Mr. Freeman: The CCTA offers an advisory service to Departments on the procurement of information technology and information systems, on which Government spend over £2 billion a year. But it does not have a sufficiently central place to influence and co-ordinate the strategy of Government in relation to information systems so as to ensure that the latest technology is harnessed to improve co-ordination across Government and the effective delivery of services to the public. I therefore propose to establish a small central unit in the Office of Public Service designed to secure a strategic approach to IT across Government. It will be known as the central IT unit, and will work in close co-operation with the DTI, which is the sponsoring Department for the industry. It is expected to comprise no more than eight to 10 people drawn from the private and public sector. The unit will report through me to the Deputy Prime Minister.
At the same time, the existing CCTA will concentrate on providing intelligent customer support on IT issues to Departments and agencies which so wish to be advised and on a full repayment basis. We shall be consulting customers and staff about the appropriate status and role for CCTA and considering whether there is scope for more private sector involvement in its ownership and management. I intend to make a more detailed announcement in due course.
Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister, pursuant to his answer of 30 October, Official Report , columns 7-10 , on next steps agencies what estimates he has made of the proportion of civil servants working in next steps agencies in (a) April 1996 and (b) April 1997.
The Deputy Prime Minister: The next steps programme is on course towards the Government's expectation that it will cover about three quarters of the civil service as a whole. Projecting proportionate coverage is uncertain because decisions on whether to establish candidate functions as agencies and the exact timing of the launch have yet to be made and will depend on a variety of
considerations--and because the overall numbers of civil servants continue to fall.
Column 860However, taking our current indications of potential launches in April 1996 and adding their current staffing into the proportions I gave for 1 April 1995 in my report of 30 October would produce the following figures:
1995 including possible April 1996 launches |Per cent. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Indicative projection of Home civil servants working on Next Steps lines on 1 April |70 Indicative projection of civil servants in Northern Ireland working on Next Steps lines on 1 April |72
Thereafter and on the same basis, I estimate that these proportions would rise to 75 per cent. and 78 per cent. respectively on the assumption that all functions currently under consideration were launched as agencies, mostly by April 1997.
Ms Jowell: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if he will update table 8 of the Cabinet Office publication "10 Years Progress Report" on promotion rates in the administration group to include 1994 95 and extend the table to take in the higher executive grades of the service to grade 2 for the years 1991 92, 1992 93, 1993 94 and 1994 95 for men and women. 
Mr. Horam: An up-dated table will appear in the data summary on equal opportunities in the civil service in 1994 5. This will be produced early in the new year, and copies will be laid in both Libraries of the House. There are no plans, however, to extend the table to the highest grades, as the numbers involved are too small to show meaningful trends.
Ms Jowell: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if he will update table 1 of the Cabinet Office publication "10 Years Progress Report" on women's grade levels in the non-industrial home civil service at 1 April to include 1994 95. 
Mr. Horam: An updated table will appear in the data summary on equal opportunities in the civil service in 1994 95. This will be produced early in the new year, and copies will be laid in both Libraries of the House. I also refer the hon. Member to figure 18 and table 4a in "Civil Service Statistics 1995"--placed in the House of Commons Library on 31 October 1995 --about the proportion of women at key grade levels and occupational groups.
Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister if he will list the projects undertaken since 1992 by the Office of Public Service where outside consultants have been employed; and if he will list the contract fee and consultant in each case. 
Mr. Freeman: The details of individual consultancy contracts let by the Office of Public Service and its agencies where outside consultants may have been used in some part of the contract are not held centrally in the form requested. The full information can be provided only at disproportionate cost.
Column 861However, the costs of external consultancy contracts let by the Office of Public Service and its agencies in the last two completed financial years are as follows:
Year |£ ------------------------------ 1993-94 |5,697,880 1994-95 |5,832,044
The greater part of these totals was consultancy to CCTA, the Government Centre for Information Systems, mainly for the benefit of other Departments.
Mr. Horam: Applications for a charter mark are confidential. We publicise only the names of the winners and those who are highly commended. These we will announce at the charter mark awards ceremony on 4 December.
We do not disclose the names of unsuccessful applicants. It is for those organisations to decide for themselves whether to publicise the fact that they have applied.
Mr. Corbyn: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how many persons in the Deputy Prime Minister's office and in the Office of Public Service are on the public payroll or employed as consultants or advisers and work on a part-time or full-time basis in relation to the Scott inquiry; if he will list their names; and how much each is paid. 
The Deputy Prime Minister: There are no staff within my private office and the Office of Public Service employed on matters relating to the Scott inquiry on a full-time or part-time basis, although some will inevitably be involved from time to time. There are also no external consultants or advisers employed on such matters by my private office or the Office of Public Service. It is not the practice to name staff or external advisers.
Mr. Freeman: Section 1 of the House of Commons Disqualification Act 1975 disqualifies for membership of the House of Commons any person employed in the civil service of the Crown, or any member of the regular armed forces of the Crown. Civil servants, except those in industrial and non-office grades, must resign from the civil service on their formal adoption as a parliamentary candidate. Industrial and non-office grade civil servants must resign before they give their consent to nomination in accordance with the parliamentary election rules.
Mrs. Beckett: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how many staff have been employed on the deregulation task force; and what is the total estimated cost of its operations since it was established. 
Mr. Freeman: The deregulation task force is assisted by three staff in the deregulation unit of the Cabinet Office, who provide administrative support. Its members are not paid, but they receive travel and subsistence expenses.
Mrs. Beckett: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how many committees and sub-committees of the deregulation task force have been established since its inception; and how many reports have been produced by them. 
Mr. Freeman: There have been 10 ad hoc working groups since the inception of the deregulation task force, of which some have included non- task force members. The task force has produced two reports: "The Charities and Voluntary Organisations Report", which was published in July; and the task force's first annual report, which was published in September. Copies of both reports have been placed in the Library of the House.
Mr. Freeman: The 870 recommendations were made by Lord Sainsbury's eight deregulation task forces and published in 1994. The recommendations did not just identify regulations but covered other areas, such as enforcement. It would involve disproportionate cost to identify how many of the regulations on which the task force made recommendations were introduced since 1979. The text of the recommendations and the commentary on the progress made in implementing them has been placed in the Library of the House.
Mr. Bayley: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how many (a) specialist advisers and (b) press or public relations officers are employed by his office; and what is the total annual salary bill for (a) and (b) above. 
Mr. Bayley: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster how many (a) specialist advisers and (b) press or public relations officers are employed by his Department; and what is the total annual salary bill for (a) and (b) above. 
Mr. Allen: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister (1) what consideration the Prime Minister's advisor on efficiency has given to the management of information and planning systems report of May 1995; 
Column 863(2) if he will list all Government Departments and agencies, specifying the precise steps being taken to ensure that their information and planning systems are up to the level of the best. 
Dr. Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what has been the cost of ministerial transport in each of the past five years; what allowance has been paid to ministers who use their own vehicles; and what has been the cost in each of the past five years. 
Year |£ ------------------------ 1990-91 |220,688 1991-92 |238,343 1992-93 |330,096 1993-94 |342,732 1994-95 |342,732
The figures above represent the cost of the agreed options and do not include VAT. The Government car service says that it has not been possible to calculate the outside option charges or the despatch charges in the time given.
Ministers who use their own vehicles on official business may claim a private car allowance, now 37p per mile.
Details of claims are as follows:
Year |£ --------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1990-91 |No information available 1991-92 |No claims received 1992-93 |364 1993-94 |2,762 1994-95 |No claims received
Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will specify the make and model of the official car used by each British High commissioner and ambassador serving overseas as of 21 October. 
List of all embassies and High Commissions together with their flag cars |Model ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Abidjan |Jaguar SOV Abu Dhabi |Jaguar XJ6 Accra |LR Discovery Addis Ababa |Rover 825 SLD Algiers |Range Rover Almaty |Volvo 850 Amman |LR Discovery Ankara |Rover 825 Antananarivo |LR Discovery Asuncion |JAG Daimler Athens |Jaguar XJ6 Bahrain |Jaguar XJ6 Baku |LR Discovery Bandar Seri Begawan |Rover 827 Bankok |Daimler Limo Banjul |Range Rover Beirut |Jaguar SOV Belgrade |Jaguar XJ6 Belmopan |LR Discovery Berne |Rover 827 Bogota |Range Rover Bonn |Rolls-Royce Silver Spur Brasilia |Rolls-Royce Silver Spur Bratislava |LR Discovery Bridgetown |Rover 825 Brussels |Jaguar SOV Bucharest |Volvo 960 Budapest |Rover 827 Buenos Aires |Rover 825 SD Cairo |Rover 825 Canberra |Rolls-Royce Silver Spur Caracas |Ford Grand Marquis Castries |LR Discovery Colombo |Range Rover Copenhagen |Jaguar XJ6 Dakar |Rover 825 Damascus |Jaguar XJ6 Dar Es Salaam |LR Discovery Dhaka |Daimler Limo Doha |Rover 827 Dubai |Rover 827 Dublin |Rover 827 Freetown |LR Discovery Gaborone |LR Discovery Georgetown |Range Rover Guatemala City |Range Rover Hanoi |Rover 825 Harare |Jaguar XJ6 Havana |Jaguar SOV Helsinki |Jaguar XJ6 Ho Chi Minh City |LR Discovery Holy See |Rover 827 Honiara |LR Discovery Islamabad |Daimler Limo Jakarta |Range Rover Kampala |LR Discovery Kathmandu |Range Rover Khartoum |LR Discovery Kiev |Rover 825 SLD Kingston |Rover 827 Kingstown |LR Discovery Kinshasa |Range Rover Kuala Lumpur |Jaguar Sov Kuwait |Jaguar Sov Lagos |Range Rover La Paz |LR Discovery Lilongwe |Rover 825 Lima |Range Rover Lisbon |Rover 827 Ljubljana |Rover 820 Luanda |Range Rover Lusaka |LR Discovery Luxembourg |Rover 827 Managua |Range Rover Manila |Range Rover Maputo |Jaguar Sov Maseru |LR Discovery Mbabane |LR Discovery Mexico City |Cadillac de Ville Minsk |LR Discovery Montevideo |Rover 820 Moscow |Range Rover Muscat |Jaguar XJ6 Nairobi |Rover 825 Nassau |Rover 827 New Delhi |Rolls-Royce Silver Spur Nicosia |Jaguar V12 Nuku'Alofa |Range Rover Oslo |Jaguar XJ6 Ottawa |Jaguar XJ6 Panama |Rover 827 Paris |Rolls-Royce Silver Spur Peking |Rolls Royce Silver Spur Phnom Penh |Range Rover Port Louis |Rover 825 Port Moresby |LR Discovery Port of Spain |Range Rover Prague |Rover 827 Quito |Jaguar V12 Rabat |LR Discovery Rangoon |Rover 825 Reykjavik |LR Discovery Riga |LR Discovery Riyadh |Rolls-Royce Silver Spur Rome |Rover 827 San Jose |Jaguar V12 San Salvador |Range Rover Sanaa |Range Rover Santiago |Rover 827 Sarajevo |LR Defender 110 Seoul |Jaguar XJ6 Singapore |Daimler Limo Skopje |LR Discovery Sofia |Jaguar V12 St. George's |LR Discovery St. John's |LR Discovery Stockholm |Daimler Limo Suva |LR Discovery Tallin |LR Discovery Tashkent |LR Discovery Tegucigalpa |Range Rover Tehran |Rover 820 Tel Aviv |Rover 827 The Hague |Rover 827 Tirana |LR Discovery Tokyo |Rolls-Royce Silver Spur Tripoli |Range Rover Tunis |Jaguar Sov Ulaanbaatar |LR Discovery Valletta |Rover 827 Victoria |Peugeot 605 Vienna |Rover 827 Vila |Range Rover Vilnius |Volvo 850 GLE Warsaw |Rover 827 Washington |Rolls-Royce Silver Spur Wellington |Jaguar Sov Windhoek |LR Discovery Yaounde |Rover 820 SLI Zagreb |Rover 827
Mr. Bayley: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many (a) specialist advisers and (b) press or public relations officers are employed by his Department; and what is the total annual salary bill for (a) and (b) above. 
Mr. Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what was the total number of cases of all forms of fraud committed by employees of his (a) Department, (b) agencies and (c) non-departmental public bodies for each year from 1991 92 to 1994 95; and for each of these years, what was the total monetary sum (1) misappropriated in such frauds and (2) subsequently recovered. 
Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO): One fraud valued at £19, 206. No recoveries.
Overseas Development Administration (ODA): Two frauds valued at £2,400. No recoveries.
Commonwealth Development Corporation (CDC): One fraud valued at £17,100. No recoveries.
British Council: Eight frauds valued at £26,881. £2,957 recovered.
British Council: Eight frauds valued at £585,377. £30,100 recovered.
CDC: One fraud valued at £58,000. No recoveries.
FCO: Four frauds valued at £13,479. £4,000 recovered.
British Council: Nine frauds valued at £168,718. £99,994 recovered.
FCO: Five frauds valued at £79,283. £6,338 recovered to date. ODA: One fraud valued at £5,000. No recoveries.
National Resources Institute (NRI): One fraud valued at £4,200. No recoveries.
British Council: Seven frauds valued at £68,246. £2,052 recovered.
Vigorous action for recovery and restitution continues.
Mr. Donohoe: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how much the European Parliament spent on subsidising the visit of parties of visitors organised by Members of the European Parliament to it for each financial year since 1983 84; how many visits were subsidised; how many visitors were covered by these payments; and what representations the British Government has made to the European Union about these arrangements. 
Mr. David Davis [holding answer 26 October 1995]: The European Parliament annual budget for inward visits was 7.82 million ecu from 1992 to 1994, and 7.88 million ecu in 1995. The EP advises that it subsidised 3,218 and 3,463 group visits to EP sites in 1992 and 1993 respectively, and 1,223 visits to the EP in Brussels in 1994--figures for 1994 are not available for visits to
Column 867EP sites in Luxembourg and Strasbourg. Corresponding figures for 1983 to 1991, and for the total number of visitors subsidised, are not available. The EP sets its own administrative budget, within the limits agreed by the Council. The European Court of Auditors examines the expenditure of the EP and publishes its findings in its annual report.
Mr. Robert McCartney: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what published statistics underlie the Northern Ireland Information Service press statement of 29 September on work-related deaths and illness. 
Mr. Steen: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (1) what regulations his Department proposes to repeal by the end of 1995; if he proposes to conduct a compliance cost assessment on each regulation repealed; and what is the estimated cost of undertaking a compliance cost assessment to assess the advantages or disadvantages of such a repeal; 
(2) if he will list the rules and regulations he proposes to repeal or amend by means of a reference to the Deregulation Committee before the end of 1995; and if he will make a statement. 
(3) what is the estimated saving to the Exchequer by the repeal of each rule and regulation which has been the subject of a reference to the Deregulation Committee from his Department; and on how many cases a compliance cost assessment has been carried out. 
Sir John Wheeler: Over 4,300 manufacturing businesses in Northern Ireland are eligible for assistance under the export marketing research scheme. Information on the number of tradeable services companies which would be eligible for the scheme is not available.
Column 868It is estimated that approximately 10 per cent, of the expressions of interest and approximately 66 per cent. of applications currently being processed will become firm projects.
Mr. John D. Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many new jobs, created in each of the past 10 years with the assistance of LEDU, were located in (a) the borough of Ards, (b) the borough the Castlereagh and (c) district of Down. 
Mr. Robert McCartney: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what was the reason for the delay in the issue of the Chief Constable's certificate, relating to the attack on Newcastle Orange hall. 
Sir John Wheeler: The Chief Constable's certificate in respect of the attack on Newcastle Orange hall was issued as soon as the Chief Constable was able to form the opinion that the act was committed maliciously by a person acting on behalf of, or in connection with, an unlawful association.
Mr. John D. Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many deaths, arising from the terrorist campaigns by Republicans and Loyalists, remain unsolved; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Bayley: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many (a) specialist advisers and (b) press or public relations officers are employed by his Department; and what is the total annual salary bill for (a) and (b) above. 
Mr. Bayley: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department how many (a) specialist advisers and (b) press or public relations officers are employed by his Department; and what is the total annual salary bill for (a) and (b) above. 
Column 869Kingdom and (b) currently applicable in other EU
Mr. John M. Taylor: The White Paper proposal is that the minimum waiting period before a divorce decree can be applied for should be 12 months, provided arrangements for children, and financial and property matters have been decided.
The information requested about other European Union member states is currently being updated. I shall write to the hon. Member.