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18 May 2009 : Column WA243

Written Answers

Monday 18 May 2009

Africa: Ilemi Triangle


Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Malloch-Brown): No discussions have taken place with the authorities in southern Sudan, Kenya and Ethiopia about resolving the disputed borders of the Ilemi Triangle. No recent assessments have been made by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office about the chance of conflict in the area arising from competition for natural resources, the discovery of oil or from inter-ethnic conflicts.

Africa: Malaria


Asked by The Earl of Sandwich

Lord Tunnicliffe: Long-lasting insecticide impregnated bed nets are a key part of efforts to reduce malaria. Monitoring local production and markets is important.

The Department for International Development (DfID) supported programmes in Nigeria and Mozambique, managed by the Malaria Consortium, to monitor the source of nets. This helps track changes in the size and production of the net market from local suppliers. These programmes are working closely with local distribution networks to understand how best to foster local markets. Mozambique now has good data from research over three years, which are currently being analysed. There appears to be no evidence that DfID support has undermined local net production, rather the contrary, as it is actually creating and expanding the market. Social marketing and communication activities are promoting long-lasting insecticide treated nets, which are much more effective than cheap, imported and low quality untreated nets, thereby helping to ensure that the market is more quality conscious.

In Ghana, DfID has supported the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine to conduct research with a voucher scheme in collaboration with private sector sellers, to promote the local trade of insecticide treated nets.

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Bahrain: Human Rights


Asked by Lord Avebury

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Malloch-Brown): During meetings with the Bahraini Government my honourable friend the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Bill Rammell, welcomed the King's decision to release 178 prisoners and call for a renewed national dialogue in Bahrain. While the specific issues raised were not addressed during this visit, our embassy in Bahrain maintains an ongoing dialogue with the Bahraini authorities on human rights issues. This dialogue includes discussion of specific human rights cases.



Asked by Lord Laird

The Financial Services Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Myners): I am not aware of any depositions made to the Government by Northern Rock, Dunfermline Building Society or the Presbyterian Mutual Society nor am I aware of the form such depositions would take.

With regard to Northern Rock, after taking all the wider considerations into account, the Government concluded that private sector alternatives did not protect the taxpayer's interest when compared with a period of temporary public ownership.

The Government and the Bank of England took action in respect of Dunfermline Building Society after the Financial Services Authority had ruled that it was no longer capable of trading as a going concern.

The affairs of Presbyterian Mutual Society (PMS) are a devolved matter for the Northern Ireland Executive; the society is now in administration.

Asked by Lord Monson

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Lord Myners: Around one in five people with incomes exceeding £100,000 are employed in the finance intermediation industrial sector. The proportion rises to one in four for those with incomes exceeding £150,000.

These estimates are based on the Survey of Personal Incomes for 2006-07 projected to 2010-11 in line with Budget 2009 assumptions. They do not take account of behaviour or changes to the pattern of employment by industry sector since 2006-07.

Banking: Loan Guarantee Scheme


Asked by Lord Barnett

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform & Cabinet Office (Baroness Vadera): During FY 2008-09, Her Majesty's Government have spent £84.6 million on the small firms loan guarantee (SFLG).

The Government guarantee under SFLG is 75 per cent of the value of the loan.

SFLG was replaced by the enterprise finance guarantee (EFG) on 14 January 2009.

Biometric Data


Asked by Lord Avebury

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): Other than the relevant fingerprints and DNA samples belonging to S and Marper, no fingerprints or DNA samples have been destroyed as a result of the judgment of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in the case of S and Marper v United Kingdom.

Article 41 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms provides that if the court finds that a violation has occurred, just satisfaction must be made to the injured party. The application of the judgment to others in similar situations must be considered in the light of the full content of the judgment. The judgment does provide for the member state to consider the scope for achieving a proper balance with the competing interests of tackling crime and preserving respect for private life.

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We do acknowledge the need to implement the judgment in a timely manner but we also recognise the over-riding importance of introducing a proportionate response which has been subject to wide public debate as well as consideration by Parliament. That is why on the 7 May 2009 the Home Secretary launched the public consultation “Keeping the Right People on the DNA Database”. The consultation paper sets out the Government's proposals to implement the S and Marper judgment and the proposed framework to ensure public protection and safeguard the rights of the individual.

The responses from the consultation will assist in the forming of draft regulations to be submitted to Parliament for approval later this year. Until Parliament has amended the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 on the retention of DNA and fingerprints, the current law remains in place.

Individuals who wish to have their DNA samples and fingerprints destroyed can apply to the chief police officer of the force which took the samples and fingerprints for them to be removed under the exceptional case procedure. The decision whether or not to agree to the request for removal is a matter for the discretion of the relevant chief police officer.

Care Services


Asked by Lord Ashley of Stoke

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Darzi of Denham): The regulation of adult social care providers is now the responsibility of the new independent regulator, the Care Quality Commission, which took over from the Commission for Social Care Inspection, the Healthcare Commission and the Mental Health Act Commission on 1 April 2009. All providers of regulated health and adult social care services must be registered with the Care Quality Commission.

The Commission for Social Care Inspection published quality ratings of adult social care providers and the Care Quality Commission will continue to do so.

Asked by Lord Ashley of Stoke

Lord Darzi of Denham:The Domiciliary Care Agencies Regulations 2002 and associated national minimum standards (NMS) set out the qualifications required of staff who are employed to care for people in their own homes.

The regulations require that all care workers must have integrity and be of good character, have the experience and skills necessary and be physically and mentally fit for the purposes of the work which they are to perform.

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The NMS for Domiciliary Care Agencies require that care or support workers delivering personal care who do not already hold a relevant care qualification are required to demonstrate their competence and register for the relevant NVQ in care award—either National Vocational Qualification in Care level 2 or level 3—within the first six months of employment and complete the full award within three years.

The regulations stipulate that agencies should ensure that employees receive training and appraisal which are appropriate to the work they are to perform, together with suitable assistance, including time off, for the purpose of obtaining qualifications appropriate to such work.

Children: Nutrition


Asked by Baroness Cumberlege

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Darzi of Denham): The Healthy Child Programme (Child Health Promotion Programme) is the core programme that oversees the health and development of children aged 0-5 years and supports parents to protect and promote their child's health. The programme provides for a number of development reviews at which health professionals are expected to discuss the child's nutrition needs from breastfeeding onwards. As announced in Healthy Weight, Healthy Lives: One Year On we will provide additional guidance to practitioners and the National Health Service on the review when the child is 2 to 21/2 years old, including recommendations on promoting healthy nutrition and physical development, and that we will support children in the important early years of their development through a single set of evidence-based messages on healthy eating and active play.

Asked by Baroness Cumberlege

Lord Darzi of Denham: The core training of health visitors is around child health and includes food and nutrition.

As part of the Healthy Child programme (HCP), formerly the Child Health Promotion Programme (CHPP), we are developing an e-learning programme to support professionals with their professional development. As part of this, we are looking at modules that are likely to include health and nutrition.

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Change4Life is a new initiative, supported by the department, bringing together health and education professionals, industry and the third sector with the shared aims to improve children's diets and levels of activity so reducing the threat to their future health and happiness.

New growth charts have been launched and training packages and tools have been developed to help professionals identify weight issues.

Primary care trusts have a local responsibility to ensure staff are trained around local priorities such as childhood obesity.

Children: Poverty


Asked by Lord Ouseley

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Children, Schools and Families (Baroness Morgan of Drefelin): Since 1998-99, 500,000 children have been lifted out of relative poverty and the number of children in absolute poverty has halved from 3.4 million to 1.7 million. Government measures announced since Budget 2007 will lift around a further 500,000 children from relative poverty.

The causes and consequences of child poverty are multiple and complex. Tackling child poverty requires a holistic, sustainable strategy: work that pays; responsive financial support; improvements in children's life chances; and safe, cohesive communities.

Communications Data


Asked by Baroness Miller of Chilthorne Domer

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): Analysis has been undertaken of the processing capacity, energy requirements and storage capacity of the options set out in the consultation on Protecting the Public in a Changing Communications Environment. Making this analysis public would allow criminals and terrorists to understand better the current and possible future capability available to the UK's law enforcement, security and intelligence agencies to obtain communications data in support of their statutory functions.

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Crime: Suspicious Activity Reports


Asked by Lord Marlesford

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): The Serious Organised Crime Agency's database, known as ELMER, on which suspicious activity reports are recorded, does not have the capability to provide the information sought.

Data on the volumes of SARs received, including by sector, are available in the Suspicious Activity Reports Regime Report 2008 on the SOCA website.

Data Entry: Error Rates


Asked by Lord Taylor of Holbeach

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Communications, Technology and Broadcasting (Lord Carter of Barnes): The department does not employ large volume data entry processing systems. Its IT services and systems have been outsourced. The department's office automation, finance and HR corporate systems are designed to make use of appropriate field validations to help ensure data quality. These validation techniques include data type restrictions, table look ups, check balances and limits, check digit formulas as well as system specific data and processing checks.

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