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Mr Robathan: The Met Office is a global provider of weather and climate services with customers located across the UK and overseas. It provides vital operational support to the armed forces, as well as to emergency responders during periods of severe weather and other environmental incidents. As the UK's National Meteorological Service, the Met Office also has a number of international obligations placed upon it by the World Meteorological Organization.
In meeting the needs of its customers during 2009-10, the Met Office spent £463,662, £786,539 and £692,838 on rail, road and air travel respectively. Of that spent on air travel, details held centrally show that £593,879 was for economy class, £59,031 for business class and £315 for first-class travel. Where first-class was flown, this was the only option available. Details of other flights are not held centrally, and could only be provided at disproportionate cost.
Mr Robathan: Defence activity is being reviewed in the context of the strategic defence and security review and the spending review. It would be premature to speculate about any impact on the Met Office at this stage.
Mr Robathan: Details of the remuneration of the Met Office's and United Kingdom Hydrographic Office's Executive Directors are published in their annual report and accounts. These show that in 2008-09, three members of the UKHO Executive and four members of the Met Office Executive were paid more than £100,000. Outside of the Executive, no staff are paid more than £100,000.
Grahame M. Morris: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the remuneration and benefit arrangements are of the non-executive directors of the (a) Met Office and (b) Hydrographic Office. 
Mr Robathan: Details of the remuneration and benefits for the non-executive directors of the Met Office and UK Hydrographic Office are published annually in the respective Trading Fund annual report and accounts.
Mr Robathan: No one at the Met Office is automatically entitled to use an official car. However the Met Office has 10 pool cars which are available for use by any member of staff, when necessary, in order to minimise transport costs.
The United Kingdom Hydrographic Office has one pool car which is available for use by the 15 members of the Executive Committee and main board; and by others at the discretion of the chief executive. Overseas visitors also make use of this facility when available in order to minimise transport costs.
Mark Tami: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the remuneration and benefits arrangements are of the chief executive of the (a) Met Office and (b) Hydrographic Office; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Robathan: Details around the remuneration and benefits for the chief executives of the Met Office and UK Hydrographic Office are published annually in the respective agency annual report and accounts.
Peter Luff: On 22 March 2010 the Ministry of Defence made an announcement that the Nimrod R1 would be replaced by US Air Force Rivet Joint RC-135 aircraft and associated ground systems. Following the new Government's announcement to audit all spending decisions taken since 1 January this year, this decision is currently under review. Furthermore, as part of the Strategic Defence and Security Review work has been set in hand to review all major equipment and support contracts to ensure the future programme is coherent with future defence needs and can be afforded.
Mr Robathan: Air costs information is not collected by class of travel; an analysis by class cannot therefore be provided without incurring disproportionate cost. However, current United Kingdom Hydrographic Office (UKHO) policy requires the use of economy class unless approved by the chief executive. During the period 1 June 2009 to 31 May 2010, a total of £807,300 was expended on air travel reflecting the international focus of UKHO business activity.
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Mr Robathan: A review of the arrangements for delivering charting and navigational services by the United Kingdom Hydrographic Office was initiated earlier this year. This work will be aligned with the Strategic Defence and Security Review. It would be premature to speculate about the outcome of the review at this stage.
(3) what information he has received from IPSA on (a) the number of days each week the Chair is contracted to the Authority, (b) the functions the Chair undertakes, (c) the (i) salary he receives and (ii) other remuneration he is eligible for; and whether (1) he and (2) Ministerial colleagues have discussed with the Chair of the IPSA the administrative mechanisms for processing claims of hon. Members; 
(4) what information he has received from IPSA on (a) the number of staff it employs, (b) the number of its staff paid salaries of over £40,000 annually and (c) the number of staff eligible for bonus payments; 
(5) what discussions he has had with the Chair of IPSA on the (a) arrangements and (b) venue for hon. Members to meet senior officers of the Authority to seek advice; and how many requests the Authority has received from hon. Members for such meetings; 
(6) what discussions he has had with the Chair of IPSA on the Authority's policy on publishing on its website the details of each claim authorised for payment to hon. Members immediately upon approval. 
Mr Harper: Questions about the internal workings of the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority are a matter for the Authority itself. The Deputy Prime Minister has policy responsibility for IPSA.
The Electoral Commission has a statutory responsibility to run public awareness campaigns to promote voter registration and to provide information on electoral events. In pursuit of this, the Electoral Commission recently ran public awareness campaigns in the lead up to the general election to encourage people to register to vote. The campaign was targeted at groups less likely to be on the electoral register, particularly 18 to 24-year-olds and led to more than half a million electoral registration forms being downloaded from the Commission's website.
The campaign included work on social networking websites as well as advertising on television, radio and in the press. The Electoral Commission has also funded other organisations working to increase democratic participation among young people, through its partnership grants programme. These organisations include Barnardos, the Prince's Trust and UK Youth Parliament.
Mr Maude: The Cabinet Office total facilities management provider contracted by the previous Government supplies food for catering facilities across the Cabinet Office estate. A copy of the Cabinet Office menu for the week beginning 17 May 2010 has been placed in the House Library.
Helen Goodman: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office how many special advisers (a) he and (b) each other Minister assigned to responsibilities in his Department (i) has appointed to date and (ii) plans to appoint. 
Mr Watson: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what plans he has for the future of the (a) Prime Minister's Strategy Unit, (b) National School of Government and (c) Central Office of Information; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Maude: The Government are committed to reducing expenditure on recruitment advertising across the Civil Service. We have implemented a recruitment freeze across the Civil Service, which tightly restricts external recruitment to the Fast Stream, business critical posts and other frontline posts that should save up to £145 million for 2010-11. We have also implemented restrictions on marketing and advertising spend, which includes recruitment campaigns, and are expected to deliver savings in the region of £160 million in 2010-11. These restrictions will take effect immediately across all government departments, agencies and NDPBs.
Christopher Leslie: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when he expects to establish an independent commission on the separation of retail and investment banking; what discussions he has had with potential commissioners on that matter; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Hoban: The independent banking commission will be established under the auspices of, and will report its findings to, the Cabinet Banking Reform Committee. It will be established as quickly as practically possible. The Government will make further announcements in due course.
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