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8 Jan 2002 : Column: 570W
international ranking of the science and engineering company base in terms of quality, relevance and cost-efficiency. 
Ms Hewitt: The most recent measurements of the international ranking of the Science and Engineering Base (SEB) in terms of quality, relevance and cost-effectiveness indicate that, the UK continues to maintain its position relative to other G7 nations. The details are as follows:
One measure of relevance is the UK's world ranking in terms of the proportion of university research funding from non-governmental sources. For the latest year for which data are available (1997), the UK was again ranked first among the G7 countries.
Cost-effectiveness is measured by the UK's world ranking in terms of the number of papers published per £1 million of public expenditure on science. In 1990, 1993, 1996 and 1999, the UK was the leading country in the G7. For the latest year (2000) the UK was again ranked first.
While the public service agreement targets described here provide a valuable indication of the strength of the UK science base relative to our competitors, other indications are also available. The results of the latest Research Assessment Exercise were published on 14 December and show that, since 1996 when the last study was carried out, many university research groups have significantly improved their performance.
Mr. Dodds: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (1) what assessment has been made of responsibility for the armed theft of electrical goods from a warehouse near Belfast on 21 November; 
(2) what assessment has been made of responsibility for the armed robbery of cigarettes at Belfast docks in June. 
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The procedures relating to the escorting of prisoners at outside hospitals have been reviewed and the operating instructions to officers have been revised.
In consultation with the Commissioner for Nursing and Heads of Nursing in relevant hospitals we are carrying out a review to ensure that the maximum use of medical facilities in prisons is made and that hospital escorts are restricted to essential cases only.
Prison security managers and hospital staff are reviewing the physical security of wards used for accommodating prisoners.
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will make a statement on progress with the Public Service Agreement target to increase overall confidence in the criminal justice system in Northern Ireland. 
Jane Kennedy: The Public Service Agreement target requires that an annual survey measure the level of confidence of both main parts of the community in the criminal justice system in Northern Ireland. The Community Attitudes Survey, which is conducted independently of the Northern Ireland Office, will provide baseline figures during this year for both sections of the community's level of confidence in the Northern Ireland criminal justice system.
Jane Kennedy: Baselines to monitor the target of a reduction in the rate of increase in overall crime are currently being established. Recorded crime figures for the current year, 200102, will be included in the calculation of the baseline to monitor this target. This baseline will be the average annual increase in crime from 199798 to 200102.
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will make a statement on progress with the Public Service Agreement target to secure ongoing efficiency savings in core departmental administration costs for each year of the planning period. 
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Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will make a statement on the results of the use of the additional funding allocated in the 2001 Budget to tackle drug-related crime and drug abuse. 
Jane Kennedy: The Chancellor awarded £9.347 million over three years to Northern Ireland in the 2001 Budget. Of this figure £6.23 million will be transferred to the NI Executive, the remainder being retained by the Northern Ireland Office. Both administrations are currently developing action plans to identify the key focus of the support programmes to tackle illicit drug use. It is too early to specify the impact of this additional funding.
Mr. Dodds: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will make a statement on the protocol to be followed by visiting Heads of State to Northern Ireland in respect of (a) official visits and (b) private visits. 
Dr. John Reid: When a Head of State makes an official visit to Northern Ireland full protocol is observed. The visitor is met by the lord-lieutenant of the county or county borough. The sheriff for the county or county borough, the mayor of the borough or chairman of the district council, the chief executive of the council and the Member of Parliament for the constituency are invited to take part in the presentation lines. Northern Ireland Office Ministers and devolved Ministers are also invited to take part in presentation lines as appropriate.
When a visit is classed as a working visit, a lord-lieutenant greets the Head of State. Members of Parliament, Northern Ireland Office Ministers and devolved Ministers are advised, for information only, of the Head of State's attendance at public venues within their constituency or areas of responsibility.
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