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Section 13 of the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 gives the Commission power to make grants to other bodies to promote public awareness. I am informed that since 2002 the Commission has awarded grants to organisations for projects that raise
awareness of the democratic process, including but not limited to promoting voter registration. The following table shows the total grant funding awarded to non-governmental organisations in each year:
Chris Ruane: To ask the hon. Member for Gosport, representing the Speakers Committee on the Electoral Commission how much the Electoral Commission spent on voter registration advertising in each of the last five years; and what assessment the Commission has made of the effectiveness of that advertising in increasing voter registration. 
Sir Peter Viggers: The Electoral Commission informs me that its advertising campaigns both encourage voter registration and provide information about how to take part in elections, including different methods of voting and voting systems. The Commission is therefore not able to separate out its expenditure on voter registration advertising from its wider voter information advertising.
The following table shows the total expenditure on all such advertising in each of the past four years for which the relevant financial records are readily available. Equivalent information for earlier years could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
A report to the Speakers Committee on the Electoral Commission by the Comptroller and Auditor General, published in 2006 and entitled Is the Public Aware of Democracy? concluded that the Commission had used its resources in raising public awareness in general effectively, when judged by measures such as recall rates and other industry measures for its advertising, and that there appeared to have been an overall positive effect on voter registration.
COCADCabinet Office and Central Advisory Division
HEOHigher Executive Officer
SEOSenior Executive Officer
Mr. Djanogly: To ask the Solicitor-General what steps she plans to take following the publication in June 2008 of the final report on the review of the Serious Fraud Office; which organisations will be consulted on the report; and if she will make a statement. 
The Solicitor-General: I refer the hon. Member to my written ministerial statement on 10 June 2008, Official Report , column 12WS. The review by Jessica de Grazia provided helpful insights into the work of the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) based on comparisons with US prosecutors.
The new Director of the SFO has found her recommendations on the internal workings of the SFO valuable background for his change programme. We are considering her recommendations on the wider environment in the context of a range of proposals we are already taking forward to strengthen the response to fraud, which is a cross-Government programme of work.
Mr. Djanogly: To ask the Solicitor-General what discussions the Attorney-General has had with the (a) Secretary of State for Justice and (b) the Home Secretary on the Final Report on the review of the Serious Fraud Office published in June 2008. 
The Solicitor-General: The Attorney-General shared Jessica de Grazias report with the Secretary of State for Justice and the Home Secretary as it was published, and our officials were then and have since been in contact with officials in both Departments and in the prosecuting Departments to consider the recommendations.
Mr. Djanogly: To ask the Solicitor-General what plans there are to enhance co-operation between the Serious Fraud Office, the Crown Prosecution Service and the Revenue and Customs Prosecution Office. 
The Solicitor-General: The Serious Fraud Office works closely in collaboration with the other Law Officer Departments and the Attorney-Generals Office on a variety of issues. To ensure her Departments work closely together at a strategic level, my noble Friend the Attorney-General chairs a strategic board on which the directors are represented, which meets quarterly.
Mr. Djanogly: To ask the Solicitor-General with how many external contractors the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has contracts; what estimate she has made of the average annual cost to the public purse of such contracts; and how many such contractors have held contracts with the SFO in each of the last 10 years. 
The Solicitor-General: The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) does not keep records of the number of external contractors it employs. The cost of all non-permanent staff employed at the SFO (including external barristers) for each of the last 10 years is as follows:
|Financial year||Expenditure (£)|
|Financial year||Annual running costs (£)|
Mr. Djanogly: To ask the Solicitor-General what plans there are to increase the Serious Fraud Offices investigatory powers; and whether these plans have been amended to take account of the findings in the Final Report on the review of the Serious Fraud Office published in June 2008. 
Mr. Djanogly: To ask the Solicitor-General how many prosecutions were initiated by the Serious Fraud Office in each of the last 10 years; and what the conviction rate from such prosecutions was in each year. 
The Solicitor-General: The Serious Fraud Office has brought prosecutions against the following number of defendants in each of the last 10 years; and the conviction rates arising from these prosecutions are as follows:
|Financial year||Defendants tried||Conviction rate (percentage)|
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