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Chris Bryant: The 75(th) Anniversary of the British Council has been marked with a programme of events and exhibitions across the UK. These have included: a series of lectures and debates about international education, science, art and culture, exhibitions from the British Council art collection in London, Swansea and Belfast, a film tour in Scotland and a concert of UK and international musical collaborations held in London. Activities have been open to the public and have attracted over 20,000 people to date.
Mr. Watson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has received from the organisation Justice for Colombia on the negotiation of a free trade agreement between the European Union and Colombia; what assessment he has made of those representations; and if he will make a statement. 
We have not received written representations directly from Justice for Colombia on this issue, although delegates of a Justice for Colombia
visit to Colombia in April 2009 raised it with our Ambassador in Bogota and Justice for Colombia has regularly raised it with us directly.
We believe that free trade agreements can help to create the right circumstances for improved stability, where human rights stand a better chance of flourishing. Denying Colombia access to the economic opportunities presented by a multi-party trade agreement would undermine this prospect. We believe that any free trade agreement must have clear and enforceable human rights clauses.
John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs with reference to the answer of 20 May 2009, Official Report, column 1420W, on departmental pay, what the name is of each employer supplying staff in London working on services contracted out by his Department, including on contracts that have been sub-let and business that has been awarded where the contract is not exclusive to London; what the nature is of the work undertaken on each contract; how many staff at each (a) grade and (b) location work on each contract; what the length of each contract is; and what union recognition agreements are in place with each contractor. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: Responsibility for contracting for services is devolved to individual directorates, departments and overseas posts within the Foreign and Commonwealth Office against the provision of central advice and guidance. Each directorate, department and post would need to be contacted to obtain the details requested, requiring additional resource which would exceed the current threshold for disproportionate cost.
Mr. Touhig: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what criteria his Department uses in determining the award of contracts; and how much his Department has spent on the advertisement of tenders for Government contracts since 1997. 
Chris Bryant: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) seeks best value for money which is the optimum combination of whole-life costs and quality to meet the requirements. Contracts in the FCO are awarded to the 'most economically advantageous tender' as defined in the UK regulations implementing EU directives. The regulations list a number of criteria, by way of example, that contracting authorities can use to identify which tender would be the most economically advantageous. These award criteria include price, delivery or performance dates, running costs, cost-effectiveness, quality, aesthetic and functional characteristics, after-sales service and technical assistance.
No records are kept on how much is spent on the advertisement of tenders, although many of our contracts are advertised in the Official Journal to the European Journal and via the FCO's websites, at no direct cost.
Chris Bryant: In 2008-09 the Foreign and Commonwealth Office's (FCO) entire web platform received 203,590,731 page views and 34,712,798 visitors, of which, 26,040,659 were unique visitors. These figures include page views and visitors to all of our 250 departmental websites. They represent a significant increase on the FCO's 2007-08 figures.
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs which (a) individuals other than Ministerial colleagues and officials of his Department and (b) organisations he met in an official capacity in the week commencing 9 November 2009. 
Chris Bryant: Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) Ministers meet a variety of individuals in the public and private sectors as part of the process of policy development and delivery. A record of all individuals met is not held centrally.
Mr. Heald: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what the cost to his Department was of the provision of office facilities to (a) special advisers and (b) press officers in the 2008-09 financial year. 
Chris Bryant: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office provides its staff with a safe, effective and modern working environment within the context of historic buildings whose internal configuration cannot easily be changed. The space occupied by Press Office staff, and cost of their facilities, varies according to staffing levels throughout the year. Press Office uses communal facilities such as meeting rooms and break out spaces which are shared with other staff in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. It is therefore not possible to state accurately the cost of office facilities for Press Office.
The space and cost of the offices provided for Special Advisers is similar to the reply given to the hon. Member by my hon. Friend, the then Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, Gillian Merron, on 26 November 2008, Official Report, column 1755W, except that for a period of six months in 2008-09 there was an additional Special Adviser who had an office. The costs within the FCO buildings for an individual office cannot be accurately identified as all costs are compiled by building.
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many miles (a) Ministers and (b) officials in his Department have travelled by taxi in the course of their official duties in each year since 1997; and at what cost to the public purse in each such year. 
Grant Shapps: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what training sessions were attended by (a) Ministers and (b) special advisers in his Department at public expense in each of the last three years. 
Chris Bryant: Training is provided to Ministers and special advisers as part of their induction and continuing development in order to carry out their respective duties effectively under the Ministerial Code and the Code of Conduct for Special Advisers. Details of training provided to Government Ministers by the National School of Government are publicly available and can be found at:
Chris Bryant: The UK remains seriously concerned about the situation in Fiji, particularly following developments in April 2009, when the regime abrogated the constitution, suspended the courts and introduced Public Emergency Regulations, including press and media censorship. We are particularly concerned that the regime has ruled out elections before 2014, and we have called for a prompt return to democratic processes and institutions. Fiji was suspended from the Commonwealth on 1 September 2009. The UK maintains that an inclusive and open dialogue with all parties in Fiji, as well as international partners, is needed to help Fiji make an early and successful return to a democratically elected Government. We continue to raise our concerns over the human rights situation in Fiji in UN and EU fora.
Mr. Watson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions he has had with the Prime Minister of Fiji, with particular reference to the recent expulsion from Fiji of the High Commissioners of (a) Australia and (b) New Zealand; and if he will make a statement. 
As Minister responsible for the Pacific I issued a strong press statement expressing disappointment at the expulsion of the Australia and New Zealand envoys to Fiji on 3 November 2009. I spoke to the Foreign Ministers of both countries on 4 November 2009 to offer our continued support. Neither I nor my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary have spoken to
Prime Minister Bainimarama. Our High Commissioner in Suva called on him on 10 November 2009 to convey our deep disappointment at the expulsions.
Mr. Holloway: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what estimate he has made of the number of forced marriages involving at least one British citizen which took place in (a) the UK and (b) each other country in each year since 1997; and how many such citizens were (i) male and (ii) female. 
Chris Bryant: The very nature of forced marriage means that cases often go unreported. The joint Home Office-Foreign and Commonwealth Office Forced Marriage Unit (FMU) are working with governmental and non-governmental partners to build the best statistical picture possible. The statistics we do have are based on the work of the FMU since its establishment in 2005 and are fuller from 2008 when a new system of recording data was implemented.
1,327 instances in which the FMU gave advice or support related to possible forced marriage.
286 cases of forced marriage, including both assistance and immigration cases, dealt with by the FMU.
14 per cent. were male and 86 per cent. were female.
The geographic balance of cases associated with other countries/regions was as follows: Pakistan (57 per cent.), Bangladesh (10 per cent.), India (8 per cent.), Turkey (2 per cent.), Africa (1 per cent.), Afghanistan (1 per cent.), and other (7 per cent.). 14 per cent. of cases were solely linked to the UK or were of unknown origin.
1,618 instances in which the FMU gave advice or support related to possible forced marriage.
420 cases of forced marriage, including both assistance and immigration cases, dealt with by the FMU.
15 per cent. of victims were male and 85 per cent. female.
The geographic balance of cases associated with other countries/regions was as follows: Pakistan (57 per cent.), Bangladesh (13 per cent.), India (7 per cent.), Middle Eastern (3 per cent.), Africa (2 per cent.), Turkey (1 per cent.), Afghanistan (1 per cent.), European (1 per cent.), and other (4 per cent.). 11 per cent. of cases were solely linked to the UK or were of unknown origin.
262 cases of forced marriage, including both assistance and immigration cases, dealt with by the FMU in the UK and overseas.
182 cases of forced marriage, including both assistance and immigration cases, dealt with by the FMU in the UK and overseas.
152 cases of forced marriage, including both assistance and immigration cases dealt with by the FMU in the UK and overseas.
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