|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what proportion of ordinary written questions for her Department were answered within a week of tabling in each month since June 2001; and what proportion of questions for named day received a substantive answer on that day in each month since June 2001. 
Clare Short: DFID aim to answer all written questions within a week of tabling, and all named day questions on the date specified. The information requested in the question is not easily accessible and would be available only with disproportionate effort.
Mr. Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much was spent by her Department on paying pensions to retired employees of her Department in 200102; if she will estimate the corresponding amounts to be spent in (a) five years' time, (b) 10 years' time, (c) 20 years' time and (d) 30 years' time; if she will estimate in each case the proportion of such liabilities which will arise from (i) unfunded pension schemes and (ii) pre-funded pension schemes; and in the case of pre-funded schemes, if she will estimate the value of the corresponding pre-funded funds in each of these years. 
David Hamilton: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if she will make a statement on the progress of the Africa trade and poverty programme; and what the UK Government's policy aims to assist poverty reduction are. 
10 Jun 2002 : Column 726W
Dr. Iddon: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if she will offer assistance to the Indian Government to provide (a) general aid and (b) food supplies, to those made homeless in the recent disturbances in the Indian State of Gujarat and who are now living in refugee camps. 
The State Government of Gujarat has up until now refused the assistance of the international community but talks are on-going and we are hopeful that the limited support provided by UNICEF, WHO and international NGOs will soon be increased.
Tony Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if she will list the performance targets that her Department, its agencies and non- departmental public bodies are required to meet, apart from those set out in the public service agreements for 1999 to 2002 and 2001 to 2004; and if she will specify for each target (a) who sets it and (b) who monitors achievement against it. 
Crown Agents Holding and Realisation Board
Overseas Service Pensions Scheme Advisory Board.
Clare Short: Since 1998 we have committed over £100 million to help develop and improve the education sectors in Uganda and Rwanda, with particular emphasis on primary education. Both Uganda and Rwanda have made significant achievements and are on track to achieve the International Development Target of Universal Primary Education (UPE) by 2015.
We do not provide direct assistance to education programmes in the other Great Lakes countries, where our main focus is on supporting the peace process and providing humanitarian aid. Full scale development efforts are impossible in countries still in conflict. As
10 Jun 2002 : Column 727W
progress is made in resolving the conflicts in Burundi and DRC rebuilding the education system will be an important issue and we will look for early opportunities to encourage the IFIs (particularly the EU) to provide effective support for education in these countries. We will also look at the UK's bilateral role in rebuilding these countries.
Ms Oona King: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what funding her Department has allocated in 200203 for projects in the Democratic Republic of Congo; and if she will list them. 
Clare Short: My Department has allocated more than £11 million for work in the Democratic Republic of Congo in 200203. Much of this is to meet urgent humanitarian needs and we expect to make contributions to ICRC and UN appeals. Other sums have been designated for support to different aspects of the Peace Process, including supporting the World bank regional demobilisation programme, and grassroots peace-building initiatives. Expenditure to meet humanitarian need and aspects of the peace process is incurred at very short notice and it is not possible to list projects in advance.
Mr. Tyrie: To ask the President of the Council on how many occasions between 31 March 2001 and 31 March 2002 (a) departmental and (b) non-departmental special advisers have travelled abroad in an official capacity; what places were visited; and how much each visit cost. 
Mr. Robin Cook: During the specified period, one departmental special adviser travelled abroad in an official capacity. He went to Dublin in October 2001 to visit Dáil Eireann in order to explore their proposals for reforming their Chamber. The total cost of this visit was £348.13.
Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the President of the Council what proportion of ordinary written questions for his Department were answered within a week of tabling in each month since June 2001; and what proportion of questions for named day received a substantive answer on that day in each month since June 2001. 
|Month||Ordinary written questions answered within one week||Named day questions answered substantively on that day|
(1) None tabled
10 Jun 2002 : Column 728W
Mr. Allen: To ask the President of the Council how many e-mail responses have been received by the mediator of the pre-legislative scrutiny regarding the Joint Committee on the Communications Bill's first session of evidence taking; how they have been acknowledged; and if he will make a statement on how successful the pilot has been. 
The Solicitor-General [holding answer 2 May 2002]: The Attorney-General and I have considered closely the current system and agree with the assessment of Sir Robin Auld in his "Review of the Criminal Courts of England and Wales" that on the whole the procedure appears to be working well. However, we will keep the system under review at all times.
Mr. Gordon Marsden: To ask the Solicitor-General what steps her Department has taken to ensure that victims of crime and other interested parties are routinely informed of the procedures and timescale for requesting that a sentence be referred to the Court of Appeal on the grounds of undue lenience. 
The Solicitor-General [holding answer 2 May 2002]: Sections 35 and 36 of the Criminal Justice Act 1988 provide that the Law Officers may refer sentences passed in the Crown Court for a limited range of serious offences to the Court of Appeal for review if it appears to the Law Officer that the sentence passed is unduly lenient. The Law Officers must give notice to the Registrar of Criminal Appeals of an application for leave to refer within 28 days from the day on which the sentence was passed. This time limit is fixed by statute and cannot be extended.
It is most often the relevant prosecuting authority, such as the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), the Serious Fraud Office, etc., that gives consideration as to whether the sentence passed in a particular case is so lenient that the matter should be brought to the attention of the Law Officers, for consideration of a referral to the Court of Appeal as an unduly lenient sentence.
10 Jun 2002 : Column 729W
In addition, both the Law Officers and the CPS receive complaints from victims of crime, Members of Parliament, members of the public, through the media or otherwise that particular sentences passed were lenient. If, in response to such a complaint, the CPS decides that the sentence does not merit submitting the matter to the Law Officers for consideration it will write to the complainant to complain direct to the Law Officers.
Complaints received by the Law Officers are considered in person by a Law Officer, often with advice from counsel experienced in sentencing law. A reply explaining the Law Officer's decision whether or not to refer the case to the Court of Appeal will be sent to the correspondent.
Since 1988 the CPS, being the principal prosecuting authority in England and Wales and responsible for the vast majority of prosecutions brought before the courts, has identified a substantial number of suitable cases to submit to the Law Officers for consideration of a reference. Advocates acting for the CPS in the Crown Court are instructed to consider whether sentences passed should be submitted to the Law Officers for consideration of a reference.
Experience suggests that victims who are at court at the time of sentencing and who are concerned about the sentence passed will express that concern to the police or prosecution representatives who would be expected to explain the options that may be available in taking those concerns forward.
Under the victim's charter the police have a responsibility for advising victims of the outcome of cases. CPS prosecutors will often advise victims of the case outcome in cases where there is a pre-existing line of communication between the CPS and the victim.
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|