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Mr MacShane: To ask the Prime Minister if he will issue an apology to the families and descendants of those Slovenes who were forcibly repatriated by the British Army in 1945 and subsequently murdered by the communist authorities of Yugoslavia. 
Mr Sanders: To ask the hon. Member for Middlesbrough, representing the House of Commons Commission if the House of Commons Commission will review its procurement policy to ensure that all purchases made by the House of Commons Service comply with ethical and environmentally sustainable principles. 
Sir Stuart Bell: The House Administration ensures, when tendering and awarding its contracts, that suppliers give evidence that they will apply best practice in terms of both ethical practice and environmental sustainability. The House's standard form of contract includes terms covering the environment and human rights, making failure to comply a breach of contract and grounds to terminate. Purchasing is carried out under an ethics policy based broadly on that of the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply.
Chris Leslie: To ask the hon. Member for Middlesbrough, representing the House of Commons Commission what plans Parliamentary ICT has to improve wifi connectivity in (a) the Palace of Westminster and (b) No. 7 Millbank; and if he will make a statement. 
Sir Stuart Bell: Wifi is available in 75 locations across the Estate including all committee rooms and meeting rooms that are bookable by Members as well as other communal areas such as the Portcullis House Atrium and the Members Library. Access to the Parliamentary Network for parliamentary users and guest wifi to the internet is available in all these locations. There are no current plans to extend wifi in No. 7 Millbank. The quality of the wifi service is reported as good and access to the guest service will be simplified over the summer. A limitation to the use of Apple Macintosh laptops has recently been identified and is being resolved.
Miss McIntosh: To ask the hon. Member for Middlesbrough, representing the House of Commons Commission (1) whether the House of Commons Commission made an assessment of (a) quality and (b) accuracy of transcripts provided by remote transcription in (i) the Courts Service and (ii) other comparable institutions in determining the award of the contract for select committee transcription services; 
(3) what requirements there will be on contractors providing transcription services to select committees under the new contract to provide note-takers to attend select committee evidence sessions; and if he will make a statement; 
(4) for what reasons the arrangements for transcription of evidence taken during meetings of select committees are to be altered; what consultation was carried out on the proposed change; what representations the House of Commons Commission has received on the proposed change; and if he will make a statement; 
Sir Stuart Bell: The House of Commons and House of Lords jointly have conducted public sector procurement exercises for Select Committee and Private Bill Committee transcription services periodically in the last decade. (Public Bill Committees have always been transcribed directly by the Official Report ( Hansard).) Competitions for contracts beginning in 2002 and 2007 were won by W B Gurney's, a private firm which has carried out this work for a very long period. A review of the requirement for future transcription services was carried out in 2007, taking into account the increasing need for value for money, developments in technology, and the need to maximise the utilisation of the House's existing transcription expertise following reorganisation of the House administration. Those consulted by the review team included a range of other users of transcription services. The review recommended that future contracts should be managed by the Official Reports in the two Houses, so as to make better use of the Houses' existing professional expertise, and should build in greater business resilience by including the possibility of awarding work to more than one company. The present contract, subject to the possibility of renewal for up to two years, expires on 31 July 2010 and the competition for the new contract was launched on 23 September 2009. The tenders and award under the competition have followed the process set down by the Public Contracts Regulations 2006, SI 2006 No.5, which, as a Contracting Authority (as defined in the Regulations) both the House of Commons and the House of Lords are bound to follow. The competition has been conducted by a panel comprising senior officials of the Committee Offices and the Editors of the Official Reports of both Houses, advised and supported by the House's Commercial Services Directorate, acting on behalf of the Corporate Officers of both Houses. It is the Corporate Officers who have the legal capacity to enter into contracts of this nature on behalf of the House each serves. The House of Commons Commission itself has no direct involvement in procurement exercises of this nature.
Following the competition, contracts for externally transcribed Committee sessions are being awarded to three companies: Ubiqus, Merrill Legal and Marten Walsh Cherer. The criteria governing the competition were set out in the procurement documentation, and included quality of work, reliability and value for money. The contract assessment process has paid full attention to the requirement for quality, with tenderers required to demonstrate their capacity to deliver the services required, including through sample transcripts of other work undertaken, a real-time practical exercise, and evidence of other work carried out by the companies.
Separate contractual requirements are not specified for each element of the process, since the objective is to govern the quality of the end product, not the means by which it is achieved. There was thus no requirement for example to consider the specific language skills of the individual staff of potential providers, though the capacity of a tendering company to submit transcripts to a required standard of English was assessed by the process indicated above. Equally, tenderers were not required to commit to specific methods of transcription; there was thus no requirement for the process to assess the quality and accuracy of transcription services using specific methods carried out for other specific users, such as court services (although the Departments of the Official Report in both Houses, under the direction of their Editors, keep abreast of professional developments in their field). In practice, as at present, while there will always be a transcriber present in the committee room, some of the transcription work will be via verbatim note-takers, with the remainder via loggers using recordings, though the balance between different methods may differ from the present arrangements. The Official Report will continue to provide transcription services for up to 20% of select committee meetings using sub-editors to log meetings, as it has been doing satisfactorily for the past two years. As part of their normal contracted duties, Westminster Sound Systems will ensure that back-up recordings are made of every meeting; in addition, all note-takers and loggers will be required to make their own back-up recordings using mobile digital recording technology. As a further assurance measure all transcripts will be quality checked by the Official Report, with no extra delay in the turnaround time, before they are passed to committees. The Official Report will be managing the contracts with outside providers.
The new arrangements will create very substantial direct savings for both Houses, as well as making more efficient use of existing Hansard resources. Obtaining best value for money in the use of public resources has been an important part of the process. The House of Commons 2010-11 Corporate Business Plan identified 'increased and demonstrable value for money' in services as a strategic objective for the House service. The Commission has agreed a commitment to reduce the Commons Administration budget by 9% over the period 2010-11 to 2012-13.
The Administration Committee and the Chairmen of the Commission and of the Liaison Committee were informed about the contract competition process. The Commission is aware of letters which have been received by a number of right hon. and hon. Members, some of which have been forwarded to the Commission.
Duncan Hames: To ask the hon. Member for Middlesbrough, representing the House of Commons Commission if the Commission will discuss with broadcasters the extension of the provision of subtitles in respect of broadcast proceedings of the House. 
Mr Douglas Alexander: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what recent discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Defence on the comprehensive approach in Afghanistan. 
Mr Ellwood: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what progress has been made on the tarmacking of roads (a) between Garmsir and Lashkar Gar, (b) between Geresk and Sangin and (c) in Sangin town centre. 
Mr Andrew Mitchell: The United States are funding the rehabilitation of the road from Lashkar Gah to Garmsir. This will be a gravel road, with the option of tarmacking it later. There are no plans to tarmac it at present.
The UK funded district stabilisation team in Sangin is funding tarmacking and improvements to roads in the district centre and through the local bazaar. So far 2km of roads have been completed in the district centre.
Mr Andrew Mitchell: While the Department for International Development (DFID) is considering support to a range of transport project, to date no consideration has been given to funding a railway line between Spin Baldak and Kandahar.
Mr Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what discussions he has had with the government of (a) Ghana and (b) other African countries on the use of child labour in the recovery of items from e-waste arising in other countries; and if he will make a statement. 
Child labour is unacceptable and the Government are committed to tackling it. We strongly support the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI), which challenges poor labour standards around the world, including child labour, and drives practical measures to improve them. DFID will continue to encourage British businesses to sign up to
the initiative and to follow the Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, which set out good corporate behaviour, including on employment rights and environmental issues.
Mr Andrew Mitchell: In line with other Government Departments, the administration budget for the Department for International Development (DFID) will be set during the forthcoming spending review. We will finalise our plans on DFID's staffing structure once the outcome of the review is known.
Ian Austin: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much his Department spent on hospitality for events hosted by each Minister in his Department in (a) May and (b) June 2010. 
Mr O'Brien: The Secretary of State hosted the Department for International Development (DFID) Stakeholder Reception and Launch of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) UK Development Assistance Committee (DAC) Peer Review on 8 July. £306 was spent on non-alcoholic beverages for this event.
Mr O'Brien: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for International Development announced on 1 July a significant package of measures to reduce the Department's running costs by over £10 million per annum. This package includes:
the introduction of a new system of allowances for staff posted overseas, saving £2 million per annum over time; the implementation of a new travel policy which will save £1.2 million in 2010-11 by restricting all staff plane or train journeys to economy class unless business class is absolutely necessary;
the rental of two floors in the Department's Palace Street office, which will provide an income of over £2 million per annum;
and a commitment to reduce the size and cost of corporate services, such as HR and IT, by £5 million by 2012-13.
Gloria De Piero: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many staff of his Department were in receipt of the continuity of education allowance in the last 12 months for which figures are available; and what the cost to his Department was in respect of staff (a) in the UK and (b) posted overseas. 
Mr Andrew Mitchell: The terms and conditions of employment in DFID are set in order to recruit, motivate and retain staff who are skilled and equipped to meet DFID's objectives. Those with children have a legal obligation as parents to ensure that their children receive a full-time education from the age of five, and they pay UK tax wherever they work. Most parents prefer to take their children with them, but in some countries they are not permitted to do so, either for health or security reasons. Continuity of education is also an important factor, particularly at secondary level.
In financial year 2009-10, 48 members of DFID's staff on overseas postings received an Education Allowance at a total cost of £1,318,810. Two of the 48 employees returned to the UK during the 2009-10 financial year and were eligible to receive education continuity payments at a cost of £30,823.
Gordon Banks: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many of his Department's contracts with its suppliers are under review as a result of the recently announced reductions in public expenditure; and what the monetary value is of all such contracts which are under review. 
Mr O'Brien: There are 13 key suppliers who will have their contracts reviewed as part of this process. The total number of contracts under review is 116 and the total value of the contracts is £628 million.
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many officials in his Department are working on renegotiating contracts for the supply of goods and services to the Department as a result of recently announced reductions in public
spending; what savings are expected to accrue to his Department from such renegotiations; how much expenditure his Department will incur on such renegotiations; and when such renegotiations will be completed. 
Mr O'Brien: Four senior procurement officials will be involved in renegotiating contracts as part of their duties. The potential for and levels of savings will be determined by conducting a review of the top contracts.
Hugh Bayley: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development which (a) Ministers and (b) officials in his Department have been driven by the Government Car Service since the Government took office; and how much each of these persons has received in expenses for use of taxis, buses and underground trains in that period. 
Mr O'Brien: The Secretary of State, Minister of State, Permanent Secretary and I are entitled to use a car from the Government Car Service. No other officials from the Department for International Development (DFID) are entitled to use a car, except when accompanied by a Minister or the Permanent Secretary. DFID does not maintain a record of officials who have travelled in a car from the Government Car Service in this capacity. No expenses have been reimbursed to DFID Ministers or the Permanent Secretary for use of taxis, buses or underground trains since the Government took office.
Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what discussions he has held on his Department's HIV/AIDS prevention programmes with (a) other governments, (b) multilateral agencies and (c) non-governmental organisations. 
Mr Andrew Mitchell: I regularly discuss with a wide range of partners the importance of scaling up effective HIV prevention programmes, such as prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV, condom distribution and use, family planning, and addressing underlying factors that fuel the epidemic, such as gender inequality and poverty.
Mr O'Brien: Maternal and newborn health is a major priority for the UK Government and an area that the Prime Minister has personally championed. The Department for International Development is developing a new Business Plan focusing on reproductive, maternal and newborn health. This will support a 'continuum of care', ensuring that women have choice over whether and when to have children, and to have access to quality care during pregnancy, childbirth and for the newborn, including in the post-natal period.
The recent G8 summit, which the Prime Minister attended, has delivered a significant boost to efforts to improve maternal, newborn and child health. It is estimated that the G8 Muskoka Initiative will prevent 1.3 million under-fives child deaths, 64,000 maternal deaths and enable an additional 12 million women to have access to modern family planning in the period 2010-15.
At the United Nations Millennium Development Goals summit in September, we will press for international agreement on an action agenda to achieve the MDGs by 2015. This will include making results-based commitments for the most off track MDGs such as maternal and child health, which are particular priorities for the UK Government.
Mr Bailey: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development whether his Department has made an assessment of means to encourage increased levels of school attendance in developing countries. 
Mr O'Brien: In 'The Coalition: our programme for government', the Government highlighted their commitment to education, stating that we will prioritise aid spending to ensure all children have access to education and will particularly focus on girls and children with disabilities. The ongoing aid reviews will determine how we can achieve better value for money and accelerate progress towards the MDGs, including the target on education, which is at the heart of the Government's development policy.
We recognise that supporting increased levels of school attendance in developing countries requires a range of interventions including: removing financial barriers to education; addressing specific needs of disadvantaged groups; improving infrastructure; recruiting and training more teachers; and ensuring a quality of learning. In building our strategic approach to education going forward, we will be guided by evidence of what works.
Mr Douglas Alexander: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what discussions he has had with the Deputy Prime Minister on the forthcoming UN Summit on the Millennium Development Goals in New York; and if he will make a statement. 
Mike Crockart: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps his Department is taking to ensure that the Millennium Development Goal aimed at halving hunger by 2015 is met. 
Mr O'Brien: At the G8 summit last month, the Prime Minister confirmed the Government's commitment to the L'Aquila Food Security Initiative, which aims to tackle hunger in developing countries through support for agriculture, food security, and nutrition programmes.
The Department for International Development (DFID) is helping to reduce hunger in partner countries by promoting greater investment in agriculture and through programmes which target the most vulnerable. For example in Ethiopia, UK aid is helping 7.5 million people access more and better quality food. DFID support has contributed to a 15% rise in agricultural production and 11% economic growth in Rwanda. In Bangladesh, agricultural inputs have been provided to over one million people, helping increase incomes by 50%. DFID also aims to prevent malnutrition in 3.5 million children in India over five years, through our support to the health and nutrition sectors.
Mr O'Brien: Nigeria is a hugely important country to the development of Africa. The Secretary of State has commissioned a review of the Department for International Development's (DFID)'s aid programmes around the world. The Nigeria programme is part of this. The outcome of the review will be used to inform the Department's spending plans, due to be brought to a conclusion in the autumn. In the meantime, DFID is continuing to implement its ongoing programme.
Mr O'Brien: The Department for International Development (DFID) maintains regular dialogue with Federal Government counterparts in Abuja and with senior officials at the state level. DFID also maintains contact with a range of civil society organisations on programme issues in Nigeria. The Secretary of State has commissioned a review of DFID's bilateral aid programmes around the world. The Nigeria programme is part of this. The outcome of the review will be used to inform the Department's spending plans, due to be brought to a conclusion in the autumn. In the meantime, DFID is continuing to implement its ongoing programme.
Mr Umunna: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what recent discussions he has had with representatives of the Government of Nigeria on his Department's programmes in that country. 
Mr O'Brien: The Secretary of State and I have not yet had the opportunity to meet representatives of the Government of Nigeria. The British High Commissioner and Head of the Department for International Development (DFID) in Nigeria have called on the President of Nigeria several times over the last two months to discuss his priorities and UK support.
Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development which countries have been the subject of joint strategies established by his Department with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Ministry of Defence since his appointment. 
Mr Andrew Mitchell: None. The UK Government are committed to joined up working. Department for International Development (DFID) officials work closely with colleagues in other Government Departments, including the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Ministry of Defence.
I have recently commissioned a review of DFID's bilateral aid programme to ensure we achieve value for money and accelerate progress towards the Millennium Development Goals. This review will inform country plans to 2014. Other Government Departments will feed into this process.
Hywel Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what (a) financial and (b) non-financial support his Department has given to Vendata Resources plc in each year since 2005; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Sanders: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what reports he has received on sourcing and distribution of water in (a) Rio de Janeiro, (b) Shanghai and (c) other areas at threat of increased water stress. 
Mr O'Brien: The Department for International Development's (DFID's) work is directed towards poor people living in least developed countries. On this basis, we are not involved in sourcing and distribution of water in either Rio de Janeiro or Shanghai.
DFID supports programmes to address increasing water scarcity in many countries, including Sudan, Ethiopia, Afghanistan, Bangladesh and India. Our watershed management and rural livelihoods programmes in India have enabled more secure livelihoods for 1.65 million people. DFID also supports the Global Water Partnership, which enables developing countries to plan and prepare for their future water needs, and respond to the challenge of climate change.
Andrew Griffiths: To ask the Leader of the House pursuant to the answer of 8 July 2010, Official Report, column 414W, on Labour Party: finance, how much funding (a) in total and (b) for staff the Official Opposition Whips Office will receive in (i) 2010-11 and (ii) each of the subsequent two years. 
Mr Allen: To ask the Leader of the House when he plans to decide on whether questions to the hon. Member for Broxbourne, representing the Speaker's Committee for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, will be included in the rota for questions for oral answer. 
Barbara Keeley: To ask the Leader of the House if he will discuss with ministerial colleagues the practice of answering parliamentary questions by reference to statistical publications on Government websites; and if he will make a statement. 
Sir George Young: The Office of the Leader of the House of Commons provides guidance to Departments on the practice of answering parliamentary questions by reference to Government websites. This guidance is available on the Cabinet Office website in the 'Guide to Parliamentary Work', at:
The guidance states that any information that is on a Government website and is referred to in answer to a parliamentary question should also be supplied to the Member in hard copy, and deposited in the Library. While it may be desirable for answers to parliamentary questions to set out the full information requested, where information is freely available in the public domain, or where the quantity of information would prevent its printing in Hansard, it is right that a reference to a website may be the most appropriate way of providing information.
Caroline Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how much the Government have spent on private military security companies in Afghanistan in each year of the conflict; and whether any of those employed by such companies have immunity from prosecution. 
Private security companies carry out a variety of important duties in Afghanistan, providing close protection of personnel and static protection of our embassy and other premises. They perform a vital and necessary role, and enable the Government to fulfil both its policy
objectives and its duty of care to its employees, in challenging environments. By providing essential security services, private security companies ensure other Government Departments, visiting journalists and non-government organisations are able to carry out their important work unhindered.
Members of private security companies who provide security services for a diplomatic mission are treated as performing administrative and technical (A&T) functions for that mission, even if they are not employees of the State concerned. Such people who are employed on FCO contracts are granted immunity from criminal jurisdiction, in accordance with Article 37 of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations (1961). However, such immunity has never had to be invoked.
David Miliband: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions he has had with President Karzai on the appointment of district governors, with particular reference to Qal'ah-ye Zal following the death of Governor Mohammad Nazils. 
Mr Hague: The appointment of district governors is a matter for the Afghan authorities and I have not discussed individual cases with President Karzai. However, during my meeting with him in Afghanistan on 19 July, we did discuss the importance of governance, including at sub-national level. An Afghan Presidential Decree stipulates that deputy district governors and district governors are now classified as civil servants and, as such, subject to Civil Servant Commission appointment procedures. The UK continues to support the merit-based appointment of governors and other officials and was pleased to see the commitment in the Kabul Conference Communiqué that over the next six months the appointment procedures for senior civil servants are to be simplified and made more transparent.
Tim Farron: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what information his Department holds on the number of UK citizens awaiting execution; and in which country each such citizen is imprisoned. 
Mr Jeremy Browne: Eight British nationals have been sentenced to death: four in the USA, one in Ghana, one in Pakistan, one in the Democratic Republic of Congo and one in Afghanistan. In addition, a number of British nationals are facing charges that potentially carry the death penalty.
Stewart Hosie: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what instructions have been issued by the private office of each Minister in his Department on the preparation of briefing, speeches and replies to official correspondence. 
Alistair Burt: The total remuneration paid to civil servants in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) for 2009-10 is £246,776,125 as laid out in Note 5.1 of the FCO Resource Accounts for 2009-10. This includes remuneration paid to staff at Wilton Park (an FCO agency) but not staff employed by FCO Services. The figure for Wilton Park is £1,973,734.
Gloria De Piero: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many staff of his Department were in receipt of the continuity of education allowance in the last 12 months for which figures are available; and what the cost to his Department was in respect of staff (a) in the UK and (b) posted overseas. 
Alistair Burt: It is a condition of their employment that members of the diplomatic service must be prepared to serve anywhere in the world at any time during their career, sometimes at very short notice. Those with children have a legal obligation as parents to ensure that their children receive a full-time education from the age of five years. Members of the diplomatic service pay UK tax wherever they work and are entitled to have their children educated at public expense. Most parents prefer to take their children with them on posting, but in some countries we do not permit staff to take their children either for health or security reasons. In others, local schools of an acceptable standard are not available. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) helps staff meet their potentially conflicting obligations by providing financial support for their children's education in the UK where staff choose this, or are obliged to do so given local conditions in the country to which they are posted. Continuity of education is also an important factor, particularly at secondary level.
During the course of academic year 2009-10, 339 officers received Continuity of Education Allowance for 521 children. This represents about 6% of staff employed in the FCO and FCO Services. Three-quarters of the recipients are below the senior management grade in the FCO, including junior support staff and single parents. Staff serving in the UK were paid £7,487,435, with staff serving at posts overseas receiving £5,843,415.
Mr Davidson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent assessment he has made of the effect on UK representation at the United Nations of recent changes to the powers granted to the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy to (a) speak and (b) act on behalf of (i) the EU and (ii) its member states. 
Mr Lidington: I have considered carefully the powers granted by the Lisbon treaty to the High Representative to speak and act externally on behalf of the EU. Those powers leave largely unchanged the allocation of competences between the EU and its member states respectively. Nor do they alter the rights and responsibilities of the representatives of EU member states to speak and act on their own behalf at the United Nations. We keep implementation of this and all aspects of the Lisbon treaty under constant review, to ensure that functions are allocated and performed strictly in accordance with the treaty.
My written ministerial statement of 14 July 2010, Official Report, columns 31-32WS, explained that we had agreed that the EU should seek additional rights for itself as an Observer in the UN General Assembly in order to represent the EU and its member states effectively in that forum, in the same way as the member state holding the EU rotating presidency has done. As that statement made clear, those additional observer rights would not affect the rights and responsibilities of UK representatives at the United Nations to speak and act on our behalf in the UN General Assembly. EU representatives will continue to sit with other international organisations and not with the UN's member states.
Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the written ministerial statement of 6 July 2010, Official Report, columns 6-7WS, on the European Parliament Transitionary Protocol, what the estimated cost to the European Union of the 18 additional MEPs will be between now and 2014. 
Mr Lidington: The additional MEPs will be subject to the same reimbursement arrangements as current serving MEPs. The monthly post-EU tax salary of an MEP is currently set at €6,083.91. This is paid from the European Parliament's budget. In addition to this salary, MEPs are entitled to a number of allowances, including travel expenses, daily allowance and general expenditure allowance. More details can be found on the European Parliament's website:
The transitionary protocol has to be ratified by all 27 EU member states before the additional MEPs can formally take up their seats, so it is not possible to make a definitive calculation of cost as it is not known when this will be. However, all expenditure will come from the European Parliament's share of the EU budget.
Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the written ministerial statement of 6 July 2010, Official Report, columns 6-7WS, on the European Parliament Transitionary Protocol, for what reasons the three additional German MEPs will not be standing down before 2014; and what the estimated cost to the European Union will be of maintaining those MEPs until 2014. 
Mr Lidington: Under article 5 of the EU Act concerning the election of the representatives of the European Parliament by direct universal suffrage (20 September 1976), it is not possible for the EU to curtail an MEP's mandate during a parliamentary term or, therefore, to reduce the current number of MEPs in the German delegation within the European Parliament. The Act only provides for vacancies under article 13 (1) in cases where a seat falls vacant due to the mandate of an MEP ending as a result of resignation, death or withdrawal of the mandate by the member state of the MEP.
Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the written ministerial statement of 6 July 2010, Official Report, columns 6-7WS, on the European Parliament Transitionary Protocol, if he will place in the Library a copy of the (a) agreed Protocol and (b) minutes of the intergovernmental conference. 
Mr Lidington: I will place a copy of the signed protocol in the Library of both Houses. There are no minutes of the intergovernmental conference (IGC), though the principle was agreed by the European Council in its Conclusions of December 2008 and June 2009. These are available in the House Library.
The then Minister for Europe informed the Scrutiny Committees last December that an IGC would be taking place and for what reasons, and the hon. Member will be aware of my written ministerial statement after the IGC had taken place.
Gloria De Piero: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations his Department has made to the government of Gambia on behalf of British citizen Deborah Burns, whose husband Brigadier General Omar Bun Mbye has been sentenced to the death penalty for treason in that country. 
Alistair Burt: Our acting high commissioner to Banjul, in his capacity as the permanent acting representative of the presidency of the EU delivered a statement by the High Representative of the EU to the Gambian Ministry of Foreign Affairs on 20 July 2010 expressing deep concern over the death sentence pronounced against Brigadier General Omar Bun Mbye and seven other people accused of treason and conspiracy. The statement, also released in the Gambian press, urged the Gambian authorities not to carry out executions in respect of the convicted individuals, to respect their right of appeal and to ensure a fair trial is fully guaranteed.
Hywel Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he has had discussions on the likely effect on indigenous people's land of Vendata Resources plc's proposed bauxite mine in Orisha, India. 
Alistair Burt: My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary has not been involved in discussions with Vedanta about this issue. However, in February 2010, our high commissioner to India met with a representative of Vedanta and raised concerns surrounding the company's project in Orissa.
Hazel Blears: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what support his Department is providing to projects designed to promote equality between Arab and Jewish citizens of Israel. 
Alistair Burt: Our embassy in Tel Aviv has provided over £40,000 over the last year to promote equality and understanding between Israel's Arab and Jewish citizens. This includes support to the Abraham Fund Initiative for projects focused on the Arabic language, increasing dialogue, raising awareness and work placement initiatives. We have also supported the Hand In Hand centre's co-education project. We will continue to press the Israeli Government to respect and promote the rights of all minorities in Israel.
Alistair Burt: Our embassy in Israel regularly engages with the Government of Israel and with Israeli civil society on education matters. Our ambassador in Tel Aviv last spoke to the Israeli Minister of Education, Gidon Sa'ar, about the teaching of Arabic in Israel in September 2009. We welcome the support his Ministry have subsequently given to an Arabic teaching initiative, supported by the UK, called Language as a Cultural Bridge. This initiative enables children from Jewish and Palestinian families in schools in the Galilee to learn more about each others culture and language.
Alistair Burt: We commend the Government of Nigeria for the smooth and constitutional succession of President Goodluck Jonathan, after the sad death of President Yar'Adua on 5 May 2010. Since assuming the Presidency, President Jonathan has made welcome commitments on his determination to address corruption, conflict in the Niger Delta and in Nigeria's middle-belt, and to bring about lasting electoral reform during his term as President.
It will be vital for Nigeria that its government delivers on these commitments, particularly building on the reconstitution of the Independent National Electoral Commission, to achieve credible and peaceful Presidential and Gubernatorial elections in 2011. The UK, through the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Department for International Development and partners in the international community, are continuing to support Nigeria in these efforts.
Mr Sanders: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the answer of 12 July 2010, Official Report, column 516W, on Palestinians: international assistance, what steps he is taking to seek to (a) enable exportation of permitted goods and (b) encourage the Israeli government to remove building materials from the list of banned items; and if he will make a statement. 
Alistair Burt: I agree that there is a pressing need to alleviate the economic situation in Gaza. It is in Israel's long-term interests to create an environment where Gaza's economy can flourish. We have been clear that Israel should allow greater movement of goods both into and out of Gaza, while recognising Israel has real security concerns. My EU colleagues and I will continue to push for the export of goods and services from Gaza.
Israel has agreed to let in construction materials for use in building projects, such as the rehabilitation or reconstruction of schools and clinics, which have been approved by the Palestinian Authority and which will be overseen by the UN or international aid agencies. We understand Israeli concerns about the end use of dual-use items. However, although 31 such projects have been accepted in the last week by Israel, Israeli implementation procedures remain cumbersome and slow. We will continue to lobby Israel to streamline the process to ensure that that essential reconstruction work is not held up.
Mr Sanders: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the answer of 12 July 2010, Official Report, column 516W, on Palestinians: international assistance, what discussions he plans to have (a) at EU level and (b) with the (i) Israeli and (ii) Palestinian government on delivering real change; and what priorities he has set for his policy on Gaza. 
to ensure that Israel implements the commitments it has made regarding access and to allow exports out of Gaza;
to put into place workable monitoring systems for dual use items; and
that the Palestinian Authority has sufficient capacity to prioritise and facilitate the entry of goods into Gaza;
and that non-governmental organisations are ready and work together.
We will discuss these priorities at the regular EU Foreign Affairs Council, as well as at the official level at frequent EU working groups. We also continue to discuss the need for concrete progress on Gaza at ministerial and official level with both the Israeli Government and the Palestinian Authority.
Mr Jeremy Browne:
We are deeply concerned by the crisis in Somalia. Insecurity and instability threaten the lives of Somalis and Somalia is home to the worst humanitarian crisis per capita in the world. The attacks
in Kampala, which Al Shabaab has claimed responsibility for, demonstrate the threat that instability in Somalia poses beyond its borders. The UK is working with Somalis and the UN, EU, US and regional actors to address the situation.
Mr Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent reports he has received of the incidence of forced sterilisation in Uzbekistan; what recent representations he has made to the Government of Uzbekistan on this issue; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Lidington: Our embassy in Tashkent is aware of recent media and non-governmental organisation reports of forced sterilisation in Uzbekistan, although these have not been the subject of our recent exchanges with the Government of Uzbekistan. We remain concerned at the overall level of respect for human rights in Uzbekistan, and regularly raise these concerns through a critical but constructive dialogue with the Uzbek authorities in Tashkent and in discussions with the Uzbek embassy in London. In doing so, we encourage Uzbekistan to act in accordance with its international obligations. Most recently, I discussed the human rights situation in Uzbekistan with the Uzbekistan Foreign Minister in the margins of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe Ministerial held in Almaty on 16 to 17 July.
Mr Andrew Turner: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what consultation he (a) has had and (b) plans to undertake with residents of (i) the Isle of Wight, (ii) Orkney and Shetland and Western Isles, (iii) Ross, Skye and Lochaber and (iv) elsewhere on his proposals on the equalisation of the size of constituencies. 
Mr Harper: The Government's proposals for more equal constituency sizes are based upon the principle that votes should have more equal weight. This was set out clearly in the coalition programme and the Government have not consulted further on this principle. However, Parliament will have the opportunity to debate the Bill's provisions in full and residents in all proposed constituencies will be able to make representations to the Boundary Commissions on their proposed recommendations.
Jonathan Edwards: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister pursuant to the oral statement of 5 July 2010, Official Report, columns 23-5W, on political and constitutional reform, what account he took of the proposed referendum on the transfer of legislative powers under Part 4 of the Government of Wales Act 2006 to the National Assembly for Wales in his proposals for boundary changes to constituencies. 
Mr Harper: The Government's proposals for more equal constituency sizes for the House of Commons will ensure that votes have more equal weight. The legislation does take account of the link between parliamentary constituencies and Welsh Assembly Government constituencies; the link between the two will be broken so that fewer parliamentary constituencies in future would not lead to a concomitant reduction in the size of the Assembly.
Graham Jones: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister whether his proposed review of the boundaries of parliamentary constituencies will contemplate the drawing of constituency boundaries across the existing boundaries of (a) metropolitan and (b) non-metropolitan counties. 
Mr Harper: The Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Bill introduced on 22 July contains provision for the creation of fewer and more equal sized constituencies. Under the new rules set out in the Bill, the Boundary Commissions may take into account local government boundaries, subject to the rule requiring that the number of registered electors in a constituency is within 95-105% of a UK electoral quota.
Mr Harper: The previous general review of parliamentary constituencies cost a total of £13.6 million-this is the total figure for each of the last boundary reviews in the UK although they did not take place simultaneously.
The Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Bill, introduced on 22 July 2010, makes provision for a boundary review to be completed in each part of the UK before October 2013. The precise cost of the reviews will depend on the final form of the legislation and the approach adopted by the Boundary Commissions, and we are continuing to discuss resourcing with them. However, we anticipate that the total cost will be less than the aggregate cost of the last set of reviews.
Steve Rotheram: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister if he will ensure that the proposed review of boundaries of parliamentary constituencies recognises the River Mersey as a natural boundary which cannot be crossed by constituencies. 
The Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Bill contains a revised set of rules for the redistribution of seats by the Boundary Commissions. The Bill would amend Schedule 2 of the Parliamentary Constituencies Act 1986 and provide that a Boundary Commission may take into account, if and to such extent as they think fit, special geographical considerations, including in particular the size, shape and accessibility of a constituency. This would however, be subject to the requirement for constituencies to be within 5% either
side of the UK electoral quota. It will be a matter for the Boundary Commissions to interpret the legislation as they conduct the boundary review.
Harriett Baldwin: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what estimate his Department has made of the cost to the public purse of counting votes for parliamentary constituencies under (a) the alternative vote system and (b) the first past the post system. 
Mr Harper: The estimate made before the general election in May 2010 of the cost of counting the votes at that poll was £6 million. This was based on estimates of turnout in each constituency and the time it would take to verify and count the number of ballot papers.
The Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Bill, introduced on 22 July, sets out the detail of the alternative vote system that is to be the subject of the referendum. It is, however, not possible to quantify with certainty what the extra cost of counting votes under the alternative vote would be: this will be dependent to a significant extent on the preferences expressed by voters.
In a general election using the alternative vote system, the count process may take longer in cases where no candidate wins outright on the first round as it will be necessary in these cases to count the further preferences of voters in order to determine the winning candidate. This will take some extra time, although precisely how much is difficult to predict as it would depend on how many candidates won outright on the first round, and how many further rounds of counting were necessary to determine the winner. As now, voter turnout, the total number of votes cast and any re-counting of votes will also impact upon the length and cost of the count. We have not yet made a detailed estimate of the cost that would result from different combinations of turnout, voting patterns and rounds of counting.
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what estimate he has made of the cost to the public purse of holding a general election under (a) the first past the post system, (b) the alternative vote system and (c) other systems of proportional representation. 
Mr Harper: Based on the information set out in the Parliamentary Elections (Returning Officers' Charges) Order 2010, the estimated cost of the conduct of the UK parliamentary election in Great Britain which was held under the first past the post system on 6 May is £82.1 million. This figure takes into account the reduced costs of holding the UK parliamentary election on the same day as local government elections. The estimated cost of the 2010 UK parliamentary election in Northern Ireland was £2.5 million. The overall figures will be finalised once all claims from acting returning officers in Great Britain and the chief electoral officer for Northern Ireland (who are statutorily responsible for running the poll) have been received and finalised. The estimated cost of holding a stand-alone UK parliamentary election across the whole of the UK under the first past the post system is £92.1 million.
The features of a general election using the alternative vote system would broadly be the same as under the existing system: for example, in terms of the provision of ballot papers and polling stations. However, it is not possible to quantify with certainty what would be the extra cost of counting votes under the alternative vote would be: this will be dependent to a significant extent on the preferences expressed by voters.
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what estimate he has made of the reductions in public expenditure which will arise from the proposed reduction in the number of hon. Members following the next general election; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Harper: As my right hon. Friend the Deputy Prime Minister indicated during the debate on the address on 7 June 2010, Official Report, column 42 the Government will pursue an agreement on limiting donations and reforming party funding to remove big money from politics. We are considering our approach to party funding as part of the Government's overall programme of reforms, and an announcement will be made in due course.
Mr Harper: The Government have no plans to restrict the franchise for referendums in general so that only British citizens are eligible to vote. Although the legal requirements for referendums are set out in the Political Parties and Referendums Act 2000, the question of who is entitled to vote in any particular referendum will be considered and determined in the light of the subject matter of that referendum. The franchise for the referendum on the Alternative Vote system is set out in the Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Bill, which the Government published on Thursday 22 July. Anyone who is entitled to vote in Westminster parliamentary elections will be entitled to vote in the referendum-this means that British, Republic of Ireland and qualifying Commonwealth citizens who are aged over 18 and who are registered to vote in parliamentary elections can vote in the referendum. In addition, those members of the House of Lords who are eligible to vote in local or European parliamentary elections will be eligible to vote in this referendum.
Jeremy Lefroy: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what percentage of payments made by his Department to (a) small and medium-sized enterprise suppliers and (b) all suppliers were made (i) within 10 days of receipt of invoice and (ii) on the agreed payment terms in the last three months for which information is available. 
On 12 April, responsibility for policing and justice in Northern Ireland was devolved to the Northern Ireland Assembly and the Executive. During the time leading up to devolution, the Department had to refocus priorities and this led to a reduction in prompt payment performance in April 2010. It has subsequently returned to achieve the target to pay 95% of suppliers within 10 working days.
Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how much his Department has paid to trade unions in each year since 1997; and what estimate he has made of the monetary value of facilities provided by his Department for use by trade unions in each year since 1997. 
Mr Paterson: The Northern Ireland Office (NIO), as it is now configured post the devolution of policing and justice powers on 12 April, has staff representatives and not full-time dedicated trade union representatives. They are not paid for this role. Dedicated facilities are not provided.
The only specific expenditure on artwork in 2007-08 and 2008-09 related to art installations in the Ministry of Justice's then newly refurbished headquarters building
at 102 Petty France (formerly Queen Anne's Gate). This work was originally commissioned at an estimated cost of £470,000. This was later revised down to £290,000. £208,000 was spent in 2007-08 and 2008-09 and a further £45,000 in 2009-10 bringing the work in under budget at £253,000.
A further £98,000 was spent in 2009-10, £97,000 related to the newly renovated Supreme Court building in Middlesex Guildhall. The Ministry of Justice was responsible for setting up the Supreme Court which has operated as an independent Government Department since October 2009. The remaining £1,000 was incurred by Her Majesty's Courts Service.
Mr Russell Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice for what reasons Kerobo's licence for claims management was suspended; what process his Department undertook before lifting that suspension; on what date that suspension was lifted; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Djanogly: Businesses providing regulated claims management services must comply with strict conduct rules as a condition of their authorisation. The Claims Management Regulation Unit at the Ministry of Justice investigates any suspected breaches of the rules. Appropriate enforcement action is taken, in line with the statutory powers provided under the Compensation Act 2006 and the claims management regulation enforcement policy, against businesses that have failed to comply.
The authorisation of Kerobo Claims Limited was suspended because the business had breached the conduct rules. Suspension is a measure that prohibits a business from providing regulated services for a defined period, during which the breaches may be addressed. Where a business is able to take steps to comply with the rules, its authorisation may be reinstated. Kerobo agreed to a number of strict undertakings, which it has published on its website, and suspension was lifted on 8 July 2010. Those undertakings prevent the business from taking on new clients but enable it to complete existing claims for those clients who wish to proceed and to make refunds to customers to whom they are due.
Mr Russell Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what steps his Department takes to monitor licensed claims management companies' compliance with regulatory requirements; what process it follows to investigate suspected breaches of such compliance; which claims management companies have been so investigated in the last two years; and what the outcome was in each case. 
When a business is authorised they are risk rated. Businesses considered as medium or high risk are actively monitored and regular information is sought on consumer contracts, claims acquisition methods, referral arrangements and the content of marketing materials to assess whether the claims management service being provided is compliant. The Claims Management Regulation Unit receives significant intelligence from on average 1,500 contacts per month from consumers, other enforcement bodies such as trading standards departments and organisations that receive claims.
Where analysis of this information identified suspected rule breaches the relevant claims management businesses may be subject to a paper or on site audit, directed to take remedial actions, issued with warnings, required to agree to formal undertakings. All investigations are conducted following the National Intelligence Model which is used by the police to gather and assess intelligence.
Nearly 500 investigations have been conducted in the last two years. We are not able to publish the outcomes in respect of all individual businesses. In general the outcomes include no further action as the business has immediately complied, the agreement of specific undertakings, attachment of additional conditions on the businesses' authorisation and the suspension or cancellation of authorisation. 191 cancellations have been issued since the introduction of statutory regulation in 2007. Details of all the businesses suspended or cancelled are posted on the claims management website at:
Maria Eagle: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what the conviction rate for (a) theft, (b) burglary of a dwelling and (c) offences of domestic violence when calculated from the initial complaint was in each of the last 10 years for which figures are available. 
Mr Blunt: The conviction rate for defendants proceeded against for offences of theft, and burglary in a dwelling, England and Wales, from 1999 to 2008 (latest available), is given in the table as follows. Information on when the initial complaint was made is not available centrally on the court proceedings database.
The court proceedings database holds information on defendants proceeded against, found guilty and sentenced for criminal offences in England and Wales. This information does not include the circumstances of each case or hold specific information on offences beyond descriptions provided by the statutes under which proceedings are brought. It is not possible to separately identify domestic violence offences from other offences of assault and violence against the person.
|N umber of defendants proceeded against at magistrates courts, found guilty at all courts and the conviction rate( 1) for theft, and burglary in a dwelling, England and Wales, 1999 to 2008( 2, 3)|
|Proceeded against||Found guilty||Conviction rate (percentage)|
|(1 )Proportion of defendants proceeded against who were found guilty.|
(2 )The figures given in the table relate to persons for whom these offences were the principal offences for which they were dealt with. When a defendant has been found guilty of two or more offences it is the offence for which the heaviest penalty is imposed. Where the same disposal is imposed for two or more offences, the offence selected is the offence for which the statutory maximum penalty is the most severe.
(3 )Every effort is made to ensure that the figures presented are accurate and complete. However, it is important to note that these data have been extracted from large administrative data systems generated by the courts and police forces. As a consequence, care should be taken to ensure data collection processes and their inevitable limitations are taken into account when those data are used.
(4 )Excludes data for Cardiff magistrates court for April, July, and August 2008.
Justice Statistics Analytical Services-Ministry of Justice.
Mr Blunt: The process by which convictions become spent is governed by the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974; I have met groups, such as Nacro and Unlock, who have an interest in this Act. The Ministry of Justice is undertaking a comprehensive assessment of sentencing and rehabilitation policies, which will involve consideration of the implications for the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.
Sir Menzies Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice (1) what meetings he and his officials have had with (a) non-governmental organisations and (b) business organisations on guidance under section 9 of the Bribery Act 2010; 
Mr Kenneth Clarke: Since taking office, no meetings have been held with non-governmental organisations or business organisations on guidance under section 9 of the Bribery Act. We have received written representations from the CBI, International Chamber of Commerce, GlaxoSmithKline, the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry, Transparency International (UK), Tearfund and the Bond Governance Group on the guidance under section 9 and the implementation of the Act generally.
We announced on 20 July that we would be holding a public consultation exercise on the form and content of guidance to be issued under section 9 of the Act, beginning in late summer with a view to publishing guidance early in the new year in preparation for commencement of the Act in the spring of 2011.
Mr Anderson: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice (1) what estimate has been made of the number of individuals that will enter into debt management plans where fees have been charged in each month until the end of 2010; 
Mr Djanogly: There are currently very little empirical data relating to debt management plans. It is estimated that 100,000 to 150,000 individual plans are created each year. However, there are no definitive data on the proportion of these where fees are charged.
The consultation on debt management schemes that closed on 18 December 2009 looked at the way that debtors deal with their indebtedness. It asked for evidence on whether the powers contained in chapter 4 of part 5 of the Tribunals Courts and Enforcement Act (TCEA) 2007 to approve operators of debt management schemes (DMS) should be introduced or whether the
taking of other steps to make sure that debtors are protected and creditors' interests are safeguarded would be more appropriate.
An initial impact assessment was published alongside the consultation paper which considered the potential effectiveness of all of the options contained in the consultation paper. The impact assessment contained a number of questions which sought to obtain information relating to debt management plans. However, the few responses to these questions contained very little factual information relating to these plans.
A total of 57 responses to the consultation were received from a variety of organisations, including those from the creditor, debt management scheme operator, debt advice, legal and Government sectors as well as individuals.
Officials at the MoJ have recently completed a full analysis of the views and opinions offered by all interested parties to the debt management consultation and the Government intend to publish their response to the consultation shortly.
Under the Comprehensive Spending Review 2007 (CSR07), the Department agreed to deliver over £1 billion net of costs and cash releasing Value for Money savings by 2010-11 equating to over 3% per annum and a 5% real reduction in the Department's administration budget. Initiatives contributing to these savings include:
Specification, Benchmarking and Costing in the National Offender Management Service. This is a framework of costed specifications for all offender services delivered in prisons which drive better commissioning of outcomes and ensure resources are targeted at the most effective work with offenders.
Reducing regional and headquarters overheads across Her Majesty's Courts Service.
Introducing standard operation procedures in the tribunals system through the use of Lean methodology, which is examining how work is processed and the efficiencies that can be realised by transferring processing activities to one location.
The Department has also identified further savings of £325 million for 2010-11 as part of the Government's £6.2 billion Emergency Budget, implemented to tackle the national deficit. These savings, and a number of new financial controls, have been targeted to protect the most essential front line work and reduce running costs by:
Further reducing discretionary spend in areas such as consultancy, travel, events and postage, including in our arm's length bodies.
Reviewing change programmes and information and communications technology spend and a moratorium on all new information and communications technology projects above £1 million.
Further tightening recruitment through a recruitment freeze on all but essential front line and business critical posts, which will also be subject to robust internal controls and challenge.
Putting a freeze across the Ministry of Justice including its arm's length bodies, during 2010-11, on all new advertising and marketing with robust internal controls and challenge on activity under £25,000 or applications for exemptions.
Mr Kenneth Clarke: The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) employs over 94,500 staff in headquarters and its four Executive agencies-the National Offender Management Service (including 35 local probation trusts), Her Majesty's Courts Service, the Tribunals Service and the Office of the Public Guardian. In the 2009-10 financial year, remuneration paid to directly employed staff on both open and fixed ended contracts came to £2.6 billion.
Annette Brooke: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice whether a member of staff in each secure training centre has (a) made alternate elbow strikes to a child's ribs, (b) used extended fingers to strike a child in the groin area and (c) used an inverted knuckle driven inward and upward into a child's sternum in each of the last five years; and for what purpose in each case. 
Mr Blunt: These techniques, called 'breakaway techniques', can only be used lawfully by staff in extreme circumstances as self-defence when their own safety is genuinely at risk. Data provided by the Youth Justice Board indicate that no members of staff in secure training centres have used any of these techniques in the past five years.
Mr Knight: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice if he will assess the merits of reversing his Department's decision to require courts to charge a victim's surcharge for crimes in circumstances in which no victim of crime is identified; and if he will take steps to raise more revenue by seeking to collect previously uncollected fines. 
Mr Blunt: HM Courts Service (HMCS) takes the issue of fine enforcement very seriously and is working to ensure we clamp down on fine dodgers. Collecting outstanding debt is a continued priority nationwide.
We have no plans to curtail the current application of the surcharge, even for offences where there is not a known identified victim. This Government take all crime seriously and recognise the potential for causing harm and the undesirable impact on society. I therefore have no plans to exclude these offenders from the responsibility of contributing directly to support for victims.
Fiona Mactaggart: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many (a) immigration and (b) asylum new matter starts were issued where (i) an appeal had already been lodged and (ii) a previous matter start had been issued to a previous legal representative for that appeal in (A) 2008 and (B) 2009. 
Mr Djanogly: The Legal Services Commission does not hold data in a form to provide the information requested. Matter Starts (or New Matter Starts) are awarded to legal aid service providers on an annual basis. Providers are entitled to use these matter starts where a client's case satisfies the statutory means and merits test.
Kris Hopkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice with reference to HM Courts Service's consultation on proposals on the provision of courts services in North and West Yorkshire, what assessment he has made of the estimate that (a) the closure of Keighley magistrates court would result in maintenance savings of around £225,000 and (b) the closure of Keighley county court would result in maintenance savings of around £475,000. 
Mr Djanogly: As indicated in the consultation papers, if these courts were to close it would remove the need for HMCS investment in backlog maintenance. These are not, therefore, savings but cost-avoidance.
The maintenance backlog figures given in the consultation papers are based on data as at July 2009 (the most recent at time of publication). The figures will be updated with July 2010 data for the purpose of the impact assessment which will be published alongside the consultation responses.
Closure of all 157 courts covered in the consultation would achieve running cost savings of around £15.3 million per year. These courts also have backlog maintenance of around £21.5 million, costs that can be avoided if the closures go ahead.
Richard Burden: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many cases his Department has discussed with the Criminal Cases Review Commission in the last two years following allegations of miscarriages of justice being drawn to the Department's attention. 
Mr Djanogly: Neither Ministers nor officials from the Ministry of Justice have discussed any cases with the Criminal Cases Review Commission in the last two years. Such discussions would be inappropriate given the Commission's independence in its consideration of individual cases.
|Number of defendants found guilty at all courts for 'money laundering offences'( 1) , England and Wales, 2004 - 08( 2,)( )( 3,)( )( 4)|
|(1) Includes offences under:|
Drug Trafficking Act 1994, Sec 49 (previously Criminal Justice (International Co-operation) Act 1990, Sec 14);
Drug Trafficking Act 1994, Sec 50 (previously Drug Trafficking Offences Act 1986, Sec 24);
Drug Trafficking Act 1994 , Sec 51 (previously S23A Drug Trafficking Offences Act 1986 as inserted by S16 Criminal Justice Act 1993);
Drug Trafficking Act 1994, Sec 52;
Drug Trafficking Act 1994, Sec 53;
Criminal Justice Act 1988, Sec 93A as inserted by S29 Criminal Justice Act 1993;
Criminal Justice Act 1988, Sec 93B as inserted by S30 Criminal Justice Act 1993;
Criminal Justice Act 1988, Sec 93C as inserted by S31 Criminal Justice Act 1993;
Criminal Justice Act 1988, Sec 93D as inserted by S32 Criminal Justice Act 1993;
Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, Sees 327 and 334(1);
Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, Sees 328 and 334(1);
Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, Sees 329 and 334(1);
Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, Sees 330 and 334(1);
Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, Sees 331 and 334(1);
Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, Sees 332 and 334(1);
Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, Sees 333 and 334(1);
Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, Sec 336;
Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, Sec 342;
Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, Sec 359(3) and (4);
Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, Sec 359(1) and (2);
Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, Sec 366(1) and (2);
Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, Sec 366(3) and (4);
(2) The figures given in the table on court proceedings relate to persons for whom these offences were the principal offences for which they were dealt with. When a defendant has been found guilty of two or more offences it is the offence for which the heaviest penalty is imposed. Where the same disposal is imposed for two or more offences, the offence selected is the offence for which the statutory maximum penalty is the most severe.
(3) Every effort is made to ensure that the figures presented are accurate and complete. However, it is important to note that these data have been extracted from large administrative data systems generated by the courts and police forces. As a consequence, care should be taken to ensure data collection processes and their inevitable limitations are taken into account when those data are used.
(4) Excludes data for Cardiff magistrates court for April, July, and August.
Justice Statistics Analytical Services-Ministry of Justice
Mr Hanson: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice when he expects the Parole Board to have completed processing the backlog of assessments for prisoners during imprisonment for public protection sentences under the provisions of the Criminal Justice Act 2005. 
Mr Blunt: The Parole Board has been working hard with its sponsor unit in the Ministry of Justice to recruit additional members to help deal with the backlog of oral hearings. The recruitment of 59 judges and 48 independent members (including specialists) is now complete. The large programme of training necessary to allow them to sit on parole panels will be completed in October. The board is already sitting a record number of oral panels: In 2009-10 it considered 1,432 Indeterminate Sentences for Public Protection (IPP) sentenced prisoners. The board estimates that the current backlog will be reduced by around 25% over the course of 2010-11 and will be eliminated during 2012-13.
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many people are serving a sentence for imprisonment for public protection by (a) age band
and (b) gender; and how many (i) have exceeded their tariff and (ii) have not completed offender treatment programmes in each such case. 
Mr Blunt: The following table shows the number of offenders serving a sentence of imprisonment for public protection (IPP) or detention for public protection (DPP) on 5 July 2010 and the number of these who were past tariff on that date, broken down by gender and age-band. These figures do not include offenders who have been released on licence and remain in the community.
|Age band||Total||Past tariff||Total||Past tariff||Total||Past tariff|
|(1) Less than|
The figures were taken from the Public Protection Unit Database (PPUD) in the National Offender Management Service, and, as with any large scale recording system, it is subject to possible errors arising from either data entry or processing. The PPUD is a live database, updated on a regular basis. As a result, snapshots taken on consecutive days will contain differences reflecting updates.
IPP prisoners may be identified as suitable for inclusion in specific offending behaviour programmes, depending on the nature of their offending and their identified risk factors. The total number of offenders serving an IPP sentence in prison who had not completed at least one course by 5 July 2010 was 2,120. This figure has been rounded to the nearest 10. This information was taken from a database held by the Public Protection and Mental Health Group at the National Offender Management Service.
At the present time, several sites in the North Wales area have been suggested by members of the public and
local authorities. Preliminary scoring of these and others identified is still being carried out. No decisions have yet been taken.
Along with other Government Departments, the Ministry of Justice is currently subject to a spending review. Any final decisions on new capacity, as well as long-term decisions on prison capacity programmes, are subject to the outcome of this review.
Philip Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many prisoners were caught in possession of drugs in each of the last three years; and how many of these had their prison sentence lengthened as a result. 
Mr Blunt: Data on adjudications count the number of offences and punishments given rather than the number of prisoners charged with those offences. The following table gives details of offences punished, the total number of punishments given and the number of times additional days were given as a punishment for possession of drugs in 2007, 2008 and 2009:
|Possession of a controlled drug|
Offender Management Caseload Statistics 2007 to 2009
Mr Djanogly: Legal aid expenditure in the prison law category, including free standing advice and assistance and advocacy assistance at prison discipline and parole board hearings, during each of the three most recent years for which figures are available is shown in the following table. The expenditure for 2009-10 will be available once the Legal Services Commission have published their accounts.
|Prison law expenditure (£ million)|
Prisoners may also receive legal aid in civil categories of law. It is not possible to identify how much legal aid other than prison law was spent on prisoners as the status of an individual as a prisoner does not form part of the criteria for granting legal aid. Prisoners seeking legal aid, like other legal aid applicants, must satisfy the means test and merits test for legal aid.
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