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Mr. Hayes: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office if she will make a statement on the effect of the coming into force of the European Constitution on the operation of the Department with reference to (a) changes in legislative competence, (b) the extension of qualified majority voting, (c) the increased legislative role of the European Parliament, (d) the cost of implementation of regulations, (e) the requirements of adherence to the Charter of Fundamental Rights and (f) the quantity of legislation originating in the EU institutions. 
Mr. Miliband: I refer the hon. Member to the reply given by my hon. Friend, the Minister of State for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Mr. MacShane) on Monday 29 November 2004, Official Report, column 10W.
Mr. George Osborne: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what the cost of the Government car fleet was in the last year for which figures are available, broken down by (a) maintenance, (b) drivers, (c) taxes, (d) insurance, (e) fuel, (f) fines for traffic offences broken down by offence and (g) congestion charges. 
The responsibility for the provision of ministerial cars and drivers has been delegated under the terms of the Framework Document to the Government Car and Despatch Agency. I have asked its Chief Executive Mr Nick Matheson to write to the hon. Member. Copies of his letter will be placed in the Library and will be printed in the Official Report.
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The Minister for the Cabinet Office has asked me in my capacity as the Chief Executive responsible for the Government Car and Despatch Agency (GCDA) to reply to your Parliamentary Question about the costs of running the Government Car Service.
In 200304 the Agency spent £505,000 on vehicle maintenance, £131,000 on vehicle insurance, £365,000 on fuel, £156,000 on the central London congestion charge and incurred £5,216,000 in drivers' salaries and associated costs. Vehicles in the Government Car Service are exempt from paying vehicle road licence fees.
During 200304 the Government Car Service received 135 Parking Penalty Notices. Of these 60 were successfully challenged and £3,610 was paid in fines. GCDA will only pay parking fines where these have been incurred in the course of our operations. GCDA and its employees have no dispensation to break the law but parking restrictions within central London may make it impossible sometimes to deliver secure or sensitive documents to buildings or allow people with a high public profile to attend or leave buildings without putting themselves or secure documents at risk. In these cases GCDA will pay the fine.
All our drivers are required to obey the law at all times whilst on duty and are held personally responsible for any speeding offences that they may commit. Consequently, the Agency has not been fined for, nor paid, any speeding offences.
Mr. George Osborne: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office how many gyms are available to staff in the Department; and what the cost of providing them was in the last year for which figures are available. 
Mr. Miliband: The Department has a gym, situated in one of its buildings in Whitehall, which is available for the use of all staff. The Central Office of Information also provides gym facilities at its building in Lambeth for the use of its staff. In both cases accommodation and utilities are provided free, with all other costs being met by gym members. The cost to the Department for the provision accommodation and utilities are included in the overall budget and they are not separately identifiable.
Gym facilities are provided at the Centre for Management and Policy Studies (CMPS) Residential Learning and Development Centre in Sunningdale and at the Emergency Planning College (EPC) at Easingwold. Although primarily provided for use by those attending training courses, the facilities are also available to staff working at those sites. There is no direct cost to the Department from the provision of gym facilities at the CMPS Sunningdale site. The EPC does not cover its full costs and the specific shortfall from the provision of gym facilities could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office how many cases have been brought against the Office under the Human Rights Act 1998; and what the cost has been in (a) legal fees to defend cases and (b) compensation payments. 
Mr. Miliband: No cases have been brought against the Cabinet Office or its agencies under the Human Rights Act 1998. It is possible there has been reliance on the Human Rights Act 1998 in cases against the Cabinet Office not themselves brought under the Human Rights Act but it would incur disproportionate costs to determine if this is so.
Mr. Heald: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office how many ministerial cars are being operated by the Government Car Service; and if she will break down the fleet by (a) manufacturer, (b) model and (c) country of manufacture. 
Mr. Miliband: The responsibility for the provision of ministerial cars and drivers has been delegated under the terms of the Framework Document to the Government Car and Despatch Agency. I have asked its Chief Executive Mr Nick Matheson to write to the hon. Member. Copies of his letter will be placed in the Library and will be printed in the Official Report.
The Minister of State for the Cabinet Office has asked me in my capacity as the Chief Executive responsible for the Government Car and Despatch Agency to reply to your Parliamentary Question about the number of ministerial cars provided and their country of manufacture.
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Dr. Cable: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what target her Department sets for the maximum time to respond in full to a parliamentary question; and what percentage of its parliamentary answers have failed to meet this target in each parliamentary Session from 199798 to 200304. 
Mr. Miliband: Departments aim to ensure that Members receive a substantive response to their Named Day question on the named day and to endeavour to answer Ordinary written questions within a working week of being tabled. Unfortunately, this is not always possible but the Cabinet Office makes every effort to achieve these timescales.
For information relating to the 200304 parliamentary Session up to April 2004, and the 200203 parliamentary Session, I refer the hon. Member to the answer which the then Minister for the Cabinet
10 Jan 2005 : Column 92W
Office gave the hon. Member for Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross (John Thurso) on Monday 14 June 2003, Official Report, columns 70506W.
|Total for Session 200304|
|Number due for answer||81|
|Number answered on day named||48|
|Percentage answered on day named||59%|
|Total for Session 200304|
|Number due for answer||415|
|Number answered within five working days||257|
|Percentage answered within five working days||62%|
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