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It is for Departments to decide what contractual information to publish. But we took steps in 1998 to encourage greater openness of PFI contractual information, with Treasury Taskforce Policy Statement No 4 on "Disclosure of Information and Consultation with Staff and Other Interested Parties". This publication, which is available on the Office of Government Commerce website, built on the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information produced by the Cabinet Office (Second Edition 1997) which said that:
If a supplier wishes to invoice a Government Department in euro it can do. The Government Department does not take the exchange risk. The euro is treated just like any other major international currency.
At 1 April 2001, 39.9 per cent. of senior civil service posts were based outside London. Data are not collected centrally on the numbers of senior civil servants who have worked outside London in the past.
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Tom Brake: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister (1) what guidance has been given by his Department to Government Departments and agencies since May 1997 with respect to (a) contacts between civil servants and representatives from, (b) sponsorship of Government Departments or events by, (c) secondees working within Government Departments from and (d) secondees from Government Departments to (i) BP, (ii) Shell, (iii) Exxon- Mobil, (iv) Enron, (v) Conoco, (vi) Texaco and (vii) TotalFinaElf; on what dates the guidance was issued; and if he will place related documentation in the Library; 
Mr. Leslie: Civil servants on secondment to the private and public sectors continue to be civil servants and are, therefore, governed by the requirements of the Civil Service Code. Individuals from the private and public sectors on secondment to the civil service are also subject to the requirements of the Civil Service Code for the duration of their appointment. Individuals are advised of the terms of their secondment in their letter of appointment.
Civil servants wishing to take up employment outside the civil service are subject to the requirements of the Business Appointment Rules which are set out in full in the Civil Service Management Code.
The Directory of Civil Service Guidance sets out guidance for civil servants on sponsorship of outside events and contacts with outside interest groups, including lobbyists. Copies of the Codes and Directory referred to in this answer are in the Library of the House.
Norman Baker: To ask the Prime Minister what is the estimated cost to the public funds arising from the reopening of the Hammond Inquiry into the application for the naturalisation by Mr. S. P. Hinduja in 1998. 
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Norman Baker: To ask the Prime Minister what role was played by (a) Ministers, (b) civil servants and (c) special advisers in contributing to the story in the Sunday Times, edition 3 February, concerning the reopening of the Hammond Inquiry into the application for naturalisation by Mr. S. P. Hinduja. 
The Prime Minister: I met a group of Afghan women refugees in Pakistan on 7 January. They told me about the brutal repression they had faced in Afghanistan under the Taliban and their hopes for a better life in the new Afghanistan. I also met a group of Afghan women in the UK on 31 January at Downing Street.
I also discussed the issues facing women in Afghanistan with Hamid Karzai, Chair of the Afghan Interim Administration, and Dr. Sima Samar, Vice-Chair and Minister for Women, during my visit to Afghanistan on 7 January, and their visit to London on 31 January. We agreed that education and training are key in restoring rights to women in Afghanistan. Mr. Karzai confirmed that getting girls back to school is an urgent priority for the Interim Administration.
Mr. Denham [holding answer 25 January 2002]: The Police Act 1996 requires Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary to inspect and report on the efficiency and effectiveness of every police force in England and Wales.
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Where an inspection finds that a force is not efficient or effective, or is at risk of becoming so, the Home Secretary is empowered to require specific measures to be taken by the police authority.
Under the Local Government Act 1999 police authorities are required to secure continuous improvement in the way in which their functions are exercised. Where the Secretary of State is satisfied that an authority is failing in its duties under the Act, he may direct the authority to take such action as he considers necessary.
The White Paper "Policing a New Century" (CM 5326) set out the Government's intention to introduce a National Policing Plan, three year plans for police authorities, and a framework of Regulations, codes of practice and guidance. These and other measures are currently before Parliament in the Police Reform Bill. The new Standards Unit will also have a key role in performance and spreading best practice in the light of the proposed changes.
Mr. Swire: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many special constables there were in Devon and Cornwall constabulary in (a) 1992 and (b) 1997; and what the latest available figure is; 
Figures for December 1992 provided by HMIC. Figures for March 1997 and 2001 provided by RDS.
Home Office-funded research into the premature wastage of special constables, completed last year, found that the primary reasons for leaving were often external to the service. However, the research identified some underlying management factors contributing to the decision to resign.
Recommendations aimed at reducing the wastage included making improvements to: the management structure within which specials operate; the quality of training provided locally; the flexibility of duties and hours offered and to local efforts to monitor and prevent wastage.
The Government are committed to increasing the special constabulary and as part of the police reform process we are looking at radical improvements in the management, welfare and deployment of special constables.
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