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Mr. John Taylor: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what action was taken by Ministers in his Department to establish that the Registrar General had statutory authority to state that personal information from the 1981 and 1991 decennial population censuses for England and Wales would be retained in his Department for 100 years before being released. 
As National Statistician and Registrar General for England and Wales I have been asked to reply to your recent Parliamentary Question asking what action was taken by Ministers to establish that the Registrar General had statutory authority to state that personal information from the 1981 and 1991 decennial population censuses for England and Wales would be retained for 100 years before being released. (221179)
A Registrar General is empowered to conduct a census under the provisions of the Census Act 1920 as amended by the Census (Confidentiality) Act 1991. The protection of personal information is covered by Section 8(2), which makes provisions with respect to unlawful disclosure of information. Censuses from 1921 onwards have been taken under this Act and, as records which are retained in my custody, remain covered by these provisions. The necessary permission to retain these census records once they are over 30 years old has been granted by the Lord Chancellor under the provisions of Section 3(4) of the Public Records Act 1958, and has continued to be granted at periodic intervals.
Particularly at the time of a census there is great public concern about confidentiality and the use to which personal census information is put, and it has been the practice to give strong declarations of strict confidentiality including on the front of the census form, to allay these concerns. At the time of the 1981 and the 1991 Censuses, there was legislation in force that closed Census records for a period of 100 years. This legislation was Instrument 12 dated 1966 made under the provision of Section 5(1) of the Public Records Act 1958. The declarations however, did not specifically make reference to this legislation.
In an attempt to simplify the confidentiality message on the front of the 1981 and the 1991 Census forms, the assurances, as worded, stated that the Registrar General had authority himself to retain the records for 100 years. This pledge asserts authority that the Registrar General does not have. As explained above the authority for the Registrar General to retain Census records rests with the Lord Chancellor. Notwithstanding this, the legal basis of access to, and confidentiality of, Census records was not affected. Assurances given on the 2001 Census form, however, more accurately referred to the relevant statutory authority as existed at the time.
Tony Baldry: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether Ministers in his Department have issued written instructions to override his Department's accounting officer's objections since 1997. 
Mr. Timms: No such directions have been issued by Treasury Ministers since 1997. The Treasury, which has a wider policy responsibility for the financial accountability mechanisms under which such directions are issued, has not been notified of any directions by Ministers in Departments to their Accounting Officers beyond those already disclosed to Parliament in the following written answers:
The former Chief Secretary to the Treasury (Andrew Smith) on 23 October 2000, Official Report, columns 7374W and 8 May 2002, Official Report, columns 25354W; myself on 10 June 2002, Official Report, column 1037W; the Economic Secretary (John Healey) on 13 January 2003, Official Report, column412W and 23 June 2003, Official Report, columns 61819W; and the former Financial Secretary (Ruth Kelly) on 30 October 2003, Official Report, columns 319320W and 24 March 2004, Official Report, column 841W.
The circumstances in which an Accounting Officer should seek a direction from a Minister before authorising expenditure are set out in paragraphs 1518 of the Treasury document, The Responsibilities of an Accounting Officer" (as updated in March 2004). This document is published as Annex 4.1 of the Treasury guidance, Government Accounting and is accessible at www.government-accounting.gov.uk.
As National Statistician, I have been asked to reply to your recent Parliamentary Question asking how many deaths have occurred in each of the last 10 years in which death certificates cited dothiepin as a possible cause. (221628)
Readily available figures relate to deaths where the underlying cause was drug poisoning. The most recently available information is for deaths in 2003. Figures are shown in the table below for the calendar years 1994 to 2003.
Dawn Primarolo: I refer the hon. Member to my ministerial statement of 8 March 2005, Official Report, column 10304WS, outlining the relief we propose to allow against double tax charges on such schemes.
Hugh Bayley: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many people on average were in employment in each parliamentary constituency (a) in 1997 and (b) on the latest date for which figures are available, ranked according to the change over the period. 
Since the information requested is so extensive, copies have been placed in the House of Commons Library. The information provided shows the estimates of the number of people in employment, in each Parliamentary Constituency of Great Britain in 1997 and 2004, ranked according to the greatest change in employment over the period. These estimates from the Labour Force Survey are, as with any sample survey, subject to sampling variability.
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