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SOLICITOR-GENERAL

Damilola Taylor

Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Solicitor-General if she will make a statement on the actions that she plans to take as a consequence of the Damilola Taylor case. [54119]

The Solicitor-General: The Attorney-General has asked the Director of Public Prosecutions to look into the handling by the prosecution of the boys charged with the murder of Damilola Taylor, to consider whether there are implications for the conduct of future cases and to make recommendations. The DPP will involve HM CPS Inspectorate in the review. The Attorney-General particularly asked the director to examine whether the time has come to introduce a system where, before trial, interviews of certain key witnesses are conducted by the prosecutor in a limited category of cases.

The review will report to the Attorney-General by mid summer.

NORTHERN IRELAND

Accountancy Services

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what the total cost to his Department was for accountancy services in each of the last four years. [34167]

Dr. John Reid: The information requested is not readily available and could be provided only at a disproportionate cost.

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Public Appointments

Mr. Forth: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will list the appointments made by his Department since 1 May 1997 of chairmen of (a) non- departmental public bodies, (b) commissions, (c) inquiries, (d) agencies and (e) task forces; and if he will list their (i) term of office, (ii) salary and (iii) known political affiliation (A) past and (B) present. [33889]

Dr. John Reid: The information is as follows:

(a) Chairs of non-departmental bodies































(b) Chairs of commissions






(c) Chairs of inquiries






(d) Chairs of agencies


(e) Chairs of task forces


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For all of the above categories of appointment, information on political affiliation is not collected.

Departmental Website

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what the total cost of his Department's website was in real terms in each of the last four years; and how many hits it received in each of those years. [36208]

Dr. John Reid: Information on the cost of the Northern Ireland Office website is not readily available and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

The number of hits received are as follows:


Publicity Expenditure

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what assessment he has made of the total real terms expenditure of his Department, its agencies and non- departmental public bodies on publicity in each of the years (a) 1997–98, (b) 1998–99, (c) 1999–2000, (d) 2000–01 and (e) 2001–02 (i) to date and (ii) as estimated for the whole of the present year; and if he will break these figures down to indicate expenditure on (A) advertising and (B) press and public relations. [36168]

Dr. John Reid: Details of the Department's (including its agencies, but excluding NDPBs as we do not have access to a breakdown of their expenditure) total expenditure on advertising in each of the last five financial years are:


Arts

Rev. Martin Smyth: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what discussions he has had with Northern Ireland Ministers and the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport on the arts community there. [36983]

Dr. John Reid: I have held meetings on a number of issues with all Northern Ireland Ministers including Michael McGimpsey, Minister for Culture, Arts and Leisure, since my arrival as Secretary of State for Northern Ireland. However, the Northern Ireland arts community was not an issue specifically discussed at any meetings. The arts is a transferred matter and not, therefore a matter in which I would have great cause to become involved.

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However, the Northern Ireland Executive, Belfast city council and Imagine Belfast 2008 are currently working on the Belfast bid to become European Capital of Culture in 2008. I believe that Belfast would be an excellent choice for this accolade, and I have offered the assistance of my Department with the bid to promote all aspects of Northern Ireland, including the arts, cultural diversity, tourism, etc. both nationally and internationally.

Political Dialogue

Rev. Martin Smyth: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what action he is taking to help prevent Northern Ireland becoming what he has termed a "cold house for Unionists"; and if he will make a statement. [37116]

Dr. John Reid: We are making every effort to tackle the issue in seeking to bring about political advance under the Belfast Agreement. But it is the responsibility, not just of Her Majesty's Government, but of all who are involved in public life in Northern Ireland, to seek to ensure that all parts of the community in Northern Ireland are able to feel fully at home there.

Official Visits

Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (1) if he will list the official visits to (a) Paris and (b) Brussels made by each Minister in his Department in 2001 and the mode of travel used; and what guidance is provided to Ministers in his Department on the choice of mode of travel for such visits; [38149]

Dr. John Reid: Since 1999 the Government have published an annual list of all overseas visits undertaken by Cabinet Ministers costing £500 or more during each financial year. On an annual basis, the Government have also published the cost of all Ministers' visits overseas. Details of travel undertaken during the period during 1 April 2001 to 31 March 2002 will be published in a similar form to previous years as soon as possible after the end of the current financial year. Copies of the lists will be placed in the Libraries of the House.

The additional information requested on UK travel by Ministers is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.


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