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23 Oct 2008 : Column 554Wcontinued
Ann Winterton: To ask the Prime Minister what discussions he had with the Leader of the Opposition before the announcement of the bank rescue package; and when those discussions were held. 
The Prime Minister: HM Opposition has been kept informed where appropriate.
Harry Cohen: To ask the Prime Minister if he will publish a response to the e-petition submitted via his website calling for a jobs guarantee for newly-qualified midwives. 
The Prime Minister: A response has been published on the No 10 website:
A copy of this webpage has been placed in the Library of the House.
Steve Webb: To ask the Prime Minister if he will place responsibility for the energy-saving activities of the market transformation programme with the Department for Energy and Climate Change; and if he will make a statement. 
The Prime Minister: I refer the hon. Member to the written statement I made on 13 October 2008, Official Report, column 32WS, and the accompanying Cabinet Office paper that was placed in the Library. Defra continues to lead on sustainable consumption and production.
Mr. Harper: To ask the Prime Minister what consideration he gave to the effect on the Doha world trade talks of the recall of the British Commissioner holding the post of EU Trade Commissioner. 
The Prime Minister: The recent G8 communiqué set out our joint desire to restart the trade talks as quickly as possible. The UK will continue to play a central role within the EU and work with other key players to ensure a successful completion of the Doha round. My right hon. and noble Friend Baroness Ashton of Upholland's appointment as Trade Commissioner was approved by the European Parliament on 22 October 2008 by an overwhelming majority of 538 in favour to 40 against.
Mr. Amess: To ask the Prime Minister what consideration he gave to visiting Sderot during his recent visit to Israel; and if he will make a statement. 
The Prime Minister: I visited Israel at the invitation of the Knesset Speaker and Prime Minister Olmert. During my talks, I made clear that the UK Government fully supports the Egyptian brokered ceasefire that has succeeded in greatly reducing the number of rocket attacks targeting Sderot. The Government remain committed to helping all sides in achieving a settlement which provides security for Israel and justice for the Palestinians. My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary (David Miliband) met the Mayor of Sderot, Eli Moyall, in March to hear his account of the situation.
Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Prime Minister at what time and on what date Lord Mandelson's appointment as Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform formally commenced. 
The Prime Minister: I refer my right hon. Friend to the Ministerial Appointments press notices released by my Office. Copies have been placed in the Library of the House and are also available on the No 10 website:
Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Prime Minister if he will encourage Ministers with business in the House to walk between their departmental buildings in Whitehall and Victoria Street and the Palace of Westminster. 
The Prime Minister: This is a matter for individual Ministers who continue to travel making the most efficient and cost-effective arrangements.
Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Prime Minister (1) how meetings of the Regional Economic Council of Ministers will be accountable to (a) Parliament and (b) the public; if he will place copies of the minutes of the meetings on a Government website and in the Library; and whether the Council will be a public authority for the purposes of the Freedom of Information Act 2000; 
(2) whether the (a) minutes of meetings of and (b) papers discussed at the National Economic Council will be a public authority for the purposes of the Freedom of Information Act 2006. 
The Prime Minister: The Regional Economic Council will support my right hon. Friends the Chancellor of the Exchequer (Mr. Darling) and the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (Lord Mandelson) to carry out their departmental responsibilities. Any freedom of information (FOI) issues will be dealt with by HM Treasury and BERR, which are public authorities within the FOI Act. The Cabinet Office will deal with any FOI requests relating to the National Economic Council.
Any requests for information made under the Freedom of Information Act are considered on a case by case basis.
Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice when officials in his Department next intend to meet representatives of the Health Food Manufacturers Association to discuss the import of food supplements and herbal remedies from the Channel Islands; and if he will make a statement on the progress made to date in securing the compliance of the Crown Dependencies with European legislation on food supplements and medicines. 
Mr. Wills: Officials in the Ministry of Justice will next meet representatives from the Health Food Manufacturers Association on 11 November to discuss the import of food supplements and herbal remedies from the Channel Islands and the progress the Crown Dependencies are making with compliance with the Food Supplements Directive.
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what steps are being taken to meet the learning and
development needs of (a) youth offender team managers, (b) prison governors and (c) probation officers in their role as data controllers. 
Mr. Hanson: All activities undertaken by the Wiring Up Youth Justice Programme are in addition to the work these organisations (prison service, probation service and local authorities) already have under way in this area.
The key supplementary activities include:
Analysis of learning requirements and the extent to which these learning needs are currently being met by their local authority.
Input from the Information Commissioners office at a series of regional events.
Emphasis on the importance of registering as data controllersthis registration gives access to a wide range of support and training materials.
Provision of a range of communications activity on this subject.
Likewise, there is a code of connection to all new YJS information sharing services which also provides material and guidance in terms of information management.
Mrs. Laing: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice (1) what the projected cost is of implementing fully the E-Asset IT system; 
(2) what the cost to date has been of implementing the E-Asset IT system; 
(3) which (a) secure children's homes, secure training centres and youth offender institutions and (b) other bodies within his responsibility are currently using fully the E-Asset IT system; 
(4) which secure children's homes, secure training centres and youth offender institutions are not using fully the E-Asset IT system; 
(5) when the E-Asset Sentence Management System will be fully implemented across the secure children's home, secure training centre and youth offender institution estates; 
Mr. Hanson: The E-Asset project started in July 2006. The projected cost of fully implementing the E-Asset system is £8.9 million. This cost can be broken down into £4.8 million for technology development and hosting; and £4.1 million expenditure on business change activities associated with roll-out and implementation across the juvenile secure estatee.g. training.
The cost to date (since July 2006) of implementing the E-Asset system is £7.49 million. This can be broken down into £4.1 million for technology development and hosting and £3.39 million for implementation (roll-out and training).
All establishments in the secure estate have successfully installed encryption devices in preparation for national roll-out. The rollout of the E-Asset system is currently running to original schedule and budget and on track for completion by April 2009. The intention during 2009-10 is to consolidate system usage through a programme of post implementation review, to ensure it is being used to its maximum potential. All establishments within the juvenile secure estate for England and Wales, whether run by HMPS, local authorities or the private sector are committed to implementing the E-Asset system.
The following establishments are fully implemented as at 20 October 2008:
HM Prison Service Establishments
HMPS YOI Castington
HMPS YOI Downview
HMPS YOI Eastwood Park
HMPS YOI Feltham
HMPS YOI Foston Hall
HMPS YOI Hindley
HMPS YOI Huntercombe
HMPS YOI Lancaster Farms
HMPS YOI New Hall
HMPS YOI Thorn Cross
HMPS YOI Warren Hill
HMPS YOI Wetherby
Secure Training Centre Establishments
Local Authority Secure Children's Homes
These 21 sites represent 65 per cent. of the capacity of the secure estate (in terms of beds). In addition, the Youth Justice Board for England and Wales have full access to the E-Asset system. In future, it is envisaged that aspects of the system may be viewable by Youth Offending Teams to ensure joint Sentence Planning and improved provision for effective community resettlement.
The following custodial establishments are scheduled to implement the E-Asset system by April 2009.
HM Prison Service Establishments
HMPS YOI Brinsford
HMPS YOI Stoke Heath
HMPS YOI Werrington
Secure Training Centre Establishments
Local Authority Secure Children's Homes
The E-Asset Sentence Management system will be fully rolled out across the juvenile secure estate by April 2009.
Mrs. Laing: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what the cost has been of developing the co-ordinated online record of electors to date. 
Mr. Wills: The costs of developing the co-ordinated online record of electors (CORE) to date, excluding staff costs, is £2,781,840 made up as follows:
£1,726,631 to enable local authorities electoral management systems to output data in an agreed Election Mark Up Language (EML) format
£23,111.38 for the feasibility study on the implementation of national access arrangements
£5,760 for a business impact assessment on data security
£6,338 for 13 workshops involving over 280 electoral administrators in England and Wales and Scottish Assessors
£1.02 million grant in aid for local authorities to support the implementation of the Electoral Registration Data Standards, introduced following a direction from Bridget Prentice made under section 52(1) of the Representation of the People Act 1983 (c2) (as amended). The direction requires all Electoral Registration Officers in Great Britain to ensure that any electoral registration data held on electronic systems is formatted in compliance with the standards.
It is not possible to quantify the total cost of staff employed on the CORE project since the inception of CORE in 2003 because this information is not available. In January 2008, the CORE project began work on the development and definition of the functionality and services that the CORE Information System will provide, and in April 2008 passed through an OGC Gateway 1 review. Following the recommendation of this review the project team has been expanded to support this work. The total cost of the project team from January 2008 has been £187,259.
Mrs. Laing: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what plans there are to consult on developing the next phases of the co-ordinated online record of electors. 
Mr. Wills: Throughout 2008 we have been holding meetings and workshops with potential users of the system to gather user requirements, identify issues and test assumptions around how the CORE Service and its IT and business systems will operate. This will inform development of a high level statement of requirements for the CORE system. It is expected that the high level statement of user requirements will be complete by March 2009. The Government would consult on the detail of any proposed CORE Scheme Order that followed this.
Mrs. Laing: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice whether a full cost-benefit analysis of introducing a co-ordinated electoral registration service has been undertaken by the Department. 
Mr. Wills: There are currently no plans to introduce a co-ordinated electoral registration service.
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