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14 Jan 2003 : Column 586Wcontinued
Mr. Blunkett [holding answer 13 January 2003]: Since 1 December 2002 and to date, a total of 50 arrests have been made under the Terrorism Act 2000. 29 of those were released without charge and 20 were charged with a range of offences under the Terrorism Act. A further one still remains in custody.
Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent discussions his Department has had with other Departments about the timing of announcements relating to the discovery of terrorist threats in Britain. 
Mr. Blunkett [holding answer 13 January 2003]: There are regular discussions on the whole range of counter terrorist issues through a number of committees. Where intelligence exists about specific threats we seek to thwart them and take whatever response we believe necessary to ensure the protection of the public. If the Government or the police thought it was necessary to give the public a specific warning we would do it without hesitation. Our prime consideration is their safety.
Ms Buck: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what consultation was carried out with voluntary organisations in receipt of funding for the training and education of asylum seekers before the decision was made to end the concession enabling asylum seekers to work if no decision had been made on their case after six months. [89778R]
Ms Buck: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment he has made of the European Council of Ministers recommendation concerning minimum standards for the reception conditions of asylum-seekers. [89783R]
Beverley Hughes: The UK will participate in the Directive on Reception Conditions, which forms part of the first stage of a Common European Asylum System, which the council committed to in the Treaty of Amsterdam 1997. The Reception Conditions Directive is expected to be adopted shortly.
Ms Buck: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if asylum seekers who do not have a decision after one year will be allowed access to the labour market, as recommended by the Council of Ministers report on minimum standards for the reception of asylum seekers. [89784R]
Beverley Hughes: In accordance with the Directive of Minimum Reception Conditions for asylum seekers, which is expected to enter into force in 2005, access to the labour market will be granted to any applicant who has not received an initial decision within 12 months.
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Mrs. Ellman: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he has received the report on the Landmark Co. in Liverpool concerning housing and support services for asylum seekers; and if he will make a statement. 
We introduced in the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) (Amendment) Order 2002 (2002 No. 441), an exception for XAny employment which is concerned with the monitoring, for the purposes of child protection, of communications by means of the internet". This makes checks on moderators of chat rooms, and other forms of internet communication, used by children, possible. We are encouraging this in good practice models and guidance for the internet industry, which will be published by the task force on child protection on the internet early in the new year and are confident that operators in this country will take advantage of this possibility.
Mr. Kaufman: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he intends to reply to the letter to him dated 4 November from the right hon. Member for Manchester, Gorton with regard to Mr. Rizgar Ghalib Ali. 
Mr. Kaufman: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he intends to reply to the letter to him dated 14 November from the right hon. Member for Manchester, Gorton with regard to the Nawab International Restaurant Group. 
David Winnick: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he will reply to the letter from the hon. Member for Walsall, North of 26 November 2002, regarding a constituent, ref 24367/2. 
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2002, (b) 20 September 2002, (c) 4 November 2002 and (d) 4 December 2002 regarding the case of Miss Zakiya Motala. 
Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the average time between receipt of a communication by the Criminal Records Bureau and an answer being sent has been in (a) each week and (b) each month of the last 12 months 
Hilary Benn [holding answer 19 December 2002]: The Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) offers three different ways to contact the bureauby telephone, by post or by e-mail. The CRB aims to deal with all inquiries quickly and efficiently. Its target is to answer 90 per cent. of all telephone calls within 20 seconds. The call centre has consistently exceeded this service standard.
The CRB aims to provide a response to written correspondence within one week of receipt. At present there is no information available to confirm to what extent this target is being met, as the details are not collated centrally, but the target is not yet being fully achieved.
Hilary Benn [holding answer 19 December 2002]: As at 31 October 2002 the Passport and Records Agency owed #350,902 to Capita in unpaid invoices. In addition to this #5,033,514.07 was accrued for charges incurred in the month that had yet to be invoiced by Capita.
Hilary Benn [holding answer 19 December 2002]: There is provision under the terms of the contract between Capita and the Home Office for penalties for delay or poor performance. Capita has incurred liquidated damages, although, as is normal in such contracts the details remain commercial in confidence. The main priority is for the Criminal Records Bureau and Capita to collaborate in order to achieve further improvement in the quality of service.
Hilary Benn: There is no priority treatment given to any staff from any sector for their Criminal Record Bureau (CRB) checks. The CRB did take on extra resources in August/September 2002 to process those applications from teachers and classroom assistants.
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Mr. Blunkett: The Government are committed to ensuring the fair treatment and inclusion of all communities within our society. We are actively working to ensure that where there are divisions along lines of race, religion, classor any other cultural factorbarriers are broken down, discrimination is eradicated and positive relationships are encouraged.
In addition, we attach great importance to helping those who settle hereand existing British citizensgain a fuller appreciation of the civic and political dimensions of British citizenship and, in particular, to understand the rights and responsibilities that come with British citizenship. This will help to strengthen active participation in our democracy and a sense of community belonging. This is why we introduced the citizenship curriculum in schools in September and why we have appointed an independent group under the chairmanship of Professor Sir Bernard Crick to make recommendations on the standard of language skills it might be reasonable to expect of someone seeking naturalisation. The group will also be advising on the content and delivery of a XLiving in the United Kingdom" programme.
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