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Mr. Robin Cook: In the parliamentary Session 200102 beginning on 9 June and up until 29 January 2002, 41,366 parliamentary questions were asked to this Government, at a cost of answering of over £5 million.
Annabelle Ewing: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will publish the (a) number and (b) value of contracts awarded by her Department to (i) Arthur 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 Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) which non- accounting and non-information technology external organisations which previously held contracts with her Department (a) won new contracts at the culmination of the existing contracts and (b) won new contracts after a period of inactivity with her Department in each of the past five years; 
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(3) which non-accounting and non-information technology external organisations have won new contracts with (a) her Department and (b) executive agencies in each of the past five years. 
Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will list the 30 largest contracts awarded by her Department from (a) May 1997 to April 1998, (b) May 1998 to April 1999, (c) May 1999 to April 2000, (d) May 2000 to April 2001 and (e) May 2001 to the latest date for which figures are available, stating in each case the values of the contracts and the companies with which the contracts were placed. 
Margaret Beckett: I understand that sampling and analysis of groundwater from nine boreholes on the Sellafield site and from one perimeter borehole has indicated the presence of technetium-99. The highest level found at an on-site borehole was 290 becquerels per litre. The level in the perimeter borehole was 0.2 becquerels per litre. An assessment has been made of the potential radiological impact of the presence of technetium-99 in groundwater and the Environment Agency is satisfied that this would be insignificant. The Agency and the Health and Safety Executive are working with BNFL to establish the source of the contamination. The regulators will then need to consider what further measures need to be taken.
Mr. Cran: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when a substantive reply will be given to Mr. H. P. Atkinson's letter of 16 July 2001, concerning the 20 day movement restrictions. 
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will list the equipment leasing arrangements entered into by her Department in each of the last four years; and what the cost to public funds in each case is. 
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external spending by her Department was on public- private partnership 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 PPP consultant was; how many consultancy firms were used by her Department over this period; and if she will make a statement; 
(3) what the difference was between the price offered in reaching preferred bidder stage and the final contract price for PPP contracts let by her Department in each of the last four years; and if she will make a statement; 
(4) what the difference was between the price offered in reaching preferred bidder stage and the final contract price for the five largest PFI contracts let by her Department in each of the last four years; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Luff: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) on how many infected premises slaughter was completed within 24 hours of a clinical diagnosis of the disease during the foot and mouth epidemic; 
The 24-hour target policy was based upon the time from which suspicion of disease was first communicated to DEFRA offices, not the time and date of clinical diagnosis. The time to slaughter has been calculated as the difference between this time and date and the time and date by which all animals on each premises had been slaughtered.
Premises which presently have missing dates, negative times to slaughter and times to slaughter greater than 500 hours have been excluded. The charts have been created from the data within DEFRA's Disease Control System Database and they may be subject to change as the data cleansing exercise is carried out.
The charts are based on a majority of data held on DCS and give a representative picture of the times taken to slaughter.
Although a total of 2,026 infected premises (IPs) were reported in the UK, the "time to slaughter" charts do not include IPs that were previously Dangerous contacts or slaughter on suspicion cases. These premises have not been included since, at the time, it would not have been identified that a 24-hour target was to be
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The percentage target hit, on its own, does not reflect the number of premises that were having to be dealt witha 50 per cent. hit may be representing a figure of two cases or 200.
The charts do not give context to the underlying data. They obviously do not give any information regarding the reasons why culls may have taken longer than 2448 hours, and cannot describe the practical difficulties faced by regional offices attempting to slaughter premises quickly in often extremely difficult circumstances. The count of premises slaughtered does not take into account the number of animals involved (size or herd) or the species.
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