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11 Jan 2005 : Column 406W—continued

Departmental Files

Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Department for Constitutional Affairs how many departmental files have been destroyed in each of the past five years. [203344]

Mr. Leslie: In accordance with its normal policies and disposal schedules, the Department, excluding the Court Service, has destroyed the following number of files in each of the last five years:
2004 (1 January-30 September)4,306

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The increased number of destructions in 2004 was due to a requirement to clear a backlog which had developed. The need to deal with this became imperative in March 2004 when the Court Service and the DCAHQ and Associated Offices Registries were amalgamated.

Special Advisers

Mr. Tyrie: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Department for Constitutional Affairs on how many occasions between 31 March 2002 and 31 March 2003 the Lord Chancellor's special advisers travelled abroad in an official capacity; what places were visited; and how much each visit cost. [207180]

Mr. Leslie: I refer the hon. Member to my answer on 1 September 2003, Official Report, column 782W.



Michael Fabricant: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if she will make a statement on her Department's policy regarding the retention of e-mails in electronic form (a) after and (b) up to 1 January 2005; and what instructions have been given regarding the deletion of e-mails prior to 1 January 2005. [206956]

Mr. Caborn: The DCMS policy is that e-mails which show evidence of actions or decisions or other value added information, and are for public record, must be printed out and added to the traditional paper file. Once printed out and added to file, or archived electronically, such e-mails are to be deleted immediately from the day-to-day e-mail folder. In order to prevent the build-up of e-mails (which would cause the IT system to crash) staff are to undertake a daily clear out of all of the messages that are no longer required. All e-mails are automatically deleted after 12 months (on the assumption that e-mails for the public record will have been printed out and added to the paper file as mentioned).

No additional instructions have been given to DCMS staff regarding the deletion of e-mails prior to 1 January 2005. However, in the context of readying DCMS records to ensure they are in good order and speedily and efficiently accessible to enable compliance with our statutory duty (from 1 January 2005) to respond to requests for information, staff have been reminded of the DCMS deletion policy.

Freedom of Information

Matthew Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many staff in her Department were employed to deal with the 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. [205033]

Mr. Caborn: No additional staffing were deployed on Freedom of Information work in 2001 and 2002. For 2003, one whole-time equivalent was deployed with this increasing to 1.5 whole-time equivalent for 2005. This
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level is expected to continue through 2005 and 2006. This is supported by a local support network made up of existing staff

In 2004, additional resourcing requirements for IT and legal issues have been met through use of externally contracted personnel.

Live Music

Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what methodology was used in MORI's Survey of Live Music Staged in England and Wales in 2003–04 commissioned by her Department, with particular reference to the Minister for Sport's conclusion that an estimated 1.7 million gigs had been staged in the past year in bars, clubs and restaurants whose main business was not putting on live music. [207524]

Mr. Caborn: A full description of the methodology used is provided in MORI's report Survey of Live Music Staged in England & Wales in 2003–04, which is available on the DCMS website at:

I am arranging for copies of the report to be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

For the sample, categories of venues were selected that did not appear to be reliant upon live music provision for their existence. MORI arrived at their estimate of 1.7 million live music events by calculating the average number of events being staged at each venue type in the sample, and then multiplying this figure by the total estimated number of venues in each category within England and Wales. Venues sampled were asked how many live events they had staged in the past 12 months, and were offered a series of ranges to choose from (e.g. 8–10,11–20, 21–31, 32–40, 40+). To calculate an average, MORI sensibly took the mid point for each range on the assumption that, on a normal distribution, they would expect roughly an equal proportion to fall above and below this.

For respondents who said that their venue had staged 40+ live events over the past 12 months, MORI assumed an average of 60 live events each year—a realistic, if perhaps slightly conservative, estimate given that the number of such events each year could range between 41 and 150 (given three live music nights a week). In the unlikely scenario that all venues in the 41+ category only staged 41 live events in the past year, MORI calculated that the estimated number of live music events would be 1.3 million.


Departmental Equipment

Mr. George Osborne: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office how many items of electrical equipment were used by her Department in the last year for which figures are available, broken down by (a) cost and (b) number of each type of item. [205739]

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Mr. Miliband: It is not possible to provide the information requested as it is not held in this detail and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

IT (Disciplinary Procedures)

Mr. George Osborne: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office how many staff in the Cabinet Office have (a) received official warnings and (b) faced disciplinary procedures following breaches of IT policy in each year since 1997. [205819]

Mr. Miliband: The number of Cabinet Office staff who faced disciplinary procedures following breaches of Information Technology (IT) policy in the years 1998 to 2004 inclusive are shown in the table. All these staff received an official warning. Data for 1997 is not available.
Breaches of IT policy

Number of staff who faced disciplinary procedures



Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what the most recent representations are which he has made directly to the Burmese military regime regarding atrocities by the Burmese military against the (a) Karen, (b) Karenni and (c) Shan people. [207049]

Mr. Alexander: I have not had any direct contact with the Burmese military regime in Rangoon.
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I met the Burmese ambassador on 29 November and pressed for political reform in Burma, full respect for human rights and for all groups in Burma, including ethnic nationalities, to play a full part in national reconciliation.

We will continue to raise our concerns.


David Burnside: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has had with (a) the Government of Colombia and (b) the Government of the Irish Republic on assisting in returning to Colombia the IRA/Sinn Fein members convicted there. [206939]

Mr. Rammell [holding answer 10 January 2005]: None. This is a matter between the Irish and Colombian Governments. It would be inappropriate for the UK to intervene.

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