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Mr. Ian McCartney: We are making excellent progress as our report, "Citizens First", shows. My hon. Friend will be aware that in his constituency Thameside NHS trust holds Chartermarks, both for its learning disability and continuing care services--just two examples of the Government's determination to reward and promote excellence in public services.
We have a clear framework for investment in services, based on the Government's policy goals. We are focusing on the user of public services and setting targets to drive forward change and delivery. We are becoming an e-Government, not for its own sake but to make life easier for people, as UK Online is doing. And we are restoring the value of public service. We are delivering modernisation with a purpose, delivering results that matter and make a difference.
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Mr. Stringer: This Government are determined that regulations should not be introduced unless they are really necessary and the benefits justify the costs. A thorough regulatory impact assessment is required for all new regulations that impact on business. Over the last two years, we have introduced a number of initiatives to support and strengthen this process such as the panel for regulatory accountability, a minimum three-month consultation period and a revised assessment of costs and benefits with a greater emphasis on the impact on small businesses.
Marjorie Mowlam: Within the last 12 months the Cabinet Office has published revised guidance on quinquennial reviews of Executive agencies. This guidance reiterates the need for transparency and accountability both to Parliament and to the public in the review process.
13. Mr. Wilkinson: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what plans she has to issue guidelines to Government Departments for the co-ordination of implementation programmes for European Union regulations in 2001. 
Mr. Stringer: The "Guide to Better European Regulation" was published in 1999. This brings together guidance on assessing proposals for, negotiating, implementing, monitoring and reviewing EC legislation. I am keeping under review as to when or how it should be revised.
Mr. Stringer: The Commissioner for Public Appointments, Dame Rennie Fritchie, regulates ministerial appointments to public bodies within her remit. Her work and advice is highly regarded and respected by the Government.
Mr. Ian McCartney: For the year 1989, the published Home Office Statistical Bulletin reveals some 1,191 deaths due to controlled drugs. This figure includes poisonings, suicides and those dying from AIDS acquired through injecting drug use, as well as the dependent and
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non-dependent use of controlled drugs. There are no official estimates for the number of drug-related deaths for 2001.
However, latest figures indicate that there are over 3,000 drug-related deaths annually within the United Kingdom. As part of the Government's 10-year strategy for reducing drugs misuse, we are committed to reducing the number of these tragedies. We have made available the resources to make this possible and will shortly be announcing our response to the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs report "Reducing Drug Related Deaths".
Marjorie Mowlam: My right hon. Friend the Minister for the Cabinet Office chairs the ministerial network on social exclusion which chases progress on implementation of the social exclusion unit's existing reports on specific aspects of social exclusion. Previous projects have been on truancy and school exclusion; rough sleeping; teenage pregnancy; new opportunities for 16 to 18-year-olds not in education, employment and training and poor neighbourhoods. These reports have all led to tangible change, both within Government and on the ground.
The unit underwent an external review in 1999 when its project-based approach and working methods were widely welcomed. The Prime Minister announced to Parliament in December 1999 that the SEU should continue its work and be reviewed again by the end of 2002.
Indeed, on Monday this week, my right hon. Friend the Minister for Local Government and the Regions informed the House of the publication of the unit's latest report which set out the Government's "National Strategy for Neighbourhood Renewal: A New Commitment to Neighbourhood Renewal".
The new strategy has been developed in a response to previous social exclusion unit reports on the poverty suffered by residents of deprived areas and will be implemented by a new unit, based in DETR.
As Minister for the Cabinet Office, I am responsible for the effective co-ordination and presentation of the Government's policies. This includes responsibilities in the areas of biotechnology; combating drug misuse; overall responsibility for the work of the Cabinet Office; and discharging the day-to-day responsibilities of the Minister for the Civil Service. As Chancellor of the
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19. Mr. Fabricant: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what assessment she has made of progress in achieving the Government's targets in use of information technology within the civil service, with special reference to the provision of forms for the use of the public. 
We have a good story to tell: for central Government we have identified 451 services to the citizen and to business and already one third of them are available online. Many of these replace simple forms to request information, and some Government forms are now fully downloadable, such as those for the Court service.
24. Dr. George Turner: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what assessment she makes of progress towards Government targets for the use of information and communications technology in transactions with the public. 
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