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Sustainable Development Commission

Joan Ruddock: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office if she will list the appointments to the Sustainable Development Commission; and when it first met. [133778]

Mr. Meacher: I have been asked to reply.

The Sustainable Development Commission is expected to hold its first meeting in the autumn when the appointments process is completed. It will be for the Commission to decide the frequency and timing of its meetings along with other working arrangements.

Civil Service Fast Stream

Mr. Healey: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office (1) how many graduates are in the fast stream of the Civil Service; [132927]

Marjorie Mowlam: On 1 April 1999, there were 476 civil servants on the General Fast Stream Development Programme. Information is not held centrally on how many of this total number are graduates, nor which university they graduated from.

Information held on last year's open Fast Stream competitions, including specialists, showed that, on recruitment, of 306 successful candidates 92 (30 per cent.) were graduates of Oxford and Cambridge Universities.

The open General Fast Stream is at present a graduate recruitment scheme. However a separate competition is held for in-service applicants who are nominated by their departments, and these candidates are not required to have a degree. Our records show that last year, from this source, one successful candidate was a non-graduate.

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European Secretariat

Mr. Spring: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what the (a) budget, (b) remit and (c) staffing provision is for the unit in the Cabinet Office co-ordinating the work of Government Departments on Europe. [132980]

Marjorie Mowlam: The European Secretariat is responsible for this work. Its remit is to support the Prime Minister with the provision of policy advice on EU issues, to support collective decision-making in Government, and to co-ordinate policy on EU issues across Departments. The operating budget for the unit in this financial year is £868,000 and it currently has a staff of 21.

Government Car and Despatch Agency

Mr. Baker: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, pursuant to the answer to the right hon. Member for Wokingham (Mr. Redwood) of 13 June 2000, Official Report, column 614W, regarding the Government Car and Despatch Agency, (1) how many of the 126 cars purchased by the Agency since May 1997 were purchased to (i) replace existing cars and (ii) increase the size of the Agency's fleet; [133741]

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Marjorie Mowlam: Responsibility for these matter has been delegated under the terms of the Framework Document to the Government Car and Despatch Agency. I have asked its Chief Executive, Mr. Nick Matheson, to write to the hon. Member.

Letter from Nick Matheson to Mr. Norman Baker, dated 27 July 2000:

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MakeModelNumberPurchase dateCost per vehicle (£)Total cost (£)
FordTransit SWB18January 199810,736.25193,252.50
FordTransit LWB1April 199814,733.7514,733.75
FordTransit SWB4September 199811,036.2544,145.00
FordTransit LWB1December 199814,516.2514,516.25
FordTransit SWB2December 199811,306.2522,612.50
FordTransit LWB1January 199914,730.0014,730.00
VauxhallAstravan2January 19997,827.8415,655.68
FordTransit SWB5July 19999,810.5049,052.50
FordTransit SWB5September 19999,810.5049,052.50
FordTransit SWB (LPG)5January 200010,710.0053,550.00
FordTransit SWB1January 20009,660.009,660.00

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Mr. Alastair Campbell

Mr. Redwood: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office how many times she has (a) received advice from and (b) had meetings with Mr. Alastair Campbell in the last month. [133473]

Marjorie Mowlam: I take advice from Alastair Campbell and other civil servants as appropriate.

New Deal

Mr. Rooney: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office how many people have been employed in the Civil Service under the New Deal for the young and unemployed. [129914]

Marjorie Mowlam [pursuant to her reply, 6 July 2000, c. 286W]: As at 1 April 2000, the information on Civil Service Departments (including their agencies) participating as employers in the New Deal is as follows.

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New Deal starts since programme began as at 1 April 2000

Main department (including agencies)Number
Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food38
Intervention Board3
Cabinet Office9
Charity Commission18
Culture, Media and Sport4
Ministry of Defence95
Education and Employment1,736
Office for Standards in Education1
Environment, Transport and the Regions18
Export Credits Guarantee Department4
Foreign and Commonwealth Office4
Government Offices for the Regions4
Home Office73
International Development1
Law Officers' Departments10
Lord Chancellor's Department22
Lord Advocate's Department3
National Assembly for Wales33
Northern Ireland Office11
Scottish Executive29
Social Security467
Trade and Industry43
HM Treasury2
HM Customs and Excise35
Office of Government Commerce1
Inland Revenue256
Office for National Statistics10
Royal Mint3

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Army Personnel Centre

Mrs. Fitzsimons: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what key targets have been set for the Army Personnel Centre for the financial year 2000-01. [133605]

Mr. Spellar: The Chief Executive of the Army Personnel Centre has been set the following Key Targets for 2000-01.

Defence Clothing and Textiles Agency

Laura Moffatt: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the future of the Defence Clothing and Textiles Agency. [133927]

Mr. Spellar: The introduction of the SMART Procurement Initiative (SPI) and the formation of Integrated Project Teams (IPTs) across the Ministry of Defence has changed the strategic conduct of the Ministry of Defence's procurement business. We have decided that the Agency in its current form is not consistent with the far-reaching changes demanded by SPI. Accordingly DCTA is to be reorganised along IPT lines and will cease to be a Defence Agency on 1 October 2000. The Planned collocation of staff at the Caversfield site will continue and should be completed in March 2001.

The organisation is to become part of the Director General Equipment Support (Land) Business Unit within the Defence Logistics Organisation (DLO). A Transition

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Team Leader has been appointed to direct the transition to the new structure with implementation to be completed by 31 March 2001.

In place of Key Targets, IPTs are expected to deliver a high level of performance against hard and stretch targets. The planned adoption of a balanced set of performance measures and targets (known as the Balanced Scorecard) across the organisation will ensure that a challenging performance regime remains in place.

Clothing products are of fundamental importance to our Armed Forces and this reorganisation in line with SPI principles will ensure that Service personnel continue to receive products of the highest standards.

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