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2 Apr 2009 : Column WA255

Written Answers

Thursday 2 April 2009

Advertising: Deep Packet Inspection

Question

Asked by Baroness Miller of Chilthorne Domer

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): The noble Baroness is referring to a form of targeted online advertising that uses this technology to deliver advertisements based upon the online behaviours of customers. It is not at all clear that targeted online advertising is interception, and if indeed it is interception, whether it is a breach of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (RIPA). It may also be relevant to note that communications companies are able to intercept communications as a function of conducting their business. They might do this to stop unwanted email messages or potentially harmful viruses that would otherwise cripple our communications networks.

The Government provided for the offence of unlawful interception within RIPA and I am informed the Crown Prosecution Service is looking at one particular use of this technology and has yet to conclude whether or not there is a case to answer.

Afghanistan: Helmand Province

Question

Asked by Lord Swinfen

Lord Tunnicliffe: The report's recommendations and options are currently being considered by the UK provincial reconstruction team in Helmand.

Agriculture: Pollution

Question

Asked by Lord Dykes

The Minister of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change & Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): The Environment Agency does not have any specific courses on contaminated land and soil pollution for farmers.

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The Environment Agency provides advice in Best Farming Practices, which contains government-backed advice on reducing and preventing soil pollution, and can be downloaded from its website.

Anti-social Behaviour Orders

Question

Asked by Lord Bradshaw

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): Centrally collected information on anti-social behaviour orders (ASBOs) issued does not identify the specific location in which the behaviour took place. The prohibitions contained in an ASBO may specify a particular area or place where the defendant is forbidden to enter, but this information is not centrally collected. Data held by the Ministry of Justice on cautions do not identify the location of the offending behaviour resulting in the issuing of a caution, beyond the description provided in the statute under which the caution was issued.

Armed Forces: Administration Costs

Question

Asked by Lord Astor of Hever

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Baroness Taylor of Bolton): The MoD’s cost of defence taxonomy comprises five high-level categories: force elements, equipment capability, estate and information systems, recruitment and training and administration costs. The Army manning and training margin (which comprises the costs of personnel who are performing individual training, or who are recuperating from operations, or are on statutory leave) and service children’s education are unique categories of expenditure which do not readily correspond to the main defence outputs in the cost of defence taxonomy. They therefore appear under the heading of administration costs. The department is continuing to develop the taxonomy so that it better reflects the totality of defence business.

Bailiffs

Questions

Asked by Lord Lucas



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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord Bach): The private bailiff companies who are contracted to execute warrants on behalf of Her Majesty's Court Service currently hold 23,349 warrants which are over the 180-day execution period. These warrants are being held with the authorisation of the courts for the following reasons:

the private bailiff company can demonstrate sufficient evidence to show that they will be able to execute the warrant after the 180-day period;a payment plan has been agreed between the defaulter and the private bailiff company but full payment will only be received after the 180-day period;the warrant has been cancelled by the court but remains on the private bailiff company records awaiting the scheduled return time to the court; andthe private bailiff company is undertaking specific targeted operations to gather additional information on the warrant which could assist the court with further enforcement.

Asked by Lord Lucas

Lord Bach: The intention is that all bailiffs, with the exception of Crown employees, should be regulated not certificated. The Government’s preferred option for this regulation is by way of Security Industry Authority (SIA) licence. The extended and enhanced certification process, contained in the Tribunals Courts and Enforcement Act 2007, will only be implemented if there is a significant time delay in the introduction of regulation by the SIA.

The interim measures announcement in the Written Ministerial Statement on 17 March 2009 will allow for tightening and improvement to the current court certification process and allow for more ready access to it. However, the requirement to undertake the certification process to act as a bailiff will not be extended. This will be a matter for full regulation.

Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Bill [HL]

Question

Asked by Lord Quirk

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): We have made it clear that there will be no routine immigration controls on passengers travelling between the Crown dependencies and the United Kingdom, nor will we require passengers

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to carry a passport or national identity card on these routes. Instead we will respond flexibly to threats, increasing intelligence-led controls in response to the level of threats. Beyond this limited activity, we do not propose any significant change in practice on these routes. The free movement for the vast majority of those who use these routes will not alter.

This differs from our intentions for air and sea routes between the Republic of Ireland and United Kingdom, where we propose to adopt more routine intelligence-led immigration controls and where passengers travelling on these routes will be required to carry a passport or national identity card.

Immigration controls on routes between the Crown dependencies and the UK (including the routes between the Isle of Man and the UK) were not included in the 24 July consultation paper or the accompanying partial impact assessment and there has been no specific public consultation on this regarding the Crown dependencies because we do not intend any significant change of practice on these routes.

There are regular working-level contacts with the insular immigration services and they have been involved throughout the policy development process. The draft legislation was passed to the Crown dependencies more formally, through the Ministry of Justice, in December 2008.

Further discussions with the Crown dependencies have resulted in an agreement with the Isle of Man to work towards a Memorandum of Understanding on the issue of Common Travel Area reform which will clearly set out the policy intentions of the United Kingdom in respect of this route and that the status of British citizens who are Manx will not be compromised.

We will continue to work closely with the Government of the Isle of Man as we progress with our reform of the Common Travel Area.

Business Support

Question

Asked by Lord Wakeham

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform & Cabinet Office (Baroness Vadera): The Department for Business Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR) is using a number of established risk-pricing methodologies developed and approved by ECGD and KPMG to calculate the premia payable by banks participating in the working capital scheme announced by the noble friend the Secretary of State on 14 January 2009.



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Children: Suicide

Question

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Children, Schools and Families (Baroness Morgan of Drefelin): We must all do everything possible to help the most vulnerable children in society, including those who feel suicidal, and to ensure that they receive the support they need. That is why the Government are investing £30 million to expand significantly the NSPCC's Helpline services. This will mean that more children can be given expert advice and counselling.

Chocolate

Question

Asked by Lord Hylton

Lord Tunnicliffe: The UK Government encourage their catering suppliers to offer products carrying Fairtrade or other ethical labels. The Department for International Development (DfID) and the Office of Government Commerce (OGC) have developed guidance on fair trade in public procurement. The new guidance aims to maximise the use of fair trade and other ethically labelled products by government departments within strict EU procurement rules. The guidance is available on the OGC website at www.ogc.gov.uk/.

The UK Government welcome Cadbury's recent decision to move to Fairtrade certification for its Cadbury's Dairy Milk product. We hope that this will set a new standard for the chocolate industry. When appropriate opportunities arise we will encourage other companies to deepen their commitment to development including more widespread application of Fairtrade certification.

Climate Change: London

Question

Asked by Lord Laird



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The Minister of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change & Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): HM Government have funded development of the UK climate projections, which, based on the latest climate science, will provide data on what the future climate of the UK will look like up to 2099. The UK climate projections will provide information on a number of climatic variables, such as temperature, sea level rise and rainfall, at a resolution of 25km. They will therefore take account of regional variability and cover individual regions such as London. The UK climate projections are an update of the previous UKCIP02 climate scenarios.

We are aiming to launch the UK climate projections in early summer, when Parliament is in session.

Counter-Terrorism Act

Question

Asked by Lord Wallace of Tankerness

The Attorney-General (Baroness Scotland of Asthal): The Lord Advocate and I propose to make a joint statement when Section 28 of the Counter-Terrorism Act 2008 comes into force.

Crime: Northern Ireland

Question

Asked by Lord Laird

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord Bach): The current statutory provisions which determine the level and number of legal representatives assigned to a defendant in criminal proceedings in Northern Ireland are being reviewed.

Criminal Procedure Rules 2005

Questions

Asked by Lord Lucas

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord Bach): Her Majesty's Court Service receives regular written accounts from the companies contracted to execute warrants on their behalf as mandated within the contracts with these companies. These accounts detail, on an individual case basis, the amount of the fine collected and the fees and costs levied against the individual.

Asked by Lord Lucas

Lord Bach: A written account of all costs and charges for executed warrants issued by the Greater London magistrates’ courts has been submitted by the company contracted to execute these warrants.

For the period 1 April 2008 to 28 February 2009 the average amount of cost or charge levied was £161.49, the minimum cost was zero (in cases where the fine amount only was paid and was a relatively small amount and a commercial decision was made by the company not to pursue the defaulter for the costs) and the maximum cost was £11,000.


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