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Regional Development Agencies

Mr. Redwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what the (a) running costs and (b) total budget are for the English regional development agencies in 2001–02. [33994]

Alan Johnson: I have been asked to reply.

The RDAs' net annual budget and administrative costs (running costs) for the financial year 2001–02 are as follows:

£000

Regional development agencyNet budget(30)Administration budget
One North East161,65312,853
North West Development Agency281,08914,956
Yorkshire Forward245,4379,989
East Midlands Development Agency96,9407,528
Advantage West Midlands170,7218,793
East of England Development Agency62,1135,836
South East of England Development Agency108,8597,143
South West of England Regional Development Agency92,0599,099
London Development Agency298,1399,470
Total1,517,01085,667

(30) Excluding receipts


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These are the latest figures available and are excluding receipts. The changes from the original budget reflect in-year additional funding for things such as the Business Recovery fund to help small businesses deal with the foot and mouth crisis and new programmes such as the regional centres of manufacturing excellence.

TREASURY

Special Advisers

Mr. Fallon: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many complaints have been reported in his Department under paragraph 11 of the Civil Service Code since 13 May 1999; and how many of them related to special advisers. [25331]

Ruth Kelly [holding answer 9 January 2002]: The procedures for making complaints under the Civil Service Code are set out in the Treasury Staff Terms and Conditions Handbook. Civil servants are encouraged, in the first instance, to raise complaints with their line manager. If for any reason this is not felt to be possible, perhaps because the line manager is part of the complaint, individuals may take their complaint to one of two nominated officials.

It is not possible to provide a comprehensive figure for the number of complaints made within this department under paragraph 11 of the Code as there is no requirement for managers to report to the centre details of complaints that are resolved within the management line.

Theft and Fraud

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what additional security measures are planned by his Department to deter and detect theft and fraud. [31784]

Ruth Kelly: The Treasury has a wide range of measures in place to protect against theft and fraud. These include: physical security measures (security patrols, access control); sound business procedures (restricted access to the payment system, separation of duties, police checks on recruits); protection of assets (system of recording assets, security markings).

These procedures are regularly reviewed.

Departmental Retirement Ages

Mr. Webb: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will list the retirement ages that apply to the employees of his Department and its agencies, including how many and which categories of employees are affected by each; and if he will make a statement on his Department's policy on flexible retirement. [32817]

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Ruth Kelly: The Cabinet Office is responsible for setting the retirement age for all members of the Senior Civil Service. This is age 60. Heads of Departments and Agency Chief Executives have flexibility to retain members of the Senior Civil Service beyond age 60 if they judge it in the public interest and they are satisfied about the fitness and efficiency of the individual to carry out his or her duties.

The policy for all other staff of HM Treasury and its agency the Debt Management Office is that they also retire at age 60.

Television Sets

Mr. Yeo: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many (a) integrated digital and (b) analogue television sets have been bought by his Department in each of the last 24 months; and if he will publish the guidance given to officials making decisions on television purchases. [33227]

Ruth Kelly [holding answer 4 February 2002]: The information on the number of television sets within a specific technical specification is not held.

There is no specific advice on the purchase of televisions, apart from the general procurement advice and guidance given on achieving best value for money on any purchase from Government funds.

10-Year Transport Plan

Mr. Chope: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) whether the total transport 10-year plan financial envelope has been increased by £2.2 billion additional money; and whether it represents new money resulting from discussions between the Treasury and the Department for Transport, Local Government and the Regions; [33768]

Mr. Andrew Smith [holding answer 5 February 2002]: In April 2001 an additional provision of £1.962 billion was made to the 10-year transport plan, for payment over the years 2001–02 to 2005–06.

£770 million has been made available in the Spending Review 2000 period. Decisions on funding the remaining £1.2 billion, due to become payable 2003–04 to 2005–06, will be taken in Spending Review 2002.

DTLR has allocated £290 million additional funding to the 10-year transport plan from unused rail provision in 2000–01.

Therefore, as things stand, an additional £2.252 billion has been allocated to the 10-year transport plan since the plan was published in July 2000.

Entertainment Costs

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) if he will list for 1997–98 and each subsequent financial year the amount spent by (a) his Department, (b) its agencies and (c) its non-departmental public bodies in respect of hotel and other similar privately-provided accommodation (i) in the UK and (ii) abroad for

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(A) Ministers, (B) staff and (C) other persons; if he will list the proportion of this cost incurred in respect of (x) food and (y) alcohol in each case; and if he will list the average cost per hotel room or similar unit of accommodation provided in each case; [34380]

Ruth Kelly: The information is not held in the format required and could be assembled only at disproportionate cost.

Capita

Mr. Boris Johnson: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) how much public money each Capita- administered Government scheme has paid out; [33987]

Mr. Andrew Smith: This information is not held centrally.

Mr. Boris Johnson: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether Her Majesty's Government plans to outsource future projects to Capita. [33985]

Mr. Andrew Smith: Each department is responsible for deciding whether it has outsourcing requirements. In any such procurement, selection would be through competitive tendering and on a value for money basis.

Debt Relief

Mr. Reed: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what research his Department has (a) commissioned and (b) evaluated on the number of heavily indebted poor countries having to borrow in order to meet the conditions attached to debt relief under that initiative. [34759]

Mr. Boateng: There is no requirement for heavily indebted poor countries (HIPCs) to borrow in order to qualify for debt relief under the HIPC initiative. A key feature of HIPC is that debt relief should be linked to poverty reduction, and the conditions for the HIPC initiative reflect this.

In order to qualify for debt relief, countries must develop a nationally-owned and led poverty reduction strategy, which sets out how the country will spend savings from debt relief, together with other resources and aid flows, in order to maximise the impact on poverty reduction.

For all countries that have qualified for debt relief, the IMF and World bank have carried out a detailed debt sustainability analysis, which Treasury officials, together with colleagues in the Department for International Development, have examined carefully and commented on, taking into account any new concessional borrowing to finance the poverty reduction strategies.

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These analyses underline the critical importance of further financial support for many HIPC countries if they are to achieve the millennium development goals. For this reason the UK Government have been at the forefront of pressing for substantial increase in the global levels of development finance including grants and highly concessional loans. They have also insisted that these analyses are updated to take into account worsening global growth prospects and declines in terms of trade.


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