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9 Nov 2004 : Column 617W—continued

Pathway Pilots

Mr. David: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if he will make a statement on the Pathways to Work pilots. [196335]

Maria Eagle: The Pathways pilots are showing exciting early signs of success. We know that a combination of helping people on incapacity benefit to overcome the barriers they face and tackling discrimination in the workplace can pay dividends for sick and disabled people—opening up job opportunities for them and benefiting society in general as they take their rightful place in the economic life of this country.

Sustainable Energy (CHP Provisions) Order

Mr. Stunell: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what measures his Department (a) has undertaken and (b) plans to undertake to comply with the Sustainable Energy (CHP Provisions) Order 2003. [194432]

Mr. Pond: The Department, in conjunction with its estates partners—Land Securities Trillium—are currently considering the feasibility of installing a combined heat and power plant within one major building on the estate. In order to meet the CHP target contained within the energy section of the "Framework for Sustainable Development on the Government Estate" we will also consider the purchase of electricity generated by CHP from the grid.


Fair Trade

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Department for Constitutional Affairs whether it is his policy to ensure that hospitality within his Department
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is sourced from fair trade producers wherever possible within the boundaries set by the public procurement rules. [197066]

Mr. Lammy: The Department for Constitutional Affairs also replies on behalf of its associated offices and the Court Service.

Within the context of the Government's value for money policy and the EU procurement rules, we take every opportunity to encourage the purchase of fair trade goods in line with the Government's commitment to supporting ethical trading, including for hospitality purposes.

For example, in the Department's headquarters building the caterers always provide fair trade tea and coffee for hospitality and also source fruit juices, honey and other products wherever possible. In addition, the caterers in courts in the northern, north eastern and midlands regions and Wales are able to offer fair trade tea and coffee for hospitality in line with our developing policy.

New contracts for catering across the HMCS will be let during 2005. These will include a requirement that hospitality within my Department is sourced from fair trade producers wherever possible within the boundaries set by the public procurement rules.


Civil Servants

Brian White: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what the Government's definition is of a civil servant. [195601]

Ruth Kelly: The Government are committed to consultation on their proposals for a Civil Service Bill in this parliamentary Session. The definition of a civil servant is one of the issues for consultation.

Contingency Plans

Mr. Paul Marsden: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what additional powers the police have for arresting (a) UK and (b) foreign citizens following a declaration of a state of emergency. [195853]

Ruth Kelly: A declaration of a state of emergency under the Emergency Powers Act 1920 allows the Government to make special temporary legislation (emergency regulations) to deal with the most serious of emergencies. The content of any regulations made would depend entirely on the nature of the emergency and no powers would be conferred automatically. The need for any additional powers would be determined on a case by case basis, and given effect by the regulations.

Data Protection

Michael Fabricant: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what procedures are in place (a) to check the criminal records of civil servants in the Department and agencies responsible to the Department who have access to computer databases containing confidential information on the public and (b) to ensure that there
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can be no improper use of computer databases containing confidential information on the public; and if she will make a statement. [194608]

Ruth Kelly: The Cabinet Office undertakes pre-appointment checks on all staff, which includes the completion of a character inquiry form asking individuals whether they have ever been convicted in a civil court or been the subject of a court martial. Cabinet Office employees are also subject to a criminal record check as part of the security vetting process described in the then Prime Minister's Statement of 15 December 1994, Official Report, columns 764–66W. Serving members of the Department are required to report convictions to Human Resources. This requirement is set out in the Department's code of conduct, which is available to all staff via the Department's intranet.

The Department's code of conduct includes a section dealing specifically with the Department's rules on the use and misuse of information, including electronic information and communications. The Department monitors emails for inappropriate use and a reminder on this appears at each login to the Department's IT system. All new users also receive an email on this matter when their accounts are opened.

Any misuse or abuse of information held within the Department (whether on computer databases or elsewhere) is subject to the Department's disciplinary procedures.

Departmental IT

Brian White: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what percentage of the Department's (a) implemental and (b) planned computer systems use open source software; and what plans are in place to raise this level. [195644]

Ruth Kelly: There are no statistics currently available on the percentage of open source software (OSS) used in or planned to be used in the Cabinet Office. The Cabinet Office follows the Government's OSS Policy (version 2 was published on the 28 October 2004), which requires that Government consider OSS solutions alongside proprietary ones in information technology procurements and awards contracts on a value for money basis. It does not therefore have plans in place to raise the level of OSS use, but rather will make software procurement decisions on a case by case basis.

Departmental Staff

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what percentage of the staff of the office in (a) 2002 and (b) 2003 were people with disabilities. [196128]

Ruth Kelly: The percentage of staff in Government Departments with disabilities in 2002 and 2003 are detailed on the Cabinet Office statistics website, on the summary tables by disability for the relevant years. The tables show the numbers and percentage of staff who have declared a disability by all staff, and are as at 1 April each year.
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Figures relating to 1 April 2004 are also available on our website at

Copies of these documents are also available in the Library.

Duchy of Lancaster

Mr. Rosindell: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster how many visits he has made to land controlled by his Duchy since his appointment. [195956]

Mr. Milburn: I have met with Sir Michael Bunbury BT, Chairman, and Paul Clarke, Chief Executive and Clerk of the Council of the Duchy and I intend to visit Lancashire later this year, when I will be meeting a number of Duchy tenants and visiting Lancaster University.


Mr. Rosindell: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if he will list his official engagements for the next three months. [195975]

Mr. Milburn: My official meetings include meetings with Cabinet colleagues relating to my cross-Government role in the co-ordination of Government policy; my responsibilities for the work of the Strategy Unit and the Policy Directorate; my Duchy of Lancaster role; and my membership of Cabinet.

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