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Central Office of Information

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster for what reasons the Central Office of Information holds framework agreements with companies allowing contracts to be awarded without prior notification in the Official Journal of the European Union; and what assessment he has made of the cost-effectiveness of this approach. [31904]

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Mr. Jim Murphy: The Central Office of Information (COI) sets up framework agreements with companies in a manner fully compliant with the procurement rules of the European Union. The framework agreements are advertised in the Official Journal of the European Journal and are refreshed on a regular basis.

Framework agreements are set up because:

Government Services (Online Access)

Martin Horwood: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what proportion of Government services have been accessible online in each year since 1998. [32778]

Mr. Jim Murphy: The Modernising Government White Paper published in March 1999 proposed a target date of 2008 by which all Government services to the citizen and to business should be available online. My right hon. Friend, the Prime Minister, announced on 30 March 2000 that the target date had been advanced from 2008 to 2005.

Figures for the proportion of Government services accessible online are not available prior to 2000, but for the years up to and including 2004, they are shown in the table.
Percentage of services
reported accessible online

At the end of 2004 we also reported that 96 per cent. of services are expected to be online by the March 2006, when the public service agreement target expires.

Race Equality Impact Assessments

Keith Vaz: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster how many Race Equality Impact Assessments his Department completed between (a) April 2004 and March 2005 and (b) April 2005 and November 2005; and how many assessments in each period resulted in a change of policy. [32826]

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Mr. Jim Murphy: The Cabinet does not legislate in high volumes.

Nevertheless, all management units in the Department are required to assess their functions and policies annually for their impact on the promotion of race equality, to introduce any necessary amendment and to report the results of their assessments to Human Resources. Units allocate a level of high, medium or low impact to each function and policy and those with a high impact are reviewed annually, medium—bi-annually, and low—every three years. Any new functions or policies are also assessed in advance of being put in place.

The majority of the assessments have been of internal departmental functions and policies. However, units would have assessed the general impact on race equality for any recommendations they might make to Departments on service delivery. It would then be the responsibility of those Departments delivering the service to ensure a comprehensive race equality impact assessment being made prior to any recommendation implementation.

Between April 2004 to March 2005, 102 assessments were undertaken of Cabinet Office functions and policies. Of this total 18 were of high category. As a result of these assessments, 17 changes to functions and policies are being developed or implemented. The Cabinet Office will shortly be publishing a revised Race Equality Scheme which will include details of all assessments over the past three years and actions being taken. Copies will be placed in the Library.

Assessments undertaken between April 2005 and March 2006 will be reported to Human Resources in early 2006 and published later next year.

Sir Christopher Meyer

Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster who was responsible for vetting Sir Christopher Meyer's recent book and giving the approval for publication; and if he will make a statement. [29403]

Mr. Jim Murphy: I refer my hon. Friend to the response given to him by my right hon. Friend, the Foreign Secretary, on 28 November 2005, Official Report, column 164W.



Mr. David Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many convictions for the sale of alcohol to persons who are intoxicated have been obtained in the force area of North Wales police in each of the last three years for which figures are available. [22976]

Paul Goggins: In the North Wales police force area, there have been no convictions in years 2001 to 2003 for the offence of licence holders selling or supplying liquor to a drunken person.
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Court statistics for 2005 will be available in autumn 2006.

Alcohol-related Violence

Ed Balls: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how much his Department has spent to ensure that police officers have the powers and resources needed to deal with alcohol-related violence and disorder in (a) West Yorkshire and (b) Normanton constituency. [31562]

Paul Goggins: We have put significant extra resources into the police service in England and Wales. Expenditure on policing supported by Government grant or spent centrally on services for the police has risen by over 39 per cent. or £3 billion between 2000–01 and 2005–06. West Yorkshire police has received its fair share of the available resources.

Allocation of resources between activities and across the force area are operational matters for the chief constable.

Streamlining administrative licensing processes by the police under the Licensing Act 2003 should lead to a saving of up to £15 million annually. The Act gives the police further powers to tackle alcohol related disorder, for example, by allowing temporary or permanent reductions in trading hours. Through the Violent Crime Reduction Bill we are also introducing further powers for the police to help them tackle the problems of alcohol related crime or disorder.

We have also recently announced provision of £2.5 million to boost a range of operations to crack down on alcohol-related disorder; the sale of alcohol to under-18s; and the closure of problem premises using existing powers and the tough new powers available to the police in the Licensing Act 2003. Of this, £350,000 will be provided for Trading Standards. Ten basic command units (BCU) across West Yorkshire will receive a share of the fund, including £25,000 for Wakefield BCU.

Asylum Seekers

Keith Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department which nationality accounted for the highest number of applications for asylum in the last year for which figures are available. [32815]

Mr. McNulty: Information on the top asylum seeking nationalities are available in the annual statistical bulletin Asylum Statistics United Kingdom 2004. Copies of this publication and others relating to general immigration to the UK are available from the Library of the House and from the Home Office Research Development and Statistics Directorate web site at:

Aviation and Maritime Security

Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many (a) males and (b) females have been (i) charged with and (ii) convicted of offences under sections (A) 9, (B) 10, (C) 11 and (D) 12 of the Aviation and Maritime Security Act 1990 in each year since 1993. [29297]

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Paul Goggins: Statistics on the number of persons charged with a crime are not centrally collected.

There are no records of any convictions reported via the Home Office Court Proceedings database for offences under sections, 9, 10, 11 and 12 of the Aviation and Maritime Security Act 1990 in England and Wales, 1993 to 2004.

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