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Bridget Prentice: The consultation on pleural plaques closed on 1 October 2008 and has generated a large number of responses. We are carefully analysing all the submissions received, many of which are detailed and complex, and will seek to publish a response paper outlining the way forward as soon as possible.
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Mr. Ivan Lewis: The Department for International Development's (DFID) reward arrangements do not allow for the payment of any performance-related awards in the 2008-09 financial year to staff below the senior civil service (SCS).
DFID's total SCS consolidated pay bill was £7.45 million at 31 March 2008. In line with the SSRB's recommendations, an additional 8.6 per cent. (£0.64 million) was allocated for non-consolidated performance awards for payment in the current financial year. The median award made was £6,350.
Awards are intended to reward delivery of personal business objectives during the reporting year or other short-term personal contributions to wider organisational objectives. In considering SCS members for an award, line managers are asked to take into account:
performance against agreed priority business objectives or targets;
total delivery record over the year;
relative stretch (ie the challenge of the job compared to that of others); and
response to unforeseen events that affected the performance agreement.
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what guidance his Department has issued on the payment of per diem expenses to people who are
not employees of the Department for attendance at (a) meetings, (b) workshops, (c) conferences and (d) other events; what guidance has been issued on the rates payable to such people in developing countries; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: Where the Department for International Development (DFID) considers the payment of per diem expenses to be appropriate, our general aim is to provide event participants with a level of expenses consistent with DFID employees in comparable situations. As each event will have different requirements in relation to the location, venue, facilities and duration, DFID determines the appropriate per diem rate and guidance on a case-by-case basis.
Mr. Andrew Mitchell:
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development with reference to the answer of 29 October 2008, Official Report, column 1162W, on departmental recruitment, how many additional (a) generalist and (b) technical civil servants were recruited between mid-October 2008 and the end of 2008; and how many serving generalist civil servants recruited to the fast stream between 2003 and
2008 were recruited (i) through the in-service stream and (ii) from other Government Departments. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: The Department for International Development (DFID) recruited 69 civil servants between mid-October 2008 and the end of 2008. 35 of these were specialist or technical staff and 34 were generalist staff.
Mr. Sarwar: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what support his Department is providing for non-governmental organisations and charities working to alleviate the humanitarian situation in Gaza. 
This will enable the UNs local Humanitarian Co-ordinator to quickly allocate funds to emerging priorities, making them available to NGOs and other organisations with staff on the ground, to meet immediate humanitarian needs.
Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development pursuant to the answer of 4 March 2009, Official Report, column 1656W, on Palestinians: overseas aid, what measures are in place to ensure that his Departments humanitarian aid to Palestinians in Gaza will not be channelled to Hamas. 
Mr. Douglas Alexander: I refer my hon. Friend to the answers given to my hon. Friend the Member for Denton and Reddish (Andrew Gwynne) and my hon. Friend the Member for Blackpool, North and Fleetwood (Mrs. Humble) on 25 March 2009, Official Report, column 291.
Mr. Ancram: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what recent steps he has taken to ensure that humanitarian and reconstruction aid provided by his Department is delivered in Gaza without delay owing to the application of political conditions to the provision of such assistance. 
Mr. Douglas Alexander: I refer the right hon. Member to the answers given to my hon. Friend the Member for Denton and Reddish (Andrew Gwynne) and my hon. Friend the Member for Blackpool, North and Fleetwood (Mrs. Humble) on 25 March 2009, Official Report, column 291.
Mr. Scott: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much his Department paid in per diem expenses to persons in Uganda who were not employees of the Department to attend (a) meetings, (b) workshops, (c) conferences and (d) other events in 2007-08. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: In Uganda, the Department for International Development (DFID) does not directly pay per diem expenses to non-DFID employees. Included in our programmes and budgets is provision for training events, workshops and other events which are managed by our implementing partners.
Jeff Ennis: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what estimate he has made of the number of secondary schools in England which have not had a student accepted for a place at (a) Cambridge university and (b) Oxford university in the last 30 years. 
Detailed UCAS data on applications via secondary schools are only available from 2001. The figures cover schools classed by UCAS as comprehensive, grammar, other maintained and other secondary schools in England.
Only centres who have had pupils apply to university via the UCAS system have been included. Figures include centres who have had applicants to Oxford and Cambridge, and those who have had no applications to these two universities.
There were 1,919 centres whose applicants applied through the UCAS system, which did not have any applicants accepted on to courses at Cambridge in any year between 2001 and 2008 inclusive. In the same time period, 1,990 centres whose applicants applied through the UCAS system did not have any applicants accepted on to courses at Oxford in any of the years.
Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families (1) what the period is of Sir Roger Singleton's appointment as chief adviser on the safety of children; what remit he has been given; and what remuneration he will receive in this capacity; 
Beverley Hughes [holding answer 19 March 2009]: Sir Roger Singleton's remit as chief adviser on the safety of children was set out in a letter from the Secretary of State to Sir Roger on 12 March. This letter was placed in the House Libraries on the same day. The details of his activities, including in relation to serious case reviews, will be developed over the next few months. The period of Sir Roger's appointment to this role is three years. Decisions about any future appointments of a chief adviser on the safety of children will be made in due course.
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