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Question

Asked by Lord Laird

Baroness Royall of Blaisdon: The following table shows how much was paid in senior Civil Service performance payments to officials in the Northern Ireland Office in each of the past five years.



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SCS Performance Payments
YearAmount (£)

2008-09

287,200

2007-08

317,200

2006-07

298,650

2005-06

247,542

2004-05

176,800

Performance payments for senior civil servants are awarded in accordance with Cabinet Office guidance.

Schools: Transport

Question

Asked by Baroness Scott of Needham Market

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Children, Schools and Families (Baroness Morgan of Drefelin): The school transport pathfinder pilots project was cancelled and all funding has been reallocated.

Travel: Fraudulent Documents

Question

Asked by Baroness Warsi

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): It is not known how many fraudulently obtained passports there are in circulation. Passport fraud by its very nature is difficult to establish and measure. A UK passport has a validity

25 Feb 2010 : Column WA316

of 10 years, and the level of fraud is unlikely to have remained the same over the 10 years. It would therefore be speculative and misleading to make an estimate on this basis.

Victoria and Albert Museum

Question

Asked by Lord Avebury

Lord Davies of Oldham: The Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) closed its musical instruments gallery on 22 February, as part of the museum's ongoing refurbishment plans. The V&A will instead display some of its musical instruments in context of its other collections within the museum. Objects from the collection will be displayed in the British galleries, the medieval and renaissance galleries, the furniture gallery (due to open in 2012) and the Europe 1600-1800 galleries (due to open in 2014).

The museum has also agreed to the long-term loan of key objects from the V&A's collection of musical instruments to the Horniman Museum in London, which has a nationally designated collection of musical instruments. The V&A is also in discussions with several other institutions with significant musical collections, and expects to be making further loans.

Any objects not on display will be accessible by appointment as part of the museum's study collections at Blythe House in Kensington Olympia.

The V&A operates at arm's length from the Government. Decisions on curatorial and operational matters such as the future of the musical instruments gallery are therefore entirely a matter for the museum's trustees and executive.


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