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12. Miss McIntosh: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what recent discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs on the co-ordination of rural policy. 
Mr. Leslie: Rural policy is the responsibility of my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with whom my right hon. Friend the Deputy Prime Minister has on-going discussions.
Mr. Leslie: Delivery is at the heart of our agenda for transforming public services and e-Government is one of the most powerful catalysts we have for achieving that transformation. The Office of the e-Envoy produces both an annual report and regular monthly reports giving details of the progress that is being made. The next annual report will be published on 30 November. The latest figures on progress towards the target of making Government services available electronically by 2005 show that over 50 per cent. of Government services are "enabled" now. And Departments predict that 74 per cent. of services will be e-enabled by the end of 2002.
Mr. Leslie: The Government policy on pay in the civil service is that effective reward and performance management systems are instrumental to the delivery of better public services. Together they should create a climate in which civil servants want to give of their best and strive for continuous improvement.
15. Mr. Dalyell: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister pursuant to his oral statement of 31 October 2001, Official Report, column 866, what action he has taken to introduce legislation to give constitutional protection to the civil service; and if he will make a statement. 
28 Nov 2001 : Column: 899W
16. Mr. Nicholas Winterton: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what recent discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs on the regional co-ordination of assistance for the rehabilitation of the agriculture industry. 
Mrs. Roche: The Government are committed to assisting the development of a sustainable, competitive and diverse farming and food sector within a thriving rural economy that advances environmental, health and animal welfare goals.
The rural recovery co-ordinator, Lord Haskins, and the Rural Task Force each published their reports on 18 October with recommendations for the short term survival of rural business, and mid term strategies for rural recovery after the foot and mouth disease outbreak. The Government will respond shortly to both reports.
17. Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what recent steps he has taken to improve co-ordination between Government departments in connection with the Better Regulation Task Force and the delivery unit. 
Mr. Leslie: The Deputy Prime Minister is responsible for ensuring better co-ordination across Government in the delivery of a broad range of Government policies, not least through the work of Regional Co-ordination Unit, which reports to the Deputy Prime Minister.
The Prime Minister's Delivery Unit has a key role in strengthening capacity across Whitehall to deliver the Government's priorities in the priority areas of health, education, crime and asylum, and transport. My right hon. and noble Friend, Lord Macdonald of Tradeston has day-to-day responsibility for the work of the Delivery Unit.
Mrs. Roche: Since 7 June, I have visited the Government Offices for the East of England, East Midlands, South West, North East and North West. My right hon. Friend the Deputy Prime Minister has visited the Government Offices for the North East, South West
28 Nov 2001 : Column: 900W
and North West. My hon. Friend the Parliamentary Secretary visited the Government Office for Yorkshire and Humber.
Mrs. Roche: The Social Exclusion Unit was set up by the Prime Minister to provide joined-up solutions to specific social exclusion problems. It delivers long-term strategies for change but has already demonstrated the effectiveness of its approach.
truancy and school exclusions; and
a national strategy for neighbourhood renewal.
educational attainment of children in care; and
transport and social exclusion.
Mr. Leslie: The information requested by my hon. Friend is not available in the form required. However, as at 31 March 2000, 33 per cent. of public appointments were held by women, compared to 32 per cent. as at September 1997 and 23 per cent. in 1992.
The Government are committed to the goal of achieving equal representation of men and women in public appointments. All Departments have individual plans containing details of the measures being taken to increase the representation of women and other currently under-represented groups on the boards of their public bodies. New departmental action plans for the period 2002 to 2005 will be published next year.
28 Nov 2001 : Column: 901W
|Main department (including agencies)||Number|
|Privy Council Office||1|
|Department for Culture, Media and Sport||4|
|Ministry of Defence||146|
|Department for Education and Skills||140|
|Office for Standards in Education||1|
|Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs||101|
|Export Credits Guarantee Department||4|
|Foreign and Commonwealth Office||11|
|Government Communications Headquarters||2|
|Department of Health||72|
|Department for International Development||7|
|Law Officers' Departments||23|
|Lord Chancellor's Department||64|
|National Assembly for Wales||39|
|Northern Ireland Office||14|
|Registers of Scotland||1|
|Department of Trade and Industry||72|
|Department for Transport, Local Government and the Regions||108|
|Health and Safety Executive||28|
|Office of the Rail Regulator||1|
|Office of Water Services||1|
|Shadow Strategic Rail Authority (NDPB wef 1 February 2001)||1|
|Office of Government Commerce||1|
|HM Customs and Excise||129|
|Board of Inland Revenue||463|
|Office for National Statistics||11|
|Department for Work and Pensions||3,693|
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