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Honours System

Baroness Amos: My right honourable friend the Prime Minister has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

The Government's decision on changes to the honours system are contained in the Command Paper Reform of the Honours System (Cm 6479) which has been published today. Copies are being placed in the Libraries of the House.

Iraq: Service Police Investigations

The Attorney-General (Lord Goldsmith): Further to my Statement of 4 February 2005 (Official Report, col. WS 21–22), two additional individuals have now been told of the charges they face. They are Private Monet Vosloo of the 3rd Battalion, the Parachute Regiment, and former member of the same regiment, Scott Jackson, who is now a civilian.

The charges relate to an incident which allegedly took place on 11 May 2003 in Al U'Zayra in southern Iraq.

Iraq: British Detainees

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean): During the course of his Statement of 11 January to the other place (Official Report, cols. 173–186) on the release of British detainees held at Guantanamo Bay, my right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (Mr Jack Straw), said that there were no other British citizens detained in Guantanamo Bay. He also stated that he knew of no other citizens detained in similar circumstances elsewhere. That statement was clear and remains accurate.

I would however like to bring to the attention of the House the cases of two British nationals being held as security internees by the coalition forces in Iraq. One is a British national being held by US forces at Camp
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Bucca, the other is a dual British/Iraqi national and is being held at Shaibah by UK forces.

Both men are being held as security internees in accordance with United Nations Security Council Resolution 1546 (2004). The International Committee of the Red Cross has access to both detention facilities and family visits are also permitted. Both internees' cases are reviewed regularly by the appropriate authorities.

Foreign and Commonwealth Office: Spring Supplementary Estimate

Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: Subject to parliamentary approval of any necessary supplementary estimate, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office departmental expenditure limit (DEL) will be increased by £46,199,000 from £1,883,444,000 to £1,929,643,000 and the administration costs limit will be decreased by £21,151,000 from £793,006,000 to £771,885,000. Within the DEL change, the impact on resources and capital are as set out in the following table:


* Depreciation, which forms part of resource DEL, is excluded from the total DEL since capital DEL includes capital spending and to include depreciation of those assets would lead to double counting.

The change in the resource element of the DEL arises from:


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The change in the capital element of the DEL arises from:

Anti-terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001: Part 4 Powers

The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Scotland of Asthal): The Lord Carlile of Berriew QC has completed the report on the operation of Part 4 of the Anti-Terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001, in 2004, which will be laid before the House today. This is an important function. Lord Carlile exercises independent scrutiny over the operation of Part 4 in recognition of the exceptional and sensitive nature of these powers.
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We are grateful to Lord Carlile for his work and I am sure that this view will be widely shared.

We are pleased to note that he is again satisfied that certifications have been made only in appropriate cases. He has also made a number of other helpful recommendations which will provide a useful contribution to the debates on Part 4 and the proposed alternatives.

Prison Service Pay Review Body

Baroness Scotland of Asthal: The fourth report of the Prison Service Pay Review Body (PSPRB) on the pay of in-charge governors and operational managers, prison officers and related grades in England and Wales in 2005 has been published today and copies placed in the Library. I would like to thank the chair and members of the PSPRB for their hard work in producing their recommendations.

The PSPRB has recommended a 2.5 per cent basic increase to pay rates for prison officer and related grades and to in-charge governors and other operational managers. It has recommended a slightly higher increase of 3 per cent for senior officers to improve the pay differential for what they regard as an increasingly important operational grade. The basic award of 2.5 per cent is at the same level as the December 2004 figure for all-items inflation excluding mortgage interest payments (RPIX). Most in-charge governors and other operational managers receive performance payments on top of their basic award, which contribute to earnings growth for them above the level of inflation. Just under half of all prison officers will also receive increments, adding to earnings growth for them.

My right honourable friend the Home Secretary has decided that the recommendations will be implemented in full, with effect from the operative date of the award of 1 April 2005. The cost of the award will be met from within the existing budget allocation for the service.

There is now a pressing need to look, for the next pay round and beyond, at a multi-year settlement to give a framework for Modernisation. This will involve a comprehensive review of existing pay systems to support reform, which is essential to achieving the goals of a Modern service and in enabling it to operate in the new environment of contestability. We have therefore tasked officials to discuss urgently with the pay review body how this can best be achieved against the background, recognised by the review body, of continuing financial constraints. The Home Secretary expects to issue a remit letter to this effect in due course.

The key recommendations of the report are:

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An increase of 6 per cent to the maxima and minima of the pay scales for senior operational managers;

No change to local pay allowance rates from 1 April 2005. These remain at:

Required hours addition for operational managers to be increased by the basic award figure (2.5 per cent);

Healthcare specialist allowance increased by 2.5 per cent but all others frozen at current rates; and

All other allowances (tornado, bedwatch, on call, dirty protest, etc) increased by 2.5 per cent except for the care and maintenance of dogs allowance to be increased by 1 per cent.

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