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Mr. Touhig: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what criteria his Department uses in determining the award of contracts; and how much his Department and its predecessors spent on the advertisement of tenders for Government contracts since 1997. 
Dan Norris: Public contracts must be awarded on one of two bases-either the most economically advantageous offer from the point of view of DEFRA as the contracting authority, or the lowest price. Where the most economically advantageous offer is chosen as the basis, criteria linked to the subject matter of the contract must be used to make the contract award decision. The criteria that can be used include quality, price, technical merit, aesthetic and functional characteristics, environmental characteristics, running costs, cost-effectiveness, after sales service, technical assistance, delivery date, delivery period and period of and for completion. This list is non-exhaustive and DEFRA as a contracting authority can choose other objective and non-discriminatory criteria linked to the subject matter of a contract to determine which offer is most economically advantageous. Criteria have to be built into the evaluation model.
DEFRA came into being in June 2001. The amount spent on any advertisement of tenders for Government contracts outside of advertisement in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) and on DEFRA's website is not held centrally and the information could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many allegations of victimisation for whistleblowing have been made to his Department by its staff since 6 June 2006. 
Civil servants are required to act in accordance with the standards and core values set out the "Civil Service Code". The "Civil Service Code" also provides for civil servants to raise matters of concern with the independent Civil Service Commissioners if they do not receive what they consider to be a reasonable response following departmental internal procedures. The Commissioners will also consider taking a complaint direct. Further guidance on whistleblowing is set out in the "Civil Service Management Code" and the "Directory of Civil Service Guidance".
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John Mason: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what (a) bonuses and (b) incentives have been paid to (i) consultants and (ii) contractors engaged by his Department in each of the last three years. 
Dan Norris: The information is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost. Any bonuses and incentives paid to consultants and contractors engaged by the Department would be subject to the provisions of Managing Public Money.
Dan Norris: DEFRA has carried out more than 161 consultations in the last two years (81 in 2007, 80 in 2008). These consultations have been paper-based and online. The size and scope of the consultations varies widely and it would be possible to calculate the spend only at disproportionate cost.
Mr. Heald: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the cost to his Department was of provision of office facilities to (a) special advisers and (b) press officers in the 2008-09 financial year. 
(a) For special advisers: £44,930
(b) For press officers: £142,434.
Mr. Jenkin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what proportion of jobs advertised by his Department in the last 12 months were online-only applications; and what provision his Department makes for those wishing to apply for jobs in his Department who do not have access to the internet. 
Dan Norris: DEFRA and our Executive Agencies are increasingly introducing online elements to recruitment such as Occupational Personality Questionnaires. Online processes are also more efficient, especially for high volume recruitment. However, if asked we always make hard copy and e-mail versions available to applicants who are not able to use the online elements of our processes.
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many miles (a) Ministers and (b) officials in his Department and its predecessor 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. 
Tim Farron: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate he has made of the (a) number of homes flooded, (b) amount of damage caused by floods and (c) insured losses arising from floods in each of the last 10 years. 
Mr. Roger Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether his Department has (a) commissioned and (b) evaluated research on the quantity of food wastage since the Waste and Resources Action Programme's 2007 report, "The food we waste". 
Tim Farron: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate his Department has made of the monetary value of food (a) spoiled and (b) disposed of in each of the last six years. 
Dan Norris: The Waste and Resources Action Programme published the findings of new research into the quantity of household food and drink waste earlier this month. This revealed that 8.3 million tonnes of food and drink are thrown away by households each year, most of which (5.3 million tonnes) could have been consumed. This avoidable food and drink waste is worth £12 billion, costing on average around £480 for every household a year, increasing to £680 a year for households with children. If we stopped wasting all this avoidable food and drink it would save at least 20 million tonnes of carbon dioxide, equivalent to taking one in four cars off UK roads.
DEFRA's Waste and Resources Evidence Programme has not commissioned any research on the quantity of food wastage in that time period. However, some evaluation of survey material on separately collected food waste has been undertaken through a research project examining municipal waste composition.
Sir Paul Beresford: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment he has made of the effects of the levying of a tax on the use of recovered fuel oil on the volume of fuel oils dumped illegally; and if he will make a statement. 
Dan Norris: The Government consider that the application of duty on the use of recovered fuel oil should have no adverse affects on the volumes of illegally dumped fuel oils, as correct disposal of hazardous waste is a legal requirement. There are controls in place to prevent the illegal dumping of waste.
Sir Menzies Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether his Department has entered into any contracts with Kellogg, Brown and Root or its subsidiaries since January 2009. 
Tim Farron: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many (a) complaints, (b) court actions and (c) fines there were against landfill sites for problems related to (i) odours, (ii) water pollution, (iii) air pollution and (iv) human health impact in each region in each of the last 10 years; what the locations were of the sites in respect of which each fine was levied; and what the fine was in each case. 
The number of complaints made, court cases brought, and fines levied against landfill operators in each region for offences related to odour, water pollution and air pollution in each year since 2001 are listed in the following table. The Environment Agency's National Incident Recording System started in 2001.
Interrogating systems which hold information prior to 2001 would incur disproportionate cost as the data was not collated centrally.
|Number of incidents|
|Region||Total number related to landfills||Air pollution-odour related||Air pollution-not odour related||Water pollution||Number of court cases||Total fines (£)|
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