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International Drug Trading

16. Dr. Iddon: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what recent meetings she has had with foreign Government representatives to discuss strategies for combating the international trade in illicit drugs. [128664]

Marjorie Mowlam: I hold regular meetings with foreign Government representatives to discuss respective drug strategies and share experiences of combating the international trade of illicit drugs.

Over recent months, some of the key players I have met include: President Pastrana of Colombia, General Barry McCaffrey, the US Drug Tsar, and Anders Kompass, the UN High Commissioner.

Civil Servants

17. Mr. Peter Atkinson: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office if she will make a statement on the recent increase in the number of civil servants. [128665]

Mr. Stringer: Civil Service numbers rose by nearly 1 per cent. in the year to October 1999. Much of this increase is in front line jobs delivering the better public services to which the Government are committed.

Drug-related Crime

19. Mr. Sheerman: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what steps she is taking to better co-ordinate the Government's response to drug-related crime. [128667]

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Mr. Ian McCartney: As Minister with overall responsibility for driving the Government's drug strategy, I am aware of a wide-range of anti-drug initiatives being pursued at both national and local level to meet the Government's target for tackling drug-related crime. These are outlined in the UK Anti-Drugs Co-ordinator's First Annual Report and National Plan.

Among more recent initiatives being pursued are:

Ministerial Code

20. Mr. Robathan: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office pursuant to her answer of 14 June 2000, Official Report, column 665W, what procedure is followed in respect of a Minister who does not fulfil his duty under the ministerial code. [128668]

Mr. Stringer: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister to the hon. Member for East Worthing and Shoreham (Mr. Loughton) on 19 May 2000, Official Report, column 286W.


21. Dr. Cable: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office if she will make a statement on progress in introducing Government services which can be accessed via the internet. [128669]

Mr. Ian McCartney: As part of our Modernising Government programme we announced in our Action Plan, published in July 1999, that we would provide six-monthly reports on our progress in delivering government services electronically. The second of these reports was published on the Central Information Technology Unit (CITU) website in November 1999 ( and the next report was published earlier today.

Rural Areas

22. Mr. Llwyd: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what policy initiatives are under consideration to address problems in rural areas. [128670]

Marjorie Mowlam: We are preparing a Rural White Paper for England, led jointly by DETR and MAFF, to set out the Government's vision for rural areas. As part of the preparation of the White Paper we are considering a number of new policy initiatives, which will be announced when the White Paper is published together with a White Paper on urban policy.


23. Mr. Pike: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office when she proposes to introduce changes in the deregulation procedure. [128671]

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Mr. Stringer: Changes to the deregulation order making power will be the subject of the Regulatory Reform Bill. This Bill was published in draft as Cm 4713 in April. The Bill will be introduced as soon as Parliamentary time allows.

Drug Action Teams

Mr. Savidge: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what contribution is made by drug action teams to the delivery of the Government's anti-drugs strategy. [128650]

Marjorie Mowlam: Drug Action Teams (DATs) have a crucial role in the delivery of the National Drugs Strategy. They are the main mechanism for delivery on the ground, they work as a local partnership of the agencies involved in tackling drugs including Probation, Health, Education, Police Authorities and Local Authorities.

Online Government Services

Mr. Watts: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office when she intends to publish information on the target set by the Prime Minister after the Knowledge Economy Cabinet meeting on 30 March to deliver all Government services online by 2005. [130470]

Mr. Ian McCartney: A report on progress by Departments and their key agencies is being published today. Copies of the report have been placed in the Libraries of the House and it will be published on the website The report contains information supplied by Departments based on all the services they deliver to the citizen and to business, as contained in their Public Service Agreements and Service Delivery Agreements.

Opinion Research

Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office if she will place copies of the results of all market and opinion research carried out by her Department, agencies and non-departmental public bodies since May 1997, in the Library. [123804]

Mr. Stringer: For the purpose of this answer my Department includes the Government Car and Despatch Agency, an agency within my Department, and the Central Office of Information, which is an agency which reports directly to the Minister for the Cabinet Office.

The Cabinet Office regard it as good practice to publish the results of market and opinion research and in general will make public research considered relevant and important in framing major policy proposals and decisions, unless an exemption applies under the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information. For example, results of research carried out using the People's Panel are routinely placed in the House Libraries.

The results of the following research have already been placed in the House Libraries:

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I am placing the following documents in the House Libraries in response to the hon. Member's question:

In addition, my Department has carried out three pieces of market and opinion research which I am withholding from disclosure in accordance with the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information.