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Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs which of the provisions introduced in the Electoral Administration Act 2006 will not be implemented before May 2007. 
Bridget Prentice: The Government intend all provisions introduced in the Electoral Administration Act 2006 will be implemented before May 2007, with the exception of section 10, concerning anonymous registration, which we intend to commence in June 2007.
Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs how many freedom of information (FOI) requests were under consideration at the FOI clearing house as of 9 October 2006, broken down by Government department. 
Vera Baird: As of the 9 October 2006, the Clearing House had under consideration 338 FOI requests referred to it by central Government departments. The breakdown by Government department is detailed as follows:
Department for Constitutional Affairs21
Department for Culture, Media and Sport20
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs10
Department for Education and Skills2
Department for International Development1
Department for Transport3
Department of Health20
Department of Trade and Industry15
Department for Work and Pensions4
Foreign and Commonwealth Office38
Her Majestys Treasury33
Ministry of Defence29
Northern Ireland Office6
Department for Communities and Local Government19
Office of National Statistics1
Her Majestys Revenue and Customs5
Export Credits Guarantee Department1
Crown Prosecution Service1
The National Archives11
Mr. Dai Davies:
To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs whether her Department has collected statistics on the number of freedom of information requests turned down by
(a) Departments and (b) non-departmental public bodies on the grounds that the request was considered to be vexatious. 
Vera Baird: On 22 May 2006, the DCA published the First Annual Report on the Freedom of Information Act 2000. The report includes detailed statistics on the number of freedom of information requests refused on the grounds that the request was vexatious by Departments of state and by other central Government bodies monitored by DCA.
Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs pursuant to the report on the Freedom of Information Act 2000, Statistics on Implementation in Central Government, Second Quarter 2006, April to June, what assessment has been made of the reasons for the changes in the number of freedom of information requests made to departments. 
Vera Baird: There were 4,293 requests made to Departments of State under the Freedom of Information Act during the second quarter of the 2006 calendar year. This represents a fall of 623 from the first quarter of the year, but an increase of 465 compared to same quarter of 2005.
There appears to be a slight increase in the underlying trend in Department of State request numbers. However, it is too early to be precise on this point, because year-on-year comparisons may be distorted by seasonal variations and atypical periods of activity.
Ian Lucas: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs how much has been paid in relation to family law cases by the Legal Services Commission in the last five years in respect of (a) solicitors' profit costs, (b) barristers' fees and (c) experts' fees. 
Mr. Llwyd: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs how many firms of solicitors in England and Wales undertake Legal Services Commission funded work in family law; and how many undertook such work in 1997. 
Vera Baird: The Legal Services Commission holds data on the number of solicitors' offices with legal help contracts, as each office requires a separate contract. For example a single firm might have five offices and that would be recorded as five contracts.
The number of offices with active legal help contracts in family as at 31 March 2006 (which are the latest data available) was 2,881, with a further 227 classified as Licence Only. Some of this latter group will be paid for certificated family work. This gives a total of 3,108.
The figures show a drop in the number of such offices of some two-thirds since 1997-98. The majority of those that stopped undertaking family work were not full-time specialists. In particular, the introduction of civil contracting in 2000 was intended to ensure that only the best quality specialists did the work.
The continuing decline in numbers since then has been caused by the introduction of more rigorous quality assurance procedures, which have removed those service providers who are failing to deliver quality legal services.
Mr. Amess: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs when she expects the Mental Capacity Act 2005 code of practice to be laid before Parliament for approval; and if she will make a statement. 
Vera Baird: A public consultation on the draft code of practice ran from 9 March 2006 to 2 June 2006 and the response to consultation was published on 29 September 2006. The draft code is currently being revised to take into account the comments received during the consultation process. The revised code is expected to be laid before Parliament by the end of the year.
Mr. Betts: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs how many seats were contested at the (a) last General Election and (b) 2005 local elections by (i) the British National Party, (ii) the UK Independence Party and (iii) both parties. 
A full breakdown of the General Election 2005 results can be found in the publication Election 2005The Official Results, compiled by Colin Railings and Michael Thrasher, on behalf of the Electoral Commission, which indicates that 119 BNP candidates stood at the 2005 General Election.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs which documents which were previously subject to extended 100-year closure under the provisions of section 5(1) of the Public Records Act 1958 were released by the National Archives (a) during the past six months and (b) before the documents were 100 years old. 
Mr. Amess: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what criteria the Law Commission uses to select subjects for proposed Statute Law Repeal Bills; what consultation is undertaken by the Law Commission prior to the introduction of a Statute Law Repeals Bill; how (a) hon. Members and (b) members of the public may suggest issues for repeal; and if she will make a statement. 
Vera Baird: Statute Law (Repeals) Bills remove obsolete legislation from the statute book. The Law Commission uses several criteria to select subjects for these Bills. These include an evaluation of the benefit of the repeals proposed as against the resources available to research and finalise those repeals. Other criteria include the size and complexity of the subject, the relative importance of the proposals, the likelihood of support from interested parties and whether the subject is appropriate for inclusion in a Statute Law (Repeals) Bill.
The Law Commission consults on all its Statute Law Repeal proposals. The consultation is with any person, organisation or Department who appears to have an interest in the proposals. Only if there is general support for the proposals are they included in the next Statute Law (Repeals) Bill. All the proposals are available on the Law Commission's website.
Any person may suggest possible repeals by contacting the Law Commission on its website at www.lawcom.gov.uk or by writing to the chief executive at the Law Commission, Conquest House, 37-38 John Street, Theobalds Road, London WC1N 2BQ.
There is no annual budget set for Urgent Operational Requirements (UORs).
Expenditure is based on the urgent, operational need to address capability requirements that arise in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Paul Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence which items of military equipment have been forwarded to Afghanistan in the last six months intended for use in (a) defence of British troops and (b) offensive operations; and what the cost was of each item. 
Mr. Ingram [holding answer 16 October 2006]: For operational security reasons, it is not policy to disclose detailed information on specific military equipment employed on particular operations. The particular information requested is not in any event held centrally and, in addition, no distinction is made between equipments used for defensive and offensive purposes.
Mr. Ingram: As at 1 October 2006, 39 Apache Attack Helicopters were available for service and 13 airframes were undergoing maintenance. Figures are not held centrally for the number of aircraft cannibalised. The Apache Attack Helicopter Mark 1 fleet is still in the process of being brought into front-line service.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what efficiency savings his Department made in 2005-06; what savings are anticipated for (a) 2006-07 and (b) 2007-08; what the targets were for each of these years; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Ingram: The Ministry of Defence has a target of £2.8 billion of annual efficiency gains by the end of the three-year Spending Review 2004 period. Details of progress towards this target are published in the MOD annual report and accounts 2005-06.
Mr. Ingram: The return of the CH47 to the Falklands remains under review in the context of wider Defence commitments and the higher priority currently attached to its tasking elsewhere. In the meantime, the continuing heavy lift capability and transport needs in the Falklands will be delivered by other means.
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