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In the work so far, Departments have decided to close 551 existing websites; I have placed a list in the Library. For those sites not yet closed there will be detailed discussions about the timing and form of migration at departmental level with each of the site
operators and other stakeholders. Website users will be fully informed when changes occur. Where relevant, appropriate redirection will help ensure a seamless transition.
Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what steps have been taken to reduce the number of websites hosted by (a) Government Departments, (b) Executive agencies and (c) non-departmental bodies; and what plans there are for further reductions and consolidation of such websites. 
Mr. McFadden: In the Transformational Government Annual Report (Cm 6970) we said that in the first phase of departmental reviews decisions have already been taken to close 551 websites and that decisions on 374 further sites will be taken in the next six months. Further discussions will take place in order to produce detailed implementation plans, confirm the role of departmental corporate sites, extend the review to Executive agencies and non-departmental public bodies, and encourage further collaboration between Departments. This will be completed by June 2007.
Mr. Gauke: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what percentage of her Departments computer systems use open source software; what percentage of the systems planned to be installed use such software; and whether she plans to increase the use of open source software in her Department. 
Mr. McFadden: Information on the current and future use of open source software in my department, which would be required to calculate percentages against proprietary software, is not held centrally and cannot be collected except at disproportionate cost.
The Cabinet Office follows the Governments Open Source Software (OSS) Policy (Version 2 was published on 28 October 2004), which requires that Government consider OSS solutions alongside proprietary ones in IT procurements, and award contracts on a value for money basis. It does not therefore have plans in place to raise the level of OSS use, but rather will make software procurement decisions on a case-by-case basis.
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what public consultation events (a) have taken place and (b) are planned as part of the policy review working groups; what the (i) date and (ii) location is of each such event; and how many members of the public have attended such events to date. 
Mr. McFadden: A public engagement strand of the policy review has been established, giving a representative group of the population the opportunity to engage in discussing key issues emerging from the public services working group.
Ipsos MORI have been engaged to manage the recruitment process and to organise five regional
citizens forums. They will select a group of 100 people from all walks of life to be representative of the population, based on good practice in market research, achieving a geographical and demographic spread.
The citizens forums will be held in February 2007, feeding into a citizens summit in March. The dates for the individual meetings have yet to be finalised. Approximately 20-25 people will attend each forum.
(9) when the Policy Review working groups on (a) Britain and the World, (b) Environment and Energy, (c) Public Services, (d) the Role of the State and (e) Crime and Security last met; and who attended each meeting; 
(11) which experts have been appointed to work with the Policy Review Working Groups on (a) Britain and the World, (b) Environment and Energy, (c) Public Services, (d) the Role of the State and (e) Crime and Security; 
Mr. McFadden: I refer the hon. Member to the press briefing given by the Prime Minister's official spokesman on 19 October. A transcript of this is available on the No. 10 website (<http://www.pm.gov.uk/output/Page 10244.asp>) and a copy has been placed in the Library of the House.
The aim of the policy review is to identify long-term trends and new challenges and examine how existing
policies need to be changed to continue to meet the country's priorities. The Policy Review process will conclude in spring of 2007. The results will feed into a range of different pieces of government business ranging from the 2007 comprehensive spending review, public service agreement targets, White Papers, the budget and other aspects of government business.
Details of the membership of Policy Review Working Groups and related Cabinet Committee business are also available on the Cabinet Office website (<http://www.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/secretariats/economic_and_domestic/policy_review/index.asp>) and a copy has been placed in the Library of the House. There are no non-ministerial members of the working groups.
Further information about the deliberations of the working groups and the other work strands supporting the policy review, including the citizen's forums, has now been published on the Cabinet Office website (http://www.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/) and a copy has been placed in the Library of the House.
Grant Shapps: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster when the Government plan to implement recommendation 1 of the Fourth Report from the Public Administration Committee 2002-03 titled Government by Appointment: Opening up the Patronage State; and if she will make a statement. 
Grant Shapps: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster how much her Department paid to recruitment agencies for the hire of temporary staff in each year since 1997; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Francois: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster how much was spent on producing the Transformational Government enabled by technology- report; and how much was accounted for by (a) report costs, (b) staff costs and (c) production, copying and distribution of the accompanying DVD. 
The Annual Report communicates the progress so far in the first year of the Transformational Government Strategy. The UK public sector technology portfolio is £12.4 billion a year, operating in over 140 countries with tens of millions of transactions a day, running some of the worlds largest computer systems.
(a) £45,000 on production covering the design, editing, layout and printing of 500 copies of the report
(b) £36,000 in estimated staff time costs of the team of existing Cabinet Office staff who managed the production of the Report; and
(c) £42,000 on the production and copying of the accompanying DVD, including the cost of all filming and the services of a professional editor.
The report and the DVD together help to form the primary communication channel for getting the Transformational Government message out to both central and wider government, as well as the supplier base, the media and the general public.
This will help to communicate effectively the nature of the requirements and the early successes of a major, long-term endeavour across to a wide-range of stakeholders in a very short time. Previous experience with the Transformational Government Strategy, which has been downloaded over 141,000 times since November 2005, shows that downloading the report is likely to be very popular.
Mr. Lancaster: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when he expects the Complaints Manager of Inland Revenue, Salford, to reply to the letter of 5 November 2006 from Mr. Ian McDonald of Olney, Buckinghamshire. 
Annette Brooke: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what factors were taken into account when deciding not to include double glazing in the energy saving products which attract the lower rate of VAT of 5 per cent. 
Dawn Primarolo: The Government carefully considers all representations for changes to the VAT system, and all taxes are kept under review. To date VAT reduced rates have been applied only in respect of goods and services where we consider that a reduction in the rate of VAT is consistent with our EU VAT agreements, and provide the best-targeted and most efficient support for our social objectives, when considered against alternative policy instruments.
Since 1997 the Government have introduced a range of measures to improve the energy efficiency of residential housing, in addition to VAT reduced rates. In the latest pre-Budget report alone, the Chancellor announced further support for the Governments Energy Efficiency Commitment, which requires energy suppliers to achieve energy efficiency targets for the household sector. Other measures and initiatives announced in the pre-Budget report include an examination of new methods for financing energy audits and energy-saving measures; tax measures to support zero-carbon homes, along with an ambition that all new homes will be zero-carbon within a decade; and an extension to the Landlords Energy Saving Allowance.
Richard Younger-Ross: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make a statement on the proposed industrial action by officers at HM Revenue and Customs on 31 January; and if he will extend the deadline for tax returns to be submitted. 
Dawn Primarolo: The Public and Commercial Services (PCS) Union has called a one-day strike on 31 January as part of a discontinuous action. This means the union could also call on members to strike on other days, without holding another ballot. The PCS is also asking members to take action short of a strike. This could include a ban on overtime working after 31 January.
HMRC is committed to keeping as many offices open as possible on 31 January. As they are every year, customers are encouraged to send in their tax returns as early as possible to avoid any last minute rush.
Dr. Tony Wright: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what accounting convention is used for expressing the costs of long-term public expenditure over periods of (a) 20, (b) 30 and (c) 50 years; 
Mr. Timms: The Governments long-term public finance report provides a comprehensive analysis of socio-economic and demographic trends and their potential impact on the public finances over a 50-year period. Spending projections model the demand for public spending based on population structures in future years. Expenditure is projected to occur at the point at which the economic impact is deemed to arise, not at the point of cash flows. The report is based on an accruals measure and is consistent with the way in which outturn information on public spending is presented in the national accounts.
Mr. Timms: Under reforms to the public spending framework introduced in 2000 the UK Government have a statutory obligation to report liabilities in the same way as private companies and the accounts of public sector bodies are subject to independent audit.
Where the public sector has a liability that meets the conditions of FRS12 then the value of that liability, calculated as the discounted value of future cash flows, is shown on the relevant public sector bodys balance sheet.
Dawn Primarolo: HMRC may apply to use certain surveillance powers including intrusive surveillance when tackling serious crime related to ex-Customs and Excise matters. These powers can only be used for investigations into serious crime, and then only where it is necessary and proportionate. The use of intrusive surveillance powers requires the approval of an independent Surveillance Commissioner.
The Serious Crime Bill introduced in the House of Lords on 16 January 2007 includes provisions that would make intrusive surveillance available to HMRC for tackling serious crime related to ex-Inland Revenue matters. There would be no changes to the power itself or the accompanying safeguards for citizensthe same strict legal tests would have to be passed before the power could be used. Under the provisions in the Serious Crime Bill only specifically authorised officers engaged in investigating into serious tax crime can apply to use the power; intrusive surveillance can only be used in certain criminal investigations. It cannot be used by tax inspectors or any other HMRC officer for routine civil compliance work, for example checking tax returns.
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