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22 Feb 2005 : Column WA187
 

Written Answers

Tuesday, 22 February 2005.

The first two Written Answers should have been printed on Monday 21 February 2005.

Freedom of Information Act 2000

The Earl of Northesk asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs (Baroness Ashton of Upholland): Government departments collect information on those freedom of information (FOI) requests which are referred to their central practitioners for consideration. Departments are required to monitor such requests and provide details of how they have been dealt with, including information on the number of cases where a holding reply has been sent to extend the 20-day deadline for consideration of the public interest, to my department on a quarterly basis. My department will publish its first report on these statistics in late Spring 2005 and copies will be placed in the House Libraries.

Statistics on the number of times the 20-day deadline has been extended for consideration of the public interest by all public authorities are not held centrally. However, of those requests referred to the FOI practitioner within my department, which were due for answer by 1 February, the deadline was extended in one case to consider the public interest.

HM Belmarsh Prison: Detainees

Lord Avebury asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Scotland of Asthal): Our assessment at the time the legislation was introduced was that we were unlikely to be able to obtain undertakings which would enable removals to proceed in the face of a legal challenge.

We have since revised this assessment, and have been pursuing for some time the possibility of establishing framework agreements—of the sort contemplated by the committee chaired by the noble Lord, Lord Newton of Braintree, in its report
 
22 Feb 2005 : Column WA188
 
published in December 2003—intended to pave the way for agreements to return specific individuals.

These discussions are still continuing.

Support Vehicle Project

Lord Astor of Hever asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Bach): I refer the noble Lord to the Answer that I gave him on 17 November 2004 (Official Report, col. WA 172). Negotiations are still ongoing with MAN ERF UK Ltd, the preferred bidder in the support vehicle project. The company has made a commitment to assemble the vehicles in the UK and to source a range of assemblies in the UK, but until negotiations are complete, it would be neither appropriate nor feasible to provide a definitive figure.

Hyde Park

Lord Berkeley asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Culture, Media and Sport (Lord McIntosh of Haringey): Only two tickets have been issued for parking on the double yellow lines in North Carriage Drive in the past year at any time of day.

Lloyd's Names

Lord Desai asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: The Insurance Companies Act 1982 was repealed in 2001 and insurance undertakings are now regulated under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000. The Act placed responsibility for the regulation of insurance undertakings with the Financial Services Authority. Such powers as there are to take action in relation to the assets of Names and former Names are therefore with the FSA, the independent regulator, under Part XIX of the Act and not with the Government.
 
22 Feb 2005 : Column WA189
 

Civil Servants: Work on Legislation

Lord Addington asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: The table shows the staff breakdown by grade for each Bill. 1
LicensingCommunications2Horserace Betting and Olympic LotteryGambling
SCS3432
Grade A42147
Grade B21527
Grade C8323
Grade D223




1 Staff would have worked on these Bills for differing amounts of time over the whole period. The figures are not broken down into the proportion of time each member of staff worked on a Bill, but represent the total number of staff working, in some part, on the Bill over the period. All staff would be undertaking other work in parallel. Legal staff are included in these figures, excluding parliamentary counsel. It must be noted that other staff within these and other departments, notably within private offices, parliamentary branches and press offices, would also have made some contribution to the process but these are not included in the figures.


2 The Communications Bill was developed jointly between DCMS and DTI. DTI figures have been included.






Lord Addington asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: The table shows the staff breakdown by grade for each Bill. 1
LicensingCommunications2 Horserace Betting and Olympic LotteryGambling
SCS3522
Grade A62557
Grade B21825
Grade C8323
Grade D2123
Trainees2




1 Staff would have worked on these Bills for differing amounts of time over the whole period. The figures are not broken down into the proportion of time each member of staff worked on a Bill, but represent the total number of staff working, in some part, on the Bill over the period. All staff would be undertaking other work in parallel. Legal staff are included in these figures, excluding parliamentary counsel. It must be noted that other staff within these and other departments, notably within private offices, parliamentary branches and press, offices, would also have made some contribution to the process but these are not included in the figures.


2 The Communications Bill was developed jointly between DCMS and DTI. DTI figures have been included.






Lord Addington asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: The table shows the staff breakdown by grade for each Act. 1
LicensingCommunications2 Horserace Betting and Olympic Lottery3
SCS442
Grade A7214
Grade B3152
Grade C832
Grade D41
Trainees4




1 Staff would have worked on these Acts for differing amounts of time over the whole period. The figures are not broken down into the proportion of time each member of staff worked on an Act, but represent the total number of staff working, in some part, on the Act over the period. All staff would be undertaking other work in parallel. Legal staff are included in these figures. It must be noted that other staff within these and other departments, notably within private offices, parliamentary branches and press offices, would also have made some contribution to the process but these are not included in the figures.


2 The Communications Act was developed jointly between DCMS and DTI. DTI figures have been included.


3 Includes staff needed in the implementation of the Act including the sale of the Tote and abolition of the Horserace Betting Levy.







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