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Baroness Scotland of Asthal: Along with EU partners, we will be expressing our concern about the human rights situation in China in the common statement on country situations at the forthcoming 57th session of the UN Commission on Human Rights. Discussion on this EU common statement is under way. We will be pressing for the statement to include a call for the rights of the child in China to be recognised.
The Minister of State, Cabinet Office (Lord Falconer of Thoroton): Under the Parliamentary Commissioner Act 1967, members of the public must submit complaints to the Parliamentary Commissioner for Administration through a Member of Parliament (the "MP filter"). The operation of the filter was examined as part of a review of the Public Sector Ombudsmen in England, which was completed last year. We are currently considering all the responses to a consultation paper on the review, issued in June last year. An announcement on the outcome of the consultation and the next steps will be made before Easter.
On what dates since 1 January Lord Falconer of Thoroton or his representatives have held meetings with representatives of Legacy plc; and [HL811]
Whether they are satisfied that Legacy plc has the proper funding in place to sustain the development of the Millennium Dome site; and, if so, when they will publish the reasons why they are so satisfied; and [HL812]
What proportion of tenancies of the Millennium Dome site does the Legacy plc offer guarantee should be taken by the hi-tech business sector; and [HL813]
Whether Legacy plc has met all the Government's requirements for preferred bidder status; and, if so, whether they will list those requirements and the dates upon which they were met; and [HL814]
What steps they took before granting Legacy plc preferred bidder status to obtain satisfactory reassurances about the financial strength of that company. [HL815]
Lord Falconer of Thoroton: I refer the noble Baroness to my answer of 15 February to Baroness Gould of Potternewton (WA 53). Legacy's preferred bidder status expired on 14 February and the Government are no longer in negotiation with the company. The existing competition was terminated on 15 February and a new process is now being set up.
What steps they are taking to redress the community imbalance on the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission; and [HL940]
When the vacancy on the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission will be filled; and whether they will ensure that any appointment will contribute to redressing the community imbalance on the Commission. [HL941]
Lord Falconer of Thoroton: The Secretary of State is satisfied that the commissoners, as a group, are representative of the community of Northern Ireland. Appointments to the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission are made according to the guidelines issued by the Office of the Commissioner for Public Appointments and with regard for the Secretary of State's statutory duty under Section 68(3) of the Northern Ireland Act 1998. The Government have recently indicated that we wish to make further appointments to the commission. An advertisement inviting applications appeared in the Belfast Telegraph on 23 February.
Lord Falconer of Thoroton: We have always made clear that we would be prepared to consider any bid by the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission for further funding, provided it was supported by a properly costed business case. Any bid would need to be considered against the other pressures on the Northern Ireland Office's budget. A bid from the commission was received during the Christmas break and is currently being considered.
Lord Falconer of Thoroton: This is a matter for the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission. The Chief Commissioner has been asked to write to the noble Lord. A copy of his letter will be placed in the Library.
Lord Falconer of Thoroton: Computerised records from 1993-94 to date indicate that the Northern Ireland Office has not funded the Committee for the Administration of Justice in Northern Ireland. Information prior to this period is not readily available.
Lord Falconer of Thoroton: The Strategic Communications Unit is responsible for the Downing Street website. Users can register on the 10 Downing Street site to receive regular news updates by e-mail. The Downing Street website does not currently host any newsgroups.
Lord Falconer of Thoroton: As with all government internet sites, the No 10 site, which is produced by the Strategic Communications Unit, is available via the UK online citizen portal. In addition, the Strategic Communications Unit is represented on the UK online editorial board alongside representatives from across government and the devolved administrations.
Whether the strategy outlined in UK online: the broadband future is consistent with the pledge to make the United Kingdom the best place among the G7 for broadband services by 2005. [HL859]
This fund and the other actions outlined in the recent report, UK online: the broadband future, are a significant contribution towards ensuring that the UK has the most extensive and competitive broadband market in the G7 by 2005. The strategy was devised in consultation with industry and has been warmly welcomed by the CBI and Institute of Directors.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): The Food Standards Agency advises that the only proposals before the Council of Ministers relating to the inspection of animals and animal carcasses in slaughterhouses of which they are aware are those published in July 2000 concerning the consolidation
The agency has also circulated a recent Commission discussion paper on risk based meat inspection that refers to the Scientific Committee on Veterinary Measures relating to public health's opinion on post-mortem procedures for fattening pigs raised under controlled circumstances. The paper also includes suggestions relating to the possible integration of ante-and post-mortem inspection into a hazard analysis critical control points (HACCP)-based system.
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