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Mr. George Osborne: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much has been spent by his Department on (a) indoor bought plants, (b) indoor hired plants, (c) outdoor bought plants and (d) outdoor hired plants in each year since 1997. 
|199798||No figures available|
|Financial year||Amount (£)|
Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) whether it is the policy of the Department to retain for the benefit of future (a) historians and (b) applicants under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 the same (i) complete categories of files, (ii) numbers of files and (iii) representative examples of files from categories of files destroyed as had been preserved prior to the passage of that Act; 
Ms Rosie Winterton:
In accordance with the Public Records Act 1958 S.3, the selection of records of enduring historical value for permanent preservation at the national archives (TNA) will continue to take place
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in the Department under the guidance and supervision of TNA staff. The Department will also comply with the Code of Practice on Records Management, issued by the Lord Chancellor under S.46 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000, which underlines the importance of having clear selection policies and disposal schedules in place.
|1 January31 December 2000||89,511|
|1 January31 December 2001||37,421|
|1 January31 December 2002||42,231|
|1 January31 December 2003||52,824|
|1 January30 November 2004||39,404|
Since 1999, the Department has produced one schedule for the disposal of records which are specific to its administrative activities. It also disposes of its records in accordance with over twenty guidance notes produced by TNA over the last five years, covering disposal schedules, managing records in the electronic environment, as well as overarching records management guidance.
Mr. George Osborne: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many properties are held by the Department; what total floor space these properties provide; how many properties are vacant; and how much floor space vacant properties comprise. 
Sue Doughty: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what his Department's policy is in relation to the storage and deletion of e-mails; and whether this policy has been reviewed in the past 12 months; 
Ms Rosie Winterton: The Department continues to implement well established policies and procedures for the review and disposal of files and documents in accordance with its administrative needs and the Public Records Act.
Miss Melanie Johnson: The Department committed to transforming the health and social care system so that it produces faster, fairer services that deliver better health and social care and tackle inequalities. Achieving sustainable improvements in health and services for black and minority ethnic people is part of the overall drive to promote equity of access to national health service services.
The Department's strategy for meeting the needs of minority ethnic people is to set action on race equality within the overall framework for planning and delivering the Department's priorities. The Department has a detailed programme of work under way to develop policies and promote good practice to improve the delivery of health and social care services among black and minority ethnic groups. Some of the areas in which the Department has initiated progress are around mental health, coronary heart disease, cancer and diabetes.
The Department is also committed to the collection of ethnic origin monitoring information using the 2001 Census categories as part of the process of monitoring and improving access to services within the health and social care sector.
In 2002, the Department published its race equality scheme, which sets out how the Department planned to meet the general and specific duties placed on it by the Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000. Work is currently underway to review the scheme.
Matthew Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many staff in his Department were employed to deal with Freedom of Information Act 2000 issues in (a) 2001, (b) 2002, (c) 2003 and (d) 2004; and how many staff are budgeted to deal with Freedom of Information Act 2000 issues in (i) 2005 and (ii) 2006. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: The numbers of staff directly employed by the Department to take forward the implementation and application of Freedom of Information Act within the Department, including those budgeted for future years, are shown in the following table.
|Staff (full-time equivalent)|
Other staff are involved in the implementation and application of the Freedom of Information Act, but it is difficult to identify precisely the number and it is potentially part of every civil servant's role to respond to freedom of information requests.
10 Jan 2005 : Column 103W
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