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Ms Harman: Information on fines imposed and collected is provided by the 42 HMCS Areas in England and Wales. The table shows the total amounts collected and the payment rate in Staffordshire for the last five financial years:
|Financial year||Collections (£)||Payment Rate (percentage)|
Prior to April 2003, confiscation order and civil amounts were also included in enforcement data in addition to fines, and direct comparisons with previous years are not therefore possible. The payment rate for 200405 demonstrates the improvement in performance in relation to the enforcement of fines made since the beginning of 200304.
The Department for Constitutional Affairs has a mentoring scheme for staff which has been in operation since March 2003. The scheme is open to all
14 Nov 2005 : Column 1001W
staff on a voluntary basis, so no mentors are specifically identified or trained, although staff are encouraged to participate.
The Secretary of State and Lord Chancellor announced on 2 November that a pilot judicial mentoring scheme will be established in the north-east, where circuit judges will mentor district judges who want to apply for a more senior judicial post. My Department is working with the judiciary to decide an appropriate number of mentor judges to participate in the mentoring pilot and to receive appropriate training.
Mr. Heald: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what the timetable is for the introduction of the order to amend parliamentary boundaries in Wales; and whether the revised boundaries will be in operation for the forthcoming Welsh Assembly elections. 
Ms Harman: The Boundary Commission for Wales submitted its report on Welsh parliamentary boundaries to the Government in January this year. We hope to lay the report and associated order before Parliament by the end of the year. The revised boundaries will come into force for 2007 Welsh Assembly elections.
Mr. Heald: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs pursuant to the answer of 2 November 2005, Official Report, column 1168W, on policy development grant, whether the Government plan to change the audit requirements for policy development grant to reflect its decision to treat and report the grant as a donation. 
Ms Harman: Part IV of the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 specifies the controls on donations to registered political parties and their members. It imposes restrictions on the sources of donations so as to prohibit foreign and anonymous donations to political parties and make registered parties subject to reporting requirements in respect of donations above a certain value. The Act also provides that the Electoral Commission regulate the system. They secure compliance by regulated parties, provide advice, guidance and assistance to individuals and regulated bodies.
Mr. Heald: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs if she will designate the English Regional Chambers as public authorities for the purposes of the Freedom of Information Act 2000. 
The English Regional Chambers are not listed in schedule 1 to the Act and are not publicly owned companies. No organisation has yet been designated by order under section 5 of the Act. The chambers are therefore not covered by the Act. They do not meet the conditions specified in section 4 of the Act and therefore cannot be added to schedule 1. The only way that they can be brought under the Act is by being designated by order under section 5 as a public authority for the purposes of the Act.
The scope of the power in section 5 is very wide ranging, enabling the designation of bodies that appear to the Secretary of State to be exercising functions of a public nature and those that are providing under contract with a public authority services whose provision is a function of that authority.
We are currently building up evidence of how freedom of information has impacted on the bodies that meet the existing criteria as specified in sections 4 and 6 of the Act. We feel that it is important to gain such evidence to inform consideration of how section 5 might be used.
Mr. Heald: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what guidelines she has issued to (a) Network Rail, (b) the Association of Train Operating Companies, (c) individual train operating companies, (d) the Office of Rail Regulation, (e) the Health and Safety Executive, (f) the Strategic Rail Authority, (g) the Rail Passengers Council, (h) the passenger transport authorities, (i) the International Rail Regulator, (j) the Channel Tunnel Safety Authority, (k) Rail Safety and Standards Board, (l) the Rail Accident Investigation Branch and (m) the Health and Safety Commission's Railway Industry Advisory Committee on whether they are public authorities for the purposes of the Freedom of Information Act 2000. 
Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what steps the Government are taking to increase voter turnout in the next (a) local and (b) general elections. 
Ms Harman: Tacking low turnout at elections is a complex issue and one we cannot deal with through legislation alone. However, some of the measures in the Electoral Administration Billparticularly giving returning officers the power to promote elections and providing funding for them to do so, and also enabling people to register after an election has been calledshould help to improve turnout. These measures will apply to all elections.
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