Sir Stuart Bell: The Church of England does not hold figures centrally for pipe organs in its cathedrals and churches. However, there are some 28,000 pipe organs registered in the UK (National Pipe Organ Register).
The Solicitor-General: Pay and performance management for all Senior Civil Service (SCS) staff within my Departments is based on a framework set by the Cabinet Office. As at 31 December 2005 the numbers involved were:
|Crown Prosecution Service||27|
|HM Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate||3|
|Revenue and Customs Prosecutions Office||8|
|Treasury Solicitor's Office||35|
|Serious Fraud Office||11|
Pay and performance management outside the Senior Civil Service is delegated to individual Departments and Agencies. All my Departments maintain systems which have a link between pay and performance; and some of the Departments run Special Bonus Schemes to provide a speedy recognition of exceptional performance by an individual or team. The numbers of staff below the SCS as at 31 December 2005 was as follows:
|Crown Prosecution Service||8,111|
|Revenue and Customs Prosecutions Office||230|
|Serious Fraud Office||242|
|HM Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate||43|
|Treasury Solicitor's Office||623|
The Solicitor-General: The Crown Prosecution Service does not routinely ascertain the total cost of bringing prosecutions in individual cases. No assessment has been made of the cost of bringing this prosecution.
The Solicitor-General: I have not made an assessment of the costs to the Crown Prosecution Service in bringing the prosecution against Michael McCartney. The Crown Prosecution Service does not routinely assess the costs of bringing individual cases and no assessment has been made of the cost of bringing the prosecution in this case.
The decision to prosecute in this case was made following a review of the available evidence in accordance with the Code for Crown Prosecutors. The cost of bringing a case is not a factor that is taken into account in making decisions on whether to prosecute.
Ben Chapman: To ask the Solicitor-General if he will instruct the Chief Inspector of the Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate to investigate the conduct of the Crown Prosecution Service in the trial of Michael McCartney. 
The Solicitor-General: I have received a report from the Crown Prosecution Service concerning this case. It discloses no reason to invite Her Majesty's Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate to investigate the conduct of this case by the Crown Prosecution Service.
The Serious Fraud Office has undertaken a major investigation into a suspected conspiracy to defraud the NHS in relation to prices charged by suppliers for prescribed drugs between 1 January 1996 and 31 December 2000. The case is complex, involving a number of individuals and companies, and has taken a significant amount of time to investigate.
30 Mar 2006 : Column 1091W
|Financial year||Expenditure (£)|
|2005 (year to date)||4,420,317|
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what steps (a) the Government and (b) local authorities take to prevent electoral fraud relating to votes by (i) post, (ii) proxy and (iii) polling stations in the names of deceased persons. 
Bridget Prentice: A person will be guilty of the offence of personation if they vote in the name of a deceased person, either by post or in person at a polling station or as a proxy. Individual Returning Officers are responsible for ensuring that elections are conducted in accordance with the requirements of electoral law. The presiding officer at a polling station, acting under the direction of the Returning Officer, may ask a person applying for a ballot paper if they are the person registered in the electoral register for the election, or in the case of a person applying as a proxy, if they are the person whose name appears in the list of proxies for the election, if it is suspected that the voter is attempting to vote in the name of a deceased person. A ballot paper shall not be given to any person required to answer either of the above questions unless they have answered them satisfactorily.
The Representation of the People (England and Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2006 contain a range of measures that improve the security of postal voting and will be in force at the May 2006 local elections. The following provisions will help to prevent attempts by persons to vote by post in the name of a deceased person.
The Electoral Administration Bill currently before Parliament contains a number of measures that address electoral fraud, including attempts by persons to vote in the names of deceased persons. The measures include the following.
30 Mar 2006 : Column 1092W
Bridget Prentice: None. The Prime Minister has announced that Sir Hayden Phillips will conduct a review of the funding of political parties. The terms of reference are to conduct a review of the funding of political parties. In particular:
Sir Hayden Phillips will work closely with stakeholders including, especially, the political parties and the Electoral Commission. He has been asked to aim to produce recommendations which are as much as possible agreed between the political parties with a view to legislation as soon as parliamentary time allows.
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