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The travel and subsistence costs actually incurred were approximately £810.

Independent Networks Co-operative Association

Questions

Asked by Lord Laird



9 Jun 2010 : Column WA47

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (Baroness Wilcox): No evidence has been presented to the Government that suggests any need for the NAO to investigate INCA.

The FSA has not had any reason to investigate INCA. INCA was formed in November 2009 and its filings with the FSA are publicly available and up to date.

A grant offer letter was made to INCA by the Department for Business Innovation and Skills in December 2009. Under the terms of the letter a grant of up to £150,000 was available.

Payments under the terms of the offer letter have been made to INCA as follows:

11 March 2010-£31,750.00;

30 March 2010-£14,089.46; and

20 April 2010-£13,053.62

The total amount paid to date is therefore £58,893.08. The performance indicators that have to be met by INCA are set out in the grant offer letter. They are:

the Independent Networks Co-operative Association ("the company") should be registered and operational by 31 December 2009;the company should be able produce upon demand forward strategy documents and record of activity and achievements;the company must submit to the Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) "the department" quarterly reports on progress against key performance indicators and financial statements of income and expenditure and risk assessment/mitigation;the company should be able to demonstrate independent operation by 31 August 2010, employing its own management team and core staff;the company should be able to demonstrate its contribution to the adoption of common standards for local and community projects;the company should meet the target number of member companies agreed with the department;the company should be able to demonstrate the impact of operation on the development of the telecommunications sector; andthe company must demonstrate that it has regard to the equalities duties in the Disability Discrimination Act, the Sex Discrimination Act and the Race Relations Act.

The grant offer letter has been released following a Freedom of Information Act request and is available on the BIS website at www.bis.gov.uk.



9 Jun 2010 : Column WA48

Further documents relating to the grant offer are the subject of a request under the Freedom of Information Act and will be released subject to the exemptions in the Act.

Inflation

Question

Asked by Lord Barnett

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): The Government will set out the latest assessment of economic prospects in the Budget, taking account of all relevant factors.

NHS: Service Providers

Question

Asked by Lord Warner

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): We propose to develop Monitor into an economic regulator to oversee aspects of access, competition and price-setting in the National Health Service. Legislation for this will be in the Health Bill announced in the Queen's Speech.

In the mean time, the Co-operation and Competition Panel has a role in providing advice to the Secretary of State on the application of competition rules in the NHS. We expect this function to continue during the transition towards establishing the economic regulator.

Further proposals will be published in due course.

Nigeria

Question

Asked by Lord Patten

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): Our high commission and Department for International Development (DfID) in Nigeria have supported non-governmental organisations in northern Nigeria to facilitate dialogue between Christian and Muslim communities. Our high commission in Abuja continues to stress to Nigerian authorities at state and federal level the need to ensure that Nigerian citizens of all religious affiliations have the security and protection required to worship freely and live their lives in accordance with their beliefs.



9 Jun 2010 : Column WA49

Following the horrific loss of life around the city of Jos earlier this year, DfID and our high commission in Abuja are also exploring further ways in which they, with international partners, are able to help the process of reconciliation between religious and ethnic communities.

Northern Ireland: Operation Banner

Question

Asked by Lord Bew



9 Jun 2010 : Column WA50

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Astor of Hever): Information dating back to 1969, when Operation Banner started, has not been retained. It is possible to provide data from the point at which General Officer Commanding Northern Ireland was allocated his own budget to manage. Changes in Ministry of Defence accounting methodologies over time make year-on-year comparisons difficult.

The figures in the first table are the cash outturn for the General Officer Commanding Northern Ireland top level budget which was first created in 1991-92.

Year1991-921992-931993-941994-951995-961996-971997-981998-991999-002000-01

£ Million

355

436

489

510

475

494

508

509

528

535

The second table shows outturn figures for the same top level budget for financial years 2001-02 to 2005-06. In 2001-02 resource accounting was introduced in the Ministry of Defence. The practice of the time was to include cost of capital charges and depreciation in the final outturn figures for top level budgets.

Year2001-022002-032003-042004-052005-06

£ Million

614

718

653

626

580

In 2006-07 cost of capital and depreciation charges were removed from top level budget accounts. The following figures therefore reflect cash outturn only.

Year2006-072007-082008-092009-10

£ Million

389

232

131

114

Papal Visit

Question

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): As the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has made clear publicly, the memorandum containing the offensive suggestions for the papal visit was ill judged, naive and disrespectful of some key tenets of the Catholic faith. It did not in any way reflect the FCO's views. We have apologised to the Vatican and the leaders of the Catholic Church in England and Wales, and in Scotland.

Appropriate action has been taken in relation to the staff involved, none of whom will have any further involvement in the visit. In one case, a member of staff has received a formal final written warning.

We strongly value the close and productive relationship between the Government and the Holy See and look forward to deepening this further with the visit of Pope Benedict XVI to the UK later this year.

Rural Payments Agency

Question

Asked by Baroness Byford

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Henley): An independent review of the RPA, commissioned by Defra, recently concluded. We will publish the recommendations of the review and our response to it shortly.

Shipping: General Lighthouse Authorities

Question

Asked by Lord Berkeley

Earl Attlee: Trinity House has not incurred any expenditure on lighthouse foundations with respect to increased sea levels as a result of global warming during those years.

Transport: Roads

Question

Asked by Lord Laird



9 Jun 2010 : Column WA51

Earl Attlee: There are no restrictions on the same organisation carrying out the environmental impact assessment and the road design for a road project. The Design Manual for Roads and Bridges published by The Stationery Office and produced by the Highways Agency for the Department of Transport provides the guidance for the environmental impact assessment of trunk road projects. The guidance is based on the principle that assessment and design are very closely linked and are part of an iterative process. It has been industry best practice for many years that the designers of projects also carry out the environmental impact assessment as they are often best placed to undertake that assessment.

Turkey

Questions

Asked by Lord Patten

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): The Government continue to encourage Turkey to take forward reforms to address the rights of ethnic and religious communities.

The religious freedom of minority groups in Turkey is also covered in the European Commission's annual progress reports on Turkey's accession process, and is raised regularly as part of the EU dialogue with Turkey. The Government support EU efforts to raise the issue of minority rights with Turkey at every appropriate opportunity.

The Government have no plans to make additional representations on behalf of the Alevi at this time.

Asked by Lord Patten



9 Jun 2010 : Column WA52

Lord Howell of Guildford: The Government support EU efforts to raise the issue of minority rights with Turkey at every appropriate opportunity, and continue to encourage Turkey to take forward reforms to address the rights of ethnic and religious communities.

The religious freedom of minority groups in Turkey is covered in the European Commission's annual progress reports on Turkey's accession process, and is raised regularly as part of the EU dialogue with Turkey.

The Government have no plans to make specific representations on behalf of the Greek Orthodox Church at this time.

Uganda

Question

Asked by Lord Patten

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): Our high commission in Kampala closely follows all aspects of the human rights situation in Uganda, including religious freedom, and regularly discusses these issues with the Ugandan Government. We assess there to be a good level of religious freedom in Uganda.

Unemployment

Question

Asked by Lord Barnett

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): The Government will set out the latest assessment of economic prospects in the Budget, taking account of all relevant factors.


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