20 Nov 2002 : Column 37WS

Written Ministerial Statements

Wednesday 20 November 2002


Regulatory Impact Assessments

The Minister of State, Cabinet Office (Mr. Douglas Alexander): The Government is committed to ensuring that regulations are necessary, give effective protection, balance cost and risk, are fair and command public confidence. In accordance with this, we require Departments to produce and publish RIAs for all regulatory proposals likely to have an impact on business.

I have today presented to Parliament a Command Paper listing RIAs published between 1st January and 30th June 2002. Copies of those listed have been placed in the libraries of both Houses. This is the seventeenth such Command Paper.

Risk Report

The Minister of State, Cabinet Office (Mr. Douglas Alexander): The Strategy Unit report, XRisk: improving government's capability to handle risk and uncertainty", is today being published.

The Government welcomes the report, and we have accepted its recommendations in full. They aim to improve the way we anticipate and handle risk in the day-to-day conduct of our business, to support the effective delivery of public services. The report's recommendations will be implemented through a two-year programme of change, led by the Cabinet Office Permanent Secretary, Sir David Omand.

The report looks particularly at those areas of government that involve handling risks that may affect the public, and makes a number of recommendations to improve the involvement of the public in decision making about risks that affect them. It proposes a set of principles that government should follow in handling risks to the public, on which we intend to consult.

Copies of the report have been placed in the Vote Office, the Printed Paper Office, and the libraries of both Houses.


National Policing Plan (2003–06)

The Minister of State for the Home Department (Mr. John Denham): I am, later today, laying the first National Policing Plan before Parliament as required by section 1 of the Police Reform Act 2002. It sets out the strategic priorities for the police service in 2003–06 as follows:

20 Nov 2002 : Column 38WS

The Plan will be a key element in raising the standards of policing to enable all forces to approach the standards of the best.

The National Policing Plan is a key element of police reform and sets out for the first time in one document, the performance targets and indicators against which delivery of priorities will be measured. The Plan describes those aspects of police reform, which will be in place over the next three years to support delivery.


Health Inequalities

The Secretary of State for Health (Mr. Alan Milburn): I am today publishing the results of the cross-cutting review of health inequalities, undertaken as part of the Government's 2002 spending review. The review sets out the Government's long-term approach for narrowing the gap in health between disadvantaged groups and the rest of the population.

Copies of XTackling Health Inequalities: 2002 Cross-Cutting Review" have been placed in the Library, and it is also available on the Department's website at http://www.doh.gov.uk/healthinequalities


International Policing (Bosnia and Herzegovina)

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (Mr. Bill Rammell): Every effort is being made to ensure that the transition of responsibility from the International Police Task Force (IPTF) to the European Union Police Mission (EUPM) goes smoothly with minimal disruption to stability in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH). For example, personnel from the two missions are co-operating closely to ensure that information and expertise accumulated by the IPTF is transferred to the new Mission. In order to facilitate a smooth transition, an EUPM Planning Team has been established to prepare for the take-over and ensure that the hand-over is effective and thorough. Together these steps will ensure that the EUPM is well-equipped and capable of building on the progress achieved by the IPTF.

Commander Sven Frederiksen, currently Police Commissioner with the IPTF, will take up this same role with the EUPM thus ensuring that his expertise and experience as Head of Mission will be transferred to the EUPM. This will contribute further to the smooth transition which is crucial to the success of the new Mission.

In the transition of responsibility from the IPTF to the EUPM there is to be a change of emphasis in the mission mandate. Whereas the IPTF was working closely with police officers in the lower ranks of the BiH Police Service, the EUPM will be looking at reform at a more senior level within the Police Service as well as reform at a ministerial level. To achieve this,

20 Nov 2002 : Column 39WS

contributing countries are providing officers with experience of different policing fields to transfer skills and expertise to the BiH police service.

The UK remains firmly committed to the peace process in BiH and will be contributing 56 police officers from 34 different police forces across the country, along with 9 civilians, to the EUPM. This comprises over 13 per cent of the total slots allocated to EU member states. All 15 EU member states are contributing personnel as well as seventeen further non-EU states. In total there will be around 500 police officers and civilian staff working in the EUPM.


Regional Development Agencies

The Minister for Employment Relations, Industry and the Regions (Alan Johnson): I have published the Regional Development Agencies' reported outputs for the first quarter of 2002–03. These have been placed in the Library of the House and on the DTI website at www.dti. gsi. gov.uk/rda/info/q 1 results.htm Regional Development Agencies' reported outputs in the first quarter of 2002–03.

The tables below show the Regional Development Agencies' Tier 3 targets for 2002–03 and the number of outputs they have reported as delivering by the end of the first quarter (June 2002). RDAs originally set out the annual targets in their Corporate Plans before the target definitions were finalised. Several RDAs have since chosen to rebase their Corporate Plan targets in line with the subsequently agreed methodology. For more information about the performance monitoring of the RDAs please see the DTI Website. A glossary of terms is at annex A.

The RDAs' have stated that the Q1 returns are close to profile, and that as a result, RDAs collectively are broadly on track to achieve their annual targets. When considering the figures below it is also worth bearing in mind the following points:

20 Nov 2002 : Column 40WS

20 Nov 2002 : Column 41WS

Next Section Index Home Page