John Mason: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many questions tabled for answer on a named day his Department received in each of the last 12 months; and to how many such questions his Department provided a substantive answer on the day named. 
10. Jo Swinson: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what recent representations she has received on proposed changes to the Civil Service Compensation scheme; and if she will make a statement. 
Angela E. Smith: On 31 July we published our proposals to reform the Civil Service Compensation scheme. Correspondence has been received from over 200 Members and the Cabinet Office has received over 18,000 emails and letters in response to the consultation. Officials have had numerous meetings with the civil service unions since July 2008, and Ministers met the unions on 22 September to listen to their views. In the light of representations significant changes which provide better outcomes for the lowest paid civil servants, while still delivering the savings committed to. Overall, the new package-announced last Friday-provides fairer outcomes to civil servants and to taxpayers.
Angela E. Smith: Latest figures show levels of employment in the third sector have been sustained throughout 2008-09, with over 500,000 employees-a significant achievement in light of the recession. We are committed to creating a further 25,000 jobs in the third sector through involvement in public services. The Cabinet Office is working closely with the Department for Work and Pensions to support third sector involvement in the creation of 150,000 jobs through the Future Jobs Fund.
Angela E. Smith: The changes we have made to charity law and accounting and reporting thresholds have resulted in savings for up to 50,000 charities and up to £5 million per year. The new Charitable Incorporated Organisation, planned for next year, will give charities the advantages of incorporation without the burden of dual regulation by both the Charity Commission and Companies House. Departments are also cutting red tape for third sector organisations and will be reporting on further progress later this month. The Government and National Audit Office (NAO) have produced guidance to reduce red tape associated with the £12 billion a year the sector gets from Government. The Government have introduced further measures to facilitate the use of Gift Aid, with particular support for smaller charities, including reforms to simplify the record keeping and auditing process.
Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office how much (a) her Department and (b) its agency has spent on Christmas (i) cards, (ii) parties and (iii) decorations in the last 12 months. 
Angela E. Smith: Since 2006, the Cabinet Office has predominantly used an on-line e-card at no cost to the Department. The cost of any Christmas cards sent by the Department is not held centrally and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost. No departmental funds have been used for staff Christmas parties.
Christmas trees are situated at certain points on the Cabinet Office estate, such as in the reception of the main buildings. The cost which includes the purchase, decoration and environmentally friendly disposal of the trees in 2008 was £5,757.
Mr. Borrow: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what information her Department holds on the number of employees of each Government Department who incurred hearing loss in the course of their duties in each year since 1999. 
Angela E. Smith: The Cabinet Office takes great care regarding access to its buildings and its access control policies are in line with the HMG Security Policy Framework, Mandatory Requirements 56, 57 and 58
The Department issues security passes to all those who are visiting and have business on its estate. Non-staff employed by the Department (including temporary staff, short-term work placements, contractors and consultants) may be issued with either a temporary pass, an escorted visitor pass or an unescorted visitor pass, depending on the length of time they are working for the Department and their level of security clearance.
John Hemming: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office if she will bring forward proposals to ensure that public bodies which enter into partnership to provide services are subject to the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act 2000. 
On 16 July 2009, the Government published the response to their consultation on extending the Freedom of Information Act by means of a section 5 order. It noted that they were not minded to include in an initial order companies providing, under a contract made with a public authority, any service whose provision is a function of that, authority. However, the Government have made clear that they intend to keep the extension of the Act under review.
Mr. Hurd: To ask the Minister for Women and Equality what payments the Equality and Human Rights Commission has made to (a) Postif Politics and (b) APCO Worldwide in the last 12 months; for what purpose; and if she will place in the Library a copy of the contract under which such payments have been made. 
John Mason: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many questions tabled for answer on a named day his Department received in each of the last 12 months; and to how many such questions his Department provided a substantive answer on the day named. 
|Month||Number of named day questions tabled||Number of answered on the day named|
Our budget support to the PA was £50 million in 2008 and £18.5 million so far in 2009. This funding contributes to the salaries of public sector workers, including teachers and the provision of basic services such as education. Approximately 50 per cent. of PA spending goes to Gaza.
DFID continues to press Israel to allow reconstruction materials into Gaza so that schools destroyed and damaged in Operation Cast Lead can be repaired, and to lift all restrictions on the imports of stationery, textbooks and school furniture.
Mr. Michael Foster: Medical assistance to Palestinian refugees in Gaza and elsewhere in the region is the responsibility of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA). The Department for International Development is providing £100 million to UNRWA in core funding over five years (2007-12) which the Agency can allocate to areas of most urgent need: this year we gave UNRWA nearly £20 million. About 5 per cent. of UNRWA's overall budget is allocated to healthcare in Gaza.
Mr. Sharma: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what contacts his Department has with governments of South East Asia in respect of the delivery of national tuberculosis programmes. 
Mr. Michael Foster: The Department for International Development (DFID) contributes to tuberculosis (TB) control through a variety of channels including support for national programmes, multi donor initiatives and research.
In China, DFID has provided £28 million to the National TB Control Programme. This programme has increased national case detection rates from 30 per cent. in 2000 to over 70 per cent. in 2007 in 16 provinces, covering half of China's population. Furthermore 1.8 million patients have successfully been treated and cure rates are now well above 85 per cent.
DFID will provide £30.1 million by 2011 to the multi-donor funded Three Diseases Fund (3DF) which aims to tackle TB, malaria and HIV/AIDS. The 3DF provides grants to UN agencies and NGOs to support delivery of the National TB Strategy in Burma. DFID is also the donor representative on the Country Coordinating Mechanism which oversees the implementation of the National TB Strategy in Burma.
Mr. Michael Foster: The Government of Sri Lanka announced that freedom of movement would be allowed for all the remaining displaced people held in camps by 1 December 2009. Since this date figures for the number of people returning to their home areas have been changing rapidly and are hard to follow accurately on a day by day basis. However at the end of last week, the United Nations estimated that more than 150,000 people had returned to their home areas.
Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assistance his Department plans to provide to Tamils released from camps in Sri Lanka in December 2009; and with which international charities his Department plans to work to provide such assistance. 
Mr. Michael Foster: The Department for International Development (DFID) has already provided considerable support to returning displaced people since September, including de-mining programmes, transport, shelter materials, water and sanitation, and seeds for restarting agricultural activities. Future support will be determined on the basis of the evolving situation on the ground and taken forward with the most appropriate delivery partners.
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