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Robin Cook: As the Ministerial Code makes clear, Ministers are accountable to Parliament for their decisions and actions, including decisions which are made using the Royal Prerogative. If the hon. Member has any proposals to improve parliamentary scrutiny of ministerial decisions, which are made under the Royal Prerogative, I would be willing to consider them.
The introduction of Westminster Hall and the greater flexibility available to select committees should already have increased the House's ability to scrutinise all aspects of Ministers' work, and will continue to do so in the future.
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In addition, the Legal Secretariat to the Law Officers published a document entitled XThe Attorney General's Review of the Year 200102". Although not formally an Annual Report, it explained the work of the Law Officers over the last year. Its cost was #9,234.
Beverley Hughes [holding answer 25 June 2002]: The information requested is not held centrally and could not be obtained without disproportionate cost. However, a measure of the number of passports which could not be returned to their owners is the lost passport letter. Since September last year, strict controls have been in place on the way such letters are used; as a consequence more effective searches have been carried out and the number of letters issued has fallen by around 50 per cent. per month (from an average of 45 per month to about 20). Of those searches completed, less than 1 per cent. of passports cannot be found. Even so further initiatives are in place to improve the handling of passports.
Beverley Hughes [holding answer 25 June 2002]: We aim to consider 70 per cent. of all new general and settlement cases on initial consideration within three weeks. Due to an exceptionally large increase in the number of immigration cases in the latter part of 2001 the turnaround time increased but has now been reduced to four weeks. We are working to return performance to three weeks very shortly. However, cases which cannot be dealt with at the initial consideration stage are taking up to nine months to consider. We are looking to reduce this timescale as a priority case over the next six months. We have also reviewed our processes to speed up the consideration of cases and are looking at options for utilising additional resources within The Immigration and Nationality Directorate (IND).
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Since the beginning of June, queue management changes in the Public Enquiry Office (PEO) in Croydon have resulted in bringing the public faster into the building when it opens. Plans are underway to open a second entrance into the building and to relocate other callers to another Croydon office in a further effort to improve access.
Paul Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the policy of dispersing immigrants to Wales from the South-East of England. 
Beverley Hughes [holding answer 20 June 2002]: As at the end of March 2002, 1,020* asylum seekers including dependants were being supported in National Asylum Support Service (NASS) accommodation in Wales. In addition 160* asylum seekers including dependants in receipt of subsistence only support are resident in Wales. NASS has appointed a Regional Manager in each of its regions. Regional Managers are responsible for monitoring the effectiveness of the support provided to asylum seekers in their region.
Mr. Simon Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what representations he has received about granting visas to Egyptian students in the past 2 months; and if he will make a statement. 
Statistics on the number of asylum seekers supported by NASS are available on the Home Office Research Development and Statistics Directorate website: http:// www.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/immigration.1.html.
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Beverley Hughes: The research commissioned by the Home Office on the reception policies of Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands and Germany will be published by the end of 2002. This date is provisional, subject to the work being completed on schedule by the research contractors and to Research, Development and Statistics (RDS) publication procedures (including peer review).
Brian Cotter: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to his answer of 14 May 2002, to the hon. Member for Brighton, Pavilion (Mr. Lepper) Official Report, column 605W, on retail crime, if he will list for each regional crime reduction director, the amount spent on business crime in 200102. 
Lembit Öpik: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment he has made of the impact on motorcyclists of the proposed establishment of law enforcing arrangements; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Denham: 'Policing a New Century: a Blueprint for Reform' made no specific reference to motorcyclists. One of its themes, however, was the effective tackling of anti-social behaviour. The anti-social use of motorcycles has been a particular issue and growing concern in some areas, for example where the motorcycles have been raced around estates, across public footpaths or over public parks.
The Police Reform Act was introduced by the Government to take forward the proposals in 'Policing a New Century. Amongst its provisions, the Government have given the police new powers to deal with the anti-social use of motor vehicles, including motorcycles. It is already an offence under the Road Traffic Act 1988 to drive inconsiderately on public roads or off-road without consent. The Act now provides an addition that if a vehicle committing one of these offences is being driven in such a way that it is causing or is likely to cause alarm, distress or annoyance to members of the public, a constable in uniform will be empowered to stop and seize it. A constable will be able to enter premises other than a private dwelling to effect the seizure. The owner will be able to retrieve the vehicle on payment of removal and storage charges. Detailed arrangements will be made by regulation and will ensure that the owner is not required to pay when the vehicle was used without his consent.
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