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Lord Williams of Mostyn: The concepts of positive and, by common implication, negative or normal vetting are now outmoded and so have no real application when describing the elements of vetting referred to in my Answer of 6 November. The terminology in current use, and its relationship to the former terminology, is set out in the then Prime Minister's Statement of 15 December 1994 (WA764-66). Broadly, CTC, SC and DDV are all forms of positive vetting.
Lord Williams of Mostyn: (a) The post of interim chief executive of the Ulster-Scots Agency was advertised by means of an interest circular circulated internally to all NICS departments. A copy of the notification will be placed in the Library of the House.
Lord Williams of Mostyn: Officials of the United Kingdom and Irish Governments discharge the functions of their particular departments. It would not be appropriate to name the officials nor to disclose their rank as this could also identify an individual officer. I can, however, confirm that the officials who advised the Northern Ireland Administration are employed in the Northern Ireland Civil Service.
Lord Williams of Mostyn: There are no provisions in Northern Ireland for the accreditation of private ambulance organisations. It is a matter for the purchasers of private ambulance services to ensure that adequate systems are in place for monitoring the service provided.
Lord Williams of Mostyn: £4 million has been made available in the current and 2003-04 financial years for the development of the ambulance service in Northern Ireland. This funding has been earmarked for fleet replacement, refurbishment of training accommodation and the purchase of a fleet management system. The balance of the commitment on the development of the NI Ambulance Service will be addressed in future budgetary allocation decisions.
The Minister for the Cabinet Office and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (Lord Macdonald of Tradeston): The table below gives the current headcount of the Strategic Rail Authority and the projected headcount for 1 April 2003.
|Directorate||Functions||Headcount at 16/10/2002||Projected headcount 01/04/2003|
|Freight||Freight operations and policy, international freight, grants, freight business development||21||29|
|Operations||Franchise management, performance and contracts, rolling stock, passenger and licensing, compliance and enforcement||126||160|
|Strategic planning||Network regulation, economist, planning, policy, business management, sponsorship||36||78|
|Technical||Safety development, European technical, systems/infrastructure, innovation and research||4||10|
|Finance and commercial||IT, procurement, financial control, projects and transactions, programme management||77||115|
|Human resources||Premises and services, rail industry HR, business improvement, internal communications, SRA HR||30||33|
|Legal||Legal counsel, legal services||9||14|
|Corporate affairs||Parliamentary and public communications, stakeholder relations, European affairs||24||25|
|Chairman's office||Chairman's office||4||4|
|Secretarial and risk assurance||Secretariat, risk assurance||5||8|
Lord Macdonald of Tradeston: On the recommendation of the Committee on Standards in Public Life all applicants for public appointment must answer the standard question on political activity. The Commissioner for Public Appointments designed the format of the question after consultation with the Government and the Committee on Standards in Public Life. The question is set out in the commissioner's code.
Lord Macdonald of Tradeston: The Department for Transport will shortly be publishing congestion figures that will include estimates for London. Data are also collected in English urban areas other than London, but results are aggregated together across these areas, rather than being published individually, to ensure that they are sufficiently robust. Some work is done in other countries to attempt to quantify congestion in urban areas, but we are not aware of anything that is done on a comparable basis with the estimates that will be published for London.
Lord Macdonald of Tradeston: In its communication of 3 December the Commission indicated that it intended to propose a regulation prohibiting the transport of heavy fuel oil in single hull tankers bound for or leaving the EU ports. We shall examine this proposal in the light of the conclusions of the Transport Council on 6 December, which we supported.
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