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King Edward VIII

Mrs. Ellman: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department which departments will be consulted and what criteria will be used to assess the release of the records concerning King Edward VIII. [55481]

Ms Rosie Winterton: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to her previous question on the 1 May 2002, Official Report, column 862W. It is the responsibility for each department which has closed records relating to King Edward VIII to review them for release, in accordance with the standard criteria set out in the Open Government Code.

1901 Census Website

Mr. Chaytor: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what plans she has to resume public access to the Public Record Office's 1901 census website; if she will make it her policy to produce the name index to the 1901 census on CD-ROM; what plans she has to digitise census records prior to 1901; and if she will make a statement. [54367]

Ms Rosie Winterton: QinetiQ Ltd. are the contractors who are responsible for the technical aspects of the 1901 census online. Since the closure of the site QinetiQ have been carrying out technical enhancements and, once this work is completed, rigorous testing will be undertaken on all aspects of the system. The enhancements are intended to make the site sufficiently robust to permit general Internet access and are being carried out with a sense of urgency. However, the most important consideration is to ensure that the service is re-launched successfully. The service will again be made available at designated service centres as part of the general re-introduction of the site. General on-line searches will be available as soon as practicable following testing and availability at the service centres.

The commercial aspects of the census website are also the responsibility of QinetiQ Ltd., who are currently evaluating the financial viability of producing the 1901 census on CD-Rom, in consultation with the PRO.

The PRO is planning to make the 1881 and 1891 census returns available on line as part of its wider strategy to digitise its major sources relating to family history by 2005. It is intended that, once the 1901 online census service is working satisfactorily, these plans will be taken forward in the current financial year.

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Probation Board

Mr. Michael Jabez Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland when he will publish the Probation Board for Northern Ireland's Business Plan for 2002–03. [56245]

Mr. Browne: The Probation Board's Business Plan for 2002–03 was published on 14 May 2002. The plan sets out the board's key objectives and performance targets for the year. Copies of the plan have been placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

Mr. Cawsey: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland when he will publish the Probation Board for Northern Ireland's Corporate Plan for 2002–05. [56904]

Mr. Browne: The Probation Board's Corporate Plan for 2002–05 was published on 14 May 2002. The plan sets out the long-term strategic goals for the life of the plan. Copies of the plan have been placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

Victims of Violence

Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how much has been spent on Northern Ireland since Good Friday 1998; how much has been spent on victims of violence; and how this money is being used to help such victims in Northern Ireland. [53691]

Mr. Browne: The amount of money spent on Northern Ireland since 1 April 1998 (figures available for full financial years only) by the Northern Ireland Office (NIO) and Northern Ireland Block:

£ million

NI block

(7) Departmental Expenditure Limit

(8) Annually Managed Expenditure

(9) Welfare to Work

(10) Devolution began in December 1999 and was suspended between February and May 2000, with the result that in 1999–2000 £4,221,000 for the Northern Ireland Assembly was included in the NIO totals and 2000–01 £1,733,000 for NI Assembly was included in the NIO totals.

(11) Please note that final figures are not yet available for NIO—therefore, those given are provisional only. Provisional outturn figures are not yet available for the NI block, however the information shown is the "Final Plan Figurework" as at February monitoring.

(12) Now contained within DEL

The amount spent on victims of violence generally is not held centrally and could be provided only at

14 May 2002 : Column 596W

disproportionate cost. However, since 1998, Government have committed over £18.25 million to support victims of the troubles, funding a number of initiatives including:

The Northern Ireland Office was responsible for the management of funding to (among other projects) victims groups under measure 4.6 of the EU Special Support Programme for Peace and Reconciliation (Peace I). Victims groups received £2.8 million under this measure. In the main funding has been used to provide training and development officers and counselling services to victims and their families.

Peace II moneys are administered by the devolved Administration. It contains a specific measure for victims with funding of approximately £6.67 million, targeted mainly at retraining and re-employment.

Criminal compensation for victims

Since April 1998 to end of March 2002, £87.65 million has been spent in compensation for criminal damage and £193.50 million on criminal injuries. It is not possible to break these figures down into troubles-related and other crime.

Separate support for security force victims

Government have established a Police Fund which aims to bring additional assistance to police officers and their families directly affected as a result of terrorism. From this fund £4.2 million was paid in a tax free, lump sum payment to police widows, widowed prior to November 1983, as a direct result of terrorism.

The Government have funded the Police Rehabilitation and Retraining Trust (PRRT) to a total of £8.1 million (£4.5 million allocated for three-year-period in March 1999 and £3.6 million allocated for further two years, 2002–04). The PRRT was conceived to provide assistance

14 May 2002 : Column 597W

aimed at the rehabilitation of ex-officers who were injured on duty and retraining for those leaving or expected to leave the force.

Government have made available more than £1 million to the George Cross Foundation to mark the sacrifices and honour the achievement of the RUC. (The George Cross Foundation has taken on responsibility for the establishment of a Garden of Remembrance and a new RUC museum.)


Sick Leave

Mr. Heald: To ask the President of the Council how many days of sick leave were taken in his Department last year; how many related to employees suffering from (a) stress and (b) other mental health problems; and what the cost was to his Department. [56475]

Mr. Robin Cook: Information for the year 2001 is not yet available. The latest available figures are for the calendar year 2000. During this period 363 days were lost owing to sickness absence.

The Privy Council Office is not included in the published annual report 'Analysis of Sickness Absence in the Civil Service' but we are fully committed to working to the overall target to reduce the level of sick absence to five days per person by 2003; and reducing the number of working days lost from work-related injury and ill health by 30 per cent. by 2010. The Privy Council Office service delivery agreement confirms this commitment and our requirement to monitor sickness levels quarterly.

Information on stress and other mental health problems in the form requested is being withheld under Exemption 12 of the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information as the number involved are less than five out of a Department of 40 and could result in an individual being identified.

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