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2 Jun 2009 : Column WA63

2 Jun 2009 : Column WA63

Written Answers

Tuesday 2 June 2009

Apprenticeships, Skills, Children and Learning Bill


Asked by Baroness Walmsley

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Children, Schools and Families (Baroness Morgan of Drefelin): The preparation of the Bill has been led by a joint DCSF-DIUS Bill team comprising six members of staff. The total expenditure incurred by the Bill team during 2008-09 was £162, 897, and the Bill team has a budget for the current financial year of £214,026. The Bill team has worked closely with officials and lawyers from across the two departments, other government departments and the devolved Administrations both in preparing the Bill and during its passage through Parliament. No figures are available on the total number of officials involved or the total costs associated with the Bill, and this information could not be obtained except at disproportionate cost.

Ascension Island


Asked by Lord Jones of Cheltenham

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Malloch-Brown): In 2003, the Governments of the UK and US entered into a bilateral agreement (the Wideawake agreement) that allows up to four movements (take off or landing) to be made by civil aircraft not engaged in scheduled international air services at the US Wideawake airfield on Ascension Island in any one week. Each movement must be approved by the administrator on Ascension Island.

The Governments of the UK and the US renewed this agreement for a further five years in September 2008. There are no current plans to increase commercial flights through Ascension Island. We may need to revisit this agreement with the US should the Government decide in favour of building an airport on St Helena.

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Association of Chief Police Officers


Asked by Lord Stoddart of Swindon

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): In addition to an annual grant in aid payment, the Home Office makes regular payments to the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) to fund a number of specific projects or initiatives and these grants are prescribed for the purposes specified and the use is closely monitored.

As an independent organisation of chief officers from the police forces in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, ACPO is accountable to its members. Chief officers are in turn accountable to police authorities and the public. As it is a private company, the Freedom of Information Act does not apply to ACPO, since Schedule 1 to the Act does not include a definition which covers ACPO.



Asked by Lord Oakeshott of Seagrove Bay

The Financial Services Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Myners): The Treasury made the following payments in 2008-09:


Deutsche Bank


Staff secondment



Financial stability related

Credit Suisse


Financial stability related

Morgan Stanley


Financial stability related

The figures are provisional as they form part of the Treasury's resource account, which is subject to audit by the Comptroller and Auditor General. The majority of the sums listed relate to advice given to the Treasury on financial stability measures. Under a number of agreements with financial institutions, certain fees are recoverable and the sums listed do not therefore represent a net cost to the Treasury. HM Revenue and Customs has a contract with Citibank for the provision of banking services. A single payment was made in 2008-09 in relation to development work for the start of the service.

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Banking: Bank of Scotland (Ireland)


Asked by Lord Laird

The Financial Services Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Myners): The noble Lord’s questions have been passed to the FSA and chief constable.

As a matter of policy, the Treasury does not comment on matters of regulation relating to individual institutions.

Banking: Lloyds TSB and HBOS


Asked by Lord Howard of Rising

The Financial Services Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Myners): Government Ministers and officials have meetings with a wide variety of organisations and individuals in the public and private sectors as part of the process of policy development and delivery. As was the case with previous Administrations, it is not the Government's practice to provide details of all such meetings.

Banking: UK Financial Investments Ltd


Asked by Lord Oakeshott of Seagrove Bay

The Financial Services Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Myners): As the framework document between UK Financial Investments (UKFI) and the Treasury sets out, UKFI’s annual report and audited accounts will be laid before Parliament. UKFI’s business plan will also be provided to the Treasury Select Committee once agreed.

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Asked by Lord Oakeshott of Seagrove Bay

Lord Myners: In its first five months of operation, UKFI's costs were £1.2 million. Going forward, the management fee will depend on agreement of the business plan but is expected to be single figure millions annually.

Charity Commission


Asked by Lord Morris of Manchester

Lord Patel of Bradford: The information requested falls within the responsibility of the Charity Commission. I have asked the commission to reply.

Letter from Andrew Hind, dated May 2009.

As the chief executive of the Charity Commission, I have been asked to respond to your written Parliamentary Question on the action the Charity Commission might take where the minutes of a meeting of charity trustees record a resolution which did not exist and which was subsequently acted upon in relation to the election of trustees.

Charity trustees should ensure that minutes of trustee meetings are accurate records of the business carried out and decisions made. We produce guidance for charity trustees on this subject. Our publication CC48 Charities and Meetings is available on our website, and provides best practice advice for charity trustees.

Charity trustees are usually elected in accordance with the provisions of their charity's governing document. If these are followed then there is unlikely to be a problem with the appointment and we will not be involved. However, if there is evidence to suggest that an appointment of trustees is invalid then the solution would depend on the circumstances of the particular case. For instance, if appropriate, the commission could use its powers to appoint the trustees to overcome any deficiency in their appointment.

Any suggestion that maladministration had taken place in the appointment of trustees would be given serious attention by the commission. Our response would depend on the facts of the case as supported by the evidence. In my response to a previous question, I outlined our risk and proportionality framework, which is published on our website (above) and has been

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placed in the Library of the House. We would use this framework to assess the most appropriate and proportionate course of action to take.

I hope this is helpful.

Civil Service: Redundancy


Asked by Lord Laird

Lord Patel of Bradford: The Employers’ Pensions Guide, issued by Cabinet Office to employers participating in the Civil Service pension arrangements, gives employers guidance on the costs of redundancies. The Employers’ Guide is available on the Civil Service website and a current copy has been placed in the Library.

Climate Change: DfID


Asked by Lord Lawson of Blaby

Lord Tunnicliffe: The concept note, draft and final papers for the concept paper An Institutional Architecture for Climate Changetogether cost a total of £39,112.50.



Asked by Lord Avebury

Lord Tunnicliffe: As the Foreign Secretary's Written Ministerial Statement (WMS) of 30 March makes clear, we have made tackling impunity a new priority for our work in Colombia. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has allocated £250,000 in 2009-10 for this work. Projects are still under development.

We will work alongside the United Nations (UN) Office of Drugs and Crime and Colombian NGOs to take forward this work, which will aim to develop the skills of those involved in the Colombian criminal

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justice sector including lawyers, prosecutors, judges and civil society in investigation and trial skills. For example, we have recently supported a UN project to improve criminal prosecution of sexual crimes committed against women and girls, and in 2009-10 are supporting a project to reduce conflict-related impunity through policy recommendations for the criminal justice system.

Asked by Lord Avebury

Lord Tunnicliffe: The UK Government are funding a broad range of projects to strengthen human rights in Colombia, promoting civil society and supporting human rights defenders. All our assistance is scrupulously monitored to meet the highest standards of probity and effectiveness, and has human rights norms and principles at its core.

Projects already approved for 2009-10 and beyond total almost £1 million, and a further £170,000 is to be allocated for human rights projects in areas such as freedom of speech, democracy and tackling discrimination. For example, we are supporting a project on promoting civil society and human rights defenders (with Oxfam) and a project on improving integration of human rights and democracy issues in the media (with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Journalism School of the Javeriana University and NGO partners).

Asked by Lord Avebury

Lord Tunnicliffe: The UK Government are funding a broad range of projects to promote the implementation of United Nations (UN) human rights recommendations in Colombia, alongside international and civil society partners. A full list of on-going UK projects in Colombia can be found on the Foreign and Commonwealth Office website at _PROJECT_2009_10.

Crime: DNA Database


Asked by Lord Warner

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord Bach): The data held centrally by my department on the court proceedings database for

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England and Wales do not contain information about the circumstances behind each case, including the use of DNA, other than the information that may be gleaned from the offence itself. As a result convictions involving the use of DNA evidence cannot be identified.

Data for Scotland are a matter for the Scottish Executive.

Data for Northern Ireland are a matter for the Northern Ireland Office.

Crime: Suspicious Activity Reports


Asked by Lord Marlesford

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): The Data Protection Act 1998 allows for any member of the public to request access to their personal data under Section 7 of the Act and SOCA has an established process for dealing with such inquiries. However, the individual responses may be subject to statutory exemptions.

Asked by Lord Marlesford

Lord West of Spithead: On 30 April 2009 there were 3,989 full time equivalent staff in SOCA. There are 120 staff in the UK Financial Intelligence Unit engaged on work related to the suspicious activity reports (SARs) regime.

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