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Mr. McFadden: In common with many other responsible large employers, the civil service acknowledges the real benefits to the health and welfare of its staff of the provision of sport and recreational activities. The Cabinet Office has made a grant to the Civil Service Sports Council of £1,332,211 for each of the last three years on behalf of the entire civil service, currently numbering in excess of 500,000 civil servants. This grant enables the provision of sports facilities at local, regional, national and departmental level. The grant has remained the same since 1994.
Edward Miliband: All UK legislation can be accessed free of charge online on the Office of Public Sector Information website at www.opsi.gov.uk. Legislation is subject to Crown Copyright protection but can be reproduced free of charge and without requiring any prior approval or formal licensing. Crown Copyright protects the integrity of official material and ensures that it is not misused.
Harry Cohen: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if her Department will (a) carry out an age audit of its staff to establish an age profile of its workforce, (b) negotiate an age management policy with trade unions and employees to eliminate age discrimination and retain older workers, (c) identify and support training needs and offer older staff flexible working to downshift towards retirement and (d) extend to over-fifties the right to request to work flexibly and the right to training with paid time off; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. McFadden: The Cabinet Office is committed to a diverse and professional work force that is provided with opportunities for personal growth and for acquiring the skills and competences essential for timely and effective delivery of the Departments business. Its policies actively promote equality of opportunity for all employees irrespective of age.
In implementing the Employment Equality (Age) Legislation 2006 Cabinet Office carried out an age audit and, with the support of the union, introduced an age management policy that takes account of the legislation and pension scheme provisions. Cabinet Office policies on training, paid time off and working flexibly are available to all employees irrespective of age.
This information is not held centrally. Individual Departments are responsible for making appointments to their own public bodies. Information on the public appointments held by
former Ministers who served in the Government since May 1997 for Cabinet Office bodies is shown in the following table. The three main political parties may
nominate one person to serve on two of the bodies listed: the Committee on Standards in Public Life and the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments.
Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what proportion of (a) Government, including health service, and (b) local government contracts for the provision of services by voluntary organisations have met her target that full cost recovery be achieved by April; what revised target date she has set for its achievement; and what steps she is taking to ensure that the target is met. 
Funders should recognise that it is legitimate for providers to include the relevant element of overheads in their cost estimates for providing a given service under service agreement or contract.
The associated recommended action was that by April 2006, all Departments and agencies should recognise that it is legitimate for organisations to include relevant elements of overheads when seeking funding or bidding for contracts. Her Majestys Treasurys Invest to Save programme now reflects full cost recovery in its bidding rounds; the Department of Healths third sector commissioning taskforce report emphasises the importance of reflecting the full cost of services in grants and contracts, and as set out in the Local Government White Paper, the Department of Communities and Local Government is working with local authorities to ensure relevant Compact principles (including full cost recovery) are reflected in local government finance codes.
The principle of full cost recovery and funding of legitimate overheads is reinforced in Improving Financial Relationship with the third sector: Guidance to Funders and Purchasers published jointly by Her Majestys Treasury, the Cabinet Office, The Office for Government Commerce and the National Audit Office on 15 May 2006.
We recognise there is further to go in ensuring that full cost recovery is fully implemented in practice. Further details of the Governments work in this area will be set out in the Office of the Third Sectors Public Service Delivery Action Plan later this year. In addition, the independent Commissioner for the Compact will champion implementation of the Compact principles at all levels, national, regional and local, including those relating to sound funding and procurement practice.
Harry Cohen: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs if her Department will (a) carry out an age audit of its staff to establish an age profile of its workforce, (b) negotiate an age management policy with trade unions and employees to eliminate age discrimination and retain older workers, (c) identify and support training needs and offer older staff flexible working to downshift towards retirement and (d) extend to over-fifties the right to request to work flexibly and the right to training with paid time off; and if she will make a statement. 
The Department for Constitutional Affairs Equality and Diversity Policy forbids age discrimination and prior to 1 October 2006 all our polices and procedures were reviewed to ensure they were not age discriminatory. On 1 April 2005 a corporate retirement policy was introduced with a normal retirement age of 65 for all staff along with the right to ask to continue working beyond the age of 65. These changes were discussed with the departmental trade union side.
All employees within my Department are regularly encouraged to upgrade their skills and knowledge. Pre-retirement training is part of a standard prospectus open to all staff. Under my Department's flexible working policy, in addition to the statutory provision, all DCA employees regardless of their length of service have the right to apply for flexible working. Employees may make an application whenever their circumstances require. Any reasonable request will be considered.
My Department published the draft Tribunals Courts and Enforcement Bill on 25 July 2006, which proposes an improved regulatory regime for all private sector bailiffs. The Government's long-term intention is to introduce full-scale regulation of the entire bailiff industry by way of an independent statutory regulatory body.
Mark Durkan: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs how many coroners' cases in Northern Ireland are open but not complete; and in how many such cases the deceased is from Foyle constituency. 
Vera Baird: At 25 October 2006 there were 1,305 outstanding cases in Northern Ireland. Of these, 108 cases are awaiting an inquest. It is not possible for the coroners to reach a decision on the remainder of cases until they are in possession of the necessary information such as a post mortem report, police statement or the outcome of a pending prosecution.
Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs how many redundancies there were in her Department in each year since 1997; what the cost of such redundancies was in each year; how many temporary staff were employed in each year; and how many staff were seconded by outside organisations to posts within her Department in each year. 
My Department is committed to making every effort to avoid compulsory redundancies in line with the Efficiency and Relocation Support Programme developed by the Cabinet Office. Policies in place to achieve this include reviewing the use of
agency staff and consultants, a redeployment register for surplus staff, looking to make savings through natural wastage, and voluntary redundancy schemes.
|Early Retirement||Early Severance|
(c) The number of temporary staff (i.e. those on short-term contracts) in each year that records are available is set out in the following table. These figures are as at 1st April for each year and appear on the Cabinet Office website:
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