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Baroness Amos: In the fiscal year 1999/2000 a total of £35.2 million was provided to UK NGOs through the Joint Funding Scheme. A list of these organisations can be found in Statistics on International Development: 1995/1996-1999/2000, which is available in the Library of the House.
The Civil Society Challenge Fund (CSCF) was launched in October 1999 to replace the Joint Funding Scheme, which will be phased out by 2004 when current commitments cease. The CSCF is open to any non-profitmaking organisation or network, which shares DFID's focus on poverty reductions and is designed to help build a stronger civil society in developing countries that enables the voices of the poor to be heard. As with the Joint Funding Scheme, the CSCF is based on matched funding.
Baroness Amos: A Project Director was appointed by the Danube Commission on 16 October 2000. He is currently finalising the terms of reference for the architect. Awarding of contracts will occur during the first quarter of 2001. A tender for a bathymetric survey will be published this month. It is expected that work will begin during March.
Lord Bassam of Brighton: This information is not recorded centrally and could only be obtained at disproportionate cost. The number of lawfully authorised weapons of this kind is comparatively small at present and the Government are not aware of any cases involving the misuse of such weapons after 1997. However, the Government understand that in the 1980s there were cases in which long barrelled smooth-bore revolvers were sawn off and used in serious crime.
Lord Bassam of Brighton: This information is not recorded centrally and could only be obtained at disproportionate cost. The number of lawfully authorised weapons of this kind in current use is small at present and the Government are not aware of any cases involving the misuse of any such weapons which are lawfully held. However, we are aware of concerns about the misuse of weapons of this type by terrorists in Northern Ireland.
Lord Bassam of Brighton: The law places the responsibility for taking care of animals on their owners or keepers, who may not cause them harm, intentionally or through neglect. Under the Protection of Animals Act 1911, it is an offence to cause any unnecessary suffering to any domestic or captive animal.
Since the mistreatment of animals can take many forms, the 1911 Act has been widely drawn to apply to any situation of unnecessary suffering. Any person or organisation may initiate criminal proceedings under
The Minister of State, Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions (Lord Macdonald of Tradeston): The monopoly services provided by the National Air Traffic Services Ltd public/private partnership will be subject to price regulation by the RPI-X method, which is the standard model for monopoly regulation in the United Kingdom. The charge cap, or "X" factor, will be set for a period of five years and will, for the first five-year period only, be set by the Government.
We received advice from the CAA in August which set out how it proposed to approach the economic regulation of NATS and recommended that the "X" factor for NATS' UK monopoly services be set at 5 per cent per year for each of the first five years. We have considered this advice carefully, alongside representations from NATS and the projections of bidders as the sale process developed, and have decided to set charge capping at 2.2 per cent for 2001, 3.0 per cent for 2002, 4.0 per cent for 2003, and 5.0 per cent for each of 2004 and 2005. There will thus be a progressive tightening across the initial years following the introduction of the PPP.
Furthermore, since delays are a major concern to airlines, we have decided that the charge cap should include a delay term, so that the "X" factor will automatically tighten, thereby reducing NATS' revenues, if delays increase beyond their present level. We are setting the maximum delay term at £2 million per year for 2001-02, and £5.7 million per year for 2003-05.
The CAA's advice on the charge cap was based on a well-considered and comprehensive analysis of NATS' operational and investment plans and the potential for efficiency savings. And we are satisfied that the advice fully reflected the Government's, and the CAA's, commitment to giving the highest priority to safety.
In reaching our decision, we have been concerned to achieve a smooth transition to the PPP, which we believe will be encouraged by such price control in its first few years. This will better enable NATS' management to focus on getting the change and investment programmes right during the early years of
The Chairman of Committees (Lord Mackay of Ardbrecknish): As employees of the Clerk of the Parliaments, the staff of the House are subject to various terms and conditions set out in their contracts of employment, and the Staff Handbook, which provides a smoking policy agreed by the House of Lords Whitley Committee. Smoking policy for Members of the House, who are not employees, is a matter for the House itself on the recommendation of the Offices Committee and its Sub-Committees.