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The Solicitor-General [holding answer 11 March 2002]: My own Department, the Legal Secretariat to the Law Officers, which has less than 35 permanent staff, is generally staffed by officials on secondment for a period of two to three years from their parent Departments. Their pay is determined by the particular arrangements of their parent Departments and as such is not susceptible for review by LSLO. Disparity of pay within LSLO is a reflection of the differing pay scales of parent Departments and so no useful assessment of gender pay gap could be made.
In accordance with Government policy, the Crown Prosecution Service is committed to an audit of its pay systems and structure and the preparation of an action plan to address any equal pay issues, by April 2003. The Crown Prosecution Service is currently engaged in the trial of a new Equal Pay Audit Model to be published by the Equal Opportunities Commission in due course. This trial will produce data on the extent of any gender pay gap in the Crown Prosecution Service by the end of May 2002.
Introduce an equal pay policy for the Crown Prosecution Service;
Change the processes, rules and practices that may give rise to unequal pay;
Give equal pay to current and future employees;
Set up a system of monitoring and clear accountability to ensure the pay system is free of sex bias. Treasury Solicitor's Department
In response to the Government's programme to improve reward management systems, in August 2001 the Serious Fraud Office conducted a comprehensive review of its pay and grading systems. This resulted in the introduction of a new pay structure for all permanent staff below the Senior Civil Service, with effect from 1 August 2001. Staff were assimilated into the new structure by
18 Mar 2002 : Column 10W
reference to their seniority and performance. The new structure guarantees satisfactory performers progression to 80 per cent. of their pay band within five years, and to the top of their pay band within a further seven years.
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Solicitor-General what was the (a) percentage and number of rail journeys undertaken on first class tickets, (b) average cost of a first class journey by rail and (c) total cost of rail travel in each of the past four years broken down by grade of civil servant. 
The Solicitor-General [holding answer 25 February 2002]: In my own Department, the Legal Secretariat to the Law Officers, details of the cost of rail travel incurred by the Department in each of the last four years is included in the Treasury Solicitor's Department's records. Separate details could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
In the Departments for which the Attorney-General is responsible, details are as follows:
Total Cost: £483,000
First Class: £168,000
Total Cost: £583,000
First Class: £247,000
Total Cost: £770,000
First Class: £387,000
Total Cost: £742,000
First Class: £318,000
The Crown Prosecution Service does not retain records of the number of rail journeys and cannot provide the average cost of a first class journey. Nor can the total cost be broken down by civil service grade.
The relevant systems are being upgraded as part of the improvement in financial management on which the Treasury Solicitor's Department embarked some months ago. Most of the improvements should be concluded during the course of the financial year 200203.
18 Mar 2002 : Column 11W
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Solicitor-General if she will list the equipment leasing arrangements entered into by her Department in each of the last four years; and what the cost to public funds in each case is. 
The Solicitor-General [holding answer 4 March 2002]: The costs of the equipment leasing arrangements entered into by my own Department, the Legal Secretariat to the Law Officers, in the last four years are included in the Treasury Solicitor's Department figures.
£1,306,327 in 19992000
£1,378,663 in 200001
£1,001,299 in 200102 (to date).
The expenditure quoted for reprographics includes all elements of the services including copy costs. It has not been possible to determine the costs of the equipment rentals themselves from the centrally held data.
The Treasury Solicitor's Department and the Legal Secretariat to the Law Officers have entered into equipment leasing arrangements for photocopying facilities. The costs in each of the last four years were as follows:
18 Mar 2002 : Column 12W
Mr. Menzies Campbell: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to his answer of 22 January 2002, Official Report, column 704W, on stolen equipment, what criminal proceedings have been undertaken for cases of theft against his Department, stating in each case (a) whether the proceedings (i) led to a criminal conviction and (ii) were unsuccessful, (b) the cost incurred by his Department in pursuing a conviction and (c) the value of items recovered; and if he will make a statement. 
Ruth Kelly: Our policy is to involve the police in all cases that involve theft. In the cases of those items recorded as stolen as set out in my answer of 22 January, there was insufficient evidence to support criminal proceedings.
Matthew Taylor: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to his answer of 11 February 2002, Official Report, column 116W, on conference sponsorship, if he will place in the Library the document that sets out the benefits of sponsorship for the sponsor referred to in the July 1998 Cabinet Office guidelines on sponsorship; and if he will make a statement. 
Ruth Kelly: I assume the hon. Gentleman is referring to the "Mintel Report 1998" which is referred to in the first paragraph of the July 2000 Cabinet Office Guidance on Sponsorship of Government Activities. This is a commercial publication entitled "Sponsorship 1998" and available from Mintel International Group Ltd. (Tel. 020 7606 6000). Mintel issued a further report in 2000 entitled "Sponsorship 2000".
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