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Mr. Murphy: The central sponsor for information assurance is responsible for the UK Government strategy for information assurance. It provides a co-ordination role by looking at the work being done across the Government and identifies gaps and overlaps and works to address them.
Mark Pritchard: I am grateful to the Minister for that reply, but is he confident, given that al-Qaeda has admitted to wanting to create aggressive viruses, that our critical energy infrastructure and military and intelligence services systems are fully robust against any aggressive viruses and terrorism?
Mr. Murphy: I know that the hon. Gentleman takes a keen interest in these matters and that, previously, he has rightly and appropriately declared a remunerated directorship of an internet company. I know that he is to meet officials from the Civil Contingencies Secretariat next week to discuss the specific points that he has raised. Such work is being done on a cross-party basis and I think that that is the right way to progress.
Apart from the terrorist threat online that the hon. Gentleman has rightly raised, and without wishing to appear complacent, our current assessment is that the greatest e-enabled threat to our system is from criminal
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gangs operating online. We are taking strenuous steps across government and with the business community to address the real dangers that exist.
Andrew Miller (Ellesmere Port and Neston) (Lab): My hon. Friend will be aware of the work of the Information Assurance Advisory Council. He will be aware also that the national high tech crime unit and others liaise with IAAC on issues related to information security. Does my hon. Friend agree with me that other Government Departments can learn lessons from the private sector? Will he encourage active participation between Government Departments and IAAC, which is chaired by Dame Pauline Neville-Jones?
Mr. Murphy: I know that my hon. Friend takes a real interest in the subject. Indeed, I had the opportunity to discuss these matters with him and his constituents when I visited his constituency last year. He is right to say that Government have much to learn from industry, but the private sector has much to learn from Government. It is not a competition about who has the most to learn from whom. We are in this togetherthe public sector and the private sector. That is why projects such as Get Safe Online are important because they encourage people to take a common-sense approach to their personal finance and to apply that approach to their online existence. There is a great deal going on and we are determined to work with the business community, as my hon. Friend suggests.
Anne Main (St. Albans) (Con): On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. Last week, the Home Secretary made a statement regarding the removal and deportation of foreign nationals. I asked the right hon. Gentleman a specific question, which was whether people who had committed a serious sexual offence were put on the sex offenders register before they were released, which is vital if we are to be confident that the registers can help our local police forces. The right hon. Gentleman replied:
"I assure the hon. Lady that precisely the same procedures on the sex offenders register applied to foreign nationals whom she has described as apply to anybody whom commits a sex offence.[Official Report, 26 April 2006; Vol. 445, c. 588.]
Given the rather alarming news that has appeared in some of our newspapers that the police have no details on their registers, has the Home Secretary made any effort to come to the House to correct any reports on these matters?
Mr. Speaker: The hon. Lady will know that an urgent question was applied for today. She shakes her head, so perhaps she does not know. However, the application was made. It was refused on the ground that the Home Secretary assures me that he will be making a statement tomorrow. Perhaps the hon. Lady should try to pursue her question tomorrow.
Miss Julie Kirkbride (Bromsgrove) (Con): On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. I would be grateful if you were to advise the House on the application of the ministerial code, especially as it applies to Parliamentary Private Secretaries. You might be aware, Mr. Speaker, that the hon. Member for Ealing, North (Stephen Pound), a PPS at the Home Office, has demanded the resignation of a Cabinet Minister,not his boss but the Deputy Prime Minister. Will you tell us, Mr. Speaker, whether the idea of collective responsibility applies to the ministerial code and whether the Member for Ealing, North might be considering his position?
That the order in which proceedings in the Committee of the whole House on the Finance Bill (No. 2) are to be taken shall be: new Clauses relating to the effect of provisions of the Bill on section 18 of the Inheritance Tax Act 1984, Clause 61, Clause 26, Clause 91, Schedule 14, Clause 106 and Clauses 13 to 15.[Dawn Primarolo.]
The Chairman of Ways and Means (Sir Alan Haselhurst): With this it will be convenient to discuss the following: Amendment (c) to the new clause, in line 1, leave out from 'Act' to end of line 4 and insert
'all transfers of value made on or after 22nd March 2006 which would have been exempt under section 18 of the Inheritance Tax Act 1984 (transfers between spouses) if made immediately prior to 22nd March 2006 shall continue to be exempt.'.
'Notwithstanding any provision of this Act, section 18 of the Inheritance Tax Act 1984 (transfers between spouses) shall continue to apply to transfers of value written into trust by will, life assurance policy and lifetime gift to spouses and civil partners for two years until
'Notwithstanding any provision of this Act, all transfers of value made on the death of a person on or after 22nd March 2006 but before 6th April 2008 which would have been exempt under section 18 of the Inheritance Tax Act 1984 (transfers between spouses) if made immediately prior to 22nd March 2006, shall continue to be exempt.'.
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