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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord Bach): The Northern Ireland Judicial Appointments Ombudsman was appointed on 25 September 2006. Between 25 September 2006 and 31 March 2007 the costs of his office amounted to £60,146. During the period 1 April 2007 to 31 March 2008 the costs were £108,862 and between 1 April 2008 and 31 March 2009 they amounted to £111,088.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is the relationship between the London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games and the Olympic Delivery Authority; whether there have been transactions between them; and, if so, what transactions. [HL4846]
Lord Davies of Oldham: The London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games Ltd (LOCOG) is a private company limited by guarantee. LOCOG prepares and stages the 2012 Games. The Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) is a non-departmental public body established by Section 3 of the London Olympic Games and Paralympic Games Act 2006. The ODA's main responsibilities are to build the new venues and infrastructure for the Games and their use after 2012. The two organisations share a headquarters in Canary Wharf and together are branded "London 2012". Details of the transactions between them are set out in their published annual reports and accounts. LOCOG's annual reports are publicly available from Companies House, as well as being published. on its website: www.london20l2.com. Its last annual report is at: http://www.london20l2.com/documents/locog-publications/locog-annual-report-2008.pdf. Copies of the ODA's annual reports and accounts are in the Libraries of both Houses of Parliament.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what are the remuneration and expenses packages of senior executives of the London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games, including possible severance payments and pension arrangements. [HL4847]
Lord Davies of Oldham: As a private company limited by guarantee, the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games Ltd (LOCOG) sets out remuneration arrangements in its annual report, which is publicly available from Companies House, as well as being published on the company's website: www.london2012.com. The last annual report is at http://www.london20l2.com/documents/locog-publications/locog-annual-report-2008.pdf. The annual report for the 2008-09 financial year will be presented to the LOCOG board later this month and will be filed at Companies House shortly thereafter. A copy will be sent to the noble Lord.
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games has entered into any contract for television rights to the Olympics; and, if so, what are the terms and conditions of such contracts. [HL4777]
Lord Davies of Oldham: The broadcast of audio and video of the Olympic Games, including over the internet, television, radio (including digital radio), mobile and other digital platforms, forms part of the International Olympic Committee (IOC)'s intellectual property rights.
The IOC has sold the rights to the 2012 Olympic Games. A proportion of this revenue is passed by the IOC to the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games (LOCOG), a private company limited by guarantee and this revenue forms part of LOCOG's £2 billion privately-financed budget.
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will place in the Library of the House all documents and reports from KPMG and CLM concerning the selection of venues for shooting and equestrian events at the 2012 London Olympics. [HL4776]
Lord Davies of Oldham: A redacted summary version of the KPMG report that informed the Olympic board's decision was published and placed in the House Library. Because of the continuing commercial sensitivity of information contained within the report, I am unable to publish a full copy at this time.
The London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games and the Olympic Delivery Authority have also held several briefing sessions with a number of MPs and Peers and are happy to undertake further meetings to explain the rationale behind the Olympic board's decision, as are the British Olympic Association and British Shooting. British Shooting has accepted that Bisley is not a viable option for the 2012 events and will work with London 2012 on legacy for the sport.
The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (Baroness Royall of Blaisdon): The Strategic Review of Parading issued an interim report in April 2008. Since then the group has consulted extensively across Northern Ireland and is still compiling a final report. I hope the work of the group will be completed shortly.
To ask Her Majesty's Government under what statutory provision a parish councillor can be removed from office by a district council in which the parish is situated for having signed an incorrect "declaration of acceptance of office" inadvertently provided by the clerk to the parish. [HL4988]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Communities and Local Government & Department for Work and Pensions (Lord McKenzie of Luton): The statutory provisions for a parish councillor to sign a declaration of acceptance of office are set out in Section 83 of the Local Government Act 1972. The declaration is delivered in a form prescribed by the Secretary of State in the Local Elections (Declaration of Acceptance of Office) Order 2001 (No. 3941). Statute provides that any failure to make this declaration results in the office becoming vacant.
Lord McKenzie of Luton: Communities and Local Government provides support to the national training strategy for town and parish councils, administered by the National Association of Local Councils, for the appropriate training of parish councillors in all areas of England, including areas of the new unitary councils.
To ask the Chairman of Committees whether consideration will be given to establishing an outreach programme whereby serving and retired officials are seconded to overseas parliaments to advise on legislative drafting and parliamentary procedures. [HL5203]
The Chairman of Committees (Lord Brabazon of Tara): The Overseas Offices of both Houses arrange inward visits by officials from other parliaments. These programmes include a general introduction to procedure. In addition, serving or former Clerks sometimes provide procedural and other kinds of assistance to Commonwealth parliaments upon request.
Members and officials from Commonwealth and other parliaments take part in the Westminster Seminar on Parliamentary Practice and Procedures, the International Parliamentary Governance Seminar, workshops and exchanges organised by the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association UK branch (CPA UK) at Westminster and in partner parliaments. These activities involve Members, officials and occasionally retired officials from both Houses. The CPA International Secretariat also arranges legislative drafting seminars.
Clerks and other officials are involved with Members in the parliamentary strengthening activities of the Westminster Consortium (TWC), which comprises CPA UK, the House of Commons Overseas Office, the Westminster Foundation for Democracy and a number of other organisations.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what were the number of sitting days of (a) the House of Commons Chamber, (b) Westminster Hall, (c) the House of Lords Chamber, (d) the House of Lords Grand Committee, and (e) the European Parliament Plenary Session, in (1) the 2007-08 Parliamentary Session, (2) the 2008 calendar year, and (3) the 2008-09 financial year. [HL4870]
|Number of Sitting Days|
|Sitting Days||2007-08 Session||Calendar Year 2008||2008-09 Financial Year|
To ask Her Majesty's Government when the passport office was opened in Omagh, Co Tyrone; whether it is proposed to close that office; and in what way the existence of that office was made known to the local community. [HL5047]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): The IPS interview office in Omagh opened on 12 December 2007. At the time of opening it was one of a network of 68 offices across the United Kingdom that were designed to undertake passport interviews for first-time adult passport applicants.
Customer demand at this office has been much lower than anticipated. After due consideration, we have taken the decision to close a number of offices in order to maintain the efficiency and effectiveness of our operations. The last date on which Omagh will be offering appointments is 24 August 2009 and the office will be vacated shortly after this date.
We have not actively promoted the location of the office in the community, because the office is for pre-arranged appointments only and delivers no other passport services. However, when calling our call centre, customers are offered the office closest to their home or work. Press releases were issued to local media when the offices opened and the address of all sites is on the Directgov website.
To ask Her Majesty's Government when the passport office was opened in Armagh City; what signage that office has on the external walls of the buildings in which it is located; whether the signage allows local people to find the office; and in what way the existence of that office is advertised to the local community. [HL5048]
Lord West of Spithead: The IPS office in Armagh opened on 21 November 2007. It does not have external signage. The office provides an interview facility for first-time adult passport applicants by appointment. It delivers no other passport service.
Applicants using the office are provided written or verbal directions to the site when selecting their preferred interview date. Applicants are additionally able to reference detailed location maps via IPS's Directgov web portal. When introducing its revised application process, IPS sought to distinguish between "interview only" and "regional issuing" offices so as not to mislead other applicant types into believing that emergency travel documents or related services could be delivered from offices such as Armagh.
To ask Her Majesty's Government why the Police Service of Northern Ireland did not guard the three houses occupied by Romanians in south Belfast that were recently attacked; and what assessment they have made of whether the police involvement in later events contributed to the victims' departure from Northern Ireland. [HL4971]
Baroness Royall of Blaisdon: As this is an operational matter for the Chief Constable, I have asked him to reply directly to the noble Lord, and will arrange for a copy of the letter to be placed in the Library of the House.
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether there was an objection by another Government to allowing evidence to be produced in the prosecution of Larry Zaitschek for the break-in at Castlereagh police station; if so, when that objection was made; and by which Government. [HL5053]
Baroness Royall of Blaisdon: The statement issued by the Public Prosecution Service for Northern Ireland gives a full account of the circumstances of this case. The Government are not able to comment further on the reasons behind the disclosure difficulties in this case.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of any effect on the timing of the devolution of policing and justice to the Northern Ireland Assembly of the discontinuation of the prosecution of Larry Zaitschek for the break-in at Castlereagh police station and other recent major cases in Northern Ireland where prosecutions have been unsuccessful. [HL5055]
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the role played by the Police Service of Northern Ireland and the Public Prosecution Service for Northern Ireland in recent major cases where prosecutions have been discontinued or unsuccessful; and whether they have any proposals to reinforce those services prior to the devolution of policing and justice to the Northern Ireland Assembly. [HL5056]
Baroness Royall of Blaisdon: It is good practice for all organisations regularly to review their effectiveness, including after major cases. The Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) regularly reviews investigations for lessons learned. A report into a follow-up inspection of the Public Prosecution Service for Northern Ireland (PPS) was published in June 2009. The inspection was carried out by Her Majesty's Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate under delegated statutory authority from the Chief Inspector of Criminal Justice for Northern Ireland. This concluded that core prosecutorial decision-making in the PPS remains sound.
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