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Lord Lester of Herne Hill asked Her Majesty's Government:

Baroness Jay of Paddington: The terms of reference of the joint committee have yet to be finalised and proposed to both Houses. It is envisaged that they will include the examination of draft legislation where there is a doubt about compatibility with the incorporated convention rights. It will be for the joint committee to decide how it carries out its responsibilities.

Personal Representatives of Ministers: Security Clearance

Lord Rotherwick asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Minister of State, Cabinet Office (Lord Falconer of Thoroton): Access to papers and information for any individual acting as a personal representative of a Minister is at the discretion of the Minister concerned. The normal rules relating to security clearance and confidentiality apply.

26 Jul 1999 : Column WA146

Government Departments: Sponsorship

Lord Norton asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Who were the 14 respondents who replied in the affirmative to the question in the internal report by the Government Information and Communication Service dated January 1999 entitled Trusted Values: New Ways: "Do any of your campaigns involve the use of sponsorship (direct or 'in kind' such as free campaign extension through partnership)?"; and[HL3619]

    To list by department which companies provide sponsorship to the 14 respondents who replied in the affirmative as indicated in the internal report by the Government Information and Communication Service dated January 1999 entitled Trusted Values: New Ways; and[HL3620]

    What was the total value of the sponsorship to each of the 14 respondents who replied in the affirmative as indicated in the internal report by the Government Information and Communication Service dated January 1999, entitled Trusted Values: New Ways for each of the last two years split into direct or "in kind" sponsorship; and [HL3621]

    Who were the six respondents who replied in the negative to the question in the internal report by the Government Information and Communication Service dated January 1999 entitled Trusted Values: New Ways: "Do any of your campaigns involve the use of sponsorship (direct or 'in kind' such as free campaign extension through partnership)?".[HL3622]

Lord Falconer of Thoroton: A number of government departments have secured sponsorship, direct and in-kind. In many cases sponsorship takes the form of campaign extension; for example, using retail outlets to distribute leaflets. Sponsorship is sought in accordance with the guidelines issued by the Cabinet Office.

The 14 departments listed in the annual report of the Government Information and Communication Service that used sponsorship in their campaigns were:


    Forestry Commission,


    Health and Safety Executive,


    Department for Culture, Media and Sport,


    Scottish Office,


    Department for Education and Employment,


    Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions,


    Foreign and Commonwealth Office,


    Department of Social Security,


    Home Office,


    HM Treasury,


    Department of Trade and Industry,


    Ministry of Defence,


    Department of Health,


    Welsh Office.

26 Jul 1999 : Column WA147

The six departments that reported that they had not used sponsorship were:


    Cabinet Office,


    Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food,


    Northern Ireland Office,


    Department for International Development,


    Board of Inland Revenue,


    Office of Water Service.

Sponsor partnerships are developed on an individual campaign basis and information on the value and companies involved is not collected centrally across the 14 departments. Many companies are openly associated with the specific campaigns and the noble Lord might wish to write to the departments for a profile of their sponsorship activity along with specific examples. The aim of such partnerships is to help ensure that the Government get their message across to the widest possible audience in an efficient and cost-effective way.

Leaks of Official Information

Lord Simon of Glaisdale asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Further to the Written Answer by Lord Falconer of Thoroton on 12 July (WA 9) concerning the investigation of leaks of official information:


    (a) why it has been "the normal practice of successive governments not to disclose information on the outcome of investigations";


    (b) how "the normal practice" has been modified in the light of the White Paper, Your Right to Know (Cm 3818, December 1997);


    (c) how many investigations have taken place since December 1997; and with what result;


    (d) in what circumstances "the normal practice" is not followed; and


    (e) on how many occasions, and when, has "the normal practice" not been followed.[HL3669]

Lord Falconer of Thoroton: Successive governments have taken the view that the effectiveness of both leak investigations and the security procedures employed to prevent leaks could be seriously undermined by the disclosure of information about the conduct and outcome of investigations. This view is in accordance with exemptions 4 and 7 of the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information.

In a small number of cases, such as that involving the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry report, Ministers have decided to announce the outcome of a leak investigation on the basis that disclosure of some limited information would be justified in the public interest. Such decisions are made by Ministers on a case-by-case basis. There has been no change to the normal practice as a result of the White Paper Your Right to Know.

26 Jul 1999 : Column WA148

There have been 40 leak investigations in government departments, including those in which an independent investigator was employed, since December 1997.

House of Lords Ministers: Visits to European Commission

Baroness Miller of Hendon asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Which Ministers in the House of Lords have visited the European Commission since 31 December 1998.[HL3662]

    How many visits have been made by each individual Minister in the House of Lords who has visited the European Commission since 31 December 1998.[HL3663]

    What was the purpose of each visit made by a Minister in the House of Lords to the European Commission since 31 December 1998.[HL3664]

    What has been the total cost, broken down by department, of ministerial visits by Ministers in the House of Lords to the European Commission since 31 December 1998.[HL3665]

Lord Falconer of Thoroton: Since 31 December 1998 the following Ministers in the House of Lords have visited the European Commission:

Dates Department Minister Purpose of visitCost of visit
22-23 February 1999Department of Agriculture for Northern IrelandLord DubsAttend Agriculture Council£460
22-26 February 1999The Scottish OfficeLord SewelAgriculture Council meeting£708
5 March 1999Department of Agriculture for Northern IrelandLord DubsAttend Agriculture Council£329
8-11 March 1999The Scottish OfficeLord SewelAttend forestry and agriculture meetings£513
28-29 April 1999Foreign and Commonwealth OfficeBaroness Symons of Vernham DeanEU/OCT partnership meeting£819
10-11 June 1999The Scottish OfficeLord SewelAttend meeting of Fisheries Council£522
9 July 1999Department of the Environment, Transport and the RegionsLord WhittyDiscussions on EU enlargement and transport issues£174

Questions for Written Answer

Lord Harris of Greenwich asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Which departments had not, on 13 July, provided replies to Questions for Written Answer within 14 days of them being tabled.[HL3659]

26 Jul 1999 : Column WA149

Lord Falconer of Thoroton:

DepartmentNumber of QWAs Outstanding
Ministry of Agriculture41
Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions4
Foreign and Commonwealth Office4
Ministry of Defence2
Cabinet Office1
Home Office1
Northern Ireland Office1

Note:

In a three-week period, 224 Questions were tabled for MAFF to answer.


Reserve Forces: Gulf War and Medical Discharge

The Countess of Mar asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether all members of the Territorial Army and the reserves were fully informed of the correct procedures, including rights of appeal, for medical discharge prior to their discharge from service in the Gulf War; and, if they were, in what form this information was provided.[HL3497]

The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Gilbert): Arrangements were made for reservists to complete medical questionnaires and to be medically examined at the place of demobilisation following their service in the Gulf conflict. A reservist who was considered to have suffered from a serious injury or from ill health should normally have been referred to a medical board for further examination and subsequently informed of the board's findings. A reservist recommended by a board for medical discharge should also have been advised about financial benefits that could be claimed if the injury or illness was considered to be attributable to service.

So long after the cessation of hostilities, it is no longer possible to give a categorical assurance that proper procedures were in fact followed in respect of all members of the reserve forces who served in the Gulf. However, reservists who believe that their case was not handled fairly, or that there had been some other form of maladministration, are welcome to make a formal redress of complaint in accordance with the provisions set out in Queen's Regulations. Advice and clarification on the procedures and regulations are available, if requested, from their unit or, in the case of ex-regular reservists, their manning and records authority.


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