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Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The training undertaken by UK based military search and rescue (SAR) helicopter crews can range from daily training flights devised by the crews in order to refresh particular skills and maintain operational effectiveness, to pre-planned exercises involving the emergency services.
Data on daily training flights, which represent the majority of the training undertaken by RAF SAR crews, are not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost. However, data are available on the number of pre-planned training exercises the RAF has undertaken with the emergency services. This information is provided in the following table for the period 1 January 2003 to 31 December 2008 and the 12 months from April 2008.
|Number of exercises|
|Month||Number of exercises|
The available information on the number of Royal Navy SAR training flights is compiled on a different basis and does not differentiate between daily training flights and multi-agency training exercises. The following table shows the training flights undertaken by Royal
Navy SAR crews in each of the last 12 months. Data for the period 1 January 2003 to 31 March 2008 are only held in archives and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
|Number of rescue training exercises flown|
|771 NAS, RNAS Culdrose||Gannett SAR Fit, Prestwick|
Nick Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence with reference to the answer to the hon. Member for Lewes of 17 November 2008, Official Report, column 153W, on RAF Welford, whether the security enhancements at RAF Welford have been completed; and whether a complement of Ministry of Defence police remains stationed at the base. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 17 November 2008, Official Report, column 153W, to the hon. Member for Lewes (Norman Baker). Although significant progress has been made, the security enhancements at RAF Welford are not yet complete. The Ministry of Defence police will not be withdrawn from RAF Welford until the necessary security enhancements at the base have been completed.
Mr. Maude: To ask the hon. Member for Gosport, representing the Speaker's Committee on the Electoral Commission what progress the Electoral Commission has made in its investigation into the permissibility of donations by 5th Avenue Partners and Mr. Michael Brown to the Liberal Democrat Party. 
Sir Peter Viggers: The Electoral Commission informs me that the investigation into the permissibility of donations made to the Liberal Democrat party by 5th Avenue Partners is continuing. The Commission further informs me that its aim remains to conclude the investigation as quickly as possible, but that its priority must be to ensure that the process is fair and thorough.
Mr. Maude: To ask the hon. Member for Gosport, representing the Speaker's Committee on the Electoral Commission what revised timetable the Electoral Commission has established to take forward its Standardisation of Statement of Accounts initiative. 
Andrew Mackinlay: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what consideration he has given to directing the Governor of the Cayman Islands to comply with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Developments requirements on tax disclosure, financial regulation and oversight; and if he will make a statement. 
Gillian Merron [holding answer 28 April 2009]: In the Cayman Islands, finance is a constitutionally devolved competence, which gives primary responsibility for legislation and regulation to the Government of the Cayman Islands.
The Government continually underline to all territories the importance of meeting international standards on information exchange, in the context of both taxation and regulatory matters. At the overseas territories consultative council meeting in November last year territories were encouraged to make progress towards the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) standards on tax transparency. The Governor repeated this message prior to the G20 Summit.
The Cayman Islands was one of the first jurisdictions to commit to the OECD international standard on exchange of information in 2000. The Leader of Government Business in the Cayman Islands re-committed to this standard in March 2009 and Cayman has signed eight tax information exchange agreements to date. Last year it introduced a unilateral legal mechanism for the provision of tax information assistance pursuant to which they have extended assistance to a further 12 other jurisdictions. This approach is currently being considered by the OECD with a view to confirming whether it meets their standard. The Cayman Islands, along with other relevant overseas territories, is also compliant with the requirements of the EU savings tax directive.
My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister in his letter to the Government of the Cayman Islands following the summit stressed the need for them to at least match the global pace on the exchange of tax information and urged them to meet the OECD standard in time for the UN General Assembly meetings in September. He has also encouraged them to meet any new international standards which may emerge. The Government will continue to work with all the overseas territories to support them in reaching these targets.
Andrew Mackinlay: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs for what reason responsibility for (a) financial regulation and oversight and (b) compliance with (i) obligations imposed by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and (ii) other treaty obligations relating to financial regulation and oversight and disclosure are matters reserved to the Governor of the Cayman Islands. 
Gillian Merron [holding answer 28 April 2009]: Financial regulation and oversight are not matters reserved to the Governor of the Cayman Islands. Responsibility has been devolved to the Cayman Islands Government.
Compliance with treaty obligations extending to the Cayman Islands, including those relating to financial matters, is primarily the responsibility of the territory Government, and we expect them to comply fully with those obligations. However, the UK is ultimately responsible for the territories compliance with treaty obligations under international law.
Under the 1972 (current) Cayman Islands Constitution the Governor is the Queens representative in the territory and has responsibility for external relations and, therefore, the territory Ministers have no power or authority to enter into a binding international commitment unless authorised by entrustment from the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs.
Mr. Paul Goodman: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the answer of 10 March 2009, Official Report, column 226W, on terrorism: finance, whether any of the projects to tackle radicalisation and promote understanding overseas are being delivered by subcontractors. 
Bill Rammell: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) provides funding to a range of organisations to deliver projects which tackle radicalisation and promote tolerance. These organisations are primarily responsible for delivery of projects but are able, under the grant agreement, to sub-contract parts of the project to other organisations or individuals, for example where specialist skills or knowledge are required.
Implementers are chosen according to a rigorous selection board, and their own implementation of the project held to account on a regular basis by review, monitoring and evaluation. This includes the implementer's financial management and choice of subcontractors. Choice of subcontractors must be undertaken in accordance with proper procurement principles. The FCO, as the contracting authority, retains the right to dismiss any subcontractor whose performance is demonstrated to be unsatisfactory through the regular monitoring and evaluation processes.
Mr. Oaten: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has had with the UK Permanent Representative to the Council of Europe on the choice of the next Secretary General of the Council of Europe. 
Caroline Flint: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London and the UK Permanent Representative to the Council of Europe and her team have remained in close touch on this issue since the process for selection of the next Secretary General was launched in July last year. Good leadership is key to delivery of our strategic objective of international institutional reform. We have been in the forefront in working for a fair, open, competence-based selection process.
Mr. Keith Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what reports he has received on the safety and whereabouts of Dolly Inefo Mbunga, Floribert Chebeya Bahizire and Donat Tshikaya following their arrests in Kinshasa; and what recent representations he has made to the government of the Democratic Republic of Congo on the disappearance of human rights workers. 
The EU presidency, the European Commission and the EUs Special Representative to the Great Lakes region raised the issue in meetings with Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) Ministers shortly after the mens arrest. UN officials also made representations to the DRC authorities about this incident.
Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs with reference to the answer of 15 September 2008, Official Report, column 2185W, on Iran: nuclear weapons, if his Department will assess the effect of (a) EU and (b) UN sanctions on the Iranian (i) economy and (ii) nuclear and ballistic weapons programmes. 
David Miliband: There are no plans at present to issue a formal study on the effect of EU and UN sanctions on the Iranian economy and nuclear and ballistic weapons programmes. However, we regularly monitor the impact of sanctions on Iran.
Our assessment is that UN sanctions have made it more difficult for Iran to procure items for its nuclear and ballistic weapons programmes. Sanctions continue to affect parts of the Iranian economy, particularly through the disruption of the international operations of a number of Iranian companies and those Iranian banks listed in the sanctions. Anecdotal evidence from sources inside Iran indicates that sanctions have increased the inconvenience and general cost of doing business.
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