Examination of Witnesses (Questions 100-104)|
WEDNESDAY 12 JUNE 2002
100. What is the progress report on that? I
know it is the Cabinet Office rather than you.
(Mr Weatherill) It was but now as a result of machinery
of Government changes the other week it is actually the Department
of Trade and Industry I believe. There has been a consultation,
you may have seen the document, which Barbara Roche in the Cabinet
Office launched at the end of last year on the implementation
of the Article 13 Race and Employment Directives with a set of
proposals which went out for comment. People were invited to comment
by the end of March and there was quite a volume of comment, I
think something like getting on for 600 responses were received.
My colleagues in DTI are now analysing those comments and there
will be something in due course but, as I understand it, not in
the immediate future, we will probably have to wait until the
autumn before the results of that are announced. Quite how that
fits in with the timetable of your own inquiry I am not quite
sure and what I can offer on that is we should keep in touch with
the clerk so that everyone is in the picture on developments on
101. There is no reason why we should not keep
in touch with the DTI in order to be thorough. We would like to
know what the situation is.
(Mr Weatherill) There is a related aspect which I
think your question particularly alludes to which is the announcement
made by Barbara Roche the other week about the feasibility study
which the Government has now set up, the study of the feasibility
of what is being called a Single Equality Commission. It is something
that would replace the existing commissions which deal with race,
gender and disability with a single commission whose remit would
also extend to the new equalities, if I can call them those, age,
religion and sexuality. This feasibility study has now started
and it will also report, we think, in the autumn, so that is something
else that the Committee might like to keep in touch with. I cannot
myself see any read across from the criminal matters with which
this Committee is concerned and the institutional matters with
which that study is
102. Is that matter also in the hands of the
DTI now or has that stayed in the Cabinet Office?
(Mr Weatherill) As I understand it, the bits of the
Cabinet Office that were doing the work have moved to the DTI
but Barbara Roche, the Minister in the Cabinet Office, will retain
ministerial supervision of that.
103. We will get into the ramifications of Whitehall
at another time. Your understanding is that it will not have any
(Mr Weatherill) The key point is I do not see either
the work that has already been going on on the implementation
of the Race and Employment Directives themselves or this further
work on the institutional dimension as impinging directly on the
work of your Committee on criminal matters.
104. Are there any questions that anybody would
like to put to our witnesses before we close? Could I thank all
three of you very much indeed. I do not guarantee as we make progress
on this subject we might not ask you to come back. I will not
threaten you with that but, on the other hand, you have promised
us some extra material and we might like to look at it with you
later on. It certainly will not be before the summer recess. Meanwhile,
thank you very much indeed for what you have been able to give
us by way of assistance and we will study the transcript with
(Mr Weatherill) So will we.
Chairman: Thank you.