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Lord Bassam of Brighton: Our records show that during this period there has been one individual seconded from the Department for Transport to BAA. This person worked on the surface transport strategy for Heathrow airport for a period of 10 months. There
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Whether any employee or representative of BAA is currently sitting on any task or working party appointed by the Department for Transport; and, if so, what is the job title of the individual involved and the remit of the group in each case. [HL928]
Lord Bassam of Brighton: The 2003 White Paper The Future of Air Transport included commitments to work with airport operators on the delivery of government policy. As with working groups across the Department for Transport, and indeed government, BAA accordingly is represented on two working groups. BAAs director of Stansted Generation 2 is an observer on the departments Stansted Project Board. This group manages the departments input to the work to deliver increased capacity at Stansted. In addition there are monthly Stansted surface-access modelling meetings held at the department which BAA officials and their consultants attend. The department retains all ultimate decision-making powers in these groups.
Further to the Written Answer by Lord Darzi of Denham on 23 October (WA 100) regarding National Health Service provision of three in vitro fertilisation cycles to all infertile couples, whether this was already offered in accordance with the February 2004 National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence guidelines by the relevant primary care trust where significant public funding has been received so that women might be persuaded to provide 700 eggs specifically for research. [HL864]
Further to the Written Answer by Lord Darzi of Denham on 3 December (WA 160) regarding the lack of women who underwent ovarian stimulation specifically to donate eggs for research since February 2007, why significant financial inducement might therefore be required in order to persuade women to donate eggs for research. [HL865]
Lord Darzi of Denham: The motivation of donors will differ in individual cases. A woman cannot be paid for donating her eggs for research but egg-sharing arrangements are permitted by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority. To prevent women from being coerced or misled into donating their eggs, or being misinformed about the extent to which their donation might impact on research, the authoritys code of practice requires a number of safeguards before women give consent to the use of their eggs in a research project. These safeguards include a clear separation between the researchers and the people carrying out the womans treatment, detailed information about the realistic outcomes of the research and the impact the donation would have, and a requirement that the person obtaining the woman's consent is independent from the research team.
Lord Darzi of Denham: Clause 24 of the Bill substitutes new sections to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990 which refers to donor as someone who has donated sperm, eggs or an embryo for treatment which has led to a child being born. The provisions allow for the donor-conceived person and the donor to receive information.
Paragraph 12 of Schedule 3 to the Bill refers to a child donor. In that context, the child donor is someone who is about to undergo medical treatment which is likely to cause a significant impairment to their fertility. The provision allows for the storage of the child donor's gametes even if they do not have the competence to consent to the storage.
Lord Darzi of Denham: The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) has advised me that of the research licence applications received, one application has been refused. A licence for the project was later granted after the application was resubmitted.
The HFEA works closely with research teams on the development of the project, prior to a licence application being submitted, to ensure that it meets the requirements of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990 and the authoritys code of practice. In this way, applications for projects that would not be considered suitable for licensing tend not to be submitted.
A project for which a research licence is sought will have to have received approval from a research ethics committee before a licence can be granted. Where a project would in principle be suitable to be licensed but insufficient information has been submitted to the licence committee, or the committee is of the view that an aspect of the project needs to be reconsidered, it is usual practice for the committee not to reject the application but to ask the applicant to submit further information or undertake changes to the specifications of the project, for reconsideration at a later date.
Further to the Written Answer by Lord Darzi of Denham on 12 December (WA 57) indicating that the frequency with which more than 20 eggs are collected in a single treatment cycle is not routinely collected by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA), whether the HFEA was previously unaware that more than 20 eggs were collected from at least one in seven patients at the Newcastle Fertility Centre at Life over a period of four years; and [HL1011]
Further to the Written Answers by Lord Darzi of Denham on 5 December (WA 196) and on 12 December (WA 57) regarding ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS) and incident reporting, when the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) was first made aware that life-threatening complications had occurred in two women as recently described in the journal Human Fertility (Volume 10, Issue 3: pages 183-87), whether this was recorded in an incident report submitted to the HFEA; and whether data are held by the HFEA regarding whether or not treatment was discontinued at the time; and [HL1012]
In what capacity any of the authors of a paper recently published in the journal Human Fertility (Volume 10, Issue 3: pages 183-87) had been employed by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) during the four-year period from 1999 to 2003. [HL1013]
Lord Darzi of Denham: Information on the number of eggs collected during treatment is provided to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) on the report forms submitted by licensed clinics for each treatment cycle carried out. However, this information is not routinely analysed for patterns in the frequency of egg collection, such as the percentage of cases where 20 or more eggs were collected in a particular clinic. I refer the noble Lord to my Answer given on 5 December (Official Report, WA 196). The HFEA would expect licensed clinics to report occurrences that are inconsistent with routine patient care, although whether a report is required is a matter for the treating clinician to judge.
The paper referred to in the noble Lord's Questions is Estimating the Risks of Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS): Implications for Egg Donation for Research by K Jayaprakasan , M Herbert , E Moody , JA Stewart and AP Murdoch of the Newcastle Fertility Centre at Life/International Centre for Life. In accordance with the requirements of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990, the article does not identify the individual patients involved nor does it clearly identify the clinic at which the patients were treated, so it is not possible for the HFEA to accurately identify any related incident reports.
Whether they will define the word serious where it is used in the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill in relation to its provisions permitting organs to be removed from a saviour sibling child; and how this differs from the current definition permitting the removal of organs only in life-threatening circumstances. [HL1036]
Lord Darzi of Denham: The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill includes five purposes for which embryos can be tested. One of these relates to tissue typingwhere embryos are tested to see whether they have histocompatible tissue where cord blood, bone marrow or other tissue could be used in the treatment of a sick older sibling where the sibling is suffering from a serious medical condition.
The draft Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill, then called the Human Tissue and Embryos Bill, was published for scrutiny by a Joint Committee of both Houses. In the draft Bill, the provision required that the child be suffering from a life-threatening condition. The committee recommended that this be changed to a serious condition. The report from the Joint Committee on the Human Tissue and Embryo Bill said:
We recognise that this is a delicate area. However, given the Government's apparent acceptance of the principle of selecting for saviour siblings' we do not understand why the practice is limited to life-threatening conditions capable of treatment using umbilical cord blood cells. We recommend that the draft Bill be amended to substitute serious for life-threatening.
The 1990 Act does not specifically mention embryo testing, therefore there is no current definition in legislation about when tissue typing can be carried out. The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority produce a code of practice which states:
Preimplantation tissue typing is expected to be available only to select embryos which, when transferred to the woman, may result in a child who may provide histocompatible tissue for the treatment of an existing child who is affected by a serious or life threatening condition. The seriousness of the condition should be a matter for discussion between the people seeking treatment and the clinical team.
In the case of the Department for International Development, how many (a) voluntary and (b) compulsory redundancies have been taken to date as a result of the Gershon review; what is the total departmental bill for each type of redundancy; and what is the natural wastage during the Gershon period to date for the department. [HL1065]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for International Development (Baroness Vadera): There have been no compulsory redundancies within the Department for International Development (DfID) as a result of the Gershon efficiency review.
The total number of voluntary departures arising from the review is set out in the table below. Under resource accounting, costs are recorded against the year in which departure was first agreed. The amount shown for each year represents the total estimated cost of departure to DfID, which in practice is spread over a number of years until an individual attains normal pension age.
|Year||Number of Voluntary Departures Agreed in Year||Total cost to DfID|
|1 to 31 December 2007|
Between 1 April 2005 and 31 December 2007, a further 404 staff left DfID for various reasons, in addition to those who left under the early departure arrangements put in place after the Gershon review. The figure of 404 includes staff on fixed-term appointments, and civil servants on loan to DfID who have now returned to their home departments. From a baseline of 1,928, this represents a natural wastage rate of 21 per cent, or 7.6 per cent a year.
In the case of the Ministry of Justice, how many (a) voluntary and (b) compulsory redundancies have been taken to date as a result of the Gershon
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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): There have been no compulsory redundancies as a result of the Gershon review. The cost of voluntary redundancies since April 2006 is £11,627,166. This cost relates to 124 departures from the former Department for Constitutional Affairs, which became part of the Ministry of Justice on 7 May 2007. There have been no voluntary compulsory redundancies from HMPS, NOMS, and OCJR since they became part of the Ministry of Justice.
The natural turnover resulting from the Gershon review is 1,531. This number relates to former Department for Constitutional Affairs staff since April 2006 and NOMS, HMPS and OCJR staff since 7 May 2007 when the Ministry of Justice was created.
Whether they will list every occasion on which loss of data by a government department or agency has been reported to the Information Commissioner in the last 12 months, indicating in respect of each such occasion the department or agency concerned, the date of the report and the nature of the information. [HL1006]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): The information requested about the last 12 months could be provided only at disproportionate cost. The Government do not hold the information centrally. The Information Commissioner's Office does not keep records of referrals referenced by department.
I refer the noble Lord to the Statement made by my right honourable friend the Prime Minister on 21 November, (Official Report, col. 1179). The review by the Cabinet Secretary and security experts is looking at procedures within departments and agencies for the storage and use of data. A statement on departments' procedures will be made on completion of the review. An interim progress report on the review was published on 17 December by the Cabinet Office through a Written Ministerial Statement, col. 98WS.
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