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23 Apr 2008 : Column WA299



23 Apr 2008 : Column WA299

Written Answers

Wednesday 23 April 2008

Armed Forces: War Pensions

Lord Morris of Manchester asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath):Transforming Tribunals was published on 28 November, both in hard copy and on the Ministry of Justice website. The consultation closed on 22 February 2008 and analysis of responses received is currently under way.

The Government are committed to publishing their response to the consultation in May. I refer to my earlier Answer in the House of Lords on 25 February where I confirmed that members of the existing tribunal will be transferred into the new statutory tribunal structure to continue their excellent work in the same way as at present and to preserve the tribunal's expertise.

In addition Lord Justice Carnwath, the Senior President of Tribunals, has made it clear that one of his principal objectives in the coming months will be to ensure that the changes do not come at the expense of continuity, specialisation or service to users.

British Coal Compensation

Lord Lofthouse of Pontefract asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): The Government appointed the Legal Services Complaints Commissioner in 2004 as an independent regulator of the Law Society's complaints handling functions. Therefore, the Government do not become involved in discussions on the plan for complaints handling. However, it remains the Government's view that the Law Society and LSCC should work together effectively to deliver continued and sustainable improvements for consumers.



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The Government have legislated in the Legal Services Act 2007 to create an independent Office for Legal Complaints, which will remove complaints handling from the legal professional bodies.

Computer Systems: DBERR

Lord Harris of Haringey asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (Baroness Vadera): It is not in the interests of the UK's national security for departments to confirm, whether they hold information about attacks against their IT systems. This would enable individuals to deduce how successful the UK is in detecting these attacks and so assist such persons in testing the effectiveness of the UK's IT defences. This is not in the public interest.

Computer Systems: DCMS

Lord Harris of Haringey asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Davies of Oldham: None of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport's computer systems has been compromised by malicious programs in the past year.

Computer Systems: Defra

Lord Harris of Haringey asked Her Majesty's Government:



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The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Rooker): It is not in the interests of the UK's national security for departments to confirm whether they hold information about attacks against their IT systems. This would enable individuals to deduce how successful the UK is in detecting these attacks and so assist such persons in testing the effectiveness of the UK's IT defences. This is not in the public interest.

Computer Systems: Foreign Office

Lord Harris of Haringey asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Malloch-Brown): It is not in the interests of the UK's national security for departments to confirm whether they hold information about attacks against their IT systems. This would enable individuals to deduce how successful the UK is in detecting these attacks and so assist such persons in testing the effectiveness of the UK's IT defences. This is not in the public interest.

Crime: Sex Offenders

Lord Taylor of Warwick asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): There are no plans that will incur additional costs to the police as a result of the circumstances of this case.

Embryology

Lord Alton of Liverpool asked Her Majesty's Government:



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The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Malloch-Brown): UK scientists were invited to attend a Stem Cells Research, Social and Ethical Issues seminar hosted by Tel Aviv University in March. As part of this visit and as part of the British Council's commitment to communicating issues in contemporary science, the British Council supported the Bloomfield Science Museum in hosting a small round-table discussion in the margins of this seminar which focused on understanding “hybrid embryos”. The museum advertised this discussion in advance to its membership and several members of the public attended to listen and ask questions.

EU: Computer Infrastructure Grid Systems

Lord Dykes asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills (Baroness Morgan of Drefelin): The Government, are actively encouraging UK participation in the European Union seventh framework research programme, including the capacities programme, which supports the development of computer infrastructure grid systems.

France: Joint Projects

Lord Dykes asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Malloch-Brown): On 27 March 2008 at the UK-France summit, my right honourable friend the Prime Minister and French President Nicolas Sarkozy agreed to work closely on a range of global, EU and bilateral issues, in particular reform of international institutions, international development and foreign policy, climate change and energy, defence and security, and migration.

The summit communiqué is available at www.pm. gov.uk/files/pdf/UK-FR%20Communique%20270308 .pdf.

Government departments are following up these issues with their French counterparts.

My right honourable friend the Prime Minister and President Sarkozy agreed to hold annual summits, as well as six-monthly ministerial meetings and quarterly meetings of senior officials. UK-France task forces will also work on international issues of common interest, such as climate change.



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Immigration: Detention

Lord Hylton asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): An independent review of detention reviews was commissioned and has since been completed. Work is currently under way to address all of the recommendations that have been made as a result of this review.

Immigration: Zimbabwe

Lord Hylton asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): There are currently around 50 Zimbabwean nationals detained under immigration powers who have committed a criminal offence within the UK and are facing deportation action. While information is published on the number of persons detained solely under Immigration Act powers as at the last Saturday of each quarter, information on the number of people who are recorded as being detained awaiting removal from the UK is not centrally collated; it could only be obtained through examination of individual records at disproportionate cost.

Inward Investment

Lord Maginnis of Drumglass asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office & Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (Lord Jones of Birmingham): The Government monitor inward investment by country of origin using project and financial data.

The Government's approach to corporate responsibility applies to inward investors as it does to all UK-based companies.



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Northern Ireland Office: Mobile Phones

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Rooker: The Northern Ireland Office has contracts with Orange, Vodafone and O2. These are arranged through a generic Office of Government commerce contract. The contracts are for a two-year period which is due to expire towards the end of 2008.

Northern Ireland: Bill of Rights

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Rooker: The budget for the sponsoring division of the Northern Ireland Bill of Rights Forum within the Northern Ireland Office is based on best estimates for the spending requirements for that division for the financial year in question. This will take into consideration staffing levels and other running costs as well as other direct costs for which that division is responsible. Thus the budget will vary year on year.

The following table gives the budget and spend for this division for the past five years to the nearest £100,000.

Year2002-032003-042004-052005-062006-07

Budget (£k)

985

2,153

1,898

1,961

1,298

Spend (£k)

1,188

1,652

1,515

1,755

1,157


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