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1994 - PMQT Written Answers 4th February 1994

Below is the text of the written answers relating to Prime Minister's Question Time from 4th February 1994.


PRIME MINISTER:

Special Advisers

Mr. Matthew Taylor : To ask the Prime Minister which advisers to his Office are seconded from other organisations; and what are the organisations and the lengths and terms of the secondment.

The Prime Minister : Lord Poole is on secondment to the policy unit from James Capel and Co. Ltd. The terms of the secondment are covered by the normal confidentiality rules which apply to employer-employee relationships. The other advisers in my Office are not engaged on secondment terms.


Political Honours

Dr. Wright : To ask the Prime Minister on how many occasions since 1979 the political honours scrutiny committee has referred back names submitted to it.

The Prime Minister : The political honours scrutiny committee is a committee of the Privy Council. Its proceedings are never divulged.

Dr. Wright : To ask the Prime Minister if he will arrange for future honours lists to include not only particulars of public service of recipients but information on their donations to party funds over the previous 10 years.

The Prime Minister : No.

Dr. Wright : To ask the Prime Minister what is the definition of the term "for political services" as used in honours lists.

The Prime Minister : The term is used to indicate that the person honoured has rendered public service through the exercise of a political office or through a political party.


Public Appointments Unit

Mr. McMaster : To ask the Prime Minister what information is available to right hon. and hon. Members from the public appointments unit; how this information can be obtained; and if he will make a statement.

The Prime Minister : The public appointments unit maintains a register of people who are willing to be considered for public appointments. A nomination form and a leaflet explaining the role of the unit, and giving details of the different personal qualities, skills and experience that may be required, is available from the director of the unit, which is in the Cabinet Office. The director welcomes nominations of suitable candidates from all hon. Members.

The unit also provides advice to Government Departments on public appointments policy and procedures. Details of central guidance and examples of good practice are given in the "Guide on Public Appointments Procedures", produced in September 1992, a copy of which is in the Library of the House.

Dr. Wright : To ask the Prime Minister how many names of candidates for public appointments are held on the Chief Whip's list as described in the Cabinet Office guide on public appointments procedures.

Mr. Waldegrave : I have been asked to reply.

My right hon. Friend has a number of sources of information upon which he can draw in providing advice, when requested.


Mr. Peter Levene

Mr. Llew Smith : To ask the Prime Minister what requests his office has received for Mr. Peter Levene to give evidence to the Scott inquiry.

The Prime Minister : None.


Disabled People

Mr. McMaster : To ask the Prime Minister what plans he has to promote the rights of disabled people within the international community.

The Prime Minister : Following the United Nations decade of disabled persons--1983 to 1992--a number of resolutions to promote the integration and equality of opportunity for disabled people have been adopted, which the Government have supported. These include standard rules on the equalisation of opportunities for persons with disabilities, and resolutions on the full integration of persons with disabilities and the international day of disabled persons. The United Kingdom is also involved in a number of European Community programmes designed to integrate disabled people more fully into society, including HELIOS, Horizon and TIDE.


No. 10 Downing Street

Mr. Nigel Griffiths : To ask the Prime Minister, pursuant to his answer of 1 February, Official Report, column 610, if he will list each category of miscellaneous indirect costs of non-official events held at 10 Downing Street.

The Prime Minister : I have nothing further to add to the reply I gave the hon. Member on 1 February 1994, Official Report, column 610.


Lords-lieutenant

Mr. Gordon Prentice : To ask the Prime Minister what are the powers and duties of the lords-lieutenant in England.

The Prime Minister : Lords-lieutenant have no statutory powers. Their principal function is to act as the sovereign's personal representative in the county concerned. Their duties include support of the armed forces, the magistracy and voluntary organisations, as well as certain civic and social functions.


Public Appointments

Sir Thomas Arnold : To ask the Prime Minister what estimate he has made of the total number of public appointments made by Ministers of the Crown or by the Crown or nominations by Ministers.

The Prime Minister : The information, as requested, could be provided only at disproportionate cost.


Belize

Dr. Spink : To ask the Prime Minister what recent contact he has had with the Prime Minister of Belize regarding the security situation; and if he will make a statement.

The Prime Minister : I met the Belize Prime Minister during the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in Limassol in October 1993. Mr. Esquivel and I have since exchanged letters.


Executive Agencies

Mr. Bayley : To ask the Prime Minister what proportion of civil servants were operating in agencies run along "next steps" lines as at July 1993.

The Prime Minister : Around 60 per cent. of civil servants were working in agencies and other organisations operating on "next steps" lines as at July 1993.


Cash Limits

Mr. David Atkinson : To ask the Prime Minister what proposals he has to change the 1993-94 cash limit or running costs limit for the Cabinet Office; other services vote.

The Prime Minister : Subject to parliamentary approval of the necessary supplementary estimate, the cash limit for class XIX, vote 1-- Cabinet Office : other services--will be increased by £166,000 from £21,634,000 to £21,800,000 and the running costs limit increased by £166,000 from £24,414,000 to £24,580,000. The increase will be offset by the following inter-departmental transfers and will not therefore add to the planned total of public expenditure :

(a) a reduction on Her Majesty's Treasury : administration--class XVII, vote 1--in respect of the transfer of provision for central services-- £116,000;

(b) the transfer of provision for Property Holdings maintenance charges-- £56,000;

(c) a transfer to Department of Social Security administration and miscellaneous services--class XIII, vote 4--for central services--£6, 000.


Angela Heylin

Mr. Cryer : To ask the Prime Minister if he will make a statement on the appointment of Angela Heylin to the citizens charter advisory group.

The Prime Minister : Members of the panel of advisers on the citizens charter are appointed in a personal capacity and bring independent, professional expertise from the private sector. Angela Heylin was appointed on that basis.


Lockerbie

Mr. Dalyell : To ask the Prime Minister whether he will discuss Lockerbie when he next meets President Clinton.

The Prime Minister [holding answer 3 February 1994] : The agenda for my meeting with President Clinton on 28 February has not yet been fixed.


Accounting Officers

Mr. Alan Williams : To ask the Prime Minister what were the two most recent occasions on which the Prime Minister decided that a written ministerial direction should be issued to an accounting officer overruling the accounting officer's advice.

The Prime Minister [holding answer 3 February 1994] : None, so far as I am aware.