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Ms Harman: The Government's current consultation paper on the proposed co-ordinated online record of electors (CORE) seeks views on who should have access to information held by CORE and for what purposes that access should be granted.
Policy will be settled in the light of responses to that consultation. However, the Government's current feeling is that access to data in CORE should match existing regulations governing entitlement to copies of the full version of electoral registers held locally. As an Executive agency of a Government Department, the VOA would accordingly be entitled to access, but only for prescribed purposes.
Mr. George Howarth: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what guidance her Department has issued on the publication under the Data Protection Act 1998 by local government officers of private e-mails relating to council business of a sensitive nature between elected councillors and other local government officers. 
Bridget Prentice: The Data Protection Act 1998 covers personal data on living individuals. The Freedom of Information Act 2000, which covers all recorded information, allows individuals to request such information from public authorities covered by the Act subject to a variety of exemptions. The Department for Constitutional Affairs has not issued guidance on the publication of such e-mails under either Act.
Mr. Salmond: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what the (a) salary bill was and (b) administrative costs were for her Department in (i) each (A) nation and (B) region of the UK and (ii) London in 200405. 
The administration budgets regime overseen by the Treasury relates to Whitehall departments only. The Department does not monitor national, regional or London administration costs separately and it is a matter for the Devolved Administrations how they control their own administration costs.
Mr. MacNeil: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what the total value is of (a) catering and (b) entertainment contracts let by her Department; and what value of such contracts has been let in each nation and region of the UK, including London. 
Ms Harman: My Department holds a number of catering contracts mainly to provide services to jurors, others using the courts and staff. Those contracts also provide for refreshments at official meetings and working lunches. The Department does not hold any separate entertainment contracts.
The total paid to contractors to date for the period January to December 2005 is £1,795,509. Of that total £1,409,176 was to subsidise mainstream catering services and £386,333 was expended on refreshments for officially hosted events, meetings and working lunches. This is broken down by regions in the following table:
|North and North Wales||268,471||||268,471|
|Midlands and South Wales||199,843||3,274||203,117|
|South East and Western||479,046||4,500||483,546|
Mr. Weir: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs if she will list the public relations companies that have had contracts with (a) her Department, (b) each (i) non-departmental public body and (ii) executive agency for which her Department is responsible and (c) independent statutory bodies, organisations and bodies financially sponsored by her Department and other such organisations since May 1997. 
Mr. Weir: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs how much was spent on advertising by (a) her Department, (b) each (i) non-departmental public body and (ii) Executive agency for which her Department is responsible and (c) each independent statutory body, organisation and body financially sponsored by her Department in each year since May 1997. 
Ms Harman: Since its inception in June 2003 my Department, the Department for Constitutional Affairs, has conducted seven media advertising campaigns: a regional poster campaign on buses to promote recruitment to the lay magistracy, radio and press adverts to target court fine defaulters (under the title Operation Payback), press adverts to promote postal voting fraud prevention, and a press, radio and poster campaign to promote recruitment to the lay magistracy.
|Project||Expenditure on advertising|
|Operation Payback (Phase 1)||230,000|
|Operation Payback (Phase 2)||292,000|
|Operation Payback (Phase 3)||263,082|
Norman Lamb: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs how many widescreen televisions have been purchased by her Department for use in London headquarters in each of the last five years; and what the cost was in each year. 
This answer relates solely to the Department for Constitutional Affairs, HQ Estate and not to Her Majesty's Court Service, related agencies or NDPBs as to gather this information would incur a disproportionate cost.
Mr. Weir: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what the value was of (a) public opinion research and (b) public relations contracts awarded by her Department in 200405 in (i) each (A) nation and (B) region of the UK and (ii)London. 
Ms Harman: The value (to the nearest £000, excluding VAT) of public opinion research contracts covering the United Kingdom as a whole was £280,000; covering England and Wales £998,000; covering areas of England £40,000; and covering South West England £26,000; no contracts were awarded for public relations.
Danny Alexander: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs whether she will make a statement on the initial activity undertaken by the Department in response to those recommendations in the Prime Minister's Strategy Unit Report Improving the Life Chances of Disabled People where lead responsibility was assigned to all Government departments. 
Ms Harman: This Department has responded positively to the recommendations of the Prime Minister's Strategy Unit Report; for example, work has commenced on the Disability Equality Scheme, which will be completed by the end of December 2006. There was initial input from disabled members of the judiciary, members of staff and users of the Department's services. There will be further reviews of the Scheme by people with disabilities before the final publication. The document will detail the Department's promotion of disability issues internally, accessibility to buildings, communication, procurement, recruitment, and the support to members of the judiciary with disabilities.
The Office for Disability Issues (ODI) will also report annually to the Prime Minister on cross-government progress in implementing the Strategy Unit report,
9 Jan 2006 : Column 235W
Improving the Life Chances of Disabled People". The first report is due to be published by summer 2006. It will contain an assessment of the initial activity undertaken by the ODI to fulfil its specific responsibilities, which require the active involvement of other Government Departments. It will also include an assessment of the initial activity undertaken by the Department for Constitutional Affairs and other Government Departments to fulfil the responsibilities they have outside of the ODI remit.
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