31 Jan 1996 : Column: 749

Written Answers to Questions

Wednesday 31 January 1996

LORD CHANCELLOR'S DEPARTMENT

Inquest (North Wales)

Mr. Peter Bottomley: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what operation and when it was carried out on patient C, the subject of an inquest in north Wales; who was the coroner at the inquest; what factors underlay the decisions (a) not to name the patient and (b) not to publish the date of the inquest; and what evidence was given by public officials during the proceedings on the case. [11927]

Mr. Jonathan Evans: The question concerns a specific operational matter on which the chief executive of the Court Service is best placed to provide an answer and I have accordingly asked the chief executive to reply direct.

Letter from M. D. Huebner to Mr. Peter Bottomley, dated 31 January 1996:


Maxwell Fraud Trial

Mr. John Marshall: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what is the estimated cost to the legal aid fund of the Maxwell fraud trial. [11717]

Mr. Jonathan Evans: It would not be appropriate for me to speculate at this stage about the final cost of this case.

DUCHY OF LANCASTER

CCTA

Mr. Patrick Thompson: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what are his plans for the CCTA, the Government centre for information systems. [13228]

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Mr. Freeman: The CCTA, currently an operational division of the Office of Public Service will, from 1 April 1996, operate as a next steps executive agency within OPS, and will remain based in Norwich. This will ensure that Government Departments continue to have available to them a range of expert specialist services in information technology and telecommunications which are independent and are valued by Departments.

As an agency, CCTA will operate on a full cost recovery basis. It will therefore need to develop a stronger customer focus and undergo major restructuring and efficiency measures. It will work in close co-operation with the new central information technology unit which is being established in the OPS to provide a strategic approach to the use of information technology in government.

F16 Aircraft

Dr. David Clark: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what representations he has had from the United Kingdom defence industry concerning the proposed leasing of American F16 aircraft. [12127]

The Deputy Prime Minister: I have received a number of representations from the UK defence industry concerning the Ministry of Defence's evaluation of a proposal to upgrade the Tornado F3's weapons systems.

Those representations have been passed on to the Ministry of Defence in the normal way.

Photocopiers

Mr. Nigel Griffiths: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster how many new photocopiers his Department has (a) purchased and (b) leased since July 1995; and at what cost. [4291]

Mr. Willets [pursuant to his reply, 6 December 1995, Official Report, c 256]: I regret that the figure given as the rental cost per annum of the 14 leased photocopiers to replace existing machines is incorrect. The correct information is as follows.

Since 1 July 1995, the Cabinet Office and its agencies have purchased one additional photocopier at a cost of £895 and leased 18 photocopiers, 11 of which replaced existing machines, at a rental cost of £50,799 per annum.

In the same period, HMSO and the Central Office of Information purchased four photocopiers, two of which replaced existing machines, at a cost of £17,817 and leased 14 to replace existing machines at a rental cost of £23,366 per annum.

Mr. Griffiths: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister, pursuant to his answer of 9 January 1996, Official Report, column 121, what factors led his Department to accept photocopiers on variable contracts of three, four and five years over and above the leasing costs; and what is the minimum contractual cost of using and maintaining (a) the 18 photocopiers on three-year contracts, (b) the three photocopiers on four-year contracts and (c) the four photocopiers on five-year contracts. [8920]

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Mr. Willetts [pursuant to his reply, 15 January 1996, Official Report, c 335]: I regret that the figure given as the minimum total cost of leasing the 18 photocopiers on three-year contracts is incorrect. The correct information is as follows.

The minimum total cost of leasing (a) the 18 photocopiers on three-year contracts is £36,905 per annum, (b) the three photocopiers on four-year contracts is £15,969 per annum and (c) the four photocopiers on five-year contracts is £3,315 per annum.

Mr. Griffiths: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister, pursuant to his answer of 15 January 1996, Official Report, column 335, on costs of photocopiers, what was the estimated number of copies projected in respect of each contract and at what cost per copy. [10277]

Mr. Willetts [pursuant to his reply, 22 January 1996, Official Report, c.42]: I regret that the figure of 0.3p given as the cost per copy for the machine with the projected usage of 5 million copies is incorrect. The correct figure is 0.4p. The entire table with the corrected figure is as follows:

Estimated number of copies projected in respect of each contract and cost per copy for the 25 photocopiers

Copies projected for contract periodCost per copy (p)
24,000,0000.32
24,000,0000.32
1,800,0000.71
1,800,0000.79
1,800,0000.79
900,0000.65
360,0000.85
324,0000.90
270,0000.91
252,0000.91
252,0000.84
240,0000.91
240,0000.91
240,0000.91
240,0000.91
180,0000.97
180,0000.97
144,0000.91
108,0000.91
108,0000.95
72,0000.95
60,0000.97
48,0000.97
1,620,0000.81 per first 90,000 per annum 0.63 thereafter
5,000,000First 1.2 million per annum included in contract price, next 200,000 at 0.5 per copy thereafter 0.4 per copy

Absenteeism

Mr. Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister, what estimate he has made of absenteeism rates in days per annum for staff in his Department for 1995-96. [11373]

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Mr. Willetts: The table below gives the available absenteeism figures for the central Cabinet Office including No. 10 and the executive agencies for which I am responsible. Figures for previous years and 1995-96 are not available.

1993-941994-95
Central Department8.488.45
COI7.769.67
CS College7.006.40
HMSO9.867.03
OHSA8.8214.52
RAS8.5812.99
Chessington9.0010.37
SAFE4.3411.05
TBA9.978.70
Total8.358.61

Absence rates represent total days absent divided by total number of staff.


Departmental Expenditure

Mr. Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what is his estimate of departmental expenditure on administration for (a) 1995-96 and (b) 1996-97. [11505]

Mr. Willetts: Details of running costs and administrative spending by the Cabinet Office, including the Prime Minister's Office, and the Office of Public Service for the years 1989-90 through to 1997-98 are contained in tables 7.5 and 7.6 of my Department's annual report, Cm 2820, copies of which are available in the Members' Library. This year's report, due to be published at the end of March, will reflect the Cabinet Office's new responsibilities, following the machinery of government and other changes.

Mr. Bruce: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what is his estimate of his Department's expenditure on newspapers and magazines for 1995-96 to date; and if he will list the publications purchased. [11508]

Mr. Willetts: This information, and similar information for earlier years, can be provided only at disproportionate cost.


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