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DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER

Emergency Planning

Charlotte Atkins: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what responses he has received to the recent discussion document on the future of emergency planning in England and Wales; and if he will make a statement. [35593]

Mr. Leslie: Over 260 responses to the discussion document were received, of which over half were from local government. Copies of the responses have been placed in the Library together with a summary analysis of them by the Civil Contingencies Secretariat. This summary will also be placed on the secretariat's website, www.ukresilience. info. I am working with officials to develop proposals on the next steps, including the need for new legislation in this field. This will be done in consultation with local government and other stakeholder groups and we will take full account of the points made in the course of debate on the Civil Defence (Grant) Bill. I shall keep the House fully informed of the progress of this important exercise.

LORD CHANCELLOR'S DEPARTMENT

Data Protection Registrar

Mr. George Howarth: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what recent representations he has received over the Data Protection Registrar's involvement in parliamentary correspondence between hon. Members and Government Departments. [33285]

Mr. Wills: I have received no such representations. However, in an adjournment debate in Westminster Hall on 31 October 2001, Official Report, 304–10WH, my hon. Friends the Members for Cunninghame, South (Mr. Donohoe) and for Coventry, South (Mr. Cunningham) raised the question of the effect of the Data Protection Act 1998 upon hon. Members' constituency work. The hon. Member for West Worcestershire (Sir Michael Spicer) also raised the matter during Business Questions on 29 November 2001, Official Report, column 1110.

Mr. George Howarth: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department how many hon. and right hon. Members are registered with the Data Protection Registrar. [33284]

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Mr. Wills: The Data Protection Registrar became the Data Protection Commissioner when the Data Protection Act 1998 came into force in March 2000. She was renamed the Information Commissioner on 30 January 2001. The registration requirement of the Data Protection Act 1984 was replaced by a notification requirement under the 1998 Act.

The Commissioner exercises her functions independently of Government, but I understand from her that 271 Members of Parliament are currently registered in their capacities as such. This figure includes notifications made under the 1998 Act and register entries made under the now-repealed 1984 Act which are still valid.

Courts Service

Mr. George Howarth: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department how many cases were handled by the Courts Service for each year since 1992. [33354]

Mr. Wills: Information concerning the number of cases dealt with in the criminal and civil courts under the administration of the Lord Chancellor's Department, 1992 to 1994, and then the Court Service, 1995 to 2000, are published annually in the departmental annual report "Judicial Statistics". Copies of the publication can be found in the Libraries of the House.

Mr. George Howarth: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what his policy is on the reorganisation of the Courts Service. [32403]

Mr. Wills: I refer my hon. Friend to the answer I gave him on 4 February 2001, Official Report, column 712W, to his question number 32053. The Government are considering the recommendations in Sir Robin Auld's report and intend to publish a White Paper in the spring.

The Court Service as an executive agency of the Department is currently undergoing a quinquennial review. That report will also be published in the spring and its recommendations will be carefully considered by the Department.

Law Commission

Mr. George Howarth: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department how many reports or submissions the Law Commission has completed since it was first established; and if he will list them. [33291]

Mr. Wills: The Law Commission has completed 161 consultation papers, 274 reports and 25 other publications since it was first established in 1965. A list of these publications has been placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

Land Registry

Mr. George Howarth: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what training is made available to administrative staff in the Land Registry. [33300]

Mr. Wills: The Land Registry is committed to providing all staff with appropriate training and development to enable them to do their jobs effectively. A range of training is available including induction

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courses for new entrants, job skills training and management training. The opportunity to study for an accredited qualification in land registration practice is also available.

Judges (Transport)

Mr. George Howarth: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what is the average annual cost per judge of providing transport in the last 12 months for which figures are available. [33683]

Mr. Wills: The average annual cost, for the period April 2000 to March 2001, of providing transport to High Court judges was £6,284 per judge. The average annual cost of travel and subsistence payments, for the same period, for circuit, district and part-time judges is £1,311 per judge. Separate figures for travel costs alone are not collected in a format which can answer the question. To do so would incur disproportionate costs to the Department.

Public Record Office

Mr. George Howarth: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department how many categories of record the Public Record Office hold; and if she will list the numbers held in each category. [33294]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The Public Record Office is charged with the selection, preservation and provision of public access to records created by Government bodies. The categorisation of the records is based on the Department of state or other Government body that created them. There are currently 353 categories.

No statistics are held of the number of records in each category and it would not be possible to obtain them without incurring disproportionate cost.

The PRO catalogue, which is accessible on-line through the PRO's website at www.pro.gov.uk, lists over 9 million separate pieces. A piece can be a single document or a file or a volume. The catalogue can be searched in a variety of ways from simple keyword to advanced Boolean.

Parking Spaces

Mr. George Howarth: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what car parking spaces are provided for staff employed in the Land Registry; and what the average annual cost is of providing such spaces. [33659]

Mr. Wills: The Land Registry currently provides 4,705 parking spaces for use by its staff. A further 253 spaces are available for visitors and disabled drivers.

The Land Registry is unable to provide specific information on the cost of providing car parking spaces at its offices as costs are not separately identified in the processes of acquisition or maintenance of Land Registry property.

IT Contracts

Richard Younger-Ross: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what has been the total expenditure of his Department on IT systems and support in each year from May 1997 to date; how many IT contracts have been let in each of those years; of the

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other main contracting party in each of those contracts, how many have been (a) companies whose registered office is in (i) England and Wales, (ii) Scotland and (iii) Northern Ireland and (b) foreign companies; and what are the names of the companies falling within category (a). [33674]

Mr. Wills: The following shows the total expenditure of the Lord Chancellor's Department on IT systems and support in each year from May 1997 to date and details of IT contracts let in each of those years.

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Expenditure

Lord Chancellor's Department£ million
IT systems/support
1997–985.38
1998–9912.84
1999–200021.03
2001–0149.98
2001–0236.88
Total126.11

Contracts

Supplier1997–981998–991999–20002000–012001–02
England and Wales
Albany Software1
AMP Limited1
Assetware Technology Limited1
Business Information Technologies1
Cable and Wireless1
Computers in personnel 1
Cyberscience Corporation1
Dunnett Shaw and Partners1
Edis International1
MEC Europe Limited3
Financial Times Info Limited2
Guardian IT Group1
ICL11
Information Initiatives2111
Network Associates1
One Zero1
PC Associates2
Pixel1
Respond1
Taxsoft1
Tower Perrin1
Total England and Wales59736
Scotland
Total Scotland00000
Northern Ireland
Total Northern Ireland00000
Foreign
Total Foreign00000

In addition to the above the Lord Chancellor's Department also let a PFI contract to CSL Group Ltd. The contract is for the provision of accounting, financial, human resources/payroll and management information services. It was awarded in December 1997 and runs until 4 January 2007. The services have IT elements and are delivered using a corporate IT infrastructure provided through the contract. However, the IT elements of the contract are not separable from the accounting, financial, human resources/payroll or management information service provision elements. Therefore, cost information is expressed for the contract as a whole. Since contract award, in response to new requirements from the Department, there have been a number of significant variations to the services provided within the scope of the contract.

Current estimated total service charges for the life of the contract amounts to £118.05 million.


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