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Reverend G. Williams, JP

E. Jones, Esq. JP

Mrs. P. A. Williams, JP

J. E. Hooson, Esq. JP

H. T. Jones, Esq. JP

Gwynedd--Meirionnydd--

Chairman

R. E. Meuric Rees, Esq. CBE, JP

Members

The Hon. V. F. Williams-Wynne

R. Price, Esq. JP

Mrs. G. W. Jones, JP

A. Morgan, Esq.

Mrs. E. Win Jones, JP

Mrs. H. M. Roberts, JP

Mrs. C. Lawson, JP

North Powys--

Chairman

The Hon. I. E. E. Davies, JP

Members

J. R. Beaumont, Esq. JP, DL

D. M. Jones, Esq.

Mrs. P. A. Taylor

T. G. Stephens, Esq.

J. D. Thomas, Esq. JP

Mrs. J. A. Yewdall, JP

D. W. L. Rowlands, Esq. JP

South Powys--

Chairman

M. L. Bourdillon, Esq. JP, DL

Members

Mrs. S. A. G. Ballance

M. A. Pugh, Esq.

H. J. Watkins, Esq. JP

H. S. Harries, Esq. JP

J. H. M. Powell, Esq. JP

B. Williams, Esq. JP

Mrs. E. M. Edwards, JP

W. J. Elliott, JP

Mrs. A. M. Jones, JP

D. R. Jones, Esq. JP

Mr. Flynn : To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what is the balance of gender among magistrates in each Welsh county.

Mr. John M. Taylor : The balance of gender among magistrates in each Welsh county on the latest available information is as follows :


%

                |Male  |Female       

-------------------------------------

Clwyd           |188   |149          

Dyfed           |140   |100          

Mid Glamorgan   |186   |131          

South Glamorgan |176   |160          

West Glamorgan  |208   |139          

Gwent           |171   |133          

Gwynedd         |107   |74           

Powys           |49    |47           

Data Protection

Mr. Cohen : To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department whether he will make arrangements for the Data Protection Registrar to inspect relevant contracts with suppliers of information technology services that involve the use of personal data held by his Department in order to check whether all appropriate arrangements in relation to the Data Protection Act 1984 have been made, and whether such contracts make


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provisions for the registrar to make random inspections in order to check the suppliers' compliance with the eighth data protection principle.

Mr. John M. Taylor : The Data Protection Registrar has a wide range of powers, under the Data Protection Act 1984, to ensure that all individuals and organisations holding personal data on computer systems are registered and observe the data protection principles as required by the Act. When IT services are contracted out by a data user, the contractor and the user will be subject to the application of the data protection principles, and to the registrar's powers to promote compliance with them, as provided for in the Act. It is for the registrar to decide how he will use his powers under the Act, and I do not consider that any further arrangements are necessary for him to discharge his duties effectively.

Matrimonial Cases

Mr. Boateng : To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what instructions have been issued to the civil courts on passing information concerning parties to matrimonial proceedings to the Home Office immigration policy enforcement group ; by what authority such instructions are given and such information is passed ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. John M. Taylor : An arrangement was made last November between officials from my Department and from the Home Office immigration and nationality department for the courts to inform them of divorce cases where :

either of the parties involved has previously sought British citizenship, and

following their marriage in the United Kingdom, the parties separated on the same day.

The courts are not aware whether parties to cases have previously sought British citizenship, and this information was therefore not supplied. Information under the second heading was supplied to the Home Office, but has not been used by them in connection with any proceedings involving either party. This arrangement has now been discontinued.

Ministerial Cars

Mr. Alan Williams : To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what was the cost of cars for Ministers in his Department in 1990-91 ; and if he will quantify the cost of the factors which have led to changes in this cost subsequently.

Mr. John M. Taylor : There are two main factors which have led to an increase in the unit cost per Government car service car for Ministers in my Department. The first is the effect of inflation on GCS costs, particularly pay, vehicles and fuel. The second factor is that during this period the GCS reconstructed its charges to reflect the fact that it had been under-recovering its full costs in 1990-91.

Legal Aid

Mr. Boateng : To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what plans he has to use the underspend on the criminal legal aid budget (a) to benefit the civil legal aid budget and (b) otherwise.

Mr. John M. Taylor : On the basis of actual expenditure to the end of November 1993, it now seems


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likely that the total net expenditure on legal aid in the financial year 1993-94 will be £1,225 million compared to a provision of £1, 283.2 million. The majority of the shortfall--£37 million--relates to criminal legal aid, where the number of bills paid has fallen short of expectations. Most of the rest of the shortfall relates to civil legal aid where payments made to the legal aid fund in respect of costs and damages have exceeded expectations. The Lord Chancellor has no present plans to change the general policy in respect of legal aid, which is currently being examined as part of the fundamental review of his Department's expenditure. Whether it would be possible or desirable to make any changes to the legal aid scheme would not necessarily depend on prospective spending in a single year, but would have to be based on an assessment of what could be afforded over a period of years.

Mr. Boateng : To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what measures are in hand to improve the quality of information available to the Government in respect of legal aid costs ; and when he proposes to publish the reasons for the increased costs per case for legal aid.

Mr. John M. Taylor : A number of measures are being vigorously pursued by both the Lord Chancellor's Department and the Legal Aid Board to improve the quality of information on legal aid costs and on the usage of legal aid generally. The Lord Chancellor's Department has launched the legal aid management information systems project--LAMIS--which will provide a more comprehensive and accessible database on legal aid and which will be more relevant to the Department's present and future needs.

Additionally, in conjunction with the Legal Aid Board and Her Majesty's Treasury, the Department is carrying out a comprehensive review of its forecasting methods. The first stage of the review, dealing with the methods used in forecasting expenditure, is almost concluded. The next stage will involve extensive research in order to quantify major factors within the legal aid environment that drive expenditure. In addition, new systems are currently being developed by the Legal Aid Board. These developments include new systems for assessing civil and magistrates courts' bills, and for building case profiles.

The reasons for the increase in costs per case are many and complex. Legislative and procedural changes, the amounts paid to lawyers, and the amount of work done in each case are just some of the major factors which underlie the rise in costs.

Mr. Boateng : To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what practical steps he has taken to ascertain whether there has been a rise in the number of litigants in person which can be attributable to the changes in legal aid eligibility conditions.

Mr. John M. Taylor : My Department has asked courts administrators to gather the observations of court staff on the number of litigants beginning proceedings in person and has made arrangements for the collection of data on cases in which one or both of the parties is unrepresented at the hearing.

Mr. Boateng : To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what research he has asked the Legal Aid Board to undertake to discover the grounds on which offers of contributory legal aid are refused ; and what plans he has to commission such research.


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Mr. John M. Taylor : The Legal Aid Board is planning to carry out research into refusal of offers of legal aid in the financial year beginning on 1 April 1994.

Mr. Clappison : To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department if he will make a statement about the Lord Chancellor's objectives for legal aid.

Mr. John M. Taylor : The Lord Chancellor today published a management statement for the Legal Aid Board ; I have placed a copy in the Library of the House. This document sets out the framework within which the board operates ; its functions, aims and objectives ; its relationship with the Department, and its accountability to Parliament and the Lord Chancellor. It also sets out in some detail the Lord Chancellor's medium- term objectives for legal aid and the role that the board will play in achieving them. To complement this document, the Legal Aid Board has today published its corporate plan for the years 1994-95 to 1996-97.

Convictions (Court of Appeal)

Mr. Boateng : To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department how many convictions have been quashed by the Court of Appeal since the introduction of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 on the grounds of (a) unreliable police evidence, (b) unreliable confession evidence, (c) unreliable forensic or other expert evidence and (d) other grounds.

Mr. John M. Taylor : The information requested is not readily available and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost. However, in the period since January 1985, when the relevant sections of the Police and


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Criminal Evidence Act 1984 came into force, a total of 2,123 appeals against conviction have been allowed in part, or in whole, by the Court of Appeal criminal division.

FOREIGN AND COMMONWEALTH AFFAIRS

Portugal

Mr. Janner : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will discuss with the Portuguese authorities the death in Portugal of Paul Kenney.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd : I informed the hon. Member during the Adjournment debate on this matter on 10 Official Report , columns 650-64, that I would send the Portuguese authorities a copy of the Hansard record. This I have now done. We shall continue to press the Portuguese authorities for an explanation.

Consultancies

Ms Abbott : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list the (a) accountancy firms and (b) merchant banks to which his Department awarded private consultancy work in 1992 and 1993, together with a list of the consultancies concerned and the amount paid.

Mr. Goodlad : The table lists consultancies awarded by the diplomatic and aid wings of the Department to accountancy firms in 1992 and 1993 to consider work practices within Departments. The Department did not award any such consultancy contracts to merchant banks in either year. The table does not include the many consultancies awarded under the aid programme to developing countries or the know how fund.


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Firm                                                               |Consultancy                                                       |Value                                                                                                                                

                                                                                                                                      |£                                                                                                                                    

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Coopers and Lybrand                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

(a) Diplomatic Wing                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

1992                                                               |Project Support Office                                            |19,000                                                                                                                               

                                                                   |Market Testing Advice                                             |7,000                                                                                                                                

                                                                   |Quality Review                                                    |38,700                                                                                                                               

                                                                   |Attitude Survey and follow up                                     |42,250                                                                                                                               

                                                                   |Market Testing                                                    |10,000                                                                                                                               

1993                                                               |Market Testing Advice                                             |41,300                                                                                                                               

                                                                   |IT Financial Management Accounting System-FMAS                    |94,400                                                                                                                               

(b) Aid Wing                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

1992                                                               |Market Testing-Service Specification: Overseas Pensions Department|3,800                                                                                                                                

                                                                   |Privatisation proposals                                           |21,200                                                                                                                               

1993                                                               |Market Testing-A Review of Potential Suppliers                    |25,500                                                                                                                               

                                                                   |Review of Office Services                                         |65,000                                                                                                                               

                                                                   |Reviewing the Status of Crown Agents and CDC                      |94,000                                                                                                                               

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

Ernst and Young                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

(a) Diplomatic Wing                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

1992                                                               |OED IT Procurement System                                         |58,800                                                                                                                               

1993                                                               |OED IT Procurement System                                         |11,500                                                                                                                               

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

Firman Jack                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

(a) Diplomatic Wing                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

1992                                                               |Chessington Interface                                             |10,400                                                                                                                               

1993                                                               |Baselining Posts Overseas Accounting System                       |15,200                                                                                                                               

                                                                   |Baselining Posts Reconciliation Accounts System                   |3,600                                                                                                                                

                                                                   |Financial Management Accounting System                            |3,300                                                                                                                                

                                                                   |Chessington Interface                                             |20,200                                                                                                                               

                                                                   |Contingency Planning                                              |1,900                                                                                                                                

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

KPMG Management Services                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

(a) Aid Wing                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

1992                                                               |Market Testing Review, NRI                                        |5,700                                                                                                                                

1993                                                               |Review of Services provided by OACD                               |46,000                                                                                                                               

                                                                   |Costing and Pricing Study NRI                                     |5,400                                                                                                                                

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

Price Waterhouse                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

(a) Diplomatic Wing                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

1992                                                               |Baselining and Maintenance of Finance Accounts IT system          |318,800                                                                                                                              

                                                                   |Review of Posts Overseas Accounts System                          |71,000                                                                                                                               

1993                                                               |Maintenance of Finance Accounts IT system                         |180,000                                                                                                                              

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

Stoy Hayward                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

(a) Diplomatic Wing                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

1993                                                               |Programme Manager Financial Management Accounting system-FMAS     |95,100                                                                                                                               

Members' Gifts

Mr. Flynn : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list each occasion since 1964 when gifts presented to hon. Members have been transported to the United Kingdom in diplomatic bags.

Mr. Goodlad : The Vienna convention on diplomatic relations does not permit the use of the diplomatic bag for the carriage of non-official items on behalf of persons who are not designated as entitled by the convention. Accordingly, personal gifts presented to hon. Members may not be transported by diplomatic bag.

Records of materials carried by diplomatic bag are destroyed within 12 months of the bag having reached its destination. A scrutiny of the extant records indicates that no exception has been made to these rules in the past 12 months. Data on earlier bag movements are no longer available.

Turkey

Mr. Corbyn : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs which representatives of Kurdish people he expects to meet during his forthcoming visit to Turkey.

Mr. Heathcoat-Amory : During his visit to Ankara my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs hopes to meet a wide cross-section of people from a variety of regions and ethnic backgrounds.

Mr. Corbyn : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions on arms sales and their use he expects to have during his forthcoming visit to Turkey.

Mr. Heathcoat-Amory : As usual on such visits, my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs shall seek opportunities to promote the sales of British products, including military equipment for defence purposes.

Mr. Corbyn : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what journalists' organisations he will meet during his forthcoming visit to Turkey.

Mr. Heathcoat-Amory : My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs


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shall meet a range of Turkish media representatives in Ankara. He does not plan to meet any journalists' organisations.

Mr. Corbyn : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations have been made to the Government of Turkey about the release of detained journalists and the free publication of newspapers.

Mr. Heathcoat-Amory : Turkey was heavily criticised for continuing limitations on freedom of expression, particularly in the media, at a Conference on Security and Co-operation in Europe meeting in Warsaw in September. Through such international forums and in our own meetings with Turkish Ministers and officials we make plain our concern about this and other human rights issues. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs shall do so during his visit.

NATIONAL HERITAGE

Educational Broadcasting

Mr. Alex Carlile : To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage what proposals he has to ensure that schools in rural areas in Wales will be able to pick up frequencies of educational radio programmes ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Brooke : The BBC has announced plans to transfer the educational programmes at present on Radio 5 to other networks. I understand that the BBC believes that this will improve coverage and quality of reception of these programmes.

Mr. Alex Carlile : To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage if he will make a statement on the future of educational broadcasting on television and radio in Wales.

Mr. Brooke : The Government hope to publish a White Paper in the spring setting out proposals for the future of the BBC, including its role in providing educational broadcasting in all parts of the United Kingdom.

S4C and HTV are required to provide educational programmes in their television services. There are no similar requirements on independent radio services, although I understand that two local radio stations have agreed to include some Welsh language education programmes in their services.


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Mr. Alex Carlile : To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage how many hours were dedicated to Welsh language educational broadcasts on (a) radio and (b) television for each of the last five years ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Brooke : According to the information available to me, the number of hours dedicated to Welsh language educational broadcasts by the BBC and S4C, in each of the last five years, were :


P

                                                                                

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Broadcasting (Restrictions)

Mr. Madden : To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage what plans he has to make arrangements to revoke section 10 of the Broadcasting Act 1990 withdrawing notices to the Independent Broadcasting Authority and the British Broadcasting Corporation requiring those organisations to refrain from sending any broadcast matter as directed ; how many households in the United Kingdom he estimates are able to receive television and radio broadcasts originating in the Irish Republic ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Brooke [holding answer 18 January 1994] : I have been asked by the Prime Minister to review the broadcasting restrictions ; I expect to report to him shortly. We hold no information on the reception in the United Kingdom of Irish television or radio broadcasts ; any such reception from terrestrial sources is the result of fortuitous overspill of transmissions and is not protected from interference from other signals.

ATTORNEY-GENERAL

Data Protection

Mr. Cohen : To ask the Attorney-General whether he will make arrangements for the Data Protection Registrar to inspect relevant contracts with suppliers of IT services that involve the use of personal data held by his Department in order to check whether all appropriate arrangements in relation to the Data Protection Act 1984 have been made, and whether such contracts make provisions for the registrar to make random inspections in order to check the suppliers' compliance with the eighth data protection principle.

The Solicitor-General : The Data Protection Registrar has a wide range of powers, under the Data Protection Act 1984, to ensure that all individuals and organisations holding personal data on computer systems are registered and observe the data protection principles as required by the Act. When IT services are contracted out by a data user, the contractor and the user will be subject to the application of the data protection principles, and to the registrar's powers to promote compliance with them, as provided for


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in the Act. It is for the registrar to decide how he will use his powers under the Act, and I do not consider that any further arrangements are necessary for him to discharge his duties effectively.


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