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The Deputy Prime Minister and First Secretary of State: I refer the hon. Member to the answer that I gave my hon. Friend the Member for Preston (Mr. Hendrick) on 2 July 2001, Official Report, column 80W.
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The Deputy Prime Minister and First Secretary of State: The Government's plans for taking forward the manifesto commitment on elected regional government will be set out in the forthcoming White Paper on Regional Governance.
The Deputy Prime Minister and First Secretary of State: The Government's response to the Third Report of the Public Administration Select Committee on the ministerial code sets out their views on the operation of the code.
20. Annabelle Ewing: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister and First Secretary of State what co-ordination he has undertaken of Departments' assessment of the implications of the free personal care for the elderly in Scotland. 
The Deputy Prime Minister and First Secretary of State: In July 2000, DH Ministers announced that they intended to make care from a registered nurse free when provided in a nursing home. This was implemented in October 2001. At the same time, it was announced that personal care servicessuch as help with dressing and bathingwould continue to be provided on a means- tested basis.
The Scottish Executive similarly decided to make nursing care free in nursing homes. In January 2001 they also announced that, unlike in England, personal care would be made free too. These policies have not yet been implemented.
Mr. Leslie: Successful implementation of IT enabled projects is important for the Government's delivery of improved public services and we are strengthening their management in a number of ways. During the last year all major procurement projects in central civil government have been required to undergo Gateway reviews at key decision points by teams of experts independent of the project team; projects can proceed to the next stage only when these rigorous tests have been met. We launched the Successful Projects in an IT Environment (SPRITE) Programme in January 2001 to work with Departments, agencies and non-departmental public bodies to ensure that the recommendations to improve project delivery in the Successful IT: Modernising Government in Action report become embedded in their working cultures.
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The Deputy Prime Minister and First Secretary of State: The Cabinet Office provides support to me in my continuing role on international climate change discussions and negotiations on behalf of my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister. It assists me in my work to foster effective relationships internationally at the highest political level. The UK's negotiating positions for international negotiations on climate change are agreed through the Cabinet Committee on the Environment, which I chair, and which is serviced by the Cabinet Office.
The lead Department for climate change is DEFRA, which retains policy responsibility, leads the negotiations in both international and EU fora and deals with day-to-day progress and implementation of the UK's policies. The Cabinet Office works closely with them and with other Departments with a key interest in strategic and cross-departmental issues.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister and First Secretary of State how many employees in (a) his Department and (b) his Department's agencies and non-departmental public bodies have had private medical insurance provided for them in each year since 199798; what the total cost is; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Leslie: The Civil Service Management Code (CSMC) prohibits Departments and agencies from providing staff with private medical insurance. The Cabinet Office and its agencies comply with this long- standing policy.
Although non-departmental public bodies (NDPBs) are not bound by the conditions of the CSMC, I can confirm that none of those sponsored by Cabinet Office have paid for private medical insurance on any occasion.
Mr. Gordon Marsden: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister and First Secretary of State what proportion of retired senior civil servants have undertaken paid work within the private sector in each of the last five years. 
Mr. Leslie: Figures are not held centrally, but I can answer on behalf of my own Department. Civil servants who wish to take up outside appointments within two years of their retirement are required to seek permission in the circumstances set out in the Business appointment rules. These rules are included in full in the civil Service Management Code.
Within the Cabinet Office in the last five years 18 people have retired from the Senior Civil Service. Of these, four, who retired in the years shown in the table, have submitted applications under the rules to take up paid work in the private sector.
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|Retirements||Made application to work in the private sector|
|Length of service (years)||Staff who remain in the same Department||Total staff in post||Proportion who remain in the same Department (percentage)|
|Less than one||33,860||36,900||91.7|
This information depends for its accuracy on the reliability of data supplied by Departments to the Cabinet Office's Mandate database. Mandate covers around 97 per cent. of civil servants in Departments supplying information electronically.
Mr. Prisk: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister and First Secretary of State what the employment costs are, including benefits, of (a) Ministers representing the Cabinet Office and (b) special advisers and their supporting staff retained by the Cabinet Office. 
Mr. Leslie: The employment costs, including benefits, of Ministers representing the Cabinet Office is £248,000 per annum and the cost of their special advisers is £196,000 per annum. The estimated cost of Minister's private office supporting staff is £580,000.
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owned by (i) his Department, (ii) his agencies and (iii) other public bodies for which he has responsibility in each of the last four years. 
|Year||Annual running costs||As at 31 March||Net book value|
1. The above figures are for the 'Core' of the Department as none of its agencies nor non-departmental public bodies have owned any empty properties.
2. Figures are given on a net book value basis, as compiled for annual accounts purposes.
3. Excluded from the above figures is the project, commenced in 199899, to refurbish three vacant buildings. The first of those buildings (Admiralty Arch) was completed and occupied by staff in 200001. When the other two buildings (Kirkland House and the Ripley Building) are completed in 200203, they will form 22 Whitehall, one of the Department's major buildings.
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