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8 Mar 2010 : Column WA1

Written Answers

Monday 8 March 2010

Agriculture: Maize


Asked by The Countess of Mar

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Baroness Thornton): These dossiers were submitted for the authorisation of two types of genetically modified maize (LY038 and MON810 x LY038) under Regulation (EC) No. 1829/2003 on genetically modified food and feed. The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) is the body that has responsibility for the pre-market assessments under this regulation. The dossiers were both withdrawn by the applicant in April 2009 before EFSA completed its assessments. As this is a European Union process, no assessments were made in the United Kingdom.

Airports: Body Scanners


Asked by Lord Sheikh

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Communities and Local Government & Department for Work and Pensions (Lord McKenzie of Luton): The Department for Transport has produced an interim code of practice following discussions with industry and other government departments, including the Department for Communities and Local Government, for the initial deployment of body scanners. The interim Code of Practice is available in the Libraries of both Houses and on the Department for Transport's website.

The Department for Transport will be launching a full public consultation shortly on the interim code of practice and will consider all representations carefully before preparing a final code of practice later in the year

British Citizenship


Asked by Lord Avebury

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): This reference in the guidance notes relates only to those born abroad before 1st January 1983 when the British Nationality Act 1948 was in force. Under this Act, a person born outside the UK could only claim an entitlement to British citizenship through their paternal line. It did not allow for children born abroad to make claims to British citizenship through their maternal line.

However, this section of the guidance notes and the equivalent reference in the passport guidance notes will be amended at the next reprint to make it clear that, although people born abroad before 1 January 1983 to British mothers do not have an automatic claim to British citizenship, they may register to become one under Section 4(c) of the British Nationality Act 1981.

Buying Solutions


Asked by Baroness Northover

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord Bach): The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) was formed in May 2007. Information prior to 2007/08 can only be collated at disproportionate cost.

Of the 12 suppliers listed in the question, MoJ has incurred expenditure with the following six:










Ernst & Young




Grant Thornton
















Figures above cover the Ministry of Justice HQ, HM Courts Service, HM Courts Service Estates and Tribunals Service in both years. The 2008/09 figures include the National Offender Management Service

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(NOMS) and the 2007/08 figures are for its predecessor agency, HM Prison Service. Both years' figures exclude probation boards and trusts. Any expenditure incurred by headquarter functions transferred to MoJ from the Home Office are excluded up to November 2008 as expenditure is recorded on Home Office systems and can only be disaggregated at disproportionate cost. The Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) has used none of the companies mentioned.

Consultants are employed by the department to provide expertise for a defined period of time that is not available in-house.

* The majority of payments to Accenture relate to the development of the Libra, an electronic case management system that enables courts across England and Wales to work in a standard way, using a consistent approach to manage their criminal, accounting and enforcement workload. It also provides a platform to enable further improvements and modernise money handling in magistrates' courts. Having one system has also improved information exchange between the courts and criminal justice partners such the Police, the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency and the Office of Criminal Justice Reform. This has led to a reduction in duplication of work and has enhanced services to court users, improving scheduling and monitoring of cases.

** The payments to PriceWaterhouseCoopers include £3.8 million in respect of rent and service charge payments for offices and car parks in the Midlands.

How we monitor contracts with these firms

In relation to engagement of external professional services, the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) operates a robust "business case" approvals process based on Office of Government Commerce best practice principles. This process requires that a named Contract Manager be assigned by the business area concerned to each contract. Their role is to manage the day-to-day delivery and operation of the contract, for example by monitoring and ensuring the quality of all deliverables, monitoring spend against the pricing schedule and ensuring appropriate skills transfer (where applicable). The role of the Contract Manager is fully supported by the MoJ Procurement Directorate's Professional Services category management team. Professionally qualified category managers are on hand to assist with and/or manage the resolution of any contractual issues throughout the life of the contract.

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How the department reports (1) during, and (2) at the end of, contracts to Buying Solutions

MoJ works closely with the Office of Government Commerce (OGC), including its Buying Solutions agency, to ensure compliance with procurement best practice and to achieve best value for money outcomes. There is no specific requirement for departments to report to Buying Solutions during or at the end of contracts.

(1) In accordance with OGC best practice guidance, and taking into account the value and complexity of the specific contract, Contract Managers determine and implement the extent/frequency of their internal reporting process to their key stakeholders throughout the life of the contract.

(2) In relation to end of contract reporting, a key feature of the MoJ business case approvals process is a Post Contract Assessment phase. This requires that the person responsible for managing the contract (typically the Contract Manager) return a post contract assessment to the Professional Services category team within three weeks of the end of the contract. Aspects included are the extent to which key deliverables/expected benefits were met, the quality of the service, whether the contract was delivered to budget, whether and how skills transfer was achieved. A repository for the storing and analysis of post contract assessments is currently in the process of being devised and implemented.

Asked by Baroness Northover

Lord Brett: The table below details the amounts paid by the Department for International Development (DfID) to the suppliers requested in each of the last 5 years.




















Ernst and Young






Grant Thornton






BDO Stoy Hayward






Baker Tilly


Smith and Williamson,






Tenon Group












McKinsey and Company












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All DfID projects are subject to ongoing performance monitoring, which includes ensuring that suppliers deliver within the agreed terms of the contract. The level of monitoring applied is adjusted to meet the requirements of the project, with high value and high risk contracts being subject to more detailed risk analysis and rigorous performance review processes.

Any contracted services through Office of Government Commerce Buying Solutions (OGCBS) are subject to the same monitoring processes as outlined above, with any significant areas of performance feedback provided to the relevant OGC category contact.

Asked by Lord Newby

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