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Keith Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what recent discussions she has had with the chair of the Commission for Equality and Human Rights on the (a) mandate and (b) involvement of the Commission's Race Equality Group. 
Meg Munn: The Race Equality Group referred to in the question was set up by Ministers to advise them on the establishment of the Commission for Equality and Human Rightsit is not a group of the Commission itself. The group met three times and discussed a variety of issues including the policy agenda of the Commission for Equality and Human Rights and issues of internal governance.
The Secretary of State has now appointed the chair of the Commission for Equality and Human Rights alongside a Board of Commissioners, and the Commission will determine how it wishes to engage with stakeholders. Officials and I have briefed the chair of the Commission for Equality and Human Rights about the group's work to enable the Commission to determine how it wishes to proceed.
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) what obligations householders have to co-operate with requests from the Valuation Office Agency to fill in questionnaires to assist with council tax valuations; 
(2) if she will place in the Library a copy of the questionnaire and covering letter which the Valuation Office Agency has sent to householders in the last 12 months in relation to requesting information to assist with council tax valuations; 
I am today placing in the Library an information note about the Valuation Office Agency's
valuation practices. The Government take the view that this, together with the detailed information on valuation which the VGA has already made available on its website and the additional information which has previously been placed in the Library or otherwise provided in response to a number of questions, constitutes a clear and satisfactory statement of how properties are valued for council tax purposes in England.
Mr. Djanogly: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs if she will take steps to ensure that the qualifications required to vote by post in England, Scotland and Wales are the same as those required in Northern Ireland. 
Through the Electoral Administration Act 2006, as approved by Parliament, we have put in place a range of measures to strengthen the security of postal voting in England, Scotland and Wales, and to ensure postal votes are securely cast and counted.
The Government do not consider there is sufficient justification to make further changes that would restrict the availability of postal voting in England, Scotland and Wales, as is the case in Northern Ireland.
Mr. Djanogly: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs how her Department intends to ensure appropriate checks in the monitoring of the trials into (a) internet and (b) telephone voting to prevent electoral malpractice and fraud. 
Bridget Prentice: The e-voting election systems used in the pilots are subject to rigorous quality assurance assessment by independent experts on behalf of my Department and also to extensive testing by suppliers and local authorities prior to use. All e-voting systems will also include audit processes and records to allow returning officers to have confidence that the numbers of votes cast electronically tallies with those cast.
Mr. Djanogly: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what steps her Department is taking to prevent coercion and intimidation being used in the trials of (a) internet and (b) telephone voting. 
Electors will be using identifiers that are specific to them in order to access the system and, as with a traditional ballot, there will be no receipt that can be shown by the elector to anyone else afterwards to show how an elector has voted.
My Department is also working with local authorities to ensure that there are good links with local police so that any instances of alleged coercion and intimidation can be investigated as in any normal election. Under new powers contained in the Electoral Administration Act 2006 any attempt to unduly influence an elector could result in a custodial sentence or unlimited fine.
Mr. Djanogly: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what steps her Department will take to verify the identification of people voting (a) by mobile telephone and (b) via the internet in the forthcoming trials. 
Bridget Prentice: Electors wishing to vote remotely using via the internet or by phone as part of an election pilot scheme will be required to pre-register to use these voting channels, as they are for postal voting.
Mr. Hayes: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what steps the UK is taking under the Fundamental Rights of Citizenship programme (EU budget code 18 04 06); and if she will make a statement. 
Vera Baird: We expect the decision establishing the Fundamental Rights and Citizenship programme 2007-13 formally to be adopted at the Justice and Home Affairs Council of 19-20 April 2007. Once the decision comes into force, the European Commission will propose an Annual Work programme determining the thematic areas to pursue.
Anne Main: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what her most recent estimate is of the backlog of HM Coroner's Service inquiries into deaths of soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan; and if she will make a statement. 
To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what guidance she has issued on the use of personal information held
for collecting and administering council tax in each of the last three years. 
Vera Baird: The Information Commissioner's revised guidance on the use of personal information held for collecting and administering council tax differs from previous guidance by focussing on the questions to be considered when deciding how council tax information can be used.
Mr. Djanogly: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what steps her Department (a) has taken and (b) intends to take to enforce the imposition of financial penalties for parties which fail to comply with the regulatory requirements of the Electoral Commission; and whether her Department intends to introduce additional financial penalties. 
The Government are currently considering the recent review of the Electoral Commission by the Committee on Standards in Public Life and also the recommendations of the Constitutional Affairs Select Committee and of Sir Hayden Phillips that relate to the regulatory role of the Electoral Commission.
Bridget Prentice: The Political Parties Elections and Referendums Act 2000 currently provides for the transfer of the functions of all the parliamentary boundary commissions, and the local government boundary commissions for England, Wales and Scotland to boundary committees of the Electoral Commission.
the Electoral Commission should no longer have any involvement in electoral boundary matters.
Mr. Djanogly: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what steps her Department (a) has taken and (b) plans to take to encourage local authorities to enforce the requirement for people to complete and return an annual registration canvass form. 
Electoral registration officers (EROs) are aware of their powers to enforce the
requirement that electors complete and return annual registration canvass forms and use them at their discretion if they consider this would be effective.
Sending the canvass form more than once to any address.
Conducting house to house inquiries and making contact by such other means as appropriate.
Enabling registration up to 11 days prior to polling day.
Introducing performance standards for EROs.
Mr. Djanogly: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what the average fine was for failing to complete and return an annual registration canvass form in the latest period for which figures are available. 
Mr. Djanogly: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs if she will make it a requirement for individuals registered to vote at polling stations to have to sign the electoral register so that their signatures can be compared against the signature of the person casting the vote. 
Vera Baird: Yes, the Land Registry is participating in the EULIS project. The service has been developed and financed by a consortium of European land registration authorities, including HM Land Registry.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs pursuant to the answer of 22 February 2007, Official Report, column 867W, on maintenance: children, what information is collected by the courts IT system in relation to child maintenance cases. 
Ms Harman: In the County courts and the Principal Registry of the Family Division FamilyMan is the case management system. It is used to record the key events in each case, such as the date of listing of an application, and the date of making and nature of an order (i.e. interim order/final order/order by consent). The information collected by the courts' IT system in relation to child maintenance cases is limited to this. There is no unified IT system in the Family Proceedings Courts. Where a Family Proceedings Court and the County court administrations have been co-located, the Family Proceedings Court can use FamilyMan.
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