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34. Ann McKechin: To ask the Minister if she will make a statement on the impact of flexibility at work on productivity growth in Britain. 
Ms Hewitt: Greater flexibility at work can boost productivity by enabling employees to balance work and family responsibilities, thus improving recruitment, retention and motivation and reducing absenteeism. More flexible working hours also enable the business to meet customers needs more effectively, for instance through longer opening hours.
35. Vernon Coaker: To ask the Minister what recent assessment she has made of the effectiveness of the Equal Pay Act 1970. 
Ms Hewitt: The Equal Pay Act had a significant impact in reducing the pay gap from 37 per cent. in 1975 to 18 per cent. today. It has been effective in providing legal protection against pay discrimination but also in challenging the culture of undervaluing women.
We are taking forward action to tackle the complex underlying factors behind the pay gap including promoting a voluntary approach to pay reviews among employers through the Castle Awards and with the help of the Fair Pay Champions, carrying out pay audits in Government Departments, and taking forward recommendations from the Kingsmill Review.
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Helen Jones: To ask the Minister for Women what research her Department is undertaking on the gap between men and women's pay. 
Ms Hewitt: The Women and Equality Unit published a comprehensive report called "The Gender Pay Gap" on 5 December 2001. It found that the key causes of the gender pay gap were: women having less work experience and lower levels of qualifications; part-time work; differences in travel patterns; and occupational and workplace segregation.
36. Mr. Amess: To ask the Minister what representations she has received about celebrating International Women's Day. 
Ms Hewitt: On International Women's Day I spoke at a conference and exhibition in Leicester which was attended by women from the many different communities across the city.
I also received invitations from the London borough of Waltham Forest and the UK Association for the UN Development Fund for Women.
My hon. Friend the Minister of State for the Cabinet Office marked the occasion by announcing the Castle Awards which will reward employers work in tackling equal pay issues and help narrow the gender pay gap.
Lynne Jones: To ask the Minister for Women what assessment she has made of the obstacles preventing those mothers who want to return to work from doing so. 
Ms Hewitt: The Government have identified a number of obstacles which may deter mothers who want to return to work, including the difficulties of balancing work and family life, access to child care facilities, difficulties making work pay, skills becoming out of date and lack of confidence. We are promoting a range of measures to tackle these issues.
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many requests have so far been received in 200102 for information in accordance with the Government's Code of Practice on Access to Government Information. 
Mrs. Liddell: For the period 31 January 2001 to 28 February 2002 seven requests have been received for information in accordance with the Government's Code of Practice on Access to Government Information.
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if she will make a statement on the resource implications in 200102 of the Memorandum of Understanding and supplementary agreements. 
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Mrs. Liddell: There are no separately identifiable costs relating to the Memorandum of Understanding and supplementary agreements. Any work would be carried out by staff as part of their normal duties and I would expect the costs to be small.
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what has been the expenditure of her (a) Department, (b) agencies and (c) non-departmental public bodies on newspaper advertising by title in each year since 1997. 
Mrs. Liddell: The Scotland Office was established in its present form on 1 July 1999. Since that date, expenditure on newspaper advertising was as shown in the following table:
|1 July 1999 to 31 March 2000|
|Aberdeen Press and Journal||3,290.00|
|1 April 2000 to 31 March 2001|
|Aberdeen Press and Journal||15,002.00|
|Scotland on Sunday||12,859.00|
|News of the World||4,759.00|
|1 April 2001 to 31 January 2002|
|Aberdeen Press and Journal||13,886.00|
|Scotland on Sunday||4,286.00|
Most of the advertising costs relate to electoral registration publicity and information on postal voting.
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if she will list the instances in which her Department, agencies and non-departmental public bodies failed to pay valid invoices within 30 days or after the agreed credit period in the financial year 200001. 
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Mrs. Liddell: In the financial year 200001 my Department received 3,716 invoices in respect of goods and services and 3,709 (99.7 per cent.) were paid within 30 days.
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what the total cost was of rebranding her Department following its name change after devolution. 
Mrs. Liddell: The Scotland Office was established in its present form on 1 July 1999. Costs of £2,140 were incurred for changes to signage at Scotland Office buildings in Edinburgh and London and there were minor additional costs for stationery items.
Richard Younger-Ross: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what has been the total expenditure of her Department on IT systems and support in each year from May 1997 to date; how many IT contracts have been let in each of those years; of the other main contracting party in each of those contracts, how many have been
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(a) companies whose registered office is in (i) England and Wales, (ii) Scotland and (iii) Northern Ireland and (b) foreign companies; and what are the names of the companies falling within category (a). 
Mrs. Liddell: The Scotland Office was established in its present form on 1 July 1999. The Department's IT systems and support is provided by the Scottish Executive. Costs were as follows:
200102 (to date): £142,174.
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if she will list the publications issued by her Department in each of the last four years; and what the (a) circulation, (b) cost and (c) purpose of each was. 
Mrs. Liddell: The Scotland Office was established in its present form on 1 July 1999. Since then, the Department has issued the following publications:
|19992000||Assessment of the Voter Education Campaign for the Scottish Parliament||Scotland Office Website and available to purchase from The Stationery Office||18,950||Commissioned to assess the effectiveness of the Voter Education campaign for the Scottish Parliament elections in 1999|
|19992000||The Scotland Office Departmental Report||Published on the Scotland Office website and presented to Parliament||2,000||This is published jointly and presented to parliament by the Secretary of State for Scotland and the Chief Secretary to the Treasury. It explains the Department's aims, objectives and gives details of expenditure plans.|
|19992000||The Scotland Office Resource Accounts||Laid in Parliament by the Secretary of State for Scotland||150||These accounts report expenditure by the Department in resource terms.|
|200001||The Scotland Office Departmental Report||Published on the Scotland Office website and presented to Parliament||2,200||This is published jointly and presented to parliament by the Secretary of State for Scotland and the Chief Secretary to the Treasury. It explains the Department's aims and objectives and gives details of expenditure plans.|
|200001||The Scotland Office Resource Accounts||Laid in Parliament by the Secretary of State for Scotland||2,300||These accounts report expenditure by the Department in resource terms.|
|200001||Comparisons of Motoring Taxation Costs Across Europereport by Colin Buchanan and Partners.||Published on the Scotland Office website and placed in the House of Commons Library.||4,500||This report provides a breakdown of costs for Scotland and the Scottish Highlands and Islands to allow a comparison of these specific areas with other parts of the EEA.|
|200001||Scotland Office Charter||Published on the Scotland Office website and printed copies are available on request.||125||Sets out the Department's commitment to providing high quality and efficient services in line with the Service First Initiative.|
|200001||Scotland Office Winter Supplementary Estimate||Presented to Parliament by command of Her Majesty.||2,200||This is the official request to parliament for additional resources.|
|200102||Friends of Scotland||Copies circulated to a wide range of individuals and groups||4,171||To publicise the Friends of Scotland Initiative which seeks to promote the image of a modern, outward-looking Scotland and harness the goodwill that exists towards Scotland.|
|200102||The Size of the Scottish ParliamentA Consultation||MPs and MEPs for Scottish constituencies. MSPs, the Scottish Executive, the Electoral Commission, DTLR and groups representing civic Scotland. Also available on the department's website||1,007||To consult as widely as possible on whether the number of MSPs in the Scottish Parliament should be reduced in line with the current provisions of the Scotland Act, or whether the link between Westminster and Holyrood constituencies should be broken.|
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