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How many times the heavy machinery working between the Palace of Westminster and Old Palace Yard during the summer recess accidentally (a) cut off the main power supply, and (b) cut off the back-up power supply; and what is the estimated cost of repairs and the loss in ticket sales to the Palace of Westminster visitor ticket office in Old Palace Yard. [HL5272]
The Chairman of Committees (Lord Brabazon of Tara): During the week commencing 13 August the back-up supply cable to 7 Old Palace Yard was damaged by the contractor working on the road outside. At this time the cable was not being used as the mains supply was intact. Before the cable could be repaired the contractor damaged the main supply cable. The damage cut all power to Old Palace Yard. This cable was repaired later that same evening by EDF Energy (the main electricity supplier). The back-up cable was replaced during the first weekend of September.
Whether they have yet received a copy of the report, dated 27 July 2006, of a Committee of Inquiry established by University College, London (UCL), to investigate the provenance of antiquities (654 Aramaic incantation bowls) then in the possession of UCL; and what is the current location of the antiquities in question. [HL5052]
Lord Davies of Oldham: The Department for Culture, Media and Sport has not received a full copy of the report relating to the collection of Aramaic incantation bowls. I understand that University College, London, returned the bowls to the Schøyen Collection.
Whether chief executives of health authorities and trusts have complied with and are continuing to comply with the arrangements for priority treatment of war pensioners published in the Department of Health's guidance HSG(97)31; and what monitoring takes place of compliance with these arrangements. [HL5245]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Darzi of Denham): War pensioners, including recipients of awards under the Armed Forces compensation scheme, are entitled to National Health Service priority examination and treatment for conditions accepted as due to service. Priority is primarily a function of clinical need and is determined by the clinician in charge, subject only to emergency and other urgent cases.
The Ministry of Defence and its Veterans Agency receive feedback from individual war pensioners and ex-service organisations on the delivery of priority treatment. Where necessary, the department takes up individual cases with the relevant health authority.
What assessment they have made of the recent report by the Government of Ghana Ministry of Manpower, Youth and Employment, Pilot Labour Survey in Cocoa Production in Ghana2006, which details dangerous working practices amongst children on cocoa farms; and whether they will urge chocolate companies to source from farms that are not engaging in such exploitation. [HL5349]
The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Malloch-Brown): We are concerned by the findings of the Ghana Ministry of Manpower, Youth and Employment's pilot labour survey in cocoa production and are committed to tackling the problem of child labour in the developing world. We have raised the issue with the Ghanaian Government, most recently in May and through workshops in social protection in September.
The Government of Ghana passed the Children's Act 1988, which prohibits child labour, especially the engagement of children in hazardous and exploitative work. They are working with the International Labour Organisation on a programme for the elimination of child labour since 2000. The pilot labour survey demonstrates the Government's willingness constantly to monitor and review the
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The Government are also supporting the Government of Ghana to put in place a new social security system, which will target the poorest householdsthose where children are being forced to work. If these households are guaranteed a minimum level of income, children should no longer need to work.
The Government and the Government of Ghana have both been in dialogue with chocolate manufacturers to encourage these companies to help Ghana tackle the issue of child labour through collaborative efforts. There is an official agreement, between governments of countries involved in cocoa production and companies producing chocolate, known as the Harkin-Engel Protocol (2001). This protocol commits all parties to addressing the worst forms of child labour and forced adult labour in the supply chain of the cocoa industry. As a result, the major international chocolate companies have been supporting some of the Government of Ghana's child labour eradication programmesincluding part funding the pilot labour survey, encouraging school attendance and setting up more schools near cocoa plants.
Whether, in light of the statement made by Mr Terry McCormick of his involvement in the kidnapping and murder of Captain Nairac, broadcast by BBC Northern Ireland on 19 June, they will bring forward the case of Captain Nairac from others being investigated by the historic inquiries team, so that (a) an early decision may be made on the possible prosecution of Mr McCormick; and (b) information concerning the location of Captain Nairac's remains may be obtained. [HL5274]
Lord Rooker: The murder of Robert Nairac is one of a number of cases that is currently under review by the historic inquiries team. If evidence is uncovered which would support a prosecution then a report will be forwarded to the Public Prosecution Service.
How many extradition requests have been made to the United States authorities in respect of persons wanted in connection with the allegations of terrorist crimes connected with Northern Ireland since 1 June. [HL5275]
Lord Rooker: It is normal government policy neither to confirm nor deny whether an extradition request has been, or is in the process of being, made in relation to any particular individual. Although the subject of this particular question is the number of requests, and not whether a request has been made in relation to a specific individual, the terms of the question are sufficiently narrow that an answer could lead to the possibility of an inference being made in respect of specific individuals. The Government therefore consider that to respond to the question would breach the spirit of the policy and that the disclosure of this information would therefore be likely to prejudice the administration of justice.
What was the total cost of the Office of the Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland for 2006-07; what will be the cost for the current financial year; and what was the total staffing complement in 2006-07. [HL5230]
Lord Rooker: The total expenditure incurred by the Office of the Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland for 2006-07 was £8,514,150; the budget allocation for the office of the Police Ombudsman for 2007-08 is £9.076 million. The permanent staff complement for the office in 2006-07 was 128. In addition, 13 staff were employed on historic inquiries related work.
How many published reports the Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland brought forward in 2006-07; how many criminal charges against police officers have been brought as a result of those reports; and what was the overall number of criminal convictions of police officers in that financial year. [HL5231]
Lord Rooker: The Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland has published three investigative reports in 2006-07; no criminal charges have been brought against police officers as a result of those reports. Further research reports have been published by the Office of the Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland during this period and can be found on its website.
What has been the total number of criminal convictions of police officers in Northern Ireland since the establishment of the Office of the Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland; and what has been the offence and resultant punishment relating to each conviction. [HL5233]
Lord Rooker: The PSNI has advised that 227 police officers have been convicted of criminal offences since the establishment of the Office of the Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland until 31 March 2007.
What has been the total number of police personnel serving in the Royal Ulster Constabulary or Police Service of Northern Ireland during each year since the establishment of the Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland. [HL5234]
|Regular||Full-time reserve||Part-time reserve||Total|
Whether any members of staff in the Office of the Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland have been (a) dismissed, or (b) suspended from duty or had their contracts curtailed since the office was established; and, if so, how many in each year. [HL5235]
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