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Written Ministerial Statements

Wednesday 21 June 2006


Financial Services Authority

The Economic Secretary to the Treasury (Ed Balls): The National Audit Office has been invited to carry out a review of the economy, efficiency and effectiveness with which the Financial Services Authority has used its resources, when discharging its statutory functions. This review will be the first to be carried out under section 12 of the Financial Services and Markets Act—the Act that established the FSA, five years ago. The NAO will start work in July and the Treasury plans to lay a report before Parliament in the first half of next year.

The topics to be covered by the review—which have been arrived at following consultation with key stakeholders of the FSA—will address five broad areas of the authority's work:

A copy of the terms of reference, given to the NAO, has been placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

Culture, Media and Sport

National Lottery

The Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport (Tessa Jowell): As indicated in the Department for Culture, Media and Sport's five-year plan, which was deposited in the House Library on 17 March 2005, we undertook a public consultation between 25 November 2005 and 28 February 2006 about lottery funding for the good causes of arts and film, heritage and sport after 2009, and I am now announcing the outcome and my decision on future arrangements.

The public told us: there is overwhelming support for what lottery money is used for in the arts and film, heritage and sport; there is very strong support for the existing share balance; and people believe very strongly that each cause is important and want stability and continuity.

So I am delighted to announce my decision, which is that I will retain the current lottery shares for arts, sport and heritage for ten years from 2009 to 2019.

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The Olympic funding package will remain: £750 million from new lottery games and £410 million from existing causes after 2009.

We have concluded that there is no case for changing the current, population based, arrangement for lottery funding for arts and sport between the home countries.

The UK Film Council will in future take on all film funding from Arts Council England and I will present a statutory instrument to Parliament to make a small adjustment to the percentage shares to reflect the present level of expenditure on capital grants for film of £3 million a year.

Cabinet Office

National Archives

The Minister for the Cabinet Office (Hilary Armstrong): I am today announcing, with my right hon. Friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State in the Department for Constitutional Affairs (Baroness Ashton), that as a result of joint work between the Department for Constitutional Affairs and the Cabinet Office, the National Archives and the Office of Public Sector Information will merge, under the joint name of the National Archives. This merger will take effect in October 2006.

The National Archives already plays a critical role in managing the UK’s public records and archive management UK-wide. The Office of Public Sector Information (incorporating Her Majesty's Stationery Office) leads the management of Crown copyright, regulates the re-use of public sector information and, through its HMSO function, has responsibility for legislation and official publishing. This merger therefore presents opportunities to reinforce the growing links between our respective strands of information policy and advisory functions, whilst building on our specialist skills and expertise to provide a joined-up approach to information management and therefore benefit all who work in the information field.


Food Standards Agency

The Minister of State, Department of Health (Caroline Flint): The Food Standards Agency’s annual report 2005-06 was laid before Parliament today. Copies have been placed in the Library.

Home Department

Race for Justice Taskforce Report

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department (Mr. Gerry Sutcliffe): Today the Government are announcing the publication of the “Race for Justice Taskforce Report”. The taskforce was set up by the Attorney-General in response to one of the specific recommendations made in a report of the Gus John Partnership in 2003 entitled “Race for Justice”. That report recommended establishing a
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holistic approach across the criminal justice system to the handling of racist and religious crimes.

The “Race for Justice Taskforce Report” sets out a range of recommendations which aim to improve the handling, investigation and prosecution of racist and religious crime.

The Office for Criminal Justice Reform has produced a cross-agency action plan and will establish a delivery
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board to take forward the recommendations of the “Race for Justice Taskforce Report”.

We believe that through a more joined-up approach to handling these crimes, we can increase the trust and confidence of people from black and minority ethnic communities in the criminal justice system.

Both the “Race for Justice Taskforce Report” and the original report by Professor Gus John have been placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

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