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23 Oct 2003 : Column WA187

Written Answers

Thursday, 23rd October 2003.

Civil Registration: Consultation Document

Baroness Barker asked the Chairman of Committees:

    Why there is no copy of the consultation document Civil Registration: Delivering Vital Change in the Printed Paper Office.[HL5076]

The Chairman of Committees (Lord Brabazon of Tara): The Printed Paper Office has been able to obtain only one copy of this document from the Government, and this has since been issued to a Member of the House. In addition, two copies are held in the Library. The text is also available on the Internet at, and staff of the PPO can print off copies on request.

Criminal Offences: Specified Proceedings

Lord Bradshaw asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether the police, rather than the Crown Prosecution Service, should prosecute minor offences.[HL4752]

The Attorney-General (Lord Goldsmith): The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has a statutory duty under Section 3 of the Prosecution of Offences Act 1985 to take over the conduct of all criminal proceedings instituted by the police, but an exception is made for proceedings (termed "specified proceedings") in relation to very minor matters such as regulatory road traffic offences, the routine nature of which does not demand an independent review by the CPS. Specified proceedings cease to be specified at any time a court begins to hear the evidence in the case, at which stage the CPS will take over the conduct of the prosecution.

There is no intention to amend this aspect of the statutory relationship between the police and the CPS that underpins the constitutional independence of CPS prosecutors.

There are provisions in the Criminal Justice Bill currently before Parliament that do affect the working relationship between the police and CPS. Lord Justice Auld's Review of the Criminal Courts (October 2001) recommended that the CPS take on responsibility for determining the charge in all but minor or routine cases. Joint piloting of this recommendation by the police and CPS has proved very beneficial for the working relationship between the two services and improved their effectiveness in delivering justice on behalf of the public. Provisions in the Criminal Justice Bill will put this new working relationship on a statutory footing and have been widely welcomed.

The new relationship that is developing between the police and CPS will impact across the range of criminal

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cases from relatively minor cases to the most serious of cases involving serious, international and organised crime. As part of this developing relationship, the CPS will have in place from early 2004 a network of lead prosecutors who will provide a focus on anti-social behaviour. These prosecutors will work with the police, local authorities and local communities to bring the expertise of the CPS to tackle low-level crime that can make life a misery, particularly for our poorest communities. This development re-emphasises the role of the CPS as a key part of the criminal justice system to act on behalf of society in bringing offenders to justice and in delivering justice for individual victims and for our wider communities.

Treasury Solicitor's Annual Report and Accounts 2002–03

Lord Alli asked Her Majesty's Government:

    When the Treasury Solicitor will publish her annual report.[HL5099]

Lord Goldsmith: The Treasury Solicitor's annual report and accounts 2002–03 have today been published and laid before Parliament. Copies have been placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

Racial Discrimination: EC Legislation

Lord Lester of Herne Hill asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Further to the Written Answer by the Baroness Scotland of Asthal on 17 September (WA 179), whether, and if so how, the amendments made to the Race Relations Act 1976 by the 2003 regulation are compatible with the right to equality before the law and the equal protection of the law, including the right to equal treatment before Employment Tribunals, for non-white individuals as well as white individuals.[HL4618]

The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Scotland of Asthal): The amendments apply in the same way to non-white individuals as they apply to white individuals in as much as the RRA itself applies equally to white and non-white individuals.

Suez Medal

Lord Radice asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What progress has been made on the issue of a medal for service in the Suez Canal zone from 1951 to 1954. [HL5037]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Bach): Further to the Written Answer in another place by my right honourable friend the Prime Minister on 11 June 2003 (Offical Report, column 869W), we are pleased to

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announce that Her Majesty The Queen has graciously agreed to the institution of the Naval General Service Medal 1915 to 1962 and the General Service Medal 1918 to 1962 with the new clasp "Canal Zone" for service in the Suez Canal zone. Command Paper No 5999 is laid before Parliament today detailing the criteria for this award. My department's medal offices will now commence the award to eligible Suez veterans.

Individuals who served in the canal zone during the early 1950s, or their next of kin, are invited to write to the appropriate medal office providing their name, date of birth and Service number. The addresses of the medal offices are as follows:

    Royal Naval Medal Office, Room 1068, Centurion Building, Grange Road, Gosport,Hampshire PO13 9XA

    Royal Marines Medal Office, Room 038, Centurion Building, Grange Road, Gosport, Hampshire PO13 9XA

    Army Medal Office, Government Buildings, Worcester Road, Droitwich Spa, Worcestershire WR9 8AU

    Royal Air Force Medal Office, Room 6, Building 248A, RAF PMA, RAF Innsworth, Gloucester, Gloucestershire GL3 1EZ

    Civilian Honours Unit, Room 462, St Giles Court, 1-13 St Giles High Street, London WC2H 8LD

    Royal Fleet Auxiliary Medal Office, SO3 RAF CS1A, Room F11, Lancelot Building, PP29, HM Naval Base, Portsmouth, Hampshire PO1 3NH

EU Public Sector Procurement Directive

Baroness Miller of Chilthorne Domer asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they believe that the European Union Public Procurement Directive as drafted will enable environmental and social needs to be adequately taken into account.[HL4682]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Trade and Industry (Lord Sainsbury of Turville): The UK Government believe that the common position of the revised EU Public Sector Procurement Directive does enable relevant social and environmental needs to be addressed. It clarifies the scope to take account of such issues at each stage of the procurement process.

European Parliament: Conciliation Committee

Baroness Miller of Chilthorne Domer asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What advice they will give to United Kingdom Members of the European Parliament on the Conciliation Committee regarding amendment 95

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    to Article 53.1 in the Classical Directive and amendment 50 to Article 55.1 in the Sectoral Directive.[HL4684]

Lord Sainsbury of Turville: UK Government advice to United Kingdom Members of the European Parliament will be that the text of the common position for award criteria in the public sector and utilities directives represents a balanced approach. It allows social and environmental criteria to be taken into account provided that they are relevant to the subject of the contract and give a benefit to the contracting authority.

As currently drafted, the text of the European Parliament amendments would allow wider issues to be taken into account at the award stage and would be likely to undermine value for money.

Ex-directory Telephone Numbers

Lord Hodgson of Astley Abbotts asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether the "comprehensive directory" specified in paragraph 2 of the Electronic Communications (Universal Service) Order 2003 (S.I. 2003/1904) will include telephone numbers hitherto ex-directory.[HL4691]

Lord Sainsbury of Turville: The comprehensive directory specified will not include telephone numbers hitherto ex-directory unless the ex-directory telephone subscriber specifically requests it. This is because subscribers have, and will continue to have into the future, the right to be ex-directory, under the Telecommunications (Data Protection and Privacy) Regulations 1999, which will be replaced on 11 December 2003 by the Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003.

Radio Equipment and Telecommunications Terminal Equipment (Amendment) Regulations 2003

Lord Hodgson of Astley Abbots asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Why Section 8 of the Radio Equipment and Telecommunications Terminal Equipment (Amendment) Regulations 2003 (SI 2003/1903) does not require an address, telephone number or other contact point of the "responsible person" to be specified[HL4693]

Lord Sainsbury of Turville: Regulation 2(8) of the Radio Equipment and Telecommunications Terminal Equipment (Amendment) Regulations 2003 amended Regulation 10(3) of the Radio Equipment and Telecommunications Terminal Equipment Regulations 2000 (SI 2000 No 730) ("the principal regulations") by clarifying the information to be provided on apparatus.

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The principal regulations implemented Directive 1999/5/EC on radio equipment and telecommunications terminal equipment and the mutual recognition of their conformity. Article 12.4 of that directive requires apparatus to be identified by, in addition to technical markings, "the name of the manufacturer or the person responsible for placing the apparatus on the market". To have included a requirement in the principal regulations for additional information to be specified in respect of the responsible person would have been to go beyond the scope of the directive.

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