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Tom Cox: To ask the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what the total cost of legal aid awards within the Greater London area has been in each of the last five years. 
Mr. Lammy: The figures presented here are estimates of legal aid expenditure within Greater London based on the geographical location of courts and offices administering and paying legal aid in the area.
Estimates for 19992000 have not been included as the Legal Services Commission's system for payments underwent a significant change when they introduced contracting in 2000 and comparable estimates can be obtained only at disproportionate cost.
Dr. Iddon: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Department for Constitutional Affairs when he intends to respond to the Joint Committee on Human Rights' reports on the Mental Capacity Bill, with particular reference to the questions in appendix 1 of the Twenty-Third Report of session 200304. 
The response covers a wide range of issues, including advance decisions. I announced on 14 December that the Government would amend the Mental Capacity Bill to require advance decisions on life sustaining treatment to be written and witnessed.
Dr. Cable: To ask the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what target his Department sets for the maximum acceptable time to respond in full to a parliamentary question; and what percentage of answers given by his Department failed to meet this target in each parliamentary session from 199798 to 200304. 
Mr. Lammy: My Department aims to ensure that Members receive a substantive response to their Named Day question on the named day and endeavour to answer Ordinary Written questions within a working week of being tabled. Unfortunately, this is not always possible but my Department makes every effort to achieve these time scales.
We are unable to give accurate figures in each parliamentary session from 199798 to 200203 without incurring disproportionate cost. In the 200304 session, 62 per cent. of parliamentary questions (PQs), including Named Day, were answered within these time scales and 100 per cent. of PQs were answered by the end of the session.
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The latest available information as at April 2004 is available in the Library and on the civil service website at the following address: http://www.civilservice.gov.uk/management_information/statistical_information/statistics/publications/xls/gender apr04 4nov04.xls
Norman Baker: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Department for Constitutional Affairs if he will list the criteria used to decide which documents and files should be shredded; and what mechanism exists to ensure that documents and files are not destroyed for other reasons. 
Mr. Leslie: The Department for Constitutional Affairs keeps records for as long as they are needed for administrative and business purposes. Records of enduring historical value are selected for permanent preservation under the guidance and supervision of the National Archives on the basis of guidelines which are published on the National Archives website at: http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/recordsmanagement/advice/
Mr. Tyrie: To ask the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs whether departmental special advisers have written to external (a) bodies and (b) individuals in their official capacity since May 1997. 
Mr. Brady: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Department for Constitutional Affairs how many officials working in ministerial private offices in the Department have worked more than a 48 hour week at any time in the last 12 months for which figures are available; how many of those had signed a waiver under working time regulations; and what percentage these figures represented of the total in each case. 
The number of ministerial private office staff in the Department for Constitutional Affairs who have worked more than a 48 hour week at any time in the last 12 months is 44, and of these 100 per cent. have signed an opt out agreement.
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David Davis: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what percentage of official departmental Christmas cards included a contribution to charity in their cost; and which charities benefited from such a contribution. 
Norman Lamb: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will list his official engagements over the last six months; who was present at each meeting; what the (a) date and (b) location was of each meeting; what issues were discussed; and what plans he has to establish a public register of such information. 
Ministers meet many individuals and organisations and attend many functions relating to Government business and as part of the process of policy development. To provide the detailed information requested would incur disproportionate
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cost. The daily on-the-record briefing by the Prime Minister's official spokesman regularly provides details of Ministers' public engagements.
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