|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the cost to public funds of implementing the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 in (a) 200001 and 200102. 
Mr. Denham: There is no central record of the cost to public funds of implementing the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000. The bulk of costs, for example training those involved in convert investigative activity to ensure that their activities are compliant with part 2 falls on a variety of budgets in a number of
27 Nov 2001 : Column: 820W
authorities. There is nothing to suggest that the overall costs of implementing parts 1 and parts 3 will exceed the estimates provided in the regulatory impact assessments.
Mr. Kidney: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment he has made of the performance of the agencies involved in getting money allocated for drugs services to front-line services, with particular reference to drug action teams. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: Drug Action Teams (DATs) are key to the local delivery of the National Drugs Strategy. Agencies involved allocating money to front-line drugs
27 Nov 2001 : Column: 821W
services are all represented on the DAT at senior level: education, health, social services, police, prisons and probation.
As part of their performance assessment, DATs provide annual returns on their work over the previous year and their plans for the forthcoming 12 months. The most significant areas of expenditure fall on young people and treatment services, for which DATs provide strategic direction and take necessary spending decisions.
Our assessment of young people's drugs services indicate that between two thirds and three quarters of young people identified as needing support currently receive that support, but there is concern that many young people are not identified early enough. We have approved a regional programme of work which will highlight and disseminate good practice in the planning and commissioning of young people's drug services.
In respect of treatment, our assessment of treatment plans and information on future treatment capacity needs and waiting lists, all indicate that there is wide regional variation between access to services and the quality of treatment.
DATs are now being asked to deliver detailed plans for treatment services by January 2002. The National Treatment Agency (NTA), with Drugs Prevention Advisory Service and national health service partners, will assess allocations of money; the extent to which decisions are based on sound needs assessments; and the quality of services provided. Details of this process are being developed by the NTA.
Mr. Kidney: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the budgeted amount is for the pooled drug treatment plan allocation for England in the current financial year. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The budgeted amount for the pooled drug treatment plan allocation for England in the current financial year is £140 million.
Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if it is his intention to abolish the law against blasphemy. 
Angela Eagle: There are no immediate plans to abolish the law against blasphemy.
Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent consultations his Department has had with religious leaders in respect of (a) proposals to outlaw the generation of religious hatred and (b) plans to abolish the law on blasphemy. 
Angela Eagle: I have not formally consulted leaders of different faiths in regard to proposals to expand the law on incitement to racial hatred to cover religious hatred.
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what guidance he issues on the means by which a child's age may be proven when using the internet. 
27 Nov 2001 : Column: 822W
Mr. Keith Bradley: The Government have not issued such guidance. Proof of age, like proof of identity, can be achieved by using authentication services, such as certified digital signatures. However, the market in these products is not developing quickly and the Government are committed to identifying and removing barriers to the widespread take-up of authentication services by individuals and businesses users.
In the meantime the Government encourage parental supervision of children's use of the Internet combined with the use of filtering software to prevent children from being exposed to inappropriate internet content. To emphasise this the Government will launch a public awareness campaign on internet safety next month.
Dr. Tonge: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the decision to award a contract to Sodexho to run two private female prisons. 
Beverley Hughes [holding answer 22 November 2001]: No contracts for private prisons have been awarded to Sodexho. On 5 November, the Prison Service announced that UKDS, which is wholly owned by Sodexho Alliance, had been selected as the preferred bidder for a new prison for 450 females to be built as a Public Private Partnership (PPP) at Ashford, Middlesex and due to open in July 2003. UKDS was also announced as joint preferred bidder, with Premier Custodial Group, for a new prison for 480 males and 360 females to be built as a PPP at Peterborough and due to open in April 2004. A decision on the single preferred bidder for Peterborough is anticipated in early December. The award of preferred bidder is taken on the basis of best value for money.
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the cost to public funds in 200102 of the Sentencing Advisory Panel. 
Mr. Keith Bradley: The cost to public funds of the Sentencing Advisory Panel from 1 April to 31 October 2001 was £103,624. The budget for the remainder of the financial year is £239,736, making a possible total of £343,000 in 200102. We cannot, however, predict at this stage what the actual cost will be.
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the cost to public funds of the pilots for referral order panels. 
Mr. Denham: £1.2 million was spent on the referral order pilots in 200001. We expect that a similar amount will be spent in 200102.
Mr. Illsley: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the allocation of funding for Communities Against Drugs is for each of the three years from 200001. 
27 Nov 2001 : Column: 823W
Mr. Bob Ainsworth [holding answer 26 November 2001]: The Communities Against Drugs programme is a three-year programme which commenced in 200102. The funding allocated to the programme up until 200304 is given in the table.
Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what his policy is towards the creation of a new offence of aggravated possession of prohibited drugs. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The Government have no plans to create such a new offence. Aggravating factors inform the decision by the police on how to proceed with an offence, and will also properly be considered by the courts when sentencing. Aggravated possession is already recognised to some extent by the separate offence of possession with intent to supply a controlled drug.
Mr. McCabe: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the outcome is of Stage 1 of the quinquennial review of the Community Development Foundation. 
Mr. Blunkett: The first part of the latest review has now finished and I have carefully considered the recommendations in line with the terms of guidance for reviewing non-departmental public bodies (NDPB), included in the Government's Modernising Government White Paper.
Compass Partnership, a firm of independent consultants, conducted the review and after focusing on the context within which the Community Development Foundation (CDF) works, reviewed its management arrangements, surveyed a sample of its external stakeholders and considered the alternative options for CDF. They also considered whether there was a need for the particular functions carried out by CDF as an NDPB to continue. The consultants have recommended that CDF should remain an NDPB, although with a broader remit which reflects the Government's agenda of community involvement, civil renewal and community development, including a number of reforms as to its way of working.
I am pleased to announce that I have broadly accepted the conclusions of stage 1 of the review, and I have given approval for the second stage of the review to commence. This stage will offer an opportunity to consider in more detail what changes to CDF's relationship with Government and the voluntary and community sector are necessary to achieve the expected outcomes.
A copy of the full report of stage 1 of the review will be placed in the Library.
27 Nov 2001 : Column: 824W
The senior official responsible for the review is the Director of the Government's Active Community Unit based in the Home Office.
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|