Previous Section Index Home Page

21 July 2008 : Column 790W—continued


21 July 2008 : Column 791W

Women and Equality

Departmental Research

Bob Spink: To ask the Minister for Women and Equality what proportion of the Government Equalities Office’s budget has been spent on research since its inception. [218070]

Barbara Follett: Since its establishment as a stand alone department on the 12 October 2007, the Government Equalities Office has spent 4.36 per cent. of its total expenditure on research activities. This figure includes the cost of research staff employed by the Government Equalities Office.

Departmental Waste

Mr. Jenkins: To ask the Minister for Women and Equality what steps the Government Equalities Office has taken since its establishment to reduce the volume of waste produced by it and sent to landfill. [215883]

Barbara Follett: The Government Equalities Office was officially established on 12 October 2007 and is based in Eland House London, which is the headquarters building of the Department of Communities and Local Government. Consequently GEO follows DCLG’s policies and practices on the reduction of the volume of waste. DCLG’s policies and practices seek to minimise the amount of waste that goes to landfill sites by ensuring, among other things, that food waste is separated for composting. DCLG estimate that since the introduction, in January 2008, of food waste composting in their kitchens, over 16 tonnes of food waste has been diverted from landfill. GEO also uses DCLG facilities for collecting cans, bottles, cardboard and plastics for recycling.

Single Equality Bill: Draft

Mr. Drew: To ask the Minister for Women and Equality when she plans to publish the draft Single Equality Bill; and what work has been done on the key principles of the Bill prior to discussion in Cabinet. [201391]

Barbara Follett: As my announcement in Parliament on 25 June made clear the Government remain committed to introducing an Equality Bill during this Parliament. The further policy considerations, and intensive stakeholder engagement, which the Government’s comprehensive consultation on its proposals for an Equality Bill provoked mean that there are no plans to publish it in draft.

The key principles of the Bill have been subject to collective consideration by Ministers in the normal way and the Government will publish its response to the consultation in due course. This will make the intended content of the Bill clear and there will be ample time to scrutinise this as it makes its way through Parliament.


21 July 2008 : Column 792W

Leader of the House

Abortion: Northern Ireland

Mr. Amess: To ask the Leader of the House (1) what (a) representations she has received and (b) discussions she has had since January 2008 with hon. and right hon. Members wishing to introduce an amendment to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill to extend the Abortion Act 1967 to Northern Ireland; what response she gave; and if she will make a statement; [219746]

(2) with whom she discussed her decision to postpone consideration of the remaining stages of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill prior to her announcement; and if she will make a statement. [219747]

Ms Harman: As Leader of the House and chair of the Cabinet Committee on Legislation, I have regular discussions with many hon. and right hon. Members on amending legislation.

I announced in my weekly Business Statement on 3 July, the provisional business for the week of 14 July, which included the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill. On the 10 July I confirmed to the House that consideration of the Employment bill would be brought forward.

Business managers regularly have to balance the need for the scheduling of all legislation that is outstanding.

Departmental Alcoholic Drinks

David Simpson: To ask the Leader of the House (1) what measures are in place in her Office to monitor expenditure on alcohol for hospitality purposes; [219594]

(2) what purchasing process is used by her Office for the procurement of alcohol for hospitality purposes. [219943]

Helen Goodman: All proposals to purchase alcohol for hospitality purposes need the prior approval of the Cabinet Office Finance Director. The purchase of alcohol, which may be via the Government Procurement Card, by invoice or by a staff claim is monitored by the Cabinet Office Financial Management Team.

It is important to emphasise that the official purchase and provision of alcohol is an unusual undertaking. Therefore, all expenditure, including that on hospitality, has to be incurred in accordance with the principles of Managing Public Money and the Treasury handbook on Regularity and Propriety.

Departmental Paper

David Simpson: To ask the Leader of the House what percentage of paper used (a) for photocopying and (b) in printed publications by her Office was from recycled sources in each of the last two years. [220741]

Helen Goodman: The Office of the Leader of the House of Commons has been part of the Cabinet Office since May 2007. All paper used for photocopying is 100 per cent. recycled with a post-consumer waste content of 100 per cent.


21 July 2008 : Column 793W

Prior to May 2007, 100 per cent. of paper used by the Leader of the House of Commons Office for photocopying was from recycled sources. Paper used for printed publications complies with the Government's Sustainable Procurement “quick wins” agenda, which states that “coated papers must contain a minimum of 60 per cent. recycled fibre and uncoated papers 100 per cent. recycled fibre”. In practice most papers used comprise at least 75 per cent. recycled fibre for coated and 100 per cent. for uncoated.

Departmental Procurement

David Simpson: To ask the Leader of the House what her Office's policy is on requesting discounts from its suppliers in return for swift payment of invoices. [220429]

Helen Goodman: The Office of the Leader of the House of Commons is committed to the Better Payment Practice Code on prompt payment and aims to pay all undisputed invoices within the terms of the contract, usually 30 days from receipt of a valid invoice.


21 July 2008 : Column 794W

The Office of the Leader of the House of Commons does not request discounts from suppliers in return for swift payment of invoices.

Departmental Public Buildings

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Leader of the House which organisations have received (a) free and (b) discounted room hire from (i) her Office and (ii) its agencies in each of the last five years; and what the commercial value of the discount was in each case. [221590]

Helen Goodman: None.

Departmental Public Participation

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Leader of the House if she will list (a) the reviews and (b) public consultations initiated by her Department since 27 June 2007. [221364]

Ms Harman: Since 27 June 2007, the Leader of the House initiated the following, which could be considered a review or public consultation:

Review/public consultation Date announced Reference in Official Report

Draft Legislative Programme public consultation 2007

11 July 2007

Volume 462, column 1449

Review of European Scrutiny

25 October 2007

Volume 465, column 443

Review of Parliamentary pay and pensions conducted by Sir John Baker

16 January 2008

Volume 470, column 32WS

Review of topical debates

7 February 2008

Volume 471, column 83WS

Draft Legislative Programme public consultation 2008

14 May 2008

Volume 475, column 1385

Review of the Parliamentary Pension Scheme

17 June 2008

Volume 477, column 45WS

Parliamentary audit and practice assurance

16 July 2008

Volume 479, column 31WS


Departmental Responsibilities

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Leader of the House which projects her Office has commissioned from (a) think tanks and (b) charities in each of the last two years for which figures are available; what the aim of each project was; which think tank or charity was commissioned; and how much was paid. [221613]

Helen Goodman: None.

Disabled

Mr. Harper: To ask the Leader of the House how many and what proportion of staff in her Office are disabled; and what the average salary in her Office is of (a) full-time disabled staff, (b) full-time non-disabled staff, (c) part-time disabled staff and (d) part-time non-disabled staff. [220183]

Helen Goodman: The provision of personal information on disability is optional and is held on individual's electronic staff files. Owing to the nature and size of the Office, providing this information could result in the identification of individuals.

Solicitor-General

Appeals

Andrew Mackinlay: To ask the Solicitor-General when she plans to answer Question 214873, on applications for leave to appeal, tabled on 25 June 2008. [220843]

The Solicitor-General: This has been answered today.

Appeals: Central Government

Andrew Mackinlay: To ask the Solicitor-General pursuant to the answer of 21 May 2008, Official Report, column 352W, on appeals: central Government, which departments the Treasury Solicitor’s Department represents in their applications for leave to appeal; and how many such applications the Treasury Solicitor’s Department handled in the last 12 months. [214873]

The Solicitor-General: The Treasury Solicitor’s Department acted on behalf of most central Government Departments on various legal matters during 2007-08. Data specifically on applications for leave to appeal to the House of Lords (both in terms of the number of applications and which client Department they relate to) are not maintained by the Treasury Solicitor’s Department. Furthermore, as there has been no call from client Departments for this information in the past, the Treasury Solicitor has consequently not been able to justify the commitment of public funds to collate and record these applications in the form requested. The information requested can be provided only at disproportionate cost.

BAE Systems

Adam Price: To ask the Solicitor-General what progress the Serious Fraud Office has made in its investigations into allegations against BAe Systems; and if she will make a statement. [219216]


21 July 2008 : Column 795W

The Solicitor-General: The Serious Fraud Office is continuing to investigate alleged offences involving BAE Systems plc. Further comment cannot be made for cases currently under investigation.

Departmental Alcoholic Drinks

David Simpson: To ask the Solicitor-General what measures are in place in the Attorney-General’s Office to monitor expenditure on alcohol for hospitality purposes. [219589]

The Solicitor-General: Expenditure is only incurred when Ministers host special events for external parties. This occurs infrequently and expenditure is approved by the Director of Finance.

David Simpson: To ask the Solicitor-General what purchasing process is used by the Law Officers’ Departments for the procurement of alcohol for hospitality purposes. [219939]

The Solicitor-General: When alcohol is provided for hospitality purposes it is purchased through each Department’s catering contractors. These contractors are procured according to Government guidelines and expenditure has to be incurred in accordance with the principles of Managing Public Money and the Treasury handbook on Regularity and Propriety.

Departmental Public Buildings

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Solicitor-General which organisations have received (a) free and (b) discounted room hire from the Attorney-General’s Office in each of the last five years; and what the commercial value of the discount was in each case. [221599]

The Solicitor-General: The Attorney-General’s Office does not hire out rooms to other organisations.

Departmental Sick Leave

Mr. Hayes: To ask the Solicitor-General how many working days have been lost due to sickness amongst employees for which the Law Officers Department is responsible in each year since 1997. [218046]

The Solicitor-General: The following tables provide the details of the number of working days lost due to sickness. These are broken down by the different Departments as records are not held in the same way.

Attorney-General’s Office, Treasury Solicitors Department and HM Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate
Calendar year Average working days lost per person

2003

5.5

2004

5.1

2005

7.2

2006

7.1

2007

Note:
Records prior to 2003 are not available.

21 July 2008 : Column 796W

Crown Prosecution Service
Calendar year Average working days lost per person

2001

8.9

2002

8.8

2003

9.2

2004

8.0

2005

9.7

2006

9.9

2007

10.0


Revenue and Customs Prosecutions Office
Calendar year Average working days lost per person

2005 (April to December)(1)

4.5

2006

4.5

2007

4.3

2008 (January to March)

7.2

(1) RCPO was created on 18 April 2005.

Next Section Index Home Page