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The first Order brings some 300 additional bodies (or groups of bodies) within the scope of the general duty to promote race equality. The second imposes specific duties on the policy and service delivery functions of key public bodies to which the general duty applies, to ensure their better performance of the general duty. Separate duties are placed on schools and other educational bodies. It also places duties on the employment functions of bodies to which the general duty applies.
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The Prime Minister: Most of the prerogative powers under the Crown are exercised on the advice of Ministers. A small proportion are personal powers of the Sovereign where he or she may or must act without ministerial advice, such as, in certain circumstances, the power to refuse a dissolution of Parliament. The exercise of powers under the prerogative has evolved over many years, and a precise list is not possible.
Llew Smith: To ask the Prime Minister what role he played in making the decision to permit British Nuclear Fuels to operate its MOX plutonium fuels plant; and what considerations underlay the decision to announce the decision on 3 October. 
The Prime Minister: The decision to permit the manufacture of mixed-oxide (MOX) fuel was made by the Secretaries of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and for Health having considered all relevant information, including the responses to their public consultation. The timing of the announcement was a matter for those Ministers and they made it at the earliest opportunity.
The Prime Minister: No. The new "Code of Conduct for Special Advisers" already sets out special advisers' responsibilities in relation to the permanent civil service and their contacts with the media. All civil servants, including special advisers, who work on media and publicity-related issues, are also covered by "Guidance on the Work of Government Information Service".
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The Prime Minister: I have regular meetings with ministerial colleagues and others on a wide range of subjects, and will continue to do so. As with previous Governments it is not my practice to provide details of confidential discussions.
Norman Baker: To ask the Prime Minister if he will issue guidance to Ministers to ensure that the practice of timing the release of information with a view to minimising coverage of that information is discontinued. 
The Prime Minister [holding answer 23 October 2001]: No. The Ministerial Code already makes it clear that Ministers should be as open as possible with Parliament and the public. The published guidance on the work of the Government Information Service and the GICS Handbook sets out clear principles and guidance for all those who support Ministers in this role.
Mr. Leslie: For the period of the summer recess, 20 July to 15 October inclusive, 18 press notices were issued on behalf of the Department. All press notices are published on the Cabinet Office website and are freely available to the public. The Cabinet Office (including the HMSO) issued eight consultation documents during the same period.
The figures also include five 'GovTalk' consultation documents issued during recess. GovTalk.gov.uk is a website which enables the public sector, industry and other interested participants to work together to develop and agree policies and standards for e-government.
Pete Wishart: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister if he will estimate the total annual running costs for buildings used, owned or rented by his Department for each nation and region of the UK, and estimate the average cost per square metre for properties used by his Department as a whole, and by region and nation of the UK. 
Mr. Leslie: Estimates for the total running costs (in total and on an average cost per metre basis) for the financial year 200001 in respect of buildings used, owned or rented by my Department are as follows.
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|Country/region||Total running cost (£000)||Average costs per m2 (£/m2)|
|East of England||75||221|
|Yorkshire and Humberside||90||210|
Clare Short: Poverty among the Palestinian people has deepened greatly during the last year when closures of the West Bank and Gaza have become more frequent and severe. The key to tackling poverty is to find a just and lasting solution to peace in the Middle East. The Government are working to try to establish practical steps forward.
To help cope with the current crises we have increased our contributions to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian refugees. We have recently committed £6 million to support emergency assistance to deal with the current crises.
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