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Hilary Benn: The directors of the Commonwealth Development Corporation (CDC) Group plc had a duty to ensure that the company received full value for the transfer of assets and the sale of Actis LLP to management, staff and DFID. The Independent Committee of the CDC board (comprising the independent non-executive directors) instructed KPMG to carry out an independent valuation and to report to them.
Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what representations his Department received from other companies regarding the formation of Actis as a limited liability partnership. 
Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what advice he received from the National Audit Office about the separation of CDC into two corporate entities and a family of funds. 
Hilary Benn: It is not the function of the National Audit Office (NAO) to provide advice to Ministers on policy matters. The role of the NAO is to audit the accounts of all government departments and agencies as well as a wide range of other public bodies, and report to Parliament on the economy, efficiency and effectiveness with which government bodies have used public money.
Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development which companies not related to the Government were involved in the reorganisation of CDC; and how they were involved. 
Clifford Chance, Alien and Overy and Field Fisher Waterhouse (legal advisers)
PricewaterhouseCoopers (tax adviser)
KPMG (due diligence)
Rothschilds (financial advisers)
Credit Suisse First Boston and Campbell Lutyens (private equity advisers)
Towers Perrin (remuneration adviser)
Whitehead Mann (recruitment adviser)
Acanchi (branding adviser)
McKinseys (business strategy and incentive scheme adviser)
Financial Dynamics, LLM Communications (communications advisers)
Watson Wyatt (employment and pension advisers)
Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development pursuant to the written ministerial statement of 8 January 2004, Official Report, column 15WS, on reorganisation of CDC, what the responsible business principles are that Actis will be following. 
The Responsible Business Principles that Actis will follow are set out in exact detail in Schedule 11 to the Member's Agreement, which I signed
21 Jun 2004 : Column 1217W
on 2 April. A copy of the full document will be placed in the Library once the completion date for the reorganisation is reached.
The Principles are unchanged from those that the Commonwealth Development Corporation (CDC) has been applying since 1999. Briefly, they set standards for Actis in the areas of business integrity, social and human rights, environment and health and safety. They also prohibit investments in military equipment, illegal drugs, gambling, pornography or tobacco. It sets out the procedures to be followed to comply with these and requires Actis to obtain an undertaking to comply with similar principles from each potential investee company.
Hilary Benn: In spite of difficulties resulting from the security situation in Iraq, there is no humanitarian crisis in the country and significant progress has been made since April 2003 in restoring essential services, maintaining the Public Distribution System for food rations, reopening hospitals and schools, and beginning the process of longer term reconstruction. Where localised emergency humanitarian assistance has been required, for example to support people temporarily displaced by fighting in Fallujah in April this year, it has been provided by Iraqi Ministries, United Nations agencies, the Red Cross and Red Crescent, NGOs and Iraqi citizens. Preparations have also been made for the provision of humanitarian assistance, if required, in other parts of Iraq. An Emergency Coordination Group has been established to ensure the effective coordination of emergency assistance in Iraq. Its membership includes UN agencies, the Red Cross and Red Crescent, and NGOs.
US$32 billion in grants and soft loans was pledged for the reconstruction of Iraq at the Madrid Donors' Conference in October, including over US$18 billion from the USA. DFID has committed £287 million towards humanitarian and reconstruction work in Iraq since the beginning of 2003.
Hilary Benn: The UK, through the joint Foreign and Commonwealth OfficeDepartment for International Development Sudan Unit, is supporting the peace process between the Government of Sudan and the Sudan Peoples' Liberation Movement under the auspices of the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development. This process provides the key to peace and poverty reduction in Sudan. A framework agreement was signed on 5 June and I encourage the parties to reach a comprehensive agreement in the coming months.
In anticipation of this agreement, and an end to the crisis in Darfur, the Department for International Development is planning for a full development programme for Sudan. I have allocated £35 million this financial year for humanitarian, and eventually development, activities across Sudan. In addition I have set aside £25 million this year in humanitarian assistance for the region of Darfur, Western Sudan.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what plans he has to encourage internally displaced people to return to their homes in Darfur; and what discussions he has had with the UN to this effect. 
Hilary Benn: It is important that the internally displaced people in Darfur do return to their homes. However, our position is that this must only take place on a voluntary basis and once the security of those people can be guaranteed. The UN does not consider that there is sufficient security and protection for internally displaced people in Darfur to encourage return at the moment. DFID is working to improve the security situation in Darfur through the full deployment of the African Union Monitoring Team, and by calling on all parties to the conflict to observe the ceasefire.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if he will intervene to influence the Government of the Sudan to extend the issuing of visas within 48 hours for aid agencies attempting to gain access to the displaced people in the Shilluk Kingdom, Sudan. 
Hilary Benn: DFID is in touch with the Government of Sudan on the issue of travel permits for humanitarian workers going to Shilluk Kingdom through our Embassy in Khartoum. Our latest information is that a list of staff for the planned inter-agency mission was submitted to the Humanitarian Affairs Commission on 7 June.
Hilary Benn: The World Food Programme estimates that some 1.2 million people are currently in need of food assistance in Darfur. However, it is probable that this number will increase as more areas are accessed and assessed by humanitarian agencies.
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