Mr. David Hunt: No. My Department completed work to identify the core criteria for grades 1 to 3 in March 1994. A new annual performance review system for grades 2 and 3 was introduced from 1 January 1995 which included assessment against these criteria. The arrangements proposed for determining permanent secretaries' pay will also involve a system of formal annual appraisal.
Mr. Steen: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if he will consider introducing policy target agreements and individual fixed term contracts for permanent, deputy and under secretaries within the civil service.
Mr. David Hunt: Senior managers in executive agencies work within the framework of the key targets set out in the organisation's framework document, while in core departments, senior managers work within the framework of policy objectives set out in each Department's published annual report.
In the Command Paper, "The Civil Service: Taking Forward Continuity and Change" (CM 2748), the Government stated that they would proceed with the introduction of written contracts of employment for members of the new senior civil service. The Government do not favour using fixed term contracts generally for senior civil servants, a view which is shared by the Treasury and Civil Service Select Committee in its report, "Role of the Civil Service".
Mr. Steen: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what steps are being taken to clarify performance criteria and establish a clear division of responsibility between Ministers and their officials.
Mr. David Hunt: Framework documents for executive agencies and organisations working on next steps lines describe the division of responsibilities between Ministers and officials. Taken together with an agency's corporate and business plans they also set out the indicators and targets used to assess performance. Sixty-two per cent. of the home civil service work in agencies and the executive structures of the two Revenue departments. Another 17 per cent. are in functions identified as definite or possible agency candidates. In core departments, published annual reports already set out departmental aims, objectives and achievements against previous plans or targets. "The Civil Service:
Column 2Taking Forward Continuity and Change" (Cm 2748) builds on the arrangements already in place in sets out the Government's view that there should be an increasing emphasis on extending, throughout the civil service, many of the principles of next steps, including maximum clarity about objectives and targets.
A variety of proposals for a Ministry of Justice have been made, but the Government are not convinced that any of them have made a case for the significant and complex constitutional change which would be involved.
Mr. Robert G. Hughes: On 1 April 1994 there were 1,345 non- departmental public bodies--a fall of 44 since 1993. Since 1979, the number of non-departmental public bodies has been reduced by 38 per cent. from 2,167. Details can be found in "Public Bodies 1994" published today. Copies have been placed in the Library of the House.
Sir Giles Shaw: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if he will place in the Library a copy of the evidence he has submitted to the Committee on Standards in Public Life; and if he will make a statement.
The Government are committed to the principle that selection for public appointments should be made on merit by the well-informed choice of individuals who through their qualifications, experience and qualities match the needs of the public body and the post in question. The arrangements in place and the reforms already introduced by a range of Departments are all designed to emphasise, against a background of many different kinds of appointments, this overriding principle. It was, however, a concern that central guidance to Departments should be clearer and firmer on these issues that led the Prime Minister last May to request a review of the guidance on these matters.
That review has now been completed by the Cabinet Office public appointments unit and I have submitted a copy of its report to the committee. The "Review of Guidance on Public Appointments" explains the varied nature of public appointments, the majority of them unpaid; describes a number of the initiatives which are being taken by Departments to improve procedures; and recommends ways in which best practice can be extended. The main focus of improvements is on greater openness about, for example, who holds posts and how people can apply for them, including the greater use of advertising. It also concentrates on arrangements to demonstrate probity; on sustained measures to promote equal
Column 3opportunities; and on reflecting citizens charter principles for accountability and responsiveness.
The Government have accepted the recommendations of the review and I have asked that work be set in hand straight away to implement the review as we revise the central guidance. I have asked the committee for its views on the review and the new central guidance will be issued as soon as the Government have been able to consider its comments.
Although I did not wish to anticipate or pre-judge the committee's deliberations on issues of conduct and propriety, I have provided in my evidence an overview of Government public service reforms as they apply to public bodies; and emphasised the high standards of impartiality, objectivity and financial integrity, including through codes of conduct for board members in public bodies and the national health service.
The committee has written separately to the Cabinet Secretary about gifts and hospitality for Ministers and the rules which govern the employment of officials when they leave the civil service, and he has replied. I have also placed a copy of this correspondence in the Library of the House.
I am making my evidence and the committee's correspondence with Sir Robin Butler generally available to interested parties.
Mr. Nigel Jones: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if he will list the amount of Government assistance granted to research councils for each year since 1986; and if he will make a statement.
£ million |AFRC |ESRC |MRC |NERC |SERC -------------------------------------------- 1986-87 |57.1 |23.8 |128.3|70.3 |316.2 1987-88 |54.9 |24.8 |139.8|73.3 |357.5 1988-89 |61.1 |27.0 |149.6|91.9 |367.6 1989-90 |74.3 |31.5 |176.3|115.0|406.2 1990-91 |88.4 |36.6 |185.7|135.2|440.8 1991-92 |96.6 |35.6 |202.9|122.6|456.4 1992-93 |105.4|45.9 |227.6|129.7|523.0 1993-94 |109.4|53.2 |262.7|140.3|583.5
Estimated outturn in 1994 95 is as follows:
6 £ million ------------------------------------------------------ BBSRC |146.9 EPSRC |367.9 ESRC |58.9 MRC |269.3 NERC |153.5 PPARC |180.1 Swindon Research Councils Pensions Scheme |30.1
The allocations of the science budget for 1995 96 will be announced on 2 February.
Column 4Department which have been withdrawn in the last 12 months, or which his Department plans to withdraw in the next 12 months; and what impact this will have on his Department's manpower.
Mr. David Hunt: The Departments for which I have ministerial responsibility are not responsible for any regulation legislation and have, therefore, not withdrawn any such legislation in the last 12 months.
Mr. Robert G. Hughes: Public services should be accessible to all those who need them, including elderly people. The 40 charters issued by public services are intended to help raise the standards and responsiveness of those services to all their customers, which include elderly people.
Mr. David Porter: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if he will make it his policy to establish a charter for the retired covering all services used by retired people; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Robert G. Hughes: There are no plans to introduce such a charter. Public services should be accessible to all those who need them, including retired people. In drawing up or revising a charter, a service provider should consult its customers and, as far as possible reflect their particular needs in the service standards and commitments which that charter sets.
Mr. Malcolm Bruce: To ask the President of the Board of Trade what stocks of shock batons were supplied directly of indirectly to Saudi Arabia (a) under the Al Yamamah programme and (b) in any other transaction in the period (i) three years before and (ii) six years after the signing of the Al Yamamah deal (1) by the British Government, (2) by British companies or (3) by arrangement with any company with offices in the United Kingdom.
Mr. Ian Taylor [holding answer 26 January 1995]: Both British Aerospace and the Ministry of Defence have denied that any electric batons were supplied under the Al Yamamah programme. It would be possible to establish whether any export licences had been sought for such
Column 5exports only at disproportionate cost. Deals not involving export from the UK require no licence.
Mr. Malcolm Bruce: To ask the President of the Board of Trade what discussions his Department has had with ICL Technical Plastics about the sale or export of electro-shock equipment; and what support his Department has provided.
Mr. Ian Taylor [holding answer 26 January 1995]: There is no record of support to ICL Technical Plastics for this purpose. My officials have spoken to representatives of the company who have denied the allegations in the Channel 4 television programme "Dispatches" on 11 January 1995.
Ms Janet Anderson: To ask the President of the Board of Trade what discussions his Department has had with BAe Royal Ordnance about the sale of electric shock batons to (a) Saudi Arabia and (b) other countries.
Mr. Ian Taylor: My officials contacted British Aerospace following the screening of the Channel 4 television programme "Dispatches" on 11 January 1995. The company has denied the allegations made in the programme.
Mr. Worthington: To ask the President of the Board of Trade what are his criteria for judging whether an anti-personnel mine reaches sufficiently high standards to be judged self-destructing of self- neutralising so as to be allowed to be exported.
Mr. Ian Taylor: Decisions on whether or not to grant a licence for the export of such mines would involve a number of considerations, only one of which would be an assessment of failure rates. The munitions lists in part III group 1 of schedule 1 to the Export of Goods (Control) Order 1994 are modelled on the former COCOM munitions list headings and contain no standards for land mines; all mines are controlled.
Mr. Worthington: To ask the President of the Board of Trade how many applications he received in 1994 for export licences for self-destructing or self-neutralising anti-personnel mines; by whom they were manufactured; which applications were approved; and for which countries the mines were destined.
Ms Estelle Morris: To ask the President of the Board of Trade what representations he has received from Birmingham city council about unsolicited direct mail offering business opportunities, profitable gambling or football pool plans and other money-making schemes, purporting to offer substantial profit from very little effort or expenditure; and whether he will seek to amend the Unsolicited Goods and Services Act 1971 and its amendment of 1975 to prohibit the distribution of such unsolicited literature.
Mr. Jonathan Evans: In previous years the statement and certificates demonstrating Lloyd's solvency, which are required by part IV of the Insurance Companies Act 1982, have normally been received towards the end of August. I have no reason to expect the timetable to be different this year.
Mr. Jonathan Evans: The Director General of Fair Trading is due to review the market for the supply cross-Solent ferry services this year, as requested by the then Secretary of State for Trade and Industry in 1992 following publication of the Monopolies and Mergers Commission report.
Mr. Harvey: To ask the President of the Board of Trade what representations he has received during the consultation period that followed the publishing of the White Paper on the draft Arbitration Bill of February 1994; and what conclusions he has drawn as a result of these representations.
Mr. Heseltine: Some 158 often extremely detailed submissions were received during the consultation period that followed the publication in February 1994 of the consultation document on the draft Arbitration Bill. These are currently being considered. A Bill taking account of the responses will be introduced as soon as parliamentary time permits.
Mr. Steen: To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he will list the rules and regulations in his Department which have been withdrawn in the last 12 months, or which his Department plans to withdraw in the next 12 months; and what impact this will have on his Department's manpower.
Mr. Jonathan Evans: A list of those rules and regulations withdrawn in the past 12 months follows. The Department is continuing to identify rules and regulations for withdrawal. Those for withdrawal in the next 12 months will be announced as and when consultations are completed. The implications for the Department's overall manpower will not be significant, and will be taken into account in the Department's MINIS round, the results of which are published annually.
Rules and Regulations withdrawn in the last twelve months The Insolvent Partnerships Order 1986 (SI 1986/2142)
The Insolvency Regulations 1986 (SI 1986/1994 amended by SI 1987/1959, SI 1988/1739, SI 1991/380)
Column 7The Insurance Companies (Amendment) Regulations 1992 (SI 1992/445)
The Insurance Companies (Cancellation No. 2) Regulations 1993 (SI 1993/1092)
The Insurance Companies Regulations 1981 (SI 1981/1654) The Insurance Companies (Amendment) Regulations 1982 (SI 1982/675)
The Insurance Companies (Advertisements) Amendments (No. 2) Regulations 1983 (SI 1983/396)
The Insurance Companies (Amendment) Regulations 1985 (SI 1985/1419)
The Insurance Companies (Amendment) Regulations 1988 (SI 1988/673)
The Insurance Companies (Legal Expenses Insurance) (Applications for Authorisation) Regulations 1990 (SI 1990/1160)
The Insurance Companies (Credit Insurance) Regulations 1990 (SI 1990/1181)
The Insurance Companies Regulations 1981 (Amendment) Regulations 1991 SI (1991/1999)
The Insurance Companies (Linked Contracts) (Amendment) Regulations 1991 (SI 1991/2511)
The Dangerous Substances and Preparations (Safety) (Amendment) Regulations 1985
The Dangerous Substances and Preparations (Safety) Regulations 1980
The Plugs and Sockets etc. (Safety) Regulations 1987
The Low Voltage Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1989 The Coal Industry Nationalisation Act 1946 Section 36(2) Weights and Measure Act 1963 (Dentifrices) Order 1974
The Benzene in Toys (Safety) Regulations 1987
The Novelties (Safety) Regulations 1980
Mr. Campbell-Savours: To ask the President of the Board of Trade on how many occasions departmental officials met representatives of Ian Greer Associates (a) formally and (b) informally on 26 January to discuss matters relating to its clients' interests.
Mr. Heseltine [holding answer 31 January 1995]: In so far as we have been able to establish there were no meetings between departmental officials and representatives of Ian Greer Associates on 26 January.
Mr. Ian Taylor [holding answer 2 February 1995]: The Department of Trade and Industry is currently commissioning an independent evaluation of the business link network. The evaluation will begin in March and is due to be completed in autumn 1995.
Mrs. Clwyd: To ask the President of the Board of Trade, pursuant to his answer of 8 December 1994, Official Report , column 299 , if the United Kingdom company that is licensed to explore for oil and gas in the East Timor gap has been granted an export licence under the Export of Goods (Control) Order 1981.
Mr. Ian Taylor [holding answer 10 January 1995]: It has been the practice of successive Governments not to reveal details of export licences or applications for licences unless the requirements of confidentiality are outweighed by the public interest.
Mrs. Clwyd: To ask the President of the Board of Trade, pursuant to his answer of 8 December, Official Report , column 299 , if the United Kingdom company that is licensed to explore for oil and gas in the East Timor gap requires an export licence under the Export of Goods (Control) Order 1981.
Mr. Ian Taylor [holding answer 10 January 1995]: A licence is required under the Export of Goods (Control) Order 1994, as amended, to export from the United Kingdom goods identified in the schedules to that order, unless the goods are specified in article 3(b) to (e) of the order.
(2) what representations he has received regarding the suitability of the Ellesmere Port magistrates courts.
Mr. John M. Taylor: The provision of magistrates courthouse accommodation is a matter for the magistrates courts committee concerned in conjunction with the local paying authority; there is no requirement of notification or representation to the Lord Chancellor. A local authority that is aggrieved by a decision of the magistrates courts committee to close a courthouse has the right of appeal to the Lord Chancellor. In the absence of such an appeal the Lord Chancellor has no locus in the matter.
Mr. John M. Taylor: Accommodation for magistrates courts is the responsibility of local authorities albeit substantially funded by central Government grants. The decision whether to use private sector funding is therefore primarily a matter for individual local authorities. My Department is, however, keen to support the private finance initiative, and for PFI solutions to be followed where practicable.
Column 9advisory committees on justices of the peace in the Greater London area, how many applications were received to become a JP in each of the last three years for which statistics are available; how many of these applications were from ethnic minority applicants; how many of the total applications were accepted; how many of these were from ethnic minority applicants.
Area Advisory Number of Number of ethnic Committee applications minority received Number of applicants appointments appointed |1992|1993|1994|1992|1993|1994|1992|1993|1994 -------------------------------------------------------------------- Inner London |140 |173 |149 |75 |88 |72 |9 |21 |11 City of London |23 |23 |12 |10 |10 |6 |2 |0 |1 South west London |93 |84 |73 |24 |32 |35 |4 |3 |1 South east London |96 |71 |83 |33 |19 |23 |3 |2 |3 North east London |166 |132 |111 |37 |48 |42 |8 |9 |8 Middlesex |262 |103 |162 |97 |29 |56 |4 |11 |16
No figures are available to show how many of the total applications were from ethnic minority applicants.