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The Attorney-General (Lord Goldsmith): The Serious Fraud Office has commenced one prosecution against four defendants for an offence of conspiracy to commit an offence under Section 52 Criminal Justice Act 1993, namely insider dealing.
In addition, the CPS does not hold central records about this type of offence and the information could only be obtained at disproportionate cost. However, the CPS Casework Directorate has indicated that it is handling one current case involving five defendants charged with a variety of offences connected with the insider dealing provisions. The case is in its early stages at the Crown Court.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Filkin): Under the Immigration Act 1971, immigration officers are able to refer persons seeking leave to enter the United Kingdom, including those seeking asylum, to medical inspectors at ports of entry. Paragraph 36 of the Immigration Rules (HC 395) sets out the circumstances in which immigration officers may refer an individual to a medical inspector for examination.
Current policy is to refer for medical examination any persons who mention health or medical treatment as a reason for their visit, or who appear not to be in good mental or physical health, or who intend to remain in the United Kingdom for more than six months and come from an area of the world which is high risk for tuberculosis. In addition, the Immigration Rules state that those seeking leave to enter the United Kingdom for more than six months should normally be referred.
In addition, asylum seekers attending the induction centre at Dover are given basic health screening, which includes full medical history and tuberculosis screening and referral (as appropriate). We will extend this process as we develop a network of induction centres. However, there are currently no powers to require all asylum seekers to undergo health screening.
In response to public concerns about the incidence of infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS, TB and hepatitis B and C among immigrants, the Government are currently undertaking a comprehensive review of imported infections and immigration.
Lord Filkin: There are published criteria governing the issue of work permits, which are applied to all work permit applications irrespective of the sector in question. These criteria are designed to safeguard the interests of the resident labour force while meeting the need of employers to recruit workers with the skills that they need. All applications are checked to ensure that the requirements of the work permit arrangements are met and Work Permits (UK) may also conduct post-issue checks to establish that the work permit arrangements are complied with. The criteria of the work permit arrangements are kept under regular review by Work Permits (UK).
However, Work Permits (UK) does seek to ensure that operation of the work permit arrangements, and, in particular, the list of those occupations which should not be subject to a resident labour search requirement, reflects labour market conditions in specific sectors. Work Permits (UK) works closely with IT Industry bodies, trade unions and other government departments, which are represented on its Information Technology Communications and Electronics Sector Panel, to review the availability of suitably qualified IT workers in the resident labour market. On the advice of this panel, IT occupations were removed from Work Permit (UK)'s shortage occupation list in September 2002.
The Secretary of State for International Development (Baroness Amos): The G8 Summit took place between 1 and 3 June in Evian. One area of discussion was progress on the G8 Africa Action Plan, which sets out G8 countries' support for NePAD.
In global terms, the fight against AIDS was taken forward in two ways: on undertaking by the G8 to resolve the outstanding issues in the negotiations on intellectual property rights and public health before the World Trade Organisation Ministerial Conference in September and increased funding for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria (the UK announced a further 80 million dollars for 200608), along with a call to improve its effectiveness.
Baroness Amos: DfID currently has six advisers working with the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) in Baghdad on humanitarian assistance and liaison between CPA and Iraqi administrators, the United Nations and other humanitarian agencies in Iraq. In Basra, five DfID staff are liaising with humanitarian agencies and the UK military, two secondees are working for UN agencies, and three humanitarian advisers are seconded to the UK military. Five DfID secondees are working for UN agencies in Amman, Jordan. DfID does not currently have any staff in Kuwait or Iran.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Bach): We are very grateful for the contribution our medical reservists have made in the support of military action against Iraq. Senior officers in the Defence Medical Services have met medical personnel returning from the Gulf region to thank them personally for their contribution and, if
Lord Bach: 33 Field Hospital was intended to be the first United Kingdom field hospital to deploy to the Gulf, as at the time it was the field hospital held at the highest level of preparedness. Its equipment, however, was prevented from leaving port by Greenpeace protestors. A 25-bed element of 22 Field Hospital, a regular unit, was flown to theatre as a stopgap to offset the delayed arrival of 33 Field Hospital. Once in theatre, 33 Field Hospital deployed and prepared an operational field hospital within the UK concentration area in northern Kuwait. As the UK force built in size, additional medical units were required; 34 Field Hospital, a regular unit but with significant reservist augmentation, followed by 202 Field Hospital (Volunteers), a Territorial Army unit. The latter subsequently took over from 33 Field Hospital in situ. This enabled 33 Field Hospital to act as a flexible reserve, a task for which it was better suited than the other field hospitals.
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