|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Clare Short: DFID staff are not encouraged to work long hours and every effort is made to avoid overtime working and to help staff balance work and private life. No member of staff has been asked to opt out of the limits prescribed by the working time regulations.
Where overtime working is unavoidable, staff generally have the choice of overtime payments or time off in lieu. Overtime payments vary according to when overtime is worked and the grade of the staff concernedpayments are normally at plain time, time and a half or double time, depending on the circumstances and whether staff wish to take time off in lieu. The rules are complex and we are currently in the process of simplifying them. Two groups of staff are presently not entitled to overtime paymentssenior civil servants and staff in Band A1 (equivalent to Senior Principal). We propose to review overtime entitlements for Band A staff by March 2003.
Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if she will make a statement on the use of smart card technology in her Department and in the areas for which it is responsible; and what discussions she has had with private companies about the use of smart card technology within her Department. 
Clare Short: My officials keep under constant review the progress with smart card technology and in early 2001 they held extensive discussions with a range of private companies in preparation for introducing appropriate systems to our office. We installed and commissioned a fast lane smart card system in November 2001 in our 1 Palace street office and will be utilising the same technology following an upgrade of our Abercrombie House office in East Kilbride, which will commence later this year.
18 Apr 2002 : Column 1048W
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what estimate he has made of the total savings to public funds of the Private Finance Initiative contract for the Berlin Embassy by comparison with a non-Private Finance Initiative alternative. 
Mr. Ancram: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when he last requested the Spanish Government to produce evidence of smuggling between Gibraltar and Spain; what evidence was supplied by the Spanish authorities; and what assessment he made of the Spanish evidence. 
Mr. Straw: I refer the right hon. Member to the answer given by my right hon. Friend the Member for Neath (Peter Hain), the Minister for Europe, to my hon. Friend the Member for Inverness, East, Nairn and Lochaber (Mr. Stewart) on 10 December 2001, Official Report, column 633W.
Mr. MacShane: The UK has taken the lead in co-ordinating international efforts to assist the Afghan Interim Administration to tackle drugs. Sustainable drug control in Afghanistan will require a range of measures, including the creation of alternative legal livelihoods, the reconstruction of infrastructure and the establishment of effective law enforcement and good governance. We have also been working with the interim administration to implement the decree banning opium production issued by Chairman Karzai on 3 April. We have been encouraging other members of the international community to provide similar support.
Dr. Tonge: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has made to the Israeli Government and the Palestinian Authorities to abide by the Fourth Geneva Convention and the UN Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338 governing wartime and occupation. 
Mr. Bradshaw [holding answer 15 April 2002]: We support the ICRC's call for all parties to respect international humanitarian law, including the Fourth Geneva Convention. We have made clear to the Israeli Government that we expect medical and humanitarian organisations and Consular staff to have uninterrupted access to those in need. My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary stressed our concerns to Israeli Foreign Minister Peres in a telephone call on 10 April. We have called
18 Apr 2002 : Column 1049W
for an immediate and full Israeli withdrawal from Palestinian towns in accordance with UN Security Council Resolution 1402.
Dr. Tonge: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has made to the Israeli Government to uphold the terms of the Geneva Convention with reference to (a) attacking civilian populations and (b) destroying objects indispensable to their survival. 
Mr. Bradshaw [holding answer of 15 April 2002]: We have grave concerns for the safety of civilians and about the destruction of property and infrastructure in the Occupied Territories. We have called repeatedly on the Israeli authorities to comply with the terms of the Geneva Convention and to take all necessary precautions to spare civilians and civilian property.
Mr. MacShane: Much progress has been made since the elections to a Kosovo Assembly took place on 17 November 2001. On 4 March 2002, Kosovo's first freely-elected and multi-ethnic provisional self- government was formed and Dr. Irahim Rugova was elected President of Kosovo. The majority of governmental functions are being transferred from the UN Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) to the government, with the exception of powers reserved under the terms of the 2001 Constitutional Framework, such as external affairs, security and law and order. These will remain in the hands of the UN Secretary-General's Special Representative. Most of the Ministers are now in place, and are establishing their departments and defining their priorities.
All of Kosovo's minorities are represented in the Assembly, and one Ministerial post has already been filled by parties representing the non-Serbian minorities. A further Ministerial post has so far been left unfilled, pending a nomination by the Serbian minority. Following positive recent statements from their representatives and the Belgrade government, I hope that this will soon be filled.
18 Apr 2002 : Column 1050W
Mr. Rooney: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what reports he has received concerning the arrest of Yasin Malik, Chairman of Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front, on 25 March at Srinagar. 
Mr. Bradshaw: We have received a number of reports about the detention of Yasin Malik. We have raised our concerns about the condition of Yasin Malik's detention with the Indian Government. We will continue to monitor the case closely.
Adam Price: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he sought advice from HM ambassadors to (a) the Irish Republic and (b) Kazakhstan in connection with the takeover of Sidex by LNM/Ispat. 
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many Private Finance Initiative projects have been subject to refinancing after the contracts have been signed; and what has been the financial effect in each case. 
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list the Public Service Agreement targets which have been revised and those which have been introduced since the publication of the 2001 departmental report. 
|Old target||Revised target||Reason|
|Increase in the global audience of the BBC World Service to 153 million by 2002 and then maintained throughout the period.||Increase in the global audience of the BBC World Service to 157 million by 2004.||Original target was subject to final confirmation; subsequent discussions between BBC World Service and FCO resulted in a higher target being set. Target refers to weekly radio audience and is calculated annually from independent surveys.|
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|