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Annabelle Ewing: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if she will publish the (a) number and (b) value of contracts awarded by her Department to (i) Arthur Andersen, (ii) Deloitte Touche, (iii) Ernst and Young, (iv) KPMG and (v) PricewaterhouseCoopers accountants in each year since 1997. 
Dr. Howells: The following contracts are those awarded over the stated time period:
|Deloitte Touche||March 1999||227,000|
Deloitte Touche is one of five companies who have framework agreements with DCMS for consultancy support to Quinquennial Reviews of DCMS funded bodies. These are not contracts as such, as any review work would be competed between the five companies and lead to an individual contract. Use of the framework agreements resolves some contractual issues and simplifies the tendering process. To date Deloitte Touche have not won any of the competitively tendered contracts under their agreement. The work awarded to the companies has, in the majority of cases, been research or consultancy work rather than accountancy.
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Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many staff in his Department's press office have received (a) termination and (b) redundancy payments in each of the last four years. 
Dr. Howells: None of my Department's press office staff have received termination or redundancy payments in the last four years.
Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport (1) if she will list the composition of the Ministerial Design Champions Group; and if she will make a statement; 
Dr. Howells: The Ministerial Design Champions Group is an inter-departmental working group of Ministers chaired by my noble Friend Lord Falconer of Thoroton on behalf of the Prime Minister. It comprises:
Lord FalconerChair (DTLR; Baroness Blackstone (DCMS); Angela Eagle (Home Office); Elliot Morley (DEFRA); Brian Wilson (DTI); Malcolm Wicks (DWP); Andrew Smith (HM Treasury); Dr. Lewis Moonie (MOD); Baroness Ashton (DfES); Michael Wills (LCD); Lord Hunt (DOH); Denis MacShane (FCO); Chris Leslie (Cabinet Office), Mike Watson MSP (Scotland); Sue Essex AM (Wales); Dr. Sean Farren (NI); Sir Stuart Lipton (CABE).
Each Ministerial Design Champion is expected to:
(i) maintain a clear understanding of the extent and content of his/her Department's capital programme, including buildings and infrastructure; and the design implications of that programme in relation to the Government's wider objectives such as promotion of health, prevention of crime, urban regeneration and improvement of the environment;
(ii) personally sponsor at least two projects within his/her Departmental remit in order to ensure his/her understanding of the issues and to drive home the message by example to other project sponsors and programme managers;
(iii) oversee a departmental action plan to improve design quality across his/her department and sponsored bodies, ensuring that procedures encourage the
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achievement of high design quality and that sufficient resources are allocated to the production of the plan and the delivery of its conclusions;
(iv) encourage a commitment to Better Public Buildings by all Ministers, officials and others who have influence over building works under his/her Department's authority; and
(v) ensure that high quality design is part of an efficient and effective procurement process, under HM Treasury's Achieving Excellence initiative and DETR's Rethinking Construction initiative.
Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport (1) when the Ministerial Design Champions Group will next meet; and if she will make a statement; 
Dr. Howells: The Ministerial Design Champions Group last met on 17 January 2002; it will next meet on 22 May 2002.
Fiona Mactaggart: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many appointments to public bodies have been made through her Department (a) from April 2000 to March 2001 and (b) since 31 March 2001; and how many of these were (i) men and (ii) women. 
Tessa Jowell [holding answer 12 March 2002]: The number of men and women appointed, or re-appointed, by Ministers in this Department to bodies sponsored by this Department during the periods in question is as follows:
|Period||Men Appointed||Women appointed|
This includes appointments to bodies sponsored by my Department where my role is to advise on appointments made by the Prime Minister or, through him, by Her Majesty The Queen. It does not include appointments made to former Home Office public bodies before the Machinery of Government changes in June 2001.
Miss Begg: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what progress has been made on the joint review of the National Gallery and National Portrait Gallery. 
Dr. Howells: My right hon. and noble Friend the Minister for the Arts has today published the second stage report of the joint review of the National Gallery and National Portrait Gallery.
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The report underlines the value of both galleries and the contribution they make to this country's cultural life. Both galleries have achieved a great deal in the last few years and have risen to the challenges set by government and themselves.
The report also finds the need for a closer, more strategic relationship between the galleries and the Department.
A copy of the report has been placed in the Libraries of both Houses.
Mr. Gareth R. Thomas: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department how many complaints his Department has received about the conduct and quality of solicitors' performance in each of the last 10 years. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: Complaints made to the Lord Chancellor's Department about solicitors can come up in many different contexts and no information is kept centrally about the number that relate to quality, conduct or any other matters. Concerns raised in correspondence are monitored. The Lord Chancellor's Department is not responsible for handling formal complaints against solicitors. This is the responsibility of the Law Society and its complaints-handling wing, the Office for the Supervision of Solicitors.
Mr. Gareth R. Thomas: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what action he is taking to measure the performance of and quality of service offered by solicitors. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: The legal profession is self-regulating. The conduct of solicitors is a matter for their professional body, the Law Society. The Office for the Supervision of Solicitors (OSS) is a separate organisation, set up by the Law Society, to handle complaints against its solicitors.
The Lord Chancellor's Department Ministers, among others, are sent the OSS monthly digest of performance.
The OSS is subject to independent scrutiny by the Legal Services Ombudsman, Ms Ann Abraham. The Ombudsman, who is a lay person, may consider complaints about the decisions reached by the OSS and also has the power to investigate the original complaint. The Ombudsman is required to make an annual report to the Lord Chancellor on the discharge of her functions during the year to which the report relates. In her report the Ombudsman will also bring to the attention of the Lord Chancellor any wider concerns she has about the nature and level of complaints against members of the legal profession. A copy of this report is laid before each House of Parliament.
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Mrs. Roe: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) when she will reply to the letters from the hon. Member for Broxbourne of 4 September, 5 October, 2 November and 29 November relating to correspondence from the East Anglian Region of the National Farmers Union.
(2) when the hon. Member for Broxbourne will receive a reply to her letters of 4 September, 5 October, 2 November, 29 November 2001 and 2 January 2002 relating to correspondence from the East Anglian region of the National Farmers Union. 
Mr. Morley [holding answers 6 December 2001 and 14 January 2002]: A reply was sent on 10 January to the hon. Member.
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