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Baroness Verma: Since May 2010, non-consolidated performance-related pay (NCPRP) for senior civil servants has been cut back. This has been achieved by reducing the number of people who receive awards from 65 per cent to 25 per cent of senior civil servants, so that only those who have given exceptional performance over the year were rewarded. This has delivered savings of around £15 million. For non-senior civil servants, the size of performance pay pots has been frozen so that overall spend on NCPRP for such staff has been restricted to around 1 per cent of pay bill. Further information on NCPRP, including total spend and the highest award made by each department and agency for the performance year 2010-11, was published on departmental websites and linked to data gov.uk in October 2011. Information on the number of civil servants earning more than £100.000 who received such awards is not held centrally.
Baroness Verma: Performance-related pay was introduced for professional grades in 1987 and extended to the whole of the Civil Service in 1989. In April 1996, pay was delegated to departments and agencies for their non-senior staff enabling them to tailor reward packages that met their own business needs. A close and effective link between pay and performance was (and remains) a condition of pay delegation. Greater use of non-consolidated performance-related pay was adopted as Civil Service reward policy following recommendations by Michael Bichard in his "Performance Management" report (published in 1999) and by John Makinson in his "Incentives for Change" report (published in 2000).
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will arrange a trial of cyclists being allowed to go through red lights to turn left or go straight on within zones with a 20 miles per hour speed limit, in conjunction with increased enforcement of stop rules at other junctions controlled by traffic lights. [HL15682]
Earl Attlee: There are already ways of giving cyclists priority over other traffic and improving their safety at junctions; for example, by introducing advanced stop lines, cycle bypasses and providing dedicated traffic signals for cyclists if required.
Current regulations, which prevent any vehicle going through a red light, would have to be changed to permit such a trial. We would need to see strong supporting evidence to demonstrate that this could be done in a manner that did not compromise the safety of motorists, cyclists and pedestrians, before considering any regulatory change or trial.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change (Lord Marland): The Government will shortly publish a consultation on the Data and Communications Company licence which will cover this issue and provide further details of our approach to finalising enrolment criteria.
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether, in the course of building trade and investment links with India, they are allocating part of the aid budget to public-private partnerships which are not connected to traditional aid priorities.[HL15811]
Baroness Northover: Her Majesty's Government are not allocating any aid in the course of building trade and investment links with India, because all aid is untied. All UK aid spent in India and elsewhere meets the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development Development Assistance Committee rules governing the definition of overseas development assistance.
The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): The constitutional declaration of 30 March provides for freedom of belief, opinion and expression. However, Christians face discrimination through the implementation of laws on the building of places of worship, and the
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The Egyptian Government have announced new laws banning protests around religious sites and criminalising sectarian attacks. They also said in 2011 that they would issue a new unified law on the construction of houses of worship and a new anti-discrimination law. Consultation with faith groups is ongoing but these laws are yet to be approved. We continue to urge the Egyptian authorities to establish the conditions for pluralist and non-sectarian politics, and for the freedom of religion for all faiths to be enshrined in the new constitution and in law.
Lord Howell of Guildford: We remain concerned about significant restrictions on religious freedom in Uzbekistan, in particular, the use of criminal law to penalise the peaceful exercise of religious freedom. Although Uzbekistan's constitution provides for freedom of religion, a 1998 law restricts many rights to registered religious groups only and limits which groups can register. There are reportedly 16 religious denominations registered in Uzbekistan. A large number of individuals have been charged, detained and sentenced in relation to their religious beliefs in recent years.
Our embassy in Tashkent closely monitors freedom of religion and the treatment of worshippers, including through regular contacts with civil society. We regularly raise our concerns with the Uzbek authorities, both bilaterally and with our European Union partners, as well as in international fora such as the United Nations Human Rights Council and the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe.
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will make representations to the Government of Saudi Arabia for the International Committee of the Red Cross to have access to all prisoners and detainees held in that country, including nationals and non-nationals.[HL15878]
The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): We have not made representations to the Saudi Arabian Government on behalf of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to facilitate its access to detainees in Saudi Arabia, and we have not been approached by the ICRC to do so. Our embassy has raised the issue of arbitrary detentions with the Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry of Justice and aims to maintain a dialogue on this area of concern.
The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): The London conference on Somalia on 23 February discussed counterterrorism and counterpiracy as part of a wider approach to tackling the problems of Somalia, including dealing with the underlying causes of instability in the country.
The conference condemned terrorism and violent extremism, whether perpetrated by Somalis or foreigners. Participants agreed to work together with greater determination, and with full respect for the rule of law, human rights, and international humanitarian law, to build capacity to disrupt terrorism in the Horn of Africa region and to address conditions conducive to the spread of extremism. Key areas of focus were disrupting terrorists' travel to and from Somalia, disrupting terrorist finances and support to the Somalia criminal justice system.
Attendees reiterated their determination to eradicate piracy, noting that the problem required a comprehensive approach on land as well as at sea. They welcomed the success of international military efforts, but agreed that piracy could not be solved by military means alone. They reiterated the importance of supporting communities to tackle the underlying causes of piracy, and improving the effective use of Somali coastal waters through regional maritime capacity-building measures. They also welcomed the efforts of partners in industry against piracy, agreed that there would be no impunity for piracy and reiterated international determination to prosecute the kingpins of piracy. During the conference, the UK signed a bilateral memorandum of understanding with Tanzania to allow for the transfer of suspected pirates for prosecution; and Mauritius, the Seychelles, Kenya and Tanzania agreed a statement outlining their shared support for regional burden sharing. In addition to this, the UK, Netherlands, Seychelles and Interpol announced their support to establish an anti-piracy intelligence centre to target the kingpins of piracy.
Lord Howell of Guildford: We secured senior attendance from the region, including: Ethiopia; Kenya; Tanzania; Djibouti; Uganda; and the Inter-Governmental Authority for Development. Representatives from Somalia included: the leaders of the transitional federal institutions; the mayor of Mogadishu; the presidents of Puntland and Galmudug; and representatives of Ahlu Sunnah wal Jamaah. We welcomed the participation of the president
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Lord Howell of Guildford: The 23 February London conference on Somalia was attended by senior representatives from over 40 states and multilateral organisations, including Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, the United States, the United Arab Emirates, the United Nations, African Union, European Union, Inter-Governmental Authority for Development, Organisation of Islamic Conference, and League of Arab States.
Somalia was represented by leaders of the transitional federal institutions; the mayor of Mogadishu, the presidents of Puntland and Galmudug; and representatives of Ahlu Sunnah wal Jamaah. President Silanyo of Somaliland also attended.
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether, at the forthcoming Somalia conference in London, they will press for substantial increases in the number of monitors in Somalia from the Office of the United Nations Commissioner for Human Rights, and for the independence of those monitors from the United Nations Political Office for Somalia to be guaranteed, in order to ensure impartial monitoring and reporting.[HL15828]
Lord Howell of Guildford: The UK is deeply concerned about the human rights situation in Somalia. Twenty years of civil conflict have seriously eroded the systems that existed to protect the rights of Somali citizens. To address the human rights situation seriously, we need stability and an agreed approach to civilian protection. Human rights monitoring can and does play a part in this. We continue to support the work of the United Nations (UN)-mandated Independent Expert on Somalia, who has responsibility for reporting to the international community on the human rights situation in the country, and the work of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. The London conference on 23 February agreed a more coherent and co-ordinated international approach to address the underlying problems in Somalia, which result in human rights violations and contribute to the culture of impunity.
As set out in the London conference communiqué, conference participants agreed that "respect for human rights must be at the heart of the peace process. We called for action to address in particular the grave human rights violations and abuses that women and children face. We emphasised that journalists must be able to operate freely and without fear. Civilians must be protected. We called on the Somali authorities to take measures to uphold human rights and end the culture of impunity. We agreed to step up international efforts including through the UN human rights architecture".
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