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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): The UK Border Agency has agreed with the IMB secretariat that it will fund the post of clerk to the IMB at Heathrow Airport and the secretariat has agreed to undertake the recruitment process, which is due to start very soon
The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Rooker): Defra is currently consulting on the draft strategy on protecting and improving the health of honeybees in England and Wales. The strategy lists as a priority activity that the Government and stakeholders will work to expand options for the effective management of varroa destructor and associated viruses, including authorisation of additional treatments and their sustainable use through integrated pest management.
European legislation governs the authorisation and marketing of veterinary medicines for all animal species including bees and we are not aware of any plans to review the regulatory status of medicinal products to control varroa. Within the EU framework, the minor use/minor species initiative is being developed to provide opportunities to improve the availability of medicines to species where the manufacturers currently view the market as being limited. The minor use/minor species initiative is long term and the UK will be working with other member states to improve the availability of veterinary medicines.
What progress has been made in the criminal investigation into the British Coal litigation by the Serious Fraud Office and South Yorkshire Police, which commenced in July 2005; and what is the timescale for completing the enquiries. [HL3057]
The Attorney-General (Baroness Scotland of Asthal): The SFO, together with South Yorkshire Police, is investigating allegations of serious and complex fraud in relation to the handling of claims brought under the DTI-administered Coal Health Compensation Scheme. The investigation began in July 2005 and is continuing. It would not be appropriate to give details of the ongoing investigation. It is not yet known when the investigation will be completed.
Lord Davies of Oldham: The number of press officer posts in the Treasury has remained constant at 10 full-time equivalents. One of these posts is vacant at present. The detailed information requested relating to average ages could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
How many civil servants currently employed by HM Treasury have worked there for at least (a) one, (b) three, (c) five, (d) seven, and (e) 15 years; and what percentage of the total number of civil servants in HM Treasury these figures represent. [HL3104]
|Employed for at least||Number of staff||Percentage of total staff|
In respect of (a) the Home Office, (b) the Border and Immigration Service, (c) the Identity and Passport Service, and (d) the Criminal Records Bureau, on how many occasions in the past year malicious programs have compromised departmental computer systems; for each occasion, how many machines were affected; how long it took to remove the programs from the system; and what the impact was on the department's activities. [HL2983]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): It is not in the public interest or the UK's national security interest 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.
In respect of the Northern Ireland Office, on how many occasions in the past year malicious programs have compromised departmental computer systems; for each occasion, how many machines were affected; how long it took to remove the programs from the system; and what the impact was on the department's activities. [HL2987]
Lord Rooker: It is not in the interest of the UK's national security for the Northern Ireland Office to confirm whether information is held about attacks on its IT systems. This would enable individuals to deduce how successful the Northern Ireland Office is in detecting these attacks and so assist such persons in testing the effectiveness of the Northern Ireland Office's IT defences. This is not in the public interest.
Lord Davies of Oldham: The Government published their own latest economic forecasts in the Financial Statement and Budget Report (HC 388) on March 12. The International Monetary Fund's forecasts are a matter for it.
Lord Davies of Oldham: The UK economy grew by 3 per cent in 2007, the fastest rate of any G7 country, and the UK economy is expected to continue to grow, as set out in Financial Statement and Budget Report 2008 (HC 388) on 12 March. Latest official data, released on 25 April, show that GDP grew by 0.4 per cent in the first quarter of 2008, the 63rd consecutive quarter of growth and the longest unbroken expansion on record.
Whether they plan to meet representatives of the Police Federation to discuss the introduction of electric personal assistive mobility devices into the United Kingdom to help police forces to cut response times to emergency calls; and [HL2924]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): The Government have no plans to meet representatives of the Police Federation to discuss the introduction of electric personal assistive mobility devices for use by police forces. Therefore, no detailed assessment of the changes to current legislation necessary to permit such trials has been made.
Further to the Written Answer by the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Mr Iain Wright MP, on 7 February (Official Report, Commons; col. 1321W), why applicants may not question the justification for the location of a renewable energy proposal; and whether this makes the planning process a formality. [HL3053]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Communities and Local Government (Baroness Andrews): The Government are keen to encourage good-quality renewable energy applications in order to meet the twin challenges of responding to climate change and ensuring security of supply. Reflecting this, our new planning policy statement (PPS) on climate change expects planning authorities in England to provide a framework that promotes and encourages renewable energy.
The PPS advises that applicants are not expected to demonstrate the overall need for renewable energy because new renewable energy projects offer crucial national benefits. Planning authorities are asked not to question the energy justification provided by the applicant for why a proposal must be sited in a particular location as this involves considerations of technical and commercial feasibility which are for the developer concerned. Planning authorities should address the environmental, social and economic impacts that arise from the proposed location of a renewable energy project.
The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Malloch-Brown): The guarantor powers of the Dayton agreement and the Peace Implementation Council (PIC) cannot directly intervene concerning Bosnia and Herzegovina's application to join the EU. A number of members of the PIC contact group are also EU member states and as such participate in all major decisions on Bosnia and Herzegovina's progress towards the EU.
Lord Davies of Oldham: On 2 April 2008, the Royal Mint publicly announced a redesign of all UK coinage from the 1 pence to the £1 coin by a British designer. This was following a public competition,
28 Apr 2008 : Column WA6
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