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Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what expenditure has been incurred by her (a) Department, (b) agencies and (c) non-departmental public bodies in each of the last four years on (i) opinion polling, (ii) focus groups and (iii) other forms of market research; and if she will list the surveys commissioned and the purpose of each. 
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Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if she will list those items valued at less than £50 each which have been stolen or lost from her Department in each of the last four years. 
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what her estimate is of the (a) annual cost and (b) total value of the empty properties owned by (i) her Department, (ii) her agencies and (iii) other public bodies for which she has had responsibility in each of the last four years. 
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what the total external spend by her Department was on Private Finance Initiative consultants in each of the last four years; how many full-time equivalent consultants were employed over this period; how many billed consultancy days there were per year; what the implied average cost of each PFI consultant was; how many consultancy firms were used by her Department over this period; and if she will make a statement. 
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Tom Brake: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many staff were seconded between (a) BP, (b) Shell, (c) Enron, (d) Exxon-Mobil, (e) Conoco, (f) Texaco and (g) TotalFinaElf and her Department in (i) 19992000, (ii) 200001 and (iii) April 2001 to the latest date for which figures are available. 
Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many staff were seconded between (a) PWC Consulting and PricewaterhouseCoopers, (b) Ernst and Young, (c) Deloitte & Touche, (d) KPMG and (e) Andersen and her Department in (i) 19992000, (ii) 200001 and (iii) April 2001 to the latest date for which figures are available. 
Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many contracts were let by her Department and agencies for which she is responsible to (a) PWC Consulting or PricewaterhouseCoopers, (b) Ernst and Young, (c) Deloitte Touche, (d) KPMG and (e) Andersen for consultancy services for the financial years (i) 199798, (ii) 199899, (iii) 19992000, (iv) 200001 and (v) 2001 to the latest date for which figures are available, indicating the remuneration in each case. 
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Andersen, (ii) Deloitte & Touche, (ii) Ernst and Young, (iv) KPMG and (v) PricewaterhouseCoopers accountants in each year since 1997. 
Pete Wishart: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland (1) what discussions she has recently had on the Scottish Parliament's powers to confer devolved functions on UK bodies; who was present; and if she will make a statement on the conclusions of such meetings; 
Mr. Foulkes: The Government are committed to ensuring that elderly people eligible for benefits achieve their legal entitlement and that the poorest among our pensioners have a guaranteed minimum income. The minimum income guarantee (MIG) is paid to around 181,000 claimants aged 60 or over in Scotland.
In May 2000 we launched a national take-up campaign writing to 2 million pensioners across the UK, informing them about MIG. Since October last year, callers to the Retirement Pension Telecentre, who are not in receipt of MIG but identified as possible claimants, have been encouraged to claim. Pensioners claiming retirement pension by post are sent a MIG leaflet.
We are looking at options to prompt automatically the issue of a claim for MIG following certain key life events, for example when a pensioner reaches age 75 or 80 or when another benefit is awarded. We are also working in partnership with organisations for older people to improve access to benefits and take-up of the MIG. This includes projects on a national good practice guide and a survey of local take-up initiatives.
Mr. Peter Duncan: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many Friends of Scotland have been recruited to date; what has been the cost of that project to date; and what its budget is for 2002. 
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The costs of this programme are being met from within the existing resources of the Scotland Office, together with private sponsorship for the Scottish banquet on 28 November 2001. It is not possible to quantify the cost of staff time spent on this programme this year.
My officials and I are in discussion with interested parties, including the Scottish Executive, about the further development of the initiative. These discussions will inform decisions about the allocation of resources.
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