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Entertainment Costs

Mr. Bercow: To ask the President of the Council if he will list for 1997–98 and for each subsequent financial year, including the current year to date, the amount spent by (a) his Department, (b) its agencies and (c) its non- departmental public bodies on (i) food and (ii) alcohol, indicating how much was spent on guests, and how much in respect of (A) Ministers and (B) staff, broken down to show how much was provided directly by his Department and how much reclaimed. [34451]

Mr. Robin Cook: The available information is for the Privy Council Office, which has no agencies or non- departmental public bodies:

cost in £

Financial yearFood providedAlcohol provided

(7) The figures for these financial years include refreshment costs incurred by the Lord Privy Seal's office which was then part of the Privy Council Office.

(8) To date

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The additional, disaggregated information requested could be provided only at disproportionate cost.


Ministerial Boxes

Dr. Kumar: To ask the Prime Minister by what means ministerial boxes are conveyed from his private office; how frequently and at what expense private courier firms are employed for such a task; and which courier firms have been used for such duties. [36281]

The Prime Minister: The majority of my ministerial boxes remain within No. 10. However, when they are transported it is either by a No. 10 driver or the Government car service.

My office does not use a private courier service for such duties.

Business Contracts

Mr. Chope: To ask the Prime Minister on how many occasions in the past two years he has written to the (a) Head of State and (b) Prime Minister of a foreign Government about the award of contracts to companies with British interests. [36802]

Mr. Webb: To ask the Prime Minister (1) if he will set out the criteria that he applies in determining in which cases he writes to foreign Heads of State in support of particular businesses; [36513]

The Prime Minister: I refer the hon. Members to the answer I gave the hon. Member for East Carmarthen and Dinefwr (Adam Price) and the hon. Member for Isle of Wight (Mr. Turner) on 14 February 2002, Official Report, columns 610–11W.

Single European Currency

Tony Wright: To ask the Prime Minister, pursuant to his answer of 28 January 2002, Official Report, column 25W, on single European currency, if he will explain the connection between the question to him of 25 January and his answer of 28 January. [36528]

The Prime Minister: I referred my hon. Friend to an answer which sets out the Government policy on the euro.

Voluntary Work

Bob Russell: To ask the Prime Minister how many members of his staff in each of the past two years have been granted a day's paid leave to work as a volunteer; and if he will make a statement. [36383]

The Prime Minister: The Government aim to have 1 million people more involved in their communities under the "Prime Minister's Challenge on Volunteering", March 2000, which also urged employers to allow staff to take one day's paid leave to undertake some form of voluntary activity.

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In my office the project began in the summer of 2000 with approximately 24 staff arranging on their own initiative to link up with a school, where they helped out for a day and followed up with mentoring and training initiatives.

PIU Energy Review

Tom Brake: To ask the Prime Minister, pursuant to the answer of 4 February 2002, Official Report, column 689W, on the performance and innovation unit energy review, if he will list those companies whose responses are not available on the PIU website; and for what reason these have not been placed on the PIU website. [36957]

The Prime Minister: All companies which responded to the PIU energy review within the deadline set had their submissions placed on the website. In some cases, parts of the submissions were held back, at the request of the companies, owing to the commercially confidential nature of the material.

Departmental Energy Policy

Llew Smith: To ask the Prime Minister what measures have been taken to deploy renewable energy technologies and energy efficiency measures at (a) 10 Downing street and (b) Chequers. [36477]

The Prime Minister: Since 1 October 2001 100 per cent. of the electricity supplies to 10 Downing street have been generated from renewable energy sources.

Where appropriate, 10 Downing street purchases only equipment that conforms to the latest environmental standards for low emissions.

The management of Chequers is the responsibility of the Chequers Trust, not the Government.


Theft and Fraud

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what his estimate is of the cost of theft and fraud to (a) his Department, (b) its agencies and (c) non-departmental public bodies in each of the last four years. [27977]

Mr. Paul Murphy: None to my department since its creation in July 1999. The Wales Office has no agencies or non-departmental public bodies.

Prior to that date:


Mr. Llwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will make representations to the Office for National Statistics to increase the frequency of preparing figures on productivity and economic indicators for Wales. [32228]

Mr. Paul Murphy: No. The Office for National Statistics is actively working to improve the quality and timeliness of economic estimates for Wales. They are liaising closely with the National Assembly to take

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account of the particular needs of Wales and to help inform the National Assembly's economic development strategy.

Fair Trade Fortnight

Mr. Lazarowicz: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what steps he is taking to encourage participation by his Department in Fair Trade Fortnight from 4 to 17 March. [33547]

Mr. Paul Murphy: My Department has no plans to participate in Fair Trade Fortnight. The Department for International Development is providing £120,000 to the Fair Trade Foundation over 2001–03 in support of its efforts to target new groups through its annual Fair Trade Fortnight campaigns.

Mr. Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales, pursuant to his answer of 16 November 2001, Official Report, column 939W, on fair trade goods, if, during Fair Trade Fortnight, he will review the amount of fairly traded goods used in his Department. [35449]

Mr. Paul Murphy: My Department has very limited requirements for the type of goods which are subject to fair trade schemes and therefore has no current plans for a specific review during Fair Trade Fortnight on the use of fairly traded goods.

City of London Corporation (Events)

John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will list those functions, engagements and events which Ministers, his officials and advisers have attended which have been sponsored, funded, promoted and hosted by the City of London Corporation since 1997. [35696]

Mr. Paul Murphy: The information is not held centrally and collating it would involve disproportionate costs.

Attendance at events, engagements and functions by Ministers and civil servants is undertaken in line with the guidance and principles set out in the Ministerial Code and departmental staff handbooks.


Mr. Menzies Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what estimate his Department has made of the cost to its budget since 1 May 1997 of fraud; and if he will make a statement. [27297]

Mr. Paul Murphy: There were reported thefts against the former Welsh Office in 1997–98 of £307. There was no known theft or fraud against the Welsh Office in the remainder of its life; nor has there been against the Wales Office since its creation.


Adam Price: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what discussions he has had with the Treasury and the Minister for Europe with regard to the impact of the euro on Wales. [35624]

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Mr. Paul Murphy: I have regular discussions with my right hon. Friends the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Minister for Europe when we discuss a range of issues including the impact of the euro on Wales.

The Government are committed to undertaking an economic assessment of the likely impact of joining the euro, within two years of the start of this Parliament.

Meanwhile, the Euro Taskforce has been established to help businesses take forward preparations and to raise awareness of the opportunities already presented by the introduction of euro notes and coins by a number of our European partners.

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