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Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what the cost was of hotel accommodation for departmental staff working away from home in each of the last four years. 
Mr. Paul Murphy: Hotel costs are not identified separately from other expenditure on travel and subsistence.
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Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many staff in his Department's press office have received (a) termination and (b) redundancy payments in each of the last four years. 
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what his Department's policy is towards age discrimination. 
Mr. Paul Murphy: My Department does not discriminate on grounds of age within the working-age band.
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what estimate he has made of the (a) financial costs and (b) benefits to his Department of the Parental Leave Directive. 
Mr. Paul Murphy: The cost of the Department of the Parental Leave Directive is none to date.
The Wales Office is committed to helping its staff achieve a better balance between their home and work lives, including statutory entitlement to parental leave.
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many staff have been employed by his Department in each of the last 10 years. 
Mr. Paul Murphy: My Department has only been in existence since July 1999. I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to him by my hon. Friend the Parliamentary Secretary, Cabinet Office on 19 March 2002, Official Report, column 296W.
Ian Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will publish the returns of election expenses for the 1999 elections to the National Assembly for Wales. 
Mr. Paul Murphy: No. Responsibility for making available for inspection returns of election expenses in respect of these elections rested partly with individual returning officers and partly with the Assembly itself.
Sandra Gidley: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales (1) if he has established a baseline for policy appraisal against which to measure progress on equal treatment; and what progress has been achieved; 
(3) if he will list the subject of each gender impact assessment drawn up by his Department since June 1997, indicating in each case whether the outcome has been (a) put out to consultation and (b) published. 
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Mr. Paul Murphy [holding answer 26 March 2002]: The Government are fully committed to promoting equality of opportunity. In 1998, we included an obligation in the Government of Wales Act requiring the National Assembly for Wales to have due regard to the principle of equality of opportunity for all the people of Wales.
Most of the executive responsibilities of the former Welsh Office transferred to the Assembly in July 1999. Since then, I have not identified a need to conduct gender impact assessments nor to establish baselines for policy appraisal in respect of any of my remaining responsibilities.
Sandra Gidley: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will list the women's organisations which have been consulted over proposed legislation by his Department during (a) 200001 and (b) 200102 sessions; and if their responses have been published. 
Mr. Paul Murphy [holding answer 26 March 2002]: My Department has direct responsibility only for legislative provisions which relate specifically to Wales.
Detailed information about consultees is not collated centrally. However, available records indicate that the Wales Assembly for Women and Welsh Women's Aid have been consulted on a number of proposals.
In the 200102 session, the Wales Assembly for Women responded to consultation on proposals for the Education Bill. Unless the respondent asked for confidentiality, all responses were placed in the National Assembly for Wales library, where they can be made available on request.
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what his policy is on overtime payments for staff in his Department. 
Mr. Paul Murphy: Overtime is paid only when there is no viable alternative and when the individual staff member is content to work additional hours. Levels of pay for overtime are in accordance with National Assembly for Wales guidelines.
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many staff were involved in each of the last three years in preparing draft answers to written parliamentary questions. 
Mr. Paul Murphy: Advice on answering written parliamentary questions is prepared by the most appropriate official in each case. Approximately 25 staff spend some part of their time doing work of this kind.
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many private finance initiative projects have been subject to refinancing after the contracts have been signed; and what has been the financial effect in each case. 
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Mr. Paul Murphy: Since its creation in July 1999 my Department has not entered any private finance initiative contracts.
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what have been the total salary costs of each of the non- departmental public bodies for which he is responsible in each of the last five years. 
Mr. Paul Murphy: My Department was created in July 1999 and has no non-departmental public bodies.
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department, pursuant to her answer to the hon. Member for Buckingham of 13 March 2002, Official Report, column 1176W, if she will provide a full breakdown of the main items comprising the increase in the running cost of the Lord Chancellor's private offices between April 1998 and April 2001. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: The increase in expenditure since 1998 is the result of the increasing workload of the Department and the appointment of two additional Ministers. The main increase was for the additional staffing costs of the offices.
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what creche facilities are provided by his Department; and at what cost. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: The Department spends approximately £125,000 per annum on child care support. About £115,000 is used to provide subsidised nursery places for 40 staff mainly in London and the surrounding regions, Newcastle, Manchester, Birmingham, Bristol and Grimsby, plus a further £10,000 on subsidised playschemes during school holidays. Approximately 120 children of members of staff used the playschemes during 200102.
Simon Hughes: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what assessment she has made of the impact of the provision of quality legal advice to asylum seekers prior to an initial decision on their application, the efficiency and quality of those decisions and the number of subsequent appeals; what assessment she has made of the potential costs and savings of ensuring quality legal advice is available prior to initial decisions; and if she will make a statement. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: The Government's White Paper "Secure Borders, Safe Haven" (CM 5387) published in February 2002 states at paragraph 4.36:
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It is therefore too early to calculate, with any degree of accuracy, the potential costs and savings that access to early legal advice can bring.
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