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Fiona Mactaggart: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many decisions by entry clearance officers refusing entry to visitors from the Indian subcontinent were overturned following the exercise of ministerial discretion by an FCO minister between November 1999 and April 2001; and how many of those visitors have returned. 
Mr. Bradshaw: Between November 1999 and April 2001, 36 decisions to refuse entry clearance to visitors from the Indian subcontinent were overturned following the exercise of ministerial discretion. To date, 28 of those visitors are reported to have left the UK.
Fiona Mactaggart: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, pursuant to his answer of 27 June 2001, Official Report, column 87W, on entry clearance, what guidance he has given about the exceptional circumstances required for the use of ministerial discretion to overturn an entry clearance officer's decision and about the factors used in deciding whether the entry clearance officer made a correct decision under the rules; and if he will place a copy of the guidelines in the Library. 
Mr. Bradshaw: As my earlier answer set out, FCO Ministers' discretion may only be exercised within the terms of the Immigration Rules. Consequently, all such decisions must be consistent with the rules. Internal guidelines on the use of that discretion are in the process of being revised. I am currently looking at these and will consider whether they should be placed in the Libraries of both Houses in due course.
Fiona Mactaggart: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how long a person who applied for entry clearance for settlement in (a) April, (b) May and (c) June at (i) each of the posts in the Indian subcontinent, (ii) Lagos, (iii) Abuja, (iv) Accra, (v) Moscow, (vi) Bangkok and (vii) Manila had to wait for interview; and how long a person applying in July may expect to wait. 
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|Waiting time in weeks|
|Post||April 2001||May 2001||June 2001|
|Post using 4 queue system|
Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) what notification he has received of meetings during the Belgian presidency of the EU where the Belgian delegation will be led by Ministers from the Flemish or Walloon Governments; if he will provide details of the subject matters of these meetings; and if he will make a statement; 
(3) what discussions have been held between Scottish Executive and Her Majesty's Government regarding UK support for the proposals in the agreement of the constitutional regions, with particular reference to the proposal for direct access for the Scottish Executive to the European Court of Justice; what his policy is in respect of the agreement; and if he will make a statement; 
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(4) if he will set out the mechanism by which it is agreed with the Scottish Executive who will lead the UK delegation to EU Council of Ministers meetings; if it is the presumption in all cases that UK delegations are led by the UK Government; and if he will make a statement; 
(5) in respect of each year since 1999, how many delegations to European Union meetings have (a) included Scottish Executive Ministers and (b) been led by a Scottish Executive Minister; if he will list the subject matter and location of each meeting; and if he will make a statement. 
Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what plans he has for promoting Scottish trade, tourism and inward investment; if he will list the events or activities he has specifically arranged for the next six months in (a) the UK, (b) Europe and (c) the rest of the world for such promotion; and if he will list the documents his Department has produced, and the events his Department has organised over the last three years, which specifically and exclusively promote Scottish trade, tourism and inward investment. 
Mr. MacShane: My Departmentthrough British Trade Internationalpromotes the whole of the UK as a location for inward investment and delivers export advice and support to companies throughout the UK. It works closely with Scottish Trade International and Locate in Scotland both within the UK and overseas. I urge all ambassadors to serve Scottish whisky at receptions and official meals. The promotion of the UK as a destination for tourism is primarily a matter for the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.
Mr. Trend: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) what representations he has made to the Government of Azerbaijan concerning freedom of assembly and political expression in Azerbaijan; 
(3) if he will make representations to (a) the President and (b) Foreign Office of Azerbaijan about the attempts to seize the headquarters of the National Independence Party of Azerbaijan. 
Mr. Trend: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) what representations he had made to the Government of Sri Lanka concerning the suspension of the Sri Lankan Parliament; and if he will make a statement; 
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(3) what plans he has to send election observers to oversee the forthcoming referendum in Sri Lanka. 
Ms Walley: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list the top 10 companies to which his Department contracted out their construction and refurbishment work in the last 12 months. 
Mrs. Dunwoody: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions (1) what action has been taken following the discovery of the overspend by the Highways Agency; and how many civil servants have been disciplined; 
(3) when he will answer the question on the Highways Agency tabled for answer on 26 June 2001 by the Member for Crewe and Nantwich. 
Mr. Spellar: In its reply to the Environment, Transport and Regional Affairs Committee's Seventh Report, the Government concluded that progress on the introduction of resource accounting in the Highways Agency was slower than expected and that there were shortcomings in both the procurement of consultancy support and the management of the project. The costs of implementing resource accounting in the agency reflect the agency's large and complex asset base valued at some £60 billion, and its annual capital and revenue budget of approximately £1.5 billion. The agency has dealt with the concerns raised and put in place robust systems and procedures for the future management of its contracts. Financial recovery was not an appropriate response. Appropriate managerial action was taken with the civil servant concerned.
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