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With regards to the removal of restrictions on the local people, we would urge the Chinese authorities to restore Tibetans' freedom of movement as soon as possible, as we believe this is a fundamental human right.

Civil Service: Bonuses

Question

Asked by Lord Laird

The Financial Services Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Myners): Some civil servants are eligible to receive non-consolidated performance payments, in recognition of their performance in achieving agreed

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objectives. These payments are ring-fenced at the beginning of the year from the existing pay bill of departments and are distributed to staff at the end of the year based on performance. They are also non-consolidated and as such they have to be re-earned each year and do not add to future pay bill costs.

In respect of the banking institutions, UK Financial Investments (UKFI) manages the Government's shareholdings in recapitalised banks. UKFI has a role in scrutinising banks' compliance with the recapitalisation conditions and also in scrutinising remuneration policies, to protect the interests of the taxpayer as major shareholder.

The Government have ensured that none of the banks accessing the recapitalisation scheme will award cash bonuses for 2008 to board members, and the Government approve the terms of remuneration for senior executives at banks in temporary public ownership.

The Government recognise that companies need to be able to recruit and retain good people and bonuses can play a role in attracting talent and in motivating staff; however, going forward, bonus payments must be based on long-term sustainable performance in the interests of shareholders. Bonus payments which are subject to deferral and appropriate clawback properly reward long-term performance and ensure bonuses are not solely based on past performance but also shape future performance.

Compensation: Pleural Plaque

Question

Asked by Lord Dixon

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord Bach): The consultation on pleural plaques closed on 1 October 2008 and has generated a large number of responses. We are carefully analysing all the submissions received, many of which are detailed and complex, and will seek to publish a response paper outlining the way forward as soon as possible.

Conflict Prevention Pool

Question

Asked by Baroness Northover

Lord Tunnicliffe: The Conflict Prevention Pool (CPP) is funded directly by the Treasury and managed jointly by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), the

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Department for International Development (DfID) and the Ministry of Defence (MoD). The CPP budget allocation for the Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR) period is £112 million in 2008-09, £109 million in 2009-10 and £106 million in 2010-11.

The CPP currently funds a range of strategic programmes covering geographic areas including south Asia, Africa and the Middle East, and cross-cutting thematic programmes in support of international capacity building, security and small-arms control.

In 2008-09 over 400 projects are being funded through the CPP. Projects cover a wide range of activities to deliver long-term conflict prevention focusing where the UK can have its biggest impact. Key areas of intervention include supporting the peace process and conflict prevention in Sudan, strategic support to the security sector in Sierra Leone, support to the UN Department for Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) and security sector reform in the Balkans.

The resource envelope for conflict remains as set out at the start of the CSR period, although this is currently under discussion. DfID, FCO and the MoD keep all activities under constant review in order to respond to changing demands.

Co-operation Ireland

Question

Asked by Lord Laird

Baroness Royall of Blaisdon: The reception hosted for Co-operation Ireland was attended by 324 guests. The total cost for the reception of £5,736.35 is broken down as follows:

food—£ 4,758.75; and beverages—£ 977.60.

The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland recognises he has a responsibility to keep down the costs of receptions and he remains determined to do so.

However, it is important to understand that these events provide the community with the opportunity to recognise the many achievements of those working and residing in Northern Ireland. It is also important that we continue to maintain and develop the strong sense of a shared community in Northern Ireland.

Department for International Development: DEL

Questions

Asked by Baroness Northover

Lord Tunnicliffe: £1,650,000 transferred to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport is for existing projects in connection with the 2012 Olympics relating to the development of sport in developing countries, which were always intended to be part-funded by the Department for International Development (DfID).

£300,000 transferred to the Ministry of Defence in respect of payments to locally engaged staff in Iraq is to cover the costs of DfID's locally engaged (LE) Iraqi staff under the HMG assistance scheme outlined by the Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, in a Written Ministerial Statement on 30 October 2007 (Official Report, col. WS91). As an employer, DfID has approximately 40 former Iraqi staff who may be eligible under this scheme. We have judged that the best way for DfID to make payments to these staff is through the system the MoD has set up to do this.

£1,000,000 transferred to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) in respect of the returns and reintegration fund is for an existing project that was always intended to be part-funded by DfID.

£5,000 transferred to the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills in respect of the skills strategy for government project is a new cross-government project being funded by all government departments.

£6,716,000 transferred to the FCO, and £18,899,000 transferred to the Ministry of Defence, in respect of the Conflict Prevention Pool (CPP), is the allocation of the remaining CPP funds for 2008-09. CPP resources are voted in the first instance to DfID as the financial manager for the overall CPP, but management of the specific projects is shared between departments. The spring supplementaries are used to transfer funds to the MoD and FCO in line with their project spend. Of a budget of £112 million in 2008-09, the MoD will spend approximately 40 per cent, the FCO 30 per cent, and DfID 30 per cent.

£216,000 transferred to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in respect of a conflict pool project in Ghana relates to the observation of a run-off election held on 29 December, and is a new project.

£917,000 transferred to the Ministry of Defence in respect of stabilisation aid fund projects in Iraq is the partial return of funds transferred to DfID from the MoD earlier in 2008-09, due to changes in forecasted spend on the projects.

£1,000,000 transferred to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in respect of a police reform project in Pakistan is a new project.

Asked by Baroness Northover

Lord Tunnicliffe: No existing or future projects have been cut from the Department for International Development's (DfID) previous programmes to allow these transfers of funds. Funds were already set aside in DfID's budget plans to cover most of these items; the remainder have been financed from DfID's departmental unallocated provision.

Asked by Baroness Northover

Lord Tunnicliffe: The £1,650,000 transfer to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) will support activities linked to the London 2012 Olympic Games which are designed to increase participation in sport in developing countries.

£650,000 will support elements of the International Inspiration project—which aims to use the power of sport to transform the lives of children and young people of all abilities, in schools and communities across the world. It aims to help Governments, parents and schools in some of the world's poorest countries to improve the health and education of children.

£1,000,000 will support the International Sport Development Initiative, which aims to increase the opportunities for young people in developing countries to participate in sport, primarily in sub-Saharan Africa.

Asked by Baroness Northover

Lord Tunnicliffe: £300,000 has been transferred to the Ministry of Defence (MoD) in respect of payments to locally engaged staff in Iraq to cover the costs of DfID's locally engaged (LE) Iraqi staff under the HMG assistance scheme outlined by the Foreign Secretary in a Written Ministerial Statement on 30 October 2007. As an employer, DfID has approximately 40 former Iraqi staff who may be eligible under this scheme. We have judged that the best way for DfID to make payments to these staff is through the system the MoD has set up to do this.

£1,000,000 has been transferred to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) in respect of the returns and reintegration fund (RRF). The primary aim of

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the RRF is to increase the number of foreign national prisoners and failed asylum seekers who return to their countries of origin, while ensuring that those who return are effectively reintegrated. DfID has agreed to transfer funds to the FCO budget to contribute to this cross-government fund (alongside the FCO, UKBA, and the MoJ).

£6,716,000 has been transferred to the FCO, and £18,899,000 has been transferred to the MoD, in respect of projects funded from the Conflict Prevention Pool (CPP). CPP resources are voted in the first instance to DfID as the financial manager for the overall CPP, but management of the specific projects is shared between departments. The spring supplementaries are used to transfer funds to the MoD and FCO in line with their project spend. Of a budget of £112 million in 2008-09, the MoD will spend approximately 40 per cent, the FCO 30 per cent, and DfID 30 per cent.

£216,000 has been transferred to the FCO in respect of a Conflict Prevention Pool project in Ghana relating to the observation of a run-off election held on 29 December.

£917,000 has been transferred to the MoD in respect of stabilisation aid fund projects in Iraq, representing the partial return of funds transferred to DfID from the MoD earlier in 2008-09, due to changes in forecasted spend on the projects.

£1,000,000 has been transferred to the FCO in respect of a police reform project in Pakistan.

Asked by Baroness Northover

Lord Tunnicliffe: The specific reasons for each budget transfer are detailed in the Written Statement (WS 82-83). There are two general reasons why most of these are transfers from the Department for International Development (DfID) to other government departments:

DfID is the financial manager of the Conflict Prevention Pool (CPP). CPP resources are allocated in the first instance to DfID, but management of the specific projects is shared between DfID, the FCO and the MoD. The spring supplementaries are used to transfer funds to the MoD and FCO in line with their project spend. Of a budget of £112 million in 2008-09, the MoD will spend approximately 40 per cent, the FCO 30 per cent, and DfID 30 per cent; and DfID is involved in part-funding several projects that contribute towards DfID's objectives, but are managed by other government departments. Examples include the International Inspiration Project (led by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport), which aims to use the power of sport to transform the lives of children and young people of all abilities, in schools and communities across the world; and the returns and reintegration fund (led by the Foreign

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and Commonwealth Office), the primary aim of which is to increase the number of foreign national prisoners and failed asylum seekers who return to their countries of origin, while ensuring that those who return are effectively reintegrated.

Asked by Baroness Northover

Lord Tunnicliffe: No further transfers of funds will take place in the financial year 2008-09.

Asked by Baroness Northover

Lord Tunnicliffe: Whether UK government spending counts as official development assistance (ODA) depends on the activities funded, not on which department finances them. The Conflict Prevention Pool (CPP) and stabilisation aid fund (SAF) both operate on the basis that they will finance some activities which qualify as ODA, and some which will not. As a result some of the transfers to the CPP and SAF may not score as ODA. We expect that most of the other transferred funds will finance activities which score as ODA. Overall, the transfers will not significantly affect the UK's ODA/gross national income ratio.

Drugs: Degradable

Question

Asked by Lord Dykes

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Darzi of Denham): Her Majesty's Government do not see the need to establish a new programme with the drug industry specifically to design products with a degradable rate that limits their accumulation in the environment. In order for medicinal products to be granted a marketing authorisation the Medicine and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency has to be satisfied that the product

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is efficacious, safe and of acceptable quality. Part of the quality aspects of a medicinal product is for the company to demonstrate that the product is sufficiently stable over the shelf life of the product.

In accordance with European medicines legislation the marketing authorisation applications of all new medicinal products are required to have an evaluation of the impact of the medicine on the environment (environment risk assessment or ERA). This is required so that any special methods of disposal can be identified and advice given in the product literature.

Electoral Register: Northern Ireland

Question

Asked by Lord Maginnis of Drumglass

Baroness Royall of Blaisdon: As this is an operational matter I have referred your Question to the chief electoral officer for Northern Ireland, who will respond to you directly. A copy of this letter will be placed in the Library.


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