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Mr. Dodds: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs how much legal aid was paid to (a) solicitors, (b) junior counsel and (c) senior counsel in each year in Northern Ireland since 2000. 
Bridget Prentice: The amount of criminal legal aid paid since the financial year 200001 is set out in the table:
The amount of civil legal aid paid since the financial year 200001 is set out as follows:
Mr. Heald: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what plans the Government have to amend the electoral system for the (a) London Assembly and (b) Scottish Parliament to prevent party list candidates also running for constituency seats. 
Ms Harman: An internal review of the experiences of the new UK voting systems introduced for the devolved Administrations, the European Parliament and London Assembly elections is being conducted by officials within my Department. It is at an early stage, and any decisions regarding the next steps for the review will be taken in due course.
With regards to the Scottish Parliament, the Secretary of State for Scotland, my right hon. Friend the Member for Edinburgh, South-West (Mr. Darling), set up the Commission on Boundary Differences and Voting Systems in July 2004 under the chairmanship of Professor Sir John Arbuthnott. The Commission has been asked to report by December 2005.
Mr. Greenway: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs if she will make a statement on the arrangements for postal voting. 
Ms Harman: We will improve the security of the postal voting process and are currently consulting on proposals.
Mr. Heald: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs whether the Department will accept applications for all-postal voting pilots from local authorities in (a) forthcoming by-elections and (b) the 2005 local elections. 
Ms Harman: I refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave on 15 June 2005, Official Report, column 464W. This answer also applies to any pilot applications received from local authorities for by-elections.
Mr. Djanogly: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what assessment she has made of the cost efficiency of the public defender scheme. 
Bridget Prentice: : The Public Defender Service (PDS) has been undergoing continuous independent research and assessment since its inception. A full evaluation of the PDS pilot, including a full assessment of the cost efficiency of the scheme in comparison to private criminal defence practitioners, is due to be published in autumn 2005.
Mr. Djanogly: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs if she will make a statement on progress of the public defender pilots. 
Bridget Prentice: The Public Defender Service (PDS) has been undergoing continuous independent assessment since its inception in 2001.
An interim research report published in 2004 assessed the PDS as performing better than private criminal defence practitioners in terms of the overall level of service provided and results achieved at police stations. In addition, more than 97 per cent. of PDS clients surveyed were satisfied with the service they received and 98 per cent. were happy to recommend the PDS to a friend.
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A final evaluation of the PDS pilot is due to be published in autumn 2005.
Mr. Djanogly: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs how many defendants are being represented by public defenders in each area where pilots are taking place; and what plans she has to extend the scheme to other areas of the country. 
Bridget Prentice: Data collection under the PDS does not specifically record the numbers of defendants helped, but rather the number of matter starts." Each matter start" refers to an act of help given by a PDS representative. The nature of the help can vary from advice and assistance at the police station to representation before the courts. On this basis, the number of matters started at each PDS office during 200405 is set out as follows:
At present any further expansion of the scheme is subject to the final evaluation of the PDS pilot, due to be published in autumn 2005. These findings will determine the future of the Public Defender Service.
Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs how many cases of work-related stress have been reported in her Department in each of the last three years; how much compensation was paid to employees in each year; how many work days were lost due to work-related stress in each year; at what cost; what procedures have been put in place to reduce work-related stress; at what cost; and if she will make a statement. 
Bridget Prentice: Detailed sick absence statistics are derived from medical and self-certificates, which are completed by staff or their GPs. While certain illnesses, such as depression", anxiety", general debility" and even stress" may be indicated on certificates, it is not possible to determine levels of work-related stress". Consequently, we have no details on the number of working days lost due to work-related stress or the cost to the Department.
Over the last year the Department has introduced a stress at work policy and a managers' toolkit to ensure that the policy is used effectively and at appropriate times. The Department has also introduced a stress helpline as part of its internal occupational welfare provision and enhanced its two existing courses for managers and individuals on managing stress in the workplace. All these new initiatives are based on best practice and on the Stress Management Standards issued by the Health and Safety Executive last year. It is
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not possible to estimate the costs associated with these activities since they were not accounted for separately. Similarly, we have no records of costs associated with compensation for work-related stress.
6. John Barrett: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what assessment he has made of the impact of the Government's aviation policy in Scotland. 
Mr. Darling: We continue to work closely with the Scottish Executive on all aspects of policies from the Air Transport White Paper.
7. Jo Swinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what recent discussions he has had with his ministerial colleagues about the future of post offices in Scotland; and if he will make a statement. 
David Cairns: My right hon. Friend and I regularly meet with ministerial colleagues and discuss a range of issues.
8. Mr. MacNeil: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what discussions he has held with the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Scottish Executive on off-shoring tax arrangements for crew of Caledonian MacBrayne. 
Mr. Darling: I regularly meet my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer and Scottish Executive Ministers to discuss a wide range of issues.
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