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Disability: Pathways to Work

Lord Morris of Manchester asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): The funding has been drawn from the budgets provided to the department through the 2004 spending review settlement which covered the financial years 2005–06 to 2007–08. The departmental report 2005 (Cm 6539) published in June 2005 contains details of the department's spending plans for these years. The rollout of Pathways to Work will have no material impact on the operational budgets of any of our agencies.

Elections: All-women Shortlists

Lord Norton of Louth asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Evans of Temple Guiting: The Secretary of State for Wales has issued no apology in respect of the policy of all-women shortlists.
 
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Energy: Biomass

Lord Patten asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Trade and Industry (Lord Sainsbury of Turville): Statistics for 2004 show that 212,000 tonnes oil-equivalent of imported biomass was used for power generation in the UK. We understand the greater part of this was utilised in co-firing, which used 335,100 tonnes oil-equivalent biomass in total.

The relevant tables are 7.1 and 7.7 in the Digest of UK Energy Statistics, which can be viewed at www.dti.gov.uk/energy/inform/dukes/

Figures for 2005 will be available in July of this year.

Government Departments: Telephone Services

Baroness Byford asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord McKenzie of Luton: Overall caller volumes have grown considerably in 2005–06 and will have contributed to the increase observed in engaged tones. Apparently high numbers of engaged tones can however be very misleading. They occur mainly at the busiest periods when callers constantly hit the redial button on modern telephone handsets. The vast majority of callers to HMRC contact centres do get through even though they may have to try more than once at the busiest times.

Iraq: Military Casualties

Lord Hanningfield asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Drayson): I am withholding this information as its release would be likely to inhibit the provision of frank advice to Ministers.
 
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Parliamentary Ombudsman

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

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Communities and Local Government (Baroness Andrews): Since 1997 the Central Office of the Deputy Prime Minister and its agencies have not refused or omitted to give effect to the recommendations of the Parliamentary Ombudsman, either concerning complaints about administrative practices, service delivery or complaints made under the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information. Similar information relating to the office's regional offices, non-departmental public bodies or other bodies that the office sponsors is available only at disproportionate cost.

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

The Minister of State, Department of Health (Lord Warner): We understand from the chair of the Commission for Social Care Inspection (CSCI) that, in the period 1 April 2005 to 31 March 2006, CSCI has complied with all recommendations issued by the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman.

Data for the period 1 April 2004 to 31 March 2005 are not available, as responses to the ombudsman's recommendations were not handled centrally within CSCI.

CSCI recognises the importance of the ombudsman's role and is committed to responding in full to all inquiries of the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman, including compliance with the recommendations made.

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

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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Trade and Industry (Lord Sainsbury of Turville): Since 1997, the Employment Appeal Tribunal has on no occasion refused or omitted to give effect to the recommendations of the Parliamentary Ombudsman.

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

Lord Sainsbury of Turville: Since 1997, the Parliamentary Ombudsman has made no specific recommendations directed to the certification officer.

Railways: Rail Accident Investigation Branch

Lord Bradshaw asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Davies of Oldham: The duties of the British Transport Police and ORR (formally HSE) remain unaffected by the establishment of the RAIB and the police will invariably be the first on site.

Working arrangements have been agreed by RAIB, BTP and ORR to give the RAIB access to the evidence and deliver the intent of the Railway and Transport Safety Act 2003, which was that the RAIB has precedence in a safety investigation.

To date, experience has shown that the arrangements are working well and all investigating bodies are working co-operatively.

Science: Research

Lord Rana asked Her Majesty's Government:

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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Trade and Industry (Lord Sainsbury of Turville): Future government spend on science, beyond 2007–08, will be determined by the forthcoming settlement in the 2007 Comprehensive Spending Review. The Government launched their 10-year Science and Innovation Investment Framework in 2004, outlining a long-term vision for science and innovation.


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