43. Mrs. Fitzsimons:
To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what role Community Legal Services Partnerships play in combating social exclusion. 
Ms Rosie Winterton:
By planning and co-ordinating local help and advice and by developing referral systems, Community Legal Service Partnerships are improving access to good quality legal services, so bringing valuable help and assistance to many of society's most vulnerable groups and individuals. In so doing they act as a valuable mechanism with which to help combat social exclusion. Through their growing involvement in Local Strategic Partnerships, representatives from Community Legal Service Partnerships are also able to ensure that legal and advice services play a central role within local community strategies to promote neighbourhood renewal.
Freedom of Information
To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department how much money was spent on advertising the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information to the public in (a) 1998, (b) 1999, (c) 2000 and (d) 2001. 
None. Information about the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information is available on the websites of the Lord Chancellor's Department (www.lcd.gov.uk) and the Parliamentary Ombudsman (www.ombudsman.org.uk).
To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what assessment he has conducted of the length of time Governments in other countries have taken to implement their Freedom of Information Acts; and if he will place the results of this research in the Library. 
I have assessed the implementation of similar legislation in some other countries from various published materials. In summary, other countries have implemented their freedom of information legislation within different time scales. The Canadian federal freedom of information legislation was enacted in June 1982 and came into force in July 1983. The New Zealand Official Information Act was enacted in December 1982 and came into force in July 1983. However, these countries were able to implement their Acts over a shorter time scale than is proposed in the United Kingdom because of the more limited scope of their legislation. The Canadian Act applies only to information held by Government Departments and most Government agencies, roughly 150 bodies, while the New Zealand legislation applies only to central Government. In contrast, the Freedom of Information Act 2000 will apply to approximately 70,000 bodies across the whole of the public sector. The Irish Act was signed into law in April 1997. It will eventually have roughly the same scope as the United Kingdom Act, although generally it is not retrospective in effect unlike the UK Act. It has been rolled out on an incremental basis from April 1998 onwards and it is likely that their implementation period will be longer than the time taken to fully implement the UK Act. The duties on public authorities under the Freedom of Information Act will come into effect in
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stages from November 2002 to January 2005 and the Act will be fully in force 11 months ahead of the statutory deadline.
City Status (Northern Ireland)
To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department when the decision was made to award city status to a second town in Northern Ireland; and on whose recommendation it was based. 
Decisions on the award of city status to mark the Queen's Golden Jubilee were made in February 2002, when the Queen approved the recommendations of my noble and learned Friend the Lord Chancellor. The decision to grant city status to both Lisburn and Newry was based on the recommendation of my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland.
Mr. John Taylor:
To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what plans she had to take up and implement the recommendations of the Children Act Sub-Committee of her Family Law Advisory Committee in its report entitled, Making Contact Work; whether (a) primary and (b) secondary legislation will be necessary to bring about change in practice; and what timetable may be expected for legislation. 
Ms Rosie Winterton:
The Government acknowledge the valuable contribution the report 'Making Contact Work' will make in addressing this difficult and sensitive area. The report makes a large number of recommendations, including some which would require legislative changes, on the facilitation and enforcement of contact between children and a parent who no longer lives with them. The Government are considering the proposals very carefully and will publish their response in due course. The Government remain committed to the principle that the welfare of the child must be paramount in any decision-making concerning a child's future, including decisions relating to contact.
Children and Family Court Advisory and
To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department when she will publish HM Magistrates Courts Service Inspectorate's report of its programme of visits to the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service during 2001. 
Ms Rosie Winterton:
HM Magistrates Courts Inspectorate (MCSI) has published its report 'Setting Up: Report of Programme of Visits to the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service' today. Copies of the report have been placed in the Libraries of both Houses. Further copies may be obtained from the Inspectorate.
Public Guardianship Office
To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what key performance measures and targets the Lord Chancellor has set for the Public Guardianship Office Executive Agency for 200203. 
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Ms Rosie Winterton:
The Lord Chancellor has set the following key performance measures (KPMs) and targets for the Public Guardianship Office for 200203:
KPM1: To develop an effective system for identifying client needs.
To carry out an annual customer satisfaction survey of panel and lay receivers to provide quantitative feed back data on PGO services as perceived by receivers by 31 December 2002.
To run four receiver and client focus groups in different parts of the country by 31 March 2003 to provide qualitative data to inform the Needs Assessment project of receiver needs.
To have completed the design and development phases of the Needs Assessment project and to have commenced the implementation phase by 15 January 2003.
KPM2: To increase the proportion of effective visits.
To maintain the current level of visits (6,000 per annum plus a visit to all new receivership clients).
To achieve 75 per cent. effective visits over the year.
KPM3: To increase the percentage of accounts collected on time and reviewed on time, as a basis for effective action to meet clients' needs.
To complete the review of 100 per cent. of accounts received or have requested further information within five weeks (25 working days) of receipt (to apply to both Receivership and Protection clients).
To collect 60 per cent. of accounts within two calendar months of the accounting end date, 80 per cent. within four calendar months of the accounting end date, and 100 per cent. within six calendar months of the accounting end date referring cases to the Court of Protection where necessary or taking other steps to ensure proper accounts are produced on behalf of clients (applies to Protection clients only).
To review and set appropriate targets for 200304 by 31 March 2003.
KPM4: To improve investment performance.
To ensure that annually 85 per cent. and on a three year rolling basis 80 per cent. of measured funds perform in line with a model performance based upon the Association of Private Client Investment Managers' and Stockbrokers' (APCIMS) capital indices; or an acceptable performance is achieved, taking into account clients' overall circumstances, including the income generated.
To establish benchmark appropriate to new investment strategies by the date those strategies are implemented.
KPM5: To secure an improved service in:
responding to correspondence
getting information to receivers once appointed to enable them to support our clients
registering Enduring Power of Attorneys (EPAs)
Responding to correspondence: Respond to 95 per cent. of letters, faxes and e-mails within 15 working days of receipt.
Payment out: For 95 per cent. of requests, pay out or despatch direction to external receiver allowing access to funds to use for benefit of client within 15 working days of receipt.
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Information to receivers: Despatch court orders and directions to applicants, receivers or their representatives in 95 per cent. of cases within 25 working days of their being made.
Closing cases: For 95 per cent. of complete applications for final directions, transfer all of clients' assets to personal representatives within 25 working days.
Registering EPAs: Registering and returning 95 per cent. of correctly lodged EPAs where there are no objections within five working days of the end of the statutory waiting period.
KPM6: To establish protocols for working with our receivers and our partners setting out the outcomes we intend to achieve jointly for clients
To: review the protocols established with key partner organisations in 200102 to ensure they are working properly by 31 October 2002; consider the usefulness of protocols with agencies identified in phase 2 of the partner protocol work stream by 31 October 2002; develop agreed written protocols setting out the outcomes we intend to achieve jointly for clients and memorandums of understanding setting out the ways we will work together to achieve these outcomes by 31 March 2003; draft agreed plans by 31 March 2003 for the development of each protocol over the next two to three years.
KPM7: To demonstrate our capability through a range of measures.
percentage staff have required skills and competencies
percentage receiving training
an effective research programme which underpins planning to meet clients' needs
stage reached in developing an automated case management systemthe MERIS project
Staff skills and competencies: At least 90 per cent. of permanent staff to have a current Personal Development Plan which identifies their learning and development needs and makes specific plans to develop their skills and competencies to defined standards.
Staff training: At least 75 per cent. of permanent staff to receive at least three days training in line with their Personal Development Plan.
Research: To commission two research studies, one by 30 September 2002 and one by 31 March 2003 and to progress these to timetable in line with PGO's published programme of research.
Stage reached in developing an automated case management systemthe MERIS project:
system design to be reviewed and approved (against agreed contract);
confirm specification for first phase implementation;
first phase of implementation to be accepted, following user acceptance testing.
Gateway 4 Review to be undertaken and provide approval to proceed;
data to be migrated in accordance with phased implementation plan, client service trained in accordance with first phase plan and first phase to be fully implemented.
KPM8: To demonstrate improvements in efficiency by achieving a unit cost per case target set by the Lord Chancellor.
To achieve a unit cost per case of not more than £480.
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