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Baroness Amos: At the Lancaster House Constitutional Conference in 1979, the UK Government undertook to assist with land resettlement alongside other donors. No specific sum was pledged, but £44 million has been provided to date; £20 million was offered through the 1981 Land Resettlement Grant, which was closed in 1996 with £3 million unspent because Government did not offer plans to use it; £27 million was provided during the 1980s as budgetary support to help the Zimbabwe Government meet its share of resettlement costs.
DFID has recently offered another £5 million to continue help for resettlement working through civil society and private sector initiatives as part of a total of £38 million development assistance. Further support for Government-led resettlement is dependent on a return to the rule of law, and to the principles agreed by government and donors at the 1998 Land Conference.
Baroness Amos: Figures for official development assistance as reported to the DAC of the OECD are based on expenditure in calendar years, and as percentage of GNP for the past five calendar years were as follows:
Baroness Amos: The UK has committed humanitarian assistance worth £885,000 to help meet the needs of the internally displaced in Eritrea so far this year, with a further £250,000 for Eritrean refugees in Sudan. We continue to monitor the situation and stand ready to do more. We have also contributed 17 per cent of the cost of the 65,400 metric tons of cereals provided through the EC for delivery this year.
Baroness Amos: The UK Government are committed to writing off 100 per cent of the debts owed to them by Heavily Indebted Poor Countries--some £1.7 billion in all--as and when countries become eligible.
There is a high degree of uncertainty over the amount of debt relief which will be reportable to the OECD Development Assistance Committee as official development assistance over the next five years. On the assumption that the Public Service Agreement target published this week by DFID and HM Treasury is realised, and on current assumptions over which countries achieve HIPC eligibility and when they do so, the total benefit from the UK to debtor countries at the moment when debt relief is irrevocable--i.e. at completion point--will be approximately £140 million in 2001-02, £175 million 2002-03 and £300 million in
The total bilateral commitment by the United Kingdom is £119 million, of which £113 million has been disbursed. In addition, our share of the European Community's programmes for Kosovo in 1999 and 2000 is about £90 million.
The Lord Privy Seal (Baroness Jay of Paddington): Such matters are not normally decided by the House itself but referred to the Senior Salaries Review Body (SSRB). There is no statutory requirement for parliamentary pay and allowances to be referred to the SSRB. The SSRB is an independent body set up by the Government to advise on, inter alia, Peers' allowances. The SSRB takes evidence as appropriate and makes recommendations based on this. The Government then decide whether to accept the recommendations and place a resolution before the House accordingly.
Baroness Jay of Paddington: The Government have made every effort to take forward negotiations on the Joint Committee on Human Rights through the usual channels in both Houses with a view to establishing the
Baroness Jay of Paddington: We explained our views on a Joint Committee on Human Rights in the Human Rights Bill White Paper. Draft terms of references were drawn up earlier this year, and consultations through the usual channels began in the spring, as indicated in my answer of 25 May. This House has now agreed to the proposed terms of reference; we await the concurrence of the other place.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Bassam of Brighton): My right honourable friend the Home Secretary announced the establishment of Lord Laming's working group on 31 January 2000 (Official Report, Commons, col. 425W). My noble friend Lord Laming has completed his report, and copies have been placed in the Library and printed paper office.
I am very grateful to the noble friend Lord Laming and his colleagues on the working group, for their analysis and recommendations. Many of these recommendations build on the extensive change of the prison service programme being managed by the Director General. We accept all the recommendations made in the report, save where my noble friend Lord Laming or the Director General has advised us that further work is required in order to assess how best to take the recommendation forward.
We have, therefore, today, announced that the right honourable Member for Fareham, and Chairman of the Newbridge Trust, Sir Peter Lloyd, has agreed to chair a review of the role of prisons' boards of visitors (Recommendation 16). Mr Patrick Carter, a non-executive Director of the Prison and Probation Services, has agreed to lead a review of the Prison Service's programme of Private Finance Initiative (PFI) prisons and market-testing (Recommendation 8).
We welcome the report's focus on updating personnel policies, and the importance placed on succession planning, and the effective management of sickness absence and poor performers. These underscore the importance of major programmes of work already under way within the Prison Service. My noble friend Lord Laming has noted the leadership being given by the Director General and the Deputy Director General, and the report's recommendations regarding managerial accountability and the pivotal role of the area manager in improving performance built on recent reforms relating to regionalisation.
The Prison Service is in the process of modernising its information technology systems, and will be introducing service level agreements into all public sector prisons by April 2001. Work is also in hand to develop a more sophisticated means of linking performance with the allocation of resources. The Quinquennial Review of the Prison Service, conducted in 1999, reaffirmed its status as an Executive Agency.
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