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Equal Treatment

Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the incorporation into UK law of EU Directive 2000/43/EC on the principle of equal treatment on the grounds of race or ethnic origin. [953]

Angela Eagle: The Directive was agreed unanimously at the European Social Affairs Council on 6 June 2000, and was published in the Official Journal of the European Communities on 19 July 2000. We are working to implement the Directive by 2003. Implementation will require a number of mainly technical amendments to the Race Relations Act 1976.

Corporate Killing

Mr. Dismore: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has to introduce an offence of corporate killing; and if he will make a statement. [51]

Mr. Keith Bradley: The Government remain committed to the introduction of an offence of corporate killing. We will honour our manifesto commitment to reform the law to make provisions against corporate manslaughter. We intend to publish final proposals for the reform of the law on involuntary manslaughter as soon as we have completed consideration of the responses to the consultation exercise.

We are determined to bring forward clear and workable legislation that will hold undertakings to account for serious wrongdoing and will legislate when parliamentary time allows.

Suicides (Winchester Prison)

Mr. Oaten: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list (a) suicide rates for each of the last five years at Winchester prison and (b) the national prison average for the same period. [250]

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Beverley Hughes: The rates and numbers of self-inflicted prisoner deaths at Winchester prison and establishments in England and Wales as a whole, are set out in the table. The Prison Service's new suicide prevention strategy targets prisoners most at risk in the types of prisons, mostly locals, where the risk of suicides is highest. There is an early focus on pilots in five establishments--including Winchester--with a range of changes that include physical improvements to reception and induction areas and more first night support centres and safe cells.

The number and rates of self-inflicted deaths for Winchester prison and all establishments in England and Wales between 1 January 1997 and 21 June 2001

Winchester prison England and Wales
YearNumberRate per 100,000NumberRate per 100,000

(2) Rate based on average year population up to 31 May 2001

Asylum Seekers

Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the average time taken for asylum applicants to receive an initial decision on their asylum application is; and if he will make a statement. [175]

Angela Eagle [holding answer 25 June 2001]: Information is not available for the whole of 2000. However, the most recent available data based on the period October to December 2000 show that the average time taken for asylum applicants to receive an initial decision on their asylum applications is 14 months. Average times for 1991 to 1999 (based on the period January to December) ranged between 16 and 35 months.

Immigration Officers

Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the average annual cost is of employing an immigration officer; and if he will make a statement. [176]

Angela Eagle [holding answer 26 May 2001]: The current pay range for Immigration Officers (IO) is:

London and Gatwick16,365-21,820

Immigration Officers also receive shift disturbance allowance at 16.5 per cent. of salary and London Weighting dependent on location. Other allowances, e.g. for languages, are payable on an individual basis. The Immigration Service also incurs both Employers National Insurance Contributions and Superannuation costs. Additional pay-related costs include overtime, premium payments for weekend and public holiday working.

During the financial year 2000-01, the average annual pay related cost for Immigration Officers was £32,370, comprising £28,500 pay and allowances (including

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shift disturbance allowance, National Insurance and Superannuation, £872 overtime and £2,996 premia payments).

As the number of Immigration Officers employed increases in line with agreed recruitment, average costs will fall reflecting lower salaries for junior staff and reduced average overtime and premia payments.

Ministerial Responsibilities

Miss Widdecombe: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list the responsibilities of each Minister in his Department. [290]

Mr. Blunkett [holding answer 25 June 2001]: The responsibilities of Home Office Ministers are as follows:

As Home Secretary, I have overall responsibility for the work of the Home Office and particular responsibility for policy on security, terrorism, expenditure issues and family policies. I also chair the Civil Contingencies Committee.


Land Registry

Derek Twigg: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department when he will publish the report of the Quinquennial Review of Her Majesty's Land Registry. [1103]

Mr. Wills: My noble and learned Friend the Lord Chancellor has today published the Report on the Quinquennial Review of HM Land Registry. HM Land Registry is a Government Department established in 1862 for which the Lord Chancellor is the responsible Minister. In 1990 it was launched as an executive agency and granted Trading Fund status in 1993.

I would like to thank the reviewer, Andrew Edwards CB, for conducting such a thorough review and for his most comprehensive Report. The Review has found that public confidence in land and property ownership depends on HM Land Registry's ability to guarantee title and to deliver its services impartially. For these reasons the Review finds that HM Land Registry should remain in the public sector as a Government Department, an executive agency and a trading fund; while continuing the significant amount of work in partnership with the private sector that it currently undertakes. The Government accept the Review's conclusions on HM Land Registry's

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continued public sector status and the Lord Chancellor has now asked officials to take forward the review of HM Land Registry's Framework Document.

I note that the Review makes wide-ranging proposals for the enhancement of the Land Register and for improvement in the operation of the property market in England and Wales. It also provides a timely contribution to the debate on the future of e-conveyancing and land registration services. While some of the recommendations are consistent with programmes of reform already under way, others are more radical and wide-ranging. The Lord Chancellor has therefore asked officials from his Department and HM Land Registry to examine the recommendations carefully with officials from other interested Government Departments. Together with colleagues, we will wish to assess the more wide-ranging and radical proposals, including, in particular, their implications for, and impact on, other Government

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initiatives, before reaching conclusions on the best way forward in this important area. The Lord Chancellor intends to publish in the autumn a plan for taking forward the wider recommendation contained in the Report once this more detailed consideration has been completed.

Copies of the Report and a summary of its recommendations have been placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

European Convention on Human Rights

Mr. Lidington: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department if he will make a statement on the Government's policy toward Protocol 12 of the European Convention on Human Rights. [952]

Mr. Wills: The Government have no present plans to sign and ratify Protocol 12, but will monitor its interpretation by the European Court of Human Rights.