15. Mr. Connarty:
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office if she will make a statement on the progress on the non-sport programme for the Commonwealth games in 2002. 
Mr. Ian McCartney:
There are two key non-sporting initiatives associated with the Manchester 2002 Games--the Volunteer Programme and the nationwide Spirit of Friendship Festival. Good progress is being made on both.
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The Spirit of Friendship Festival has appointed a national director, Jo Hartley, to work with all relevant agencies to deliver a successful nationwide festival of education, sport and culture.
The Festival will embrace the modern Commonwealth's values of fairness and inclusivity and engage the nation from its start on Commonwealth Day, 11 March 2002, until 10 August 2002.
The volunteer programme is also well under way with plans for the recruitment of 15,000 volunteers in place and recruitment generally beginning in May.
Drug Rehabilitation Programmes
25. Mr. Paul Clark:
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office how much has been allocated for anti-drug treatment services in each of the next three years. 
Mr. Ian McCartney:
The Government recognise that treatment services can have a vital role in reducing the damaging effects of drug abuse on a person's health as well as reducing crime and anti-social behaviour.
Through the spending review we have allocated an additional £167 million for drug treatment services over three years from 2001-02. The table gives the breakdown of spending in each of the next three years.
|Drug treatment (£ million)
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what assessment she has made of the impact on South Ribble of her Department's policy to improve access to drug rehabilitation programmes. 
Mr. Ian McCartney:
The Arrest Referral Programme for South Ribble has been implemented since August 2000. Between August 2000 and January 2001 a total of 230 individuals have been referred to local services under the Programme.
Chorley and South Ribble District Drug Service offer access to rehabilitation, and the South Ribble Drug Action Group is now in the process of implementing a treatment programme. The money made available from the last spending review will increase service capacity, GP shared care and child-specific services within the area.
18. Mr. Gordon Prentice:
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what policy initiatives of her Department have been tested on the people's panel; and with what result. 
The People's Panel is directed towards service delivery more than policy questions. But research has been used to inform various policy initiatives. Within the Cabinet Office it has contributed to the following:
Consumer Focus for Public Services
The fifth wave of research, published in September 2000, was carried out to support the consumer focus for public services initiative by establishing a baseline for public satisfaction and expectations of public services in different sectors.
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The Social Exclusion Unit in the Cabinet Office commissioned a re-analysis of data from the first wave of research to examine responses from people living in deprived areas, to determine how they differed from those living in other areas. The results were also published in September 2000.
Public service provision and ethnic minority communities:
In June 2000, the results of a first wave of research with the recruitment of an ethnic minority booster to the Panel were published. These show what people from ethnic minority communities think of the services they receive and how their opinions differ across and between different ethnic minority groups. Future research will be used by Government to help improve services.
Extended Hours Provision of Public Services
Research carried out in 1999 asked which out-of-hours services people wanted access to; what sort of business they would use them for; when they would want to be able to make contact; and how. The results were published in April 2000. "Making it happen: public services at your convenience" was published in September 2000 showing how the five key services (non-emergency services in NHS hospitals, GP surgeries, social services, the Passport Agency, and local government services) identified in the research were making service hours more convenient for their customers.
Notifying Change of Address On-line
In January 1999, the Panel was used to assess reactions to a proposal for enabling electronic notification of change of address details to be passed to Government Departments in one transaction. Panel members joined workshops testing out the technology. The results were published in April 2000. In November 2000, a pilot change of address service was developed on the UK online citizen portal www.ukonline.gov.uk which allows people to send new address details to participating Government Departments, as well as those utility and other commercial organisations offered by the change of address providers.
During January and February 1999, the People's Panel was used as part of the Listening to Women exercise which, among other things, has been used to inform and influence Government Departments on the needs of women as decisions have been taken to modernise public services.
In February 1999, the People's Panel was used to find out about the experiences of citizens using public services to evaluate how well Departments and agencies work together to deliver a joined-up service, and identify suggestions for improvement. The work was commissioned as part of the research for the Modernising Government White Paper.
Research was carried out in August 1999 to help the Cabinet Office prepare a new directory that brings together information for the main Government helplines and websites. The directory was published in October 1999.
19. Mr. Simon Thomas:
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what her policy is regarding the provision of Government internet services in languages other than English. 
My policy is that Departments must fulfil their obligations under the Welsh Language Act 1993, and our "Guidelines for Government Websites" make that very clear.
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I have always made it clear to Departments that I expect them to publish, where effective, in other languages spoken in the UK.
I am pleased to confirm that the newly revised "Guidelines to Government Websites" is clarifying this policy.
20. Mr. Evans:
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what guidance she has issued to Government Departments relating to the duties of special advisers and press officers. 
The duties of special advisers are set out in the "Model Contract for Special Advisers". The duties of Government press officers are set out in "Guidance on the work of the Government Information Service" and "The GICS Handbook".
Copies of these documents are in the Library of the House.
22. Dr. Julian Lewis:
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what criteria determine the number of special advisers Government Departments may appoint. 
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The Government's response to the Sixth Report of the Committee on Standards in Public Life, published in July 2000 (Cm 4807), sets out the Government's policy on the appointment of special advisers.
21. Mr. Fabricant:
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what recent initiatives her Department has introduced to co-ordinate the presentation of Government policy. 
My Department has several initiatives in place to co-ordinate the presentation of Government policy.
The first is the appointment of communications advisers who work alongside policy officials on the development of cross-government initiatives. They ensure that the communication of Government policy is considered from the outset and that clear information and explanations are provided for the public.
My Department is also responsible for the News Co-ordination Centre. The NCC has two functions. The first is to co-ordinate the Government's media handling during major crises such as last year's floods.
It also has a role in ensuring that for major announcements proper attention is given to the regional media. This is done by means of regional announcements and ministerial visits.