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Angela Eagle: A cross-departmental working group has been established under the Chairmanship of Lord Rooker to bring forward proposals to deal with illegal employment. The planned White Paper will provide details.
Simon Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if bid and tender documents relating to the (a) design, (b) build and (c) management of prisons are published; and if he will make a statement. 
Beverley Hughes: The Invitation to Tender (ITT) issued by the Prison Service at the start of a competition for the design, construction, management and financing of a new prison is freely available. The bids made in response to the ITT are commercial in confidence and therefore not published.
Simon Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when the Drug Abstinence Order pilots began in each pilot area; how many Orders have been (a) commenced and (b) breached in each area; and if he will make a statement. 
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The courts have only had this sentencing option available to them for one month, and it is too early to draw any conclusions at this stage. An interim evaluation report is due in spring 2002, copies of which will be placed in the Library.
Simon Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what arrangements have been made for individuals to be received by local prisons beyond normal hours in pilot areas for extended court hours; and if he will make a statement. 
Beverley Hughes: Pilot projects for extended court sittings are to operate in Manchester and London from April 2002. The Manchester pilot will involve an earlier court start of prisoners arrested overnight, as well as non-custody trial court in the evening, to explore the benefits of access to justice. There is no requirement to extend prison opening hours for this pilot since prisoners will only be committed to custody during normal court hours. In London, the plans for the proposed pilot remain to be finalised.
Simon Hughes: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what are the (a) start and (b) expected completion dates for extended courts sittings hours pilots; what the planned extended hours are in the pilot areas; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Wills: Planning is under way involving all criminal justice partners for pilot studies to find the most cost-effective means of extending court hours. The aim is to test whether extended hours would have an impact on delays, deter local criminals, improve access to justice and help reassure local communities. The pilots are expected to start in the spring of next year and run for approximately six months. In Manchester three remand courts will start at 9 am on Monday to Friday to deal with remand cases more quickly and release more court space in the afternoon. Additional evening trial courts will be available on Tuesday and Thursday sitting from 4 pm to 8 pm at the request of victims and witnesses who would find these times more convenient. The objective for the Manchester pilot is to extend court sitting to support the key criminal justice objectives of access to justice, reducing delay and improving services to victims and witnesses.
Simon Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department to what extent the costs incurred for developing the bids for the running of HMP Wold by each bidder are included in the overall tender; whether this is a factor in the consideration of the bids; and if he will make a statement. 
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Beverley Hughes: The Director General of the Prison Service, as Accounting Officer, is responsible for deciding whether to include or exclude the bidding costs in the Prison Service's in-house bid made under a market test of a prison. The Director General decided, following advice from Her Majesty's Treasury, that these costs should be included in the case of Wolds prison on the basis that the equivalent costs incurred by private sector bidders have to be absorbed by the companies concerned.
Mr. Syms: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the average annual administrative cost of the UK Anti-Drugs Co-ordination Unit in the Cabinet Office was over the last three years. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth [holding answer 10 December 2001]: The average annual administrative cost of the United Kingdom Anti-Drugs Co-ordination Unit in the Cabinet Office over the last three years was £813,000.
Mr. Syms: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what financial steps his Department has taken to prepare for the (a) setting up and (b) running costs of the proposed Assets Recovery Agency. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth [holding answer 10 December 2001]: As I explained in my answer to the hon. Member for Buckingham (Mr. Bercow) on 4 December 2001, Official Report, column 230W, it is currently estimated that the agency will cost £3 million to set up and that its running costs will be £13 million per annum. These estimates are subject to revision as planning for the agency proceeds. Sufficient provision was made in the Spending Review in 2000 to cover the costs of the agency and related expenditure.
Simon Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many 15 and 16-year-old boys were remanded in custody during (a) 2000 and (b) January to June 2001, broken down by age and ethnicity, on the last date for which figures are available; and if he will make a statement. 
Beverley Hughes [holding answer 10 December 2001]: Receptions of 15 and 16-year-old boys remanded into custody in prisons in England and Wales in (a) 2000 and (b) January to June 2001, by age and ethnicity, are shown in the table.
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(31) Data for 2001 cover 1 January 2001 to 30 June 2001 only, and are provisional.
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Annabelle Ewing: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the basis upon which the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, the hon. Member for Wallasey (Angela Eagle), made her statement of 21 November 2001, Official Report, column 422, on the powers of co-decision of the European Parliament on some Third Pillar measures. 
Angela Eagle [holding answer 10 December 2001]: For the role of the European Parliament in relation to Third Pillar measures, I refer the hon. Member to the answer the Minister for Europe gave to the hon. Member for Tatton (Mr. Osborne) on 29 November 2001, Official Report, column 1080W. I have, through my officials, written to the editor of Hansard making it clear that the applicable procedure is consultation with the European Parliament rather than co-decision. The point I made in my statement of 21 November 2001, Official Report, column 422that the European Parliament have a role in the development of Third Pillar measuresis absolutely correct. The European Parliament must be consulted on all Conventions, decisions and framework decisions. It has delivered opinions on the European Arrest Warrant and on the Framework Decision on Terrorism. It will be reconsulted on the terrorism framework decision and, if the Council achieves consensus, on the European Arrest Warrant. This demonstrates that the European Parliament does in fact have oversight of Third Pillar matters.
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