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Written Answers

Thursday, 17th February 2000.

Steven John Hayden

Lord Filkin asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they have received the report of the Security Commission on the case of Steven John Hayden.[HL1133]

The Lord Privy Seal (Baroness Jay of Paddington): The Prime Minister announced on 30 April 1999 that, after consultation with the Chairman of the Security Commission and the right honourable Gentleman, he had asked the Security Commission to investigate the circumstances in which breaches of security had or might have occurred arising out of the case of Chief Petty Officer Steven Hayden, who was convicted on 23 October 1998 of offences under Section 1 of the Official Secrets Act 1989; and to advise in the light of that investigation whether any change in security arrangements was necessary or desirable.

The Commission has now submitted its report, which is being published this afternoon as a Command paper, with the exception of some details which it would not be in the public interest to publish on national security grounds. The Prime Minister is grateful to the Chairman, Lord Lloyd, and to Dame Elizabeth Butler-Sloss, Sir John Foley and Sir Clive Whitmore.

It became apparent to the Commission at the start of the inquiry that the main issues at stake were in the area of personnel security. The Commission has fully examined the history of the Ministry of Defence's security assessment of Hayden. The Commission was critical of the decisions to continue to allow Hayden a security clearance and surprised at the lack of communication between the vetting authorities, the personnel authorities and line management about the management of the risk presented by him. In particular, they considered whether the correct balance was being struck between maintaining vetting confidentiality on the one hand and the effective involvement of line and personnel management in the active aftercare of vetting risk cases on the other.

It was also concerned that recommendations made in earlier Security Commission inquiries had sought to address similar situations to those in the Hayden case which suggested that they had not been fully implemented.

However, the Commission acknowledges the Ministry of Defence's acceptance that Hayden's case represents a clear failure in personnel security and

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welcomes the changes to vetting processes and procedures that the Ministry of Defence has already implemented based on the lessons learned. The Commission has made a number of recommendations. These, in summary, are that:

    (i) It should be standard practice for vetting authorities to consider whether to consult an individual's personnel or line managers, in order to ensure that the latter are aware of any particular vulnerabilities.

    (ii) In cases where doubts emerge, it should be normal practice for regular consultations to take place between all those involved in assessing a clearance. Where the recommendations of Investigating Officers seem likely to be overridden for wider policy considerations of a non-security kind, there should invariably be a discussion between them and those responsible for making the assessment, so that options can be explored before final decisions are reached.

    (iii) In risk cases where confidential medical reports exist on an individual, someone at an appropriately senior level should have the authority to see all the papers including a medical report on the individual's suitability to hold a DV clearance and thus be in a position to reach a proper assessment based on all relevant information.

    (iv) More emphasis should be given to threats outside the traditional risk of an individual being vulnerable to approaches from a hostile foreign intelligence service. Threats from cheque-book journalism and industrial espionage should be given more emphasis in the current Field Investigation Officers Guide issued by the Cabinet Office, and in departmental guidance based upon it.

    (v) The question of follow-up to Security Commission recommendations should be revisited to ensure that effective implementation of agreed recommendations take place.

The recommendations of the Security Commission have been accepted in principle by the Government, subject to further consideration of some detailed points and, in the case of (iii), subject to discussion with the appropriate medical authorities. Work is now in hand to ensure that they are effectively implemented.

Statutory Instruments: Publication in Draft

Lord Lester of Herne Hill asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they will introduce the practice of publishing particularly significant instruments in draft so that they can be subjected to detailed comment by interested parties and members of both Houses of Parliament before being formally laid before Parliament.[HL940]

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Baroness Jay of Paddington: Many significant statutory instruments are already published in draft for consultation. It is for individual departments to consider whether this is appropriate in any particular case.

Human Rights Joint Select Committee

Lord Lester of Herne Hill asked the Chairman of Committees:

    What is the procedure for selection for the post of legal adviser to the proposed Joint Select Committee on Human Rights.[HL1071]

The Chairman of Committees (Lord Boston of Faversham): The procedure for selecting a legal adviser to the proposed Joint Select Committee is that normally followed in making appointments in the two Houses and accords with the principles of advertisement, fair and open competition, merit and equal opportunity which are enshrined in the Civil Service Commissioners' Recruitment Code. Following public advertisement, a shortlist of six candidates has been selected from the 53 applications received. An appointments board of five members (two senior officers from each House and an external assessor) will meet on 2 and 3 March to interview candidates and recommend to the Clerk of the Parliaments who should be appointed.

Lord Lester of Herne Hill asked the Chairman of Committees:

    Who was responsible for approving the terms of the public advertisement and the procedure for selection for the post of legal adviser to the proposed Joint Select Committee on Human Rights; and[HL1070]

    Whether the terms of the public advertisement and the procedure for the post of legal adviser to the proposed Joint Select Committee on Human Rights have been approved by the House of Lords.[HL1082]

The Chairman of Committees: Both the terms of the advertisement and the procedure for selection were approved by the Clerk of the Parliaments who, as Corporate Officer, is the employer of all House of Lords staff. The terms of the advertisement were based on a statement by the President of the Council in the House of Commons on 14 December 1998. The post of legal adviser was authorised by the Finance and Staff Sub-Committee on 13 July 1999.

Lord Chancellor: Judicial Sittings

Lord Rawlinson of Ewell asked Her Majesty's Government:

    On how many occasions in the calendar year 1999 the Lord Chancellor sat judicially, setting out the dates and titles of the causes respectively.[HL911]

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The Lord Chancellor (Lord Irvine of Lairg): I sat judicially on four occasions in 1999. The details are as follows:

    26 April 1999--Murray and Another (A.P.) v. Foyle Meats Ltd (N.I.)

    19 July 1999--Moddahl v. British Athletics Federation

    11-12 October 1999--Carmichael and another v. National Power plc

    6-7 November 1999--B (By his mother and next Friend) v. Director of Public Prosecutions

Law Officers: Appearances as Counsel in Court

Lord Rawlinson of Ewell asked Her Majesty's Government:

    How many occasions in the calendar year 1999 (a) the Attorney General and (b) the Solicitor General appeared as counsel in court, setting out the dates and the courts (excluding appearances before Committees of either House of Parliament).[HL910]

The Attorney-General (Lord Williams of Mostyn): The occasions on which the Law Officers appeared as counsel in the courts in 1999 are as follows:

    (a) Attorney-General

    Yugoslavia v. United Kingdom and others, application for interim measures (International Court of Justice, 10-12 May)

    Hashman and Harrup v. United Kingdom (European Court of Human Rights, 23 June)

    R. v. Director of Public Prosecutions, ex parte Kebilene (House of Lords, 19-22 July)

    Sultan Khan v. United Kingdom (European Court of Human Rights, 26 October)

    (b) Solicitor General

    R v. Customs and Excise Commissioners, ex parte Shepherd Neame Ltd. (Court of Appeal, 25-27 January)

    Hamilton v. Al Fayed (intervening on behalf of the Speaker and Authorities of the House of Commons) (Court of Appeal 8-9 March) (House of Lords, 6-7 October)

    R v. Secretary of State for Transport, ex parte Factortame and others (House of Lords 12-13 July)

    Director General of Fair Trading v. First National Bank plc (High Court 22 July)

    Rowe and Davis v. United Kingdom (European Court of Human Rights, 20 October).

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Organophosphates: Effects in Mice

The Countess of Mar asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Further to the Written Answer by Baroness Hayman on 1 February (WA 22), whether the results of the study of the long-term electrophysiological effects of sheep dip organophosphates in the mouse nervous system have been peer reviewed and published; if so, in which journal; and, if not, whether they will be.[HL1004]

The Minister of State, Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (Baroness Hayman): The following papers have been published, or submitted for publication, as a result of this study and it is understood that further data may be prepared for publication.

    G E de Blaquiere, L Waters, S S Kelly, P G Blain & F.M. Williams (1997). Acute effects of single doses of an organophosphorus compound, diazinon, on acetylcholinesterase activity and miniature endplate potentials in the mouse. Human and Experimental toxicology, 1997, 17, 56.

    G E de Blaquiere, L Waters, P G Blain & F M Williams (1999). Effects of single and repeated low doses of organophosphates in the mouse. Neurotoxicology 20 (in press).

    G E de Blaquiere, L Waters, P G Blain & F M Williams (1999). Electrophysiological and biochemical effects of single and multiple doses of the organophosphate, diazinon, in the mouse. Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology (submitted for publication).

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