|Previous Section||Back to Table of Contents||Lords Hansard Home Page|
DfID also made payments to the Gibraltar Social Insurance Fund in respect of the pension liabilities of certain Spanish nationals who had worked in Gibraltar, totalling £77.4 million between 1998-99 and 2006-07. In 2007-08 DfID made further payments of £15.3 million consisting of pension liabilities and incentive payments made to affected Spanish pensioners as part of the Cordoba pensions settlement.
The FCO's Overseas Territories Programme Fund (OTPF) has a number of high-level objectives, including ensuring that the UK's contingent liabilities are well managed and mitigated. Funding to the Overseas Territories, from this and its predecessor fund, since 2000 has been:
The Ministry of Defence spent £104 million on maintaining its defence presence in the Falkland Islands in 2008-09. It commits approximately £2 million each year to fund defence of the Overseas Territories and disaster relief in the Caribbean Overseas Territories.
What was the Central Office of Information's total expenditure on public relations, marketing and advertising in 199697, using figures comparable with the figures cited in the Central Office of Information's latest annual report and accounts. [HL6141]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): The FRANK drugs information campaign was launched in May 2003. The campaign provides young people and their families with advice and information about drugs. The campaign is administered and funded by the Department of Health, the Home Office and the Department for Children, Schools and Families.
The Department of Health, the Home Office and the Department for Children, Schools and Families procure most communication services through the Central Office of Information (COI) for the FRANK campaign. Communication services provided by the COI include media buying, research, digital and sponsorship.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Darzi of Denham): The Central Office of Information has not spent any money directly on supporting the NHS Choice campaign. Between 24 March 2008 and 6 April 2008, the department spent a total of £601,752.33 on publicising the introduction of national NHS Free Choice from 1 April 2008.
Whether, following the upholding of their appeal on 22 October by the House of Lords in the case of R (on the application of Bancoult) v Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, they will allow the Chagos Islanders to return to their homelands other than Diego Garcia. [HL6065]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord Bach): The House of Lords has upheld the validity of the British Indian Ocean Territory (Constitution) Order 2004. As a consequence of this ruling, the orders of the Court of Appeal in May 2007 and of the Divisional Court in June 2006 in this regard are set aside. The two Orders in Council for the British Indian Ocean Territory therefore stand and provide that no person has a right of abode in BIOT or the right to enter the territory unless authorised.
As my right honourable friend the Foreign Secretary has subsequently made clear, given the Government's continuing need to take into account the issues of defence security of the whole of the Chagos archipelago in order to meet our treaty obligations to the US and to serve our mutual defence interests, and the fact that an independent study came down heavily against the feasibility of lasting resettlement of the outer islands of the British Indian Ocean Territory, the Government's policy will remain that no person has a right of abode in BIOT or the right to enter the territory unless authorised. However, we will keep in close touch with the Chagossians and consider carefully future requests to visit the territory.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Communities and Local Government (Baroness Andrews): The Commission on Integration and Cohesion (CIC), which made its recommendations in the summer of 2006, was concerned that groups based on single identities were potentially divisive. In February 2008 the government launched a consultation on Cohesion Guidance for Funders which sought views on this issue. A summary of the responses to this consultation exercise and a decision regarding the future of the guidance will be published shortly.
Lord Patel of Bradford: I refer the noble Lord to the Written Ministerial Statement placed in the House of Commons regarding the release of the data handling report (DHR) published on 25 June 2008 (Official Report, col. 26WS). The report puts in place rules that departments must follow to improve data-handling arrangements across government. We are working with departments to ensure action is taken to protect data whether they are held on electronic media or on paper. This includes clear rules on the encryption, minimisation and secure disposal of data and media.
The report also puts in place clear accountability within departments, scrutiny of arrangements and, importantly, a process of cultural change to ensure that government values and handles personal data appropriately. Training and education of officials is a crucial part of this process. A number of departments have already trained their staff on data security in line with DHR requirements and the Cabinet Office will shortly begin rolling out an e-learning package available for all departments to use to train their staff.
Further to the Written Answer by Lord Hunt of Kings Heath on 16 October (WA 70), whether the rejection of projects by the East Midlands Development Agency because they are not of suitable standard or merit is affected by the way the agency works with potential applicants. [HL6152]
The Minister of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change & Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): The application process applied to the Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE) by the East Midlands Development Agency (EMDA) was developed in conjunction with industry representatives. A substantial amount of information is available on the website at www.emda.org.uk/rdpe which includes a detailed prospectus for funding in the East Midlands and which provides much detail on the funding available in the region. This prospectus provides background information about the programme, details of what can and cannot be funded, possible grant rates and information about the application process.
EMDA's RDPE application process is in two stages. First, applicants submit an expression of interest giving a brief description of the project. In all cases the applicant is provided with detailed feedback and advice on their expression of interest and is invited to contact a named member of the RDPE team at EMDA for further information or clarification if required.
Secondly, when an applicant is invited to proceed to full application they are given a step-by-step guide detailing the information required in each section of the form. When a full application is received by EMDA, it is acknowledged and thoroughly appraised. Applicants are contacted during the appraisal process if additional information or clarification is required.
If an application is rejected the applicant is given specific reasons as to why the project has been rejected. The letter contains both constructive advice and guidance if necessary. If the project has been rejected due to the quality of the application the letter outlines what improvements are required and informs the applicant that they are entitled to reapply if they wish. The applicant is given clear guidance about the areas requiring improvement.
EMDA works closely with other RDPE delivery bodies and regional stakeholders, including the National Farmers' Union, the Country Land and Business Association and representatives of agricultural consultants, as part of its delivery of the RDPE.
In light of all these arrangements there should be no reason to conclude that the way in which EMDA works with potential or actual applicants and their representatives is having an adverse impact on how the programme is being delivered.
The Minister of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change & Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): The UK Biodiversity Research Advisory Groups Research Needs Analysis for the Role of Biodiversity in Ecosystem Function, published in October 2006, recommended that there was a need for empirical studies on ecosystems to improve our understanding of ecosystem functioning and of the services they provide.
In September 2008, UK BRAG held a joint workshop with the British Ecological Society to look specifically at ecosystem services and the ecosystem approach. The workshop brought environmental researchers together with sociologists and geographers to look at valuing biodiversity in a more holistic and practical way. The proceedings of this workshop will shortly be available on the UK BRAG website.
|Next Section||Back to Table of Contents||Lords Hansard Home Page|