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The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Scotland of Asthal): Anyone who attempts self-harm while in immigration detention is automatically placed on a "formal self-harm at risk" (SHARF) watch. For the period 1/4/04 to 31/3/05, 858 detainees were placed on these arrangements. For the period 1/4/05 to 31/3/06, the figure was 1,806 detainees. Earlier figures are not available.
|Road schemes||£82 million|
|Rail schemes||£42 million|
|Light rail schemes||£7 million|
|Bus schemes||£59 million|
|Cycling and walking||£3 million|
The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Scotland of Asthal): Following the NAO report Purchasing Professional Services OGC issued guidance that redefined consultancy to include the purchasing of all professional services and not just management consultancy. Professional services were defined as including: management consultancy, IS/IT consultancy, financial/accounting consultancy, property and construction consultancy (including architects and surveyors), project management, procurement, audit, legal services and human resource advice and assistance (including recruitment services).
Separate information on management consultancy is not held. The information held by the Home Office and its executive agencies on its spend on consultants, which falls under the above definition; is as follows.
The best information available for the financial year 200304, using the business and accounting strategic system (BASS) for the core Home Office spend, indicates that the cost of external consultants to the department and its executive agencies in 200304 was £113,875,847.
The best information available for the financial year 200405, using the Adelphi enterprise resource planning (ERP) system accounts payable module for the core Home Office spend, indicates that the cost of external consultants to the department and its executive agencies was £59,828,639.
The department awards contracts in open competition according to the EU procurement regulations based on best value for money. The use of external consultants in the Home Office provides the department with specialist knowledge, skill, capacity and technical expertise that is not otherwise available in-house.
The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Scotland of Asthal): At 1 December 2005 there were 24,168 people who were under 18 represented on the national DNA database who had been arrested and sampled but not subsequently charged, cautioned or convicted for the offence for which they were sampled.
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While it is not currently possible to indicate whether these people have ever been cautioned, charged or convicted previously, 541 have subsequently matched to crimes represented on the National DNA Database, providing the police with key intelligence leads on the possible identity of the offender and assisting crime investigation and detection. The data used for this reply was taken from a "snapshot" of Police National Computer records and is not held by the National DNA Database. It has not been updated since December 2005 and a new set could be obtained only at disproportionate cost. Home Office officials are working with colleagues in the Police Information and Technology Organisation (PITO) which is responsible for PNC and with police service staff to develop a process to routinely report this and other statistical information that is held on either NDNAD or PNC. This work is under way and I will write to the noble Baroness as soon as the work has been completed.
Lord Davies of Oldham: We announced our intention to abstain because we are disappointed that it has been impossible to secure amendments to achieve better and more flexible arrangements for staged access by young motorcycle riders to the larger machines.
Despite clear consensus in Europe in favour of staged access for young motorcyclists to the larger machines, the Government have consistently sought amendment to these particular proposals. After full consideration of all aspects, the Government did not believe that they could support measures so complex and rigid as those proposed without evidence that they would lead to improvements in road safety.
We believe that our present practice on licensing motorcycle riders, which insists on compulsory basic training and testing for all, is effective. We shall seek to work with motorcycle and road safety interests to devise as good as possible a way of retaining its benefits within the new EU framework.
The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Scotland of Asthal): We received a very large response to the consultation: around 4,500 submissions. They have all been read and analysed and a summary is being prepared which will be published in due course. We will consider how and when to establish the firearms advisory committee once we have determined how we want to proceed with the review of firearms controls. The last meeting of the Firearms Consultative Committee was held on 14 January 2004.
Whether they have examined scientific studies from the Russia Federation and New Zealand on allergies in rats and mice following consumption of genetically modified soya and peas respectively; and whether they will bring the studies to the attention of relevant bodies and encourage further research. [HL5092]
The Minister of State, Department of Health (Lord Warner): The Food Standards Agency has sought advice from the Advisory Committee on Novel Food and Processes (ACNFP) regarding what conclusions may be drawn from the results of a preliminary study conducted in Russia on the offspring of rats given flour from genetically modified soya beans. The ACNFP is the committee of scientific experts that advises the agency on genetically modified food and similar issues. The committee discussed this study on 24 November 2005 and issued a statement that is published on the ACNFP website along with the minutes of the meeting.
At the same meeting, the agency also sought advice from the ACNFP on a paper published by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation in Australia, which describes immunological effects in mice fed peas that were genetically modified to contain a bean protein. The committee's comments on this study can also be found in the minutes of the meeting.
The ACNFP's advice does not indicate that either of these studies have any implications for the safety of authorised GM foods, which undergo a strict case-by-case safety assessment before they can be marketed.
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