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Relationships (Civil Registration)

Mrs. Calton: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what assessment he has made of the impact that the enactment of the Relationships (Civil Registration) Bill would have on Government servants who are in long-term unmarried partnerships. [30814]

Mrs. Roche: Civil partnership registration and associated rights and responsibilities raise a number of complex issues, which have prompted a growing debate within society and the Government are watching this debate with interest.

These issues potentially have significant financial and administrative implications and the Government cannot commit themselves to making any changes in these areas before undertaking a comprehensive analysis of all the implications. The Government are examining the issues in detail.

Civil Defence

Sandra Gidley: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what communication his Department has had with civil defence officers in local government since 11 September 2001. [31242]

Mr. Leslie: I have met local authority representatives to discuss civil defence matters on a number of occasions and will continue to do so.

The Civil Contingencies Secretariat has regular contact with local authority representatives and emergency planning officers, and they have met representatives of the Local Government Association and the Emergency Planning Society on 14 January to discuss a range of issues. In October the "Response to the Deliberate Release of Chemicals or Biological Agents—Guidance for Local Authorities" was issued. Local authority representatives are also directly involved in various working groups set up after 11 September.

Sandra Gidley: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister if he will list the civil defence grants in (a) 1996–97, (b) 1997–98, (c) 1998–99, (d) 1999–2000 and (e) 2000–01; and if he will make a statement. [31243]

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Mr. Leslie: The civil defence grants for the years 1996–97 to 2000–01 are as follows:

£ million
(a) 1996–9714.9
(b) 1997–9814.4
(c) 1998–9914
(d) 1999–200014
(e) 2000–0114

Sandra Gidley: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what recent assessment he has made of funding needed to help local authorities prepare for and deal with terrorist activity in the last 12 months. [31240]

Mr. Leslie: The payment of civil defence grants to local authorities supports their planning of generic responses to all local disasters or crises, which includes their contingency planning for responses to terrorist activities. The level of funding is set in the light of all demands placed upon local authorities.

Theft and Fraud

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what additional security measures are planned by his Department to deter and detect theft and fraud. [31791]

Mr. Leslie: A number of baseline security measures exist to try to reduce the likelihood that thefts will occur and to limit the scope for fraud. Chiefly, these are centred on detecting those with likely criminal intent through effective vetting procedures and denying them access to our buildings through effective access control procedures.

Whenever theft has occurred, or fraud is suspected or has been detected, an internal investigation is conducted by departmental security staff. Where appropriate, the police subsequently become involved.

Parliamentary Commissioner for Administration

Mr. Blizzard: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what plans the Parliamentary Commissioner for Administration has regarding the continued discharge of his functions. [32396]

Mr. Leslie: Sir Michael Buckley has indicated he is minded to step down in the summer. He currently holds the post of Parliamentary Commissioner for Administration and Health Service Commissioner for England, as well as equivalent posts in Scotland and Wales. The Government will shortly put in place arrangements to fill these posts and in doing so will take full account of their commitment to create a new unified ombudsman body in England, as set out in my statement of 20 July 2001.

Ministerial Transport

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what his estimate is of the cost of (a) ministerial cars and drivers and (b) taxis for his Department in each of the last four years. [27904]

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Mr. Leslie: Responsibility for the provision of ministerial cars and drivers has been delegated under the terms of the Framework Document to the Government Car Despatch Agency. I have asked its chief executive, Mr. Nick Matheson, to write to the hon. Gentleman.

The figures for expenditure on taxis used by staff in the Cabinet Office are £18,572.69 in 1997–98; £86,362.25 in 1998–99; £113,857.62 in 1999–2000; and £135,391.14 in 2000–01.

Public Service Agreement

Matthew Taylor: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister if he will place in the Library details of the performance of the Cabinet Office in each year since 1999 for each Public Service Agreement listed in the document Cm 4181 Public Service Agreements 1999–2002 under the headings (a) performance targets and (b) increasing the productivity of operations; and if he will make a statement. [30206]

Mr. Leslie: Details of the performance of the Cabinet Office in each year since 1999 for each Public Service Agreement listed in the document Cm 4181 Public Service Agreements 1999–2002 pertaining to the Cabinet Office were reported in: Cabinet Office—The Government Expenditure Plans 2000–01 to 2001–02 Cm 4618; and Cabinet Office—The Government Expenditure Plans 2001–02 to 2003–04 Cm 5119. Copies of both publications are held in the House of Commons Library and are available via the Cabinet Office website.

Some of the Public Service Agreement targets listed in Cm 4181 which were agreed as part of the Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR) were subsumed in new Public Service Agreements agreed as part of the 2000 Spending Review. These are detailed in Cm 5119.

The Cabinet Office Departmental Report for 2002 which will be published before the summer recess will also detail the Department's performance against its Public Service Agreement targets.

The Government Car and Despatch Agency (GDA), which is an executive agency of the Cabinet Office, and the Central Office of Information (COI), which is an executive agency and separate Government Department reporting to me/DPM, also have key performance targets.

The GCDA performance was reported in the agency's annual report and accounts for the financial year 2000–01, which were laid before Parliament on 17 July 2001.

Central Office of Information (COI) performance was reported in the agency's annual report and accounts for the financial year 2000–01, which were laid before Parliament on 20 July 2001.

Regional Government Offices

Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what were (a) the administrative operating costs and (b) the total annual budget in the latest year for which figures are available for each regional Government office in England. [30197]

Mrs. Roche: The administrative running costs and the total annual budgets (including a small capital allocation) for each of the Government offices for the regions for 2000–01 are detailed in the table.

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Programme budgets administered by the Government offices are the responsibility of the Secretaries of State for the relevant sponsor Departments. They have therefore not been included in the figures shown.

£000

Government officesActual operating costs 2000–01Annual budget 2000–01
North East8,197.338,292.91
North West13,651.0313,630.52
Yorkshire and Humber9,357.219,358.75
West Midlands9,960.779,937.89
East Midlands7,335.777,318.82
East7,542.507,494.00
South West8,711.399,465.30
South East9,477.278,721.83
London(67)18,593.8118,690.40
Total92,827.0892,910.42

(67) GO London figures include the Regional Co-ordination Unit.


EDUCATION AND SKILLS

Youth Parliament

Lembit Öpik: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills for what reason the Minister responsible for children and young people has not responded to the UK Youth Parliament's Manifesto; and if she will make a statement. [25821]

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Mr. Denham: I have now made a comprehensive response on behalf of the Government to the UK Youth Parliament Manifesto. Officials in the Children and Young People's Unit are working with co-ordinators in the UK Youth Parliament to ensure that all members of the Parliament have copies and it is available on the unit's website at www.cypu.gov.uk.


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