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The processing and storing of data overseas is allowed because NCS Pearson Inc has “safe harbor” status. This is the standard by which US companies ensure they adhere to the eighth data protection principle of the Data Protection Act 1988 which governs the transfer of data outside the European Economic Area. Safe harbor is recognised by the Information Commissioner as providing an adequate level of protection for the purposes of that principle.

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Energy: Biofuels

Lord Christopher asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Bassam of Brighton: The terms of reference of the Renewable Fuels Agency's review into the indirect effects of biofuels production were published on 13 March 2008 on the websites of the Department for Transport and the Renewable Fuels Agency. The terms of reference can be found at

To give more detail on the scope of the review, the Renewable Fuels Agency recently published a progress bulletin. This sets out in some detail the six key questions that the review will address and also describes the individual studies that are being undertaken to help address those questions. The progress bulletin can be found on the Renewable Fuel Agency's website at publications/reviewoftheindirecteffectsofbiofuels.cfm.

Energy: Green Homes

Baroness Byford asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Rooker): The Energy Saving Trust will be rolling out and equipping a nationwide network of 21 regional advice centres in England. These will provide a one-stop shop offering consumers a range of free and impartial advice on energy efficiency, microgeneration and renewable energy, low carbon transport, water efficiency and waste reduction, as well as a range of independent services that will help them act upon this advice.

Environmental Transformation Fund

Baroness Byford asked Her Majesty's Government:

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The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Rooker): On 2 April, my right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Environment (Hilary Benn) announced his intention to launch a “Green Neighbourhoods” competition. The competition aims to help up to 100 streets and local areas across England to reduce their carbon footprint by 60 per cent, with a focus on demonstrating what can be achieved with “hard to treat”, older housing stock.

This initiative will be delivered by the Energy Saving Trust, and backed by potentially more than £10 million over the next three years from the UK Environmental Transformation Fund. It will call for local alliances between householders, community groups, local authorities, energy suppliers, private companies, and banks to bid for funding. To receive funding from the Environmental Transformation Fund, bidders will need to join together and commit some funding from their own resources to transform the environmental performance of a street or local area.

Decisions have yet to be taken on the exact scope of the scheme and the amount of co-funding that will be required.

EU: Eastern Border States

The Earl of Dundee asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Malloch-Brown): The UK welcomes the Commission's communication of 3 April, Implementation of the European Neighbourhood Policy in 2007, and its accompanying country progress reports, and will continue to support the Commission and European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) partners in building on the achievements outlined.

We support the continuing development of ENP as a means of bringing security, stability and prosperity to our eastern and southern neighbours, in line with our Global Europe strategy. An important principle of ENP is differentiation, tailoring assistance to each partner's needs, capacity and ambition for its relations with the EU. We believe this approach best accommodates the interests of each individual neighbour. We want to keep the door open to EU membership for Ukraine and other European countries which might one day meet the membership criteria.

Through our annual contributions to the EU budget, the UK contributes around £120 million per annum towards the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument which supports the implementation of the ENP.

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EU: Lisbon Treaty

Lord Dykes asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Malloch-Brown): There was clear consensus at the December 2007 European Council on the mandate for the Reflection Group, namely: strengthening and modernising the European model of economic success and social responsibility, enhancing the competitiveness of the EU, the rule of law, sustainable development as a fundamental objective of the EU, global stability, migration, energy and climate protection, and the fight against global insecurity, international crime and terrorism. The Government will work with the group to ensure that this mandate is fulfilled and that the Government's Global Europe agenda is reflected in its work.


Lord Tebbit asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Malloch-Brown): The EU flag has no legal status in the UK or the rest of the EU.

The EU flag originated on 25 October 1955 when the Council of Europe parliamentary assembly took the unanimous decision to adopt a flag as its emblem. The Council of Europe's Committee of Ministers adopted it as the European flag on 8 December 1955. In 1985, the European flag was adopted as the official emblem of the then European Communities by heads of state and government. EU institutions have been using it since 1986.

Forced Marriage

Baroness Cox asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Malloch-Brown): The Government are committed to tackling the unacceptable practice of forced marriage. Reports of children missing from schools, who may or may not be victims of forced marriage, are taken very seriously. The joint, Foreign and Commonwealth Office/Home Office Forced Marriage

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Unit is working closely with the Department for Children, Families and Schools to raise awareness in schools of this important issue.

Freedom of Information

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

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): The Government did not make any proposals to amend the draft Convention on Access to Official Documents drawn up by the group of specialists on access to official documents (of which the UK is a member). The consensus among member states was that the draft convention should not become a “dead letter” convention, but one that established a set of principles governing the right of access to official documents which as many countries as possible could sign. The draft convention already contained a provision for a right of access to an appellate authority to challenge a denial of access to information, but the Government did seek to persuade the Steering Committee on Human Rights that the term “denial” should be interpreted broadly to encompass any situation where access to information had been made ineffective. No proposal was made to limit the areas in which a reservation may be made. In accordance with the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties 1969, a state can formulate a reservation to the convention on signature and ratification as long as it is compatible with the objective and purpose of the treaty.

Health: Spending

Baroness Barker asked Her Majesty's Government:

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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Darzi of Denham): The total gross expenditure for mental health services in 2006-07 was £9.126 billion for all persons, according to the Department of Health resource account budgeting.

Data on primary care mental health expenditure are not collected centrally by the department.

The department does not collect data on expenditure on talking therapies centrally.

Current funding arrangements mean that strategic health authorities (SHAs) are responsible for overall financial balance in their areas. Primary care trusts (PCTs) are allocated resources on the basis of the relative needs of their local populations. It is for PCTs, in partnership with SHAs and other local stakeholders, to determine how best to use their funds to meet national and local priorities.

House of Lords: Pork and Bacon

Lord Hoyle asked the Chairman of Committees:

The Chairman of Committees (Lord Brabazon of Tara): The River Restaurant and 2 Millbank Cafeteria cater predominately for staff and operate with the objective of using ingredients of quality and keen purchase price in order to keep the menu pricing at an affordable level for staff. As the purchase price of English back bacon is 76 per cent higher per kilogram than the Dutch equivalent, purchase of English back bacon would not meet the objective of keeping the menu pricing at an affordable level for staff.

Human Rights

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

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Malloch-Brown): The UK supports the work of the UN Human Rights Council's special rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression. For this reason, the UK voted against an amendment to a resolution renewing the mandate of the special rapporteur put forward by Pakistan, on behalf of the

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Organisation of the Islamic Conference, at the seventh session of the Human Rights Council.

We fully accept that limitations to the exercise of the right to freedom of expression may be permitted in certain circumstances under international human rights law. Other Human Rights Council mechanisms address this issue, including the newly agreed mandate of the special rapporteur on racism and religious freedom. But we were concerned at the way the amendment sought to shift the focus of the mandate away from looking at what states do in violation of the right to freedom of expression towards looking at what is appropriate for individuals to say.

Unfortunately, the amendment was carried. This led the UK and other western states to abstain on the resolution as a whole. Nevertheless, the special rapporteur's mandate was renewed for a further three years. The UK will continue to support the work of this special rapporteur.

Identity Cards

Lord Taylor of Holbeach asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): No information relating to criminal records or convictions will be held on identity cards. Identity cards will hold information relating to an individual's identity and the precise detail of the information to be contained on the card will be prescribed in regulations to be approved by Parliament under Section 6 of the Identity Cards Act 2006, and for cards issued to foreign nationals under Section 5(2)(d) of the UK Borders Act 2007.

Northern Ireland: Murder Prosecutions

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Rooker: The following table shows that 203 members of the UDR/RIR were murdered in Northern Ireland during the period 1970 to 1998.

Details regarding convictions for such cases are not recorded.

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* Figures include Royal Irish Regiment (Home Service Battalions).

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