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Whether they will conduct an enquiry into whether there are "rogue elements" in the intelligence services and into what they have done beyond the scope of their official functions.[HL3196]
The Lord Privy Seal (Lord Williams of Mostyn): I refer the noble Lord to the Answer given in another place by my right honourable friend the Prime Minister to the Member for Chingford and Woodford Green on 4 June 2003, (Official Report, Commons, cols. 14750).
Baroness Andrews: All registrants must meet the standards of proficiency when first registered with the Health Professions Council. Thereafter, they are required to remain within their scope of practice which for educators and managers will reflect their current roles.
On what criteria they will assess whether commissioning consortia are working well;[HL3116]
Given that primary care trusts and commissioning consortia members have the discretion to decide their own remit and terms of reference, what power
Baroness Andrews: Strategic health authorities (SHAs) are responsible for the oversight and performance management of collaborative commissioning groups for specialised services and their service-specific consortia and they will assess, in the light of guidance and taking into account local circumstances, whether commissioning arrangements are working well.
The powers of SHAs in relation to primary care trusts are found in The National Health Service (Functions of Strategic Health Authorities and Primary Care Trusts and Administration Arrangements) (England) Regulations 2002 (SI no 2002/2375) Regulation (3) (5).
Where there are concerns following a clinical governance review (CGR) report by the Commission for Health Improvement, the SHA will work with the NHS organisation to address the concerns identified and will be responsible for monitoring the CGR action plan as part of its performance management role.
Baroness Andrews: Exercise Red Scar was run by the Health Protection Agency (HPA) in March this year to test the operational response to a suspected case of smallpox. The agency intends to publish the summary report of the exercise on its website. A full report of the exercise has been sent to participants, and the lessons learned from the exercise will be disseminated to HPA and National Health Service staff as appropriate.
Baroness Andrews: There is an increasing amount of independent research on the costs and benefits of direct payments. Over the next three years, the operation of the Department of Health's Direct Payments Development Fund will provide opportunities to learn more as independent evaluation will be built into each activity supported by the fund.
The Minister of State, Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (Lord Rooker): Information on the numbers of evictions from social housing for council tax arrears is not collected centrally and so could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
Although figures for committal orders obtained and postponed are not collected by central government, they are reported by local authorities to the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy on its annual revenue collection statistics form. Estimated figures for England, for the latest three years for which information is available, are:
Lord Rooker: The Fire Brigades Union Executive Council recommended an offer from the Fire Service's national employers to its recall conference on 12 June. The conference voted to accept the offer, and a final agreement has been signed by employers and the union. The Government welcome this agreement which brings an end to the dispute.
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