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Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many full-time equivalent members of his Department's staff are working on policy relating to the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. 
Ann McKechin: There are no members of staff in the Scotland Office working on policy related to the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics Games. However, in line with the office's key role of representing Scotland's interests in Westminster, and as the Games will benefit the whole of the UK, one member of staff has this issue within her portfolio and will advise colleagues, answer correspondence and brief as required.
Ann McKechin: The Scotland Office is committed to the well-being of its staff. It has a number of procedures in place to reduce stress at work. A stress management framework, based on the Health and Safety Executive's management standards, is available to all staff and gives easy to use advice on the successful prevention, recognition and management of stress at work.
Andrew Mackinlay: To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission if he will take steps to stop the placing of tables and chairs on the staircase between the lower waiting hall and the Committee corridor; and if he will make an assessment of any (a) damage to the pavement by the Barry Statue and (b) health and safety implications of any emergency evacuations required in the area. 
Nick Harvey: It has been the practice for many years to use the landing adjacent to the lower waiting hall to store furniture from the Members and Strangers dining rooms when they are both in use at the same time for functions sponsored by Members. These can take place between 4-6 pm each weekday, on Thursday evenings, and at times when the House is not sitting. The furniture has to be kept close to the dining rooms because there are only 30 minutes available to reset them for the evening service to Members.
A study during the recess has concluded that the issue could be overcome either by accepting bookings for functions in only one of the dining rooms at any one time or by taking out of use temporarily one of the adjacent rooms used by Members. The possibilities and their implications will be reported to the Administration Committee this month.
The fire safety manager has advised that storing furniture on the landing does present a risk to effective building evacuation; how great that is would depend on the number of people in the Palace at the time, particularly in the Committee Rooms. He advised that it would be good practice to discontinue using the landing for storage. Until the Administration Committee has had an opportunity to consider the matter, arrangements are being made to advise the fire safety manager when both rooms are being used for functions.
John McDonnell: To ask the Minister for Women and Equality how many consultants were hired by the offices now comprising the Government's Equalities Office in 2006-07, broken down by (a) age, (b) gender, (c) sexual orientation, (d) race, (e) disability and (f) religion or belief. 
Barbara Follett [holding answer 15 July 2008]: The Government Equalities Office was established on 12 October 2007. Since that date it has taken over responsibility for equality issues from a number of different teams and Departments, including: the Disability Rights Commission Sponsorship team, based in 2006-07 in the Department for Work and Pensions; the Commission for Racial Equality Sponsorship Team, based in the Home Office in the first part of 2006-07, then transferred to Communities and Local Government; the Women and Equality Unit, based in the Department of Trade and Industry until May 2006, then in Communities and Local Government; and lawyers from DTI and HO, who transferred to CLG in May 2006. Because of the wide disposal of records in a number of different Departments and locations, the cost of answering this question would be disproportionate.
Mr. Baron: To ask the Minister for Women and Equality what the five most serious disciplinary breaches in the Government Equalities Office were in the last 12 months; and what steps were taken in response to each breach. 
Bob Spink: To ask the Minister for Women and Equality pursuant to the answer of 26 June 2008, Official Report, column 438W, how many Government Equalities Office staff have worked from home since the establishment of the Office. 
Barbara Follett: The Government Equalities Office was established on 12 October 2007 and all of its current 92 staff can work from home subject to line management approval, operational need and the availability of its 16 laptops. GEO acquired 16 laptops in early June 2008. In total 32 staff have security keys which allow them to use these laptops.
David Simpson: To ask the Minister for Women and Equality what the Government Equalities Office's policy is on requesting discounts from its suppliers in return for swift payment of invoices. 
Barbara Follett: Since the Government Equalities Office was established on 12 October 2007 it has been based in Communities and Local Government buildings and used accounting systems and policies provided by that Department. CLG's primary policy in procurement is to achieve value for money and it uses a range of measures to achieve this, including attaining discounts from suppliers in return for prompter payment of invoices.
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Minister for Women and Equality which organisations have received (a) free and (b) discounted room hire from the Government Equalities Office since its inception; and what the commercial value of the discount was in each case. 
Barbara Follett: Since its establishment on 12 October 2007, the Government Equalities Office has rented accommodation in premises owned by the Department for Communities and Local Government and consequently does not enter into any of the arrangements mentioned in the question.
James Duddridge: To ask the Minister for Women and Equality how much the Government Equalities Office has spent on each of the external public relations and marketing companies included in the Central Office of Information's Public Relations Framework since its establishment. 
Barbara Follett: The Government Equalities Office was established on 12 October 2007. The following table shows its spending on external public relations and marketing companies included in the Central Office of Information public relations framework since 12 October 2007.
|Public relations and marketing companies||£|
Philip Davies: To ask the Minister for Women and Equality if she will place in the Library a copy of any materials the Government Equalities Office has distributed to schools since its inception. 
David Simpson: To ask the Minister for Women and Equality how many and what percentage of staff in the Government Equalities Office have had more than two periods of sickness absence of less than five days since its inception. 
Barbara Follett: According to the available data, six staff in the Government Equalities Office have had more than two periods of sickness of less than five days since its inception. Staffing levels have varied over this period, but this would represent 7.7 per cent. of GEO's current staff.
Mr. Jenkins: To ask the Minister for Women and Equality what steps the Government has taken to encourage more disabled people to (a) apply for and (b) present themselves as candidates for election for public office. 
The Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) 1995, as amended and strengthened by this Government, protects disabled people from disability discrimination and ensures that reasonable adjustments will be made to enable them to become public office holders and members of locally-elected bodies.
The Government also recently announced plans to improve the diversity of public appointments, including new targets to increase the proportion of disabled people serving on the boards of public bodies.
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Minister for Women and Equality what contracts the Government's Equalities Office has with EDF; and how much the Office paid to EDF in each of the last 10 years, broken down by the purpose of the payment. 
Barbara Follett [holding answer 10 September 2008]: As my right hon. and learned Friend the Minister for Women and Equality announced in Parliament on 25 June 2008, the Government remain committed to introducing an Equality Bill during this Parliament.
The content of the Bill has been subject to collective consideration by Ministers in the normal way and the Government's response to the consultation, which was published on 21 July, made the intended content of the Bill clear.
Mr. Bone: To ask the Minister for Women and Equality what assessment she has made of the standards of treatment of victims of human trafficking for sexual exploitation after they have been rescued. 
Barbara Follett: The Poppy Project, which provides refuge and comprehensive support for women trafficked for the purposes of sexual exploitation, was initially piloted and then formally evaluated in 2005. The grant for Eaves Housing for Women was extended following a successful procurement exercise to commission a service that offered a high standard and ensured value for money.
The Government's progress on tackling human trafficking, including victim care is subject to regular review by the Inter-departmental Ministerial Group. On 2 July we published the Update to the UK Action Plan that highlights progress against the actions in the original plan (published in March 2007) and identifies new measures.
Mrs. May: To ask the Minister for Women and Equality what proportion of the £1 million emergency fund for rape crisis centres, announced in March, has been distributed; which organisations have received such funding; how much each organisation has received; and what plans the Government has to maintain the funding for the year starting April 2009. 
Eight rape crisis centres identified at imminent risk of closure have received payments totalling £175,364 (17.5 per cent.) from the £1 million emergency fund announced in March. Beneficiaries of the fund to date, and the payments they have received, are shown in the following table:
|Rape crisis centre||Amount awarded ( £ )|
Further awards will be made in October. This one-off fund was established as an emergency measure to enable rape crisis centres to address the sustainability issues they face. It is in addition to £1.4 million of support for victims of sexual crimes, the majority of which comes from the Ministry of Justice's Victims Fund. Spending plans for 2009-10 are being finalised.
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