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Data Protection

Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment he has made of whether the notification of the Security Service in relation to Part III of the Data Protection Act 1998 is accurate and up to date; whether the Service is to notify purposes associated with the processing of personal data (a) to assist the police in relation to serious crime and (b) to protect the economic well-being of the state; and if he will make a statement. [17192]

Mr. Denham: I understand from the Security Service that it has notified the Information Commissioner that it processes data for three purposes. These are staff administration, building security Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) and commercial agreements. The Security Service has also acknowledged in its notification that it processes data for other purposes, although these have not been separately notified. The notification is accurate and up to date.

At the moment, the Security Service does not intend to make any notification in respect of its statutory duties as defined by the Security Service Acts 1989 and 1996, sections 1 and 1(1) respectively.

Police Funding

Dr. Kumar: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on whether he takes into account (a) actual and (b) anticipated levels of external funding to police forces for the neighbourhood local renewal fund when allocating funds for the (i) recruitment and (ii) training of police officers. [16354]

Mr. Denham: The only funds allocated to police forces specifically for the recruitment and training of police officers are provided through the crime fighting fund. Allocations of crime fighting fund recruits to forces took no account of the neighbourhood local renewal fund.

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Antisocial Behaviour Orders

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the cost in (a) 1999–2000, (b) 2000–01 and (c) 2001–02 of anti- social behaviour orders. [17325]

Mr. Denham: Information on the cost of antisocial behaviour orders (ASBOs) for each year since their introduction is not held centrally. Nevertheless, based on a survey of 21 cases conducted in April this year, the average cost of applying for an antisocial behaviour order was calculated to be £4,800. This is the cost to either the local authority or the police, and includes staff costs associated with evidence gathering, preparing the case and attending court. It does not include dealing with appeals and breaches. Fuller details will be included in the review of ASBOs which we are aiming to publish shortly.

CARATS Programmes

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the cost in (a) 2000–01 and (b) 2001–02 of CARATS programmes in prisons. [17320]

Beverley Hughes: Funding provided under the Comprehensive Spending Review and Spending Review 2000 for Counselling, Assessment, Referral, Advice and Throughcare services (CARATS) in prisons was (a) £9,000,000 in 2000–01 and (b) £12,000,000 in 2001–02.


Mr. Hendrick: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has to change male prisons to female use. [18424]

Beverley Hughes: The number of women in prison continues to rise steeply, dramatically exceeding the most recent population projections. Extra capacity is urgently needed and the Prison Service has decided that the best way of providing this is a further change of function of male accommodation. Buckley Hall prison near Rochdale has been selected as the most suitable option in terms of suitable accommodation, geographical location, staffing arrangements and other related factors. The prison is expected to be ready to accept female prisoners from early next year.


Fair Employment

Mr. McNamara: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what fair employment measures his Cabinet Secretary has put in place in each Government Department to encourage applications from Northern Ireland. [17236]

Mr. Leslie: Home civil service Departments and agencies have a great deal of autonomy in their personnel policies. However, corporate civil service equal opportunities policy provides that all eligible people must have equality of opportunity for employment and advancement on the basis of their suitability for work. There must be no unfair discrimination on the basis of

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age, disability, gender, marital status, sexual orientation, race, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin, or (in Northern Ireland) community background.

There are 10 home civil service Departments and agencies in Northern Ireland covered by Northern Ireland's fair employment legislation. These Departments and agencies are taking measures to improve the balance of representation in their work force. These include: the publication of Affirmative Action Plans; increasing outreach measures in under-represented sectors of the community; setting recruitment and promotion goals and monitoring closely job applications from each community. The Cabinet Office reports on fair employment issues in HCS Departments and agencies to the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland.

The civil service reform programme aims to achieve a dramatic increase in diversity and tackle under- representation. The Cabinet Secretary reports to the Prime Minister annually on the range of action being taken by the Cabinet Office and Departments to ensure the civil service accelerates progress on diversity.

Fair Trade Goods

Mr. Weir: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what his Department's policy is in relation to departmental spending for supplies concerning the purchase of Fair Trade goods. [15201]

Mr. Leslie: Cabinet Office purchasing policy is based on value for money principles. We have no specific policy on Fair Trade goods. Purchases are considered on the basis of fitness for purpose and whole-life cost. Where these considerations are equal, the choice of goods would be influenced by ethical and environmental factors. The Cabinet Office will, however, consider the availability of Fair Trade goods in the Department's refreshment facilities.

Energy Review

Mr. Key: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister (1) if the (a) Scottish Executive and (b) Scottish Parliament are represented on the Advisory Group for his review of the UK's future energy needs; [10654]

Mrs. Roche: Since energy policy is a reserved matter, the Minister of State at the Scotland Office represents Scotland's interests on the Advisory Group.

The Scotland Office and other UK Government Departments have been continuing to work in close co-operation with the Scottish Executive on energy issues which impinge on devolved responsibilities. The Minister of State has had regular discussions with Scottish Executive Ministers and officials about the issues raised by this Energy Review.

Mr. Key: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister if he will make a statement on the progress of the Energy Review. [10653]

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Mrs. Roche: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to the hon. Member for East Surrey (Mr. Ainsworth) by my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister on 12 November 2001, Official Report, column 546W.


Disability Discrimination Act

Mr. Berry: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions when a code of practice on the final phase of the provisions of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 on access to goods, facilities and services will be laid before Parliament. [18839]

Maria Eagle: A Code of Practice prepared by the Disability Rights Commission was laid before Parliament today. This explains the current duties on service providers and the duties that will come into force on 1 October 2004. Under the new duties, where reasonable, a service provider may have to remove, alter or avoid physical features that make access to his service impossible or unreasonably difficult for a disabled person. In addition, a report of the consultation on the code and on regulatory proposals was placed in the Library today.

Service providers have no need to be apprehensive about these new duties, as they will never have to make unreasonable changes because of them. The code will help service providers decide what it might be reasonable to do in particular circumstances. There are over 8.5 million disabled people in the UK with a collective spending power in excess of £45 billion a year. It makes good economic sense as well as being right to attract as many of these customers as possible by improving access to services. The Government have allowed a long transitional period for the new duties, and the Commission will be publishing the code early, so that service providers can plan adequately and, for example, make access improvements before 2004 as part of refurbishment or other work. I would strongly encourage them to do this.

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