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4 Mar 2003 : Column 916W—continued

Fur Labelling

Annette Brooke: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what plans her Department has to enforce the (a) accurate and (b) specific labelling of fur used in consumer goods; and if she will make a statement. [98876]

Miss Melanie Johnson: The Trade Descriptions Act 1968 makes it a criminal offence, if a trader applies a false trade description to any goods or, supplies or offers to supply any goods to which a false description is applied. This legislation is enforced by local authority trading standards departments.

I also refer the answer given to the hon. Member on 25 February 2003, Official Report, column 421W, about the difficulties of identifying certain fur types and the steps that this Department is taking to address this matter.

Newspapers (Carriage Costs)

Vernon Coaker: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what recent assessment she has made of the progress being made by the Office of Fair Trading investigation into the carriage costs charged by newspaper wholesalers to independent newsagents; and if she will make a statement. [98082]

Miss Melanie Johnson: The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) is currently reviewing the undertakings given by newspaper wholesalers, introduced following the then Monopolies and Mergers Commission report in 1993, on the supply of national newspapers in England and Wales.

The Office of Fair Trading published its findings and provisional recommendation on 12 December 2002. The OFT found that carriage and service charges have risen faster than costs (which in turn have risen significantly faster than retail price inflation). The provisional recommendation, to liberalise selling-on within exclusive territories, is open to public consultation until 14 March 2003. The OFT will then finalise its recommendations and report to DTI.

Part-time Workers

Mr. Wray: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what steps she is taking to ensure that part-time workers receive (a) the minimum wage and (b) appropriate levels of paid leave. [100481]

Alan Johnson: Annual publicity campaigns have ensured that awareness of the minimum wage is at almost universal levels. Enforcement of the minimum

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wage is carried out by the Inland Revenue. If any worker—whether part or full-time—is not receiving the minimum wage, they should phone the helpline on 0845 6000 678. All complaints are followed up by Inland Revenue enforcement teams and workers' details remain confidential.

The Working Time Regulations give all workers the right to four weeks paid leave per year. Part-timers receive this pro-rata depending on the hours they normally work. This was publicised following the introduction of the Regulations and again in 2001. It is enforced through the Employment Tribunals.



24. Mr. Blizzard: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office if he will make a statement on progress with the introduction of e-government. [100201]

Mr. Alexander: The Government's target is to make all government services available electronically by 2005 with key services achieving high levels of use. The last survey of e-government services showed that 54 per cent. of services are available electronically.

Civil Service (Ethnic Diversity)

25. Mr. Russell Brown: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what recent progress has been made in improving ethnic minority recruitment into the civil service. [100202]

Mr. Ben Chapman: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office if he will make a statement on ethnic diversity within the civil service. [100767]

Mr. Alexander: The Government remain strongly committed to a civil service that is fully representative of the community it serves.

Ethnic minorities make up 7.9 per cent. of the civil service as a whole and 2.8 per cent. at senior civil service level, up from 5.7 per cent. and 1.6 per cent. respectively in April 1998. Our target for senior civil service level staff is 3.2 per cent. by 2004–5.

Civil Service Legislation

26. Tony Wright: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what progress has been made on proposals for civil service legislation. [100203]

Mr. Alexander: The Public Administration Select Committee, chaired by my hon. Friend the Member for Cannock Chase, and the Committee on Standards in Public Life are looking at this issue. We will want to consider the work of these two important committees.

Health Sector Targets

27. Mr. Streeter: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what discussions he has had in recent weeks with the Delivery Unit about Government targets in the health sector. [100204]

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Mr. Alexander: There are regular meetings with the Delivery Unit to discuss a range of delivery issues, including health.

Government Websites

Mr. Greg Knight: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office how many Government websites comply with W3C standards. [100693]

Mr. Alexander: The Government Interoperability Framework and the Guidelines for UK Government Websites require that all Government websites that employ hypertext markup languages comply with published W3C's standards. Responsibility for adopting the W3C standards rests with those in charge of individual websites and is not centrally monitored.

Mr. Greg Knight: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office how many Government websites have a PCIS rating. [100696]

Mr. Alexander: PICS labels are registered through a third-party organisation, the Internet Content Rating Association, and I have asked them to check for the latest figures. I will write to the right hon. Gentleman when these figures are available.

Online Nation Campaign

Mr. Greg Knight: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office when the Government plans to launch the Online Nation campaign. [100695]

Mr. Alexander: The Prime Minister announced at the e-Summit in November 2002 that the Government would run the Online Nation campaign in spring 2003. The campaign will encourage people, particularly those from socially excluded groups, to experience the benefits of the internet. A pilot campaign will run in Newcastle from 5–31 March.



Simon Hughes: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what her estimate is of the efficiency savings that will be made by CAFCASS over the next 10 financial years. [99546]

Ms Rosie Winterton: CAFCASS is committed to making effective and efficient use of public resources, as stated in its Corporate Plan 2002–06. For 2003–04 Ministers will set targets regarding CAFCASS' performance, including the development of efficiency measures. The expected efficiency savings will be published in CAFCASS Corporate Plans.

Constituency Boundaries

Mr. Tony Clarke: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department when he expects the boundary commission to complete its review of constituency boundaries; and when the review will be implemented. [100808]

Mr. Leslie: I have been asked to reply.

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At the outset of their fifth general review of parliamentary constituencies in February 2000, it was the intention of the Boundary Commission for England to conclude the review by the end of December 2005. That target date remains although it is possible it may change in the future. The Parliamentary Constituencies Act 1986 requires the Secretary of State to lay the report with a draft of an Order in Council giving effect to the recommendations, with or without modifications, as soon as possible after the report is received.

Jury Service

Mr. Keetch: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department for what reason payment for jury service increases after five days' service. [99876]

Yvette Cooper: Jurors are not paid for jury service but can claim financial loss allowances to cover loss of earnings or benefits, or increased expenses, incurred as a result of jury service. The maximum daily allowance of £52.63 increases to £105.28 where service exceeds 10 days. This increase acknowledges that jurors might incur additional expenses when they are required to serve for a longer period.

Public Record Office

Mr. Laws: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what assessment she has made of the effect on net government spending on the Public Records Office of introducing additional charging for access to records; and if she will make a statement. [99824]

Ms Rosie Winterton: Most of the services provided by the PRO are free of charge. This includes access to original records and microforms at Kew and the Family Records Centre; consultation of PROCAT, the online catalogue relating to the PRO's own holdings, and the Access to Archives virtual catalogue for England; the award-winning Learning Curve gallery which provides online material for schools relating to the history national curriculum; and selected digital record images, including those which have featured in recent press coverage.

The PRO has introduced charges for online access to electronic copies of paper records. These same paper records are accessible free of charge onsite at the PRO. This new electronic internet service, which is over and above the PRO's statutory service, is charged at full cost recovery and hence has no effect on the PRO's net government spending.

The PRO's 1901 census online service is provided by QinetiQ. The rates are fixed by Statutory Instrument and are based on the principle of full cost recovery. Until QinetiQ has recovered its full investment from the project from the income it receives, the PRO will not receive any income and hence this service has no effect on the PRO's net government spending.

Mr. Laws: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what reasons underlie the change in total public spending on the Public Record Office between 1998–99 and 2003–04; and if she will make a statement. [99825]

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Ms Rosie Winterton: The changing pattern of the PRO's expenditure in this period is mainly explained by the progressive introduction of new services, which collectively make a significant contribution to the e-government agenda.

The PRO website usage has grown from 738,977 in 1998–99 to a projected figure of 70 million in 2002–03 and is now regularly one of the top five government websites consulted by online users in the United Kingdom. The website includes a detailed electronic catalogue of the PRO's records and many digital record images of strong interest to educational users at all levels and to family historians.

It is also offering detailed guidance and increased support to other Government Departments, as they make plans to meet the target of introducing Electronic Records Management (ERM) by 2004. The PRO is itself on course to implement ERM in full in the business year 2003–04.

In the area of digital preservation, it is currently making arrangements for long-term archiving by setting up a secure repository at Kew, which can store selected electronic records transferred from other Government Departments. In this way a crucial part of the nation's memory will be made available to present and future generations. In the forthcoming year the PRO will secure new storage for its offsite records, thereby ensuring that all of its accessioned material is kept in conditions which comply with the relevant British Standard.

Further details about the PRO's programmes and expenditure are to be found in the Keeper's annual reports from 1998–99 to 2001–02, copies of which are available in the Library. Information about its latest achievements can be obtained from the website at

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