in the last period for which figures are available; and what the cost of maintaining each site was in that period. [235028]


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Mr. Paul Murphy: My Department is responsible for two websites:

and

In the period July 2008-September 2008 they received 4,439 hits.

The cost of running these sites for this period was £1,725.


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