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Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Department for Constitutional Affairs what steps are being taken to ensure the safety of information transferred over the new computer network which links courts and other criminal justice agencies. 
The transfer of information between the courts and other criminal justice organisations takes place over secure private government networks using reliable messaging protocols based on international standards. The various systems send and receive messages constructed to support specific business processes. A system cannot be asked for information without prior agreement. My Department also uses its own secure networks for transfer between courts, which adhere to the same strict protocols and are regularly audited to ensure compliance to security standards.
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Mr. Rosindell: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Department for Constitutional Affairs whether the Lord Chancellor has discussed reform of the Criminal Justice System with the Secretary of State for Home Affairs since the latter's appointment. 
Norman Baker: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Department for Constitutional Affairs what steps he takes to ensure that material of future historical importance is retained, in relation to the Government's e-mail deletion policy. 
Mr. Leslie: Material of future historical importance, including e-mails, is appraised and selected for permanent preservation under the supervision and guidance of the National Archives (TNA) in accordance with well-established records management policies and procedures. In 2004 guidance issued by the Head of the Home Civil Service underlined the status of e-mails created or received by departments as
A copy of this guidance is available in the Library. In addition, TNA issued specific guidelines to departments on the development of an e-mail policy in 2004. These are available on its website at http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/electronicrecords/advice/
Llew Smith: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Department for Constitutional Affairs what information he has collected on the (a) number and (b) nature of requests made across (i) Government, (ii) local government and (iii) non-departmental public bodies under the Freedom of Information Act 2000; and if he will make a statement on the operation of the Act to date. 
Mr. Leslie: Parliament passed the Freedom of Information Act four years ago. Now, after a long transition period in which public authorities have had the full time and opportunity to prepare for this change, the Act has come fully into force.
It is as yet very early days in the operation of access rights under the Freedom of Information Act. However, the Government is confident that, over time, there will be a real cultural change to one of openness and transparency in all public authorities.
My Department is responsible for monitoring central Government requests, including NDPBs, by the criteria agreed by the Domestic Affairs Cabinet Committee. Monitoring information on requests received by FOI specialists within central Government will be collected and reported quarterly, the first statistical report being due in late spring 2005.
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Our current estimate, based on informal reports from Government Departments, is that 1,200 more complex requests were received by Freedom of Information practitioner's across central Government between 4 and 11 January 2005.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Department for Constitutional Affairs how the Department plans to monitor the number of requests for information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000; and how often, and where, it plans to publish information on the number of such requests to (a) Government departments and (b) other public agencies. 
Mr. Leslie: My Department will monitor requests for information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 to core central Government Departments as defined in Schedule 1 of the Act. It includes all ministerial Departments, executive NDPBs and Executive Agencies but not the public bodies listed in Part VI of Schedule 1.
We will monitor those requests which come to the attention of departmental FOI specialists. Monitoring information will be collected and reported quarterly, the first statistical report being due in late Spring of 2005 to be published on the DCA Freedom of Information website.
In addition, DCA will publish a report on the first six months of the Act's operation in the Autumn of 2005 and an annual report in spring of 2006 and subsequent years. These reports will contain more detailed statistics and analysis of the operation of the Act in central Government, and will include figures for individual Government Departments, subject to the data being of sufficient quality.
Mr. George Osborne: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Department for Constitutional Affairs how many staff in his Department have (a) received official warnings and (b) faced disciplinary procedures following breaches of IT policy in each year since 1997. 
Mr. Leslie: There have been 99 cases where staff have faced disciplinary procedures following breaches of IT Security Policy since 1997. The cases have been broken down by year in the following table.
I am unable to report on the number of official warnings for breaches of IT policy, as this information is not held centrally, and to obtain it will incur disproportionate cost.
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Mr. Donaldson: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Department for Constitutional Affairs what progress has been made in identifying a site for a new court house in Lisburn; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Leslie [holding answer 17 January 2005]: The Court Service intends to publicly advertise for potential development sites in the Lisburn area which would be suitable for the construction of a new courthouse.
Mr. George Osborne: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Department for Constitutional Affairs if he will list the (a) newspapers and (b) periodicals taken by his Department in each year since 1997; and how much the Department spent on each in each year. 
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