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To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what support his
Department has provided to health systems in each of the last five years in Zambia; and if he will provide details of that support. 
Hilary Benn: Strengthening the systems that deliver health services is a priority for DFID in Zambia. Under Zambias Joint Assistance Strategy, DFID is the overall lead donor in the health sector during 2007 and has responsibility for coordinating the contributions of 15 multilateral and bilateral agencies.
DFID is also providing technical support to the implementation of the Zambian Governments human resources strategic plan which is working to address Zambias severe human resource crisis in the health sector. In addition, we are supporting improvements to financial management, monitoring and evaluation, as well as timely procurement of drugs and supplies.
DFID does not have a formal definition of health systems but the following table shows DFID spend in the health sector in Zambia. The top three rows relate most closely to health systems. Direct Budget Support means the funds have been provided directly to the Zambian Governments budget either for general or sector specific purposes. The data incorporate a notional allocation of 20 per cent. of Direct Budget Support for the health sector.
|DFID bilateral expenditure in Zambia in health sector|
|Input sector||2002-03||2003-04||2004-05||2005-06||2006-07( 1)|
Hilary Benn: In April 2006, health user fees were removed in all Zambian government-funded health institutions in rural areas. This has made health care free at the point of access in 54 of Zambia's 72 districts. Overall, it is estimated that a third more people are being seen in health facilities. However, there has been concern about the quality of services. In many clinics, drugs ran out, and health workers become even more overworked than before. There is a plan to expand free care to peri-urban areas later in 2007. Expansion to urban areas is expected to follow in time; however this needs to be undertaken with care because of the limited capacity of current facilities such as numbers of clinics, health workers and drug supply systems to cope with additional use.
The Government of Zambia, together with DFID, has therefore prioritised improvements to drug procurement and supply chain systems, and the development of plans to address the human resource crisis. To assist, DFID plans to provide an additional £2.9 million per year for five years in general budget support, which will be used to increase the grants to districts, procure drugs, and recruit and retain more health workers.
Mr. Heald: To ask the Minister of State, Ministry of Justice pursuant to the answer of 16 May 2007, Official Report, columns 783-84W, on Departments: Manpower, for what reasons, subject to personal confidentiality, the 67 employees are potentially without posts. 
Bridget Prentice: The 67 employees referred to in the answer of 16 May 2007, Official Report, columns 783-84W, are from former DCA, the Criminal Injuries Complaints Authority and NOMS HQ. All are actively in employment, but due to business reasons, for example restructuring, relocation, closure of offices/courts, the end of projects/secondments etc, their posts are potentially coming to an end. The majority of the 67 employees comprise 39 members of staff from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority, which is relocating to Scotland later this year. Their redeployment status is being managed in securing suitable alternative employment within the Ministry of Justice or the wider civil service.
Mr. Heald: To ask the Minister of State, Ministry of Justice pursuant to the answer of 16 May 2007, Official Report, columns 783-84W, on Departments: Manpower, what the estimated yearly cost to the public purse is of funding the employees without posts. 
Bridget Prentice: As the 67 employees referred to in the written PQ of 16 May 2007, Official Report, columns 783-84W, are actively in employment, and their redeployment status is being managed in securing suitable alternative employment within the Ministry of Justice or the wider civil service, there is no yearly cost to the public purse.
Mr. Heald: To ask the Minister of State, Ministry of Justice what visits she has made involving a mix of political and official engagements where Government car service vehicles were used in 2007; and whether the Government were reimbursed a proportion of the cost in each case. 
Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Minister of State, Ministry of Justice how many offenders convicted of child abuse were released on home detention curfews in the Metropolitan Police district in each London borough in each year since their introduction. 
Since March 2001 offenders required to register under the Sex Offender Act 1997 (now replaced by part 2 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003) have been statutorily excluded from being considered for home detention curfew. Prior to March 2001 such prisoners were presumed unsuitable for release unless there were exceptional circumstances. Since July 2003 prisoners with any history of sexual offending and those serving a current sentence for offences involving child cruelty, neglect or similar offences involving violence against children have been presumed unsuitable for release unless there are exceptional circumstances.
Statistics which apply solely to offences against children of a violent or sexual nature would not be available without disproportionate cost and would not be available for each London borough in the Metropolitan area.
Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Minister of State, Ministry of Justice how many offenders were released on home detention curfews in the Metropolitan Police district in each London borough in each year since their introduction. 
|Home detention curfew release( 1) and population figures by sex, England and Wales|
1. This table is taken from table 10.3 in the Offender Management Caseload Statistics 2005. Information showing the figures by individual London boroughs within the Metropolitan Police district is not held centrally.
2. These figures have been drawn from administrative IT systems, which, as with any large scale recording system, are subject to possible errors with data entry and processing.
Bridget Prentice: We have discussed the Legal Services Bill with those representing both the Trades Union Congress and individual unions. While they have expressed support for the aims of the Legal Services Bill, they have been concerned to ensure that it does not inadvertently restrict trade unions from providing valuable support and assistance to their members.
Andrew Stunell: To ask the Minister of State, Ministry of Justice what plans she has to increase resources for life sentence plans at each prison where the number of prisoners exceeds the programme capacity; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Sutcliffe: Prisons receive funding to manage all prisoners, including those subject to the life sentence planning process. For 2007-08, the National Offender Management Service (NOMS) Board has allocated additional funding, specifically to provide for assessments of and programmes for prisoners sentenced to an indeterminate sentence of Imprisonment for Public Protection, who are also currently subject to the life sentence planning process. The additional funding will be distributed to prisons where such prisoners are held. The NOMS Board has also commissioned a service review which is looking at the systems and services currently in place for indeterminate sentenced prisoners. The final report and recommendations are expected in August 2007.
Mr. Clegg: To ask the Minister of State, Ministry of Justice whether an estimate has been made of the total potential liability faced by the Government from claims before the Independent Assessor of Compensation for Miscarriages of Justice; what oversight mechanism is in place to review the assessor's work; what the budget of her office is for 2007-08; how many and what proportion of cases completed in 2006-07 took more than two years to conclude; what the average length of an independent assessment process was over the last five years; in how many open cases interim but not final payments have been awarded; how many cases are before the assessor as at 7 June; how much the assessor was paid in each of the last five years; and how much has been deducted for board and lodging in awards made by the assessor in each of the last five years. 
Mr. Sutcliffe: It was estimated at 31 March 2007 that the potential liability in respect of compensation for miscarriage of justice was some £25 million. This estimate was based on the number of cases in which the Secretary of State had approved eligibility for compensation and in which the assessor was to make his final assessments. The performance of the independent assessor is monitored by the miscarriages of justice team in the Better Trials Unit of the Office for Criminal Justice Reform. A monthly audit of cases is carried out and regular meetings are held with the assessor. It is also open to any applicant who is dissatisfied with the assessor's handling of their case to seek a judicial review.
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