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The Prime Minister: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by my hon. Friend the Member for Cardiff, West (Kevin Brennan), Parliamentary Secretary to the Cabinet Office, on 13 January 2009, Official Report, column 582W.
Mr. Grieve: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many fines for the non-payment of penalty notices for disorder (PND) were registered by the courts in each of the last four years, broken down by (a) the offence for which the PND was issued and (b) how many fines were paid on time in full. 
Mr. Straw: The number of persons against whom a fine was registered following the issue of a penalty notice for disorder (PND), by offence, in England and Wales for the years 2004 to 2007 can be viewed in the following table. Data for 2008 will be available in the autumn of 2009.
Significant improvements are being achieved by the courts in the collection of fines. The Courts Act 2003 introduced a series of measures aimed at improving fine collection including deduction from earnings and benefits, seizure of goods and clamping of vehicles. We do not identify separately the payment rate of fines arising from PNDs, but the latest enforcement rate for all financial penalties is 85.2 per cent. for the period April to December 2008. The payment rates for the last four years are shown in the following table.
|Payment rate (Percentage)|
|Number of penalty notices for disorder issued to all persons aged 16 and over, where a fine was registered, England and Wales, 2004 to 2007( 1, 2)|
|(1) Every effort is made to ensure that the figures presented are accurate and complete. However, it is important to note that these data have been extracted from large administrative data systems generated by police forces. As a consequence, care should be taken to ensure data collection processes and their inevitable limitations are taken into account when those data are used.|
(2) Penalty notice for disorder (PND) scheme commenced in November 2004.
Office for Criminal Justice Reform, Evidence and Analysis Unit.
Information on the costs of collection of compensation orders is not collected. Data on the costs of collection of compensation orders is not held by either the Ministry of Justice or HMCS. Information on the enforcement rate of financial penalties imposed
by courts is held but cannot make the distinction between compensation orders and other financial penalties and to use this figure to estimate the collection of compensation orders would be misleading.
Bridget Prentice: Statistics on the number of open verdicts returned by coroners in England and Wales in each year between 2002 and 2007, broken down by area, have been placed in the Library of the House. Figures for 2008 are not yet available, but are due to be published on the Ministry of Justice website in May.
Bridget Prentice: At present coroners do not collect data on the ethnicity of the deceased in deaths which are referred to them. As part of our work to implement the coroner reforms included in the Coroner and Justice Bill we will be reviewing the statistical data currently collected by coroners and considering whether any changes are required.
Mr. Tyrie: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what expert advisers have been commissioned by his Department and its agencies since 1997; on what topic each was commissioned; and whether the advisers so appointed made a declaration of political activity in each case. 
Mr. Straw: Lord Lester acted as the Secretary of States expert adviser on constitutional reform between July 2007 and November 2008, and made a declaration of political activity prior to his appointment.
The Ministry of Justice does not hold a central list of all expert advisory appointments made by it and its agencies since 1997. The Department makes a number of appointments to public bodies, including advisory non-departmental public bodies, and compiling such a list would incur disproportionate cost. Since 2003 the Government have published on an annual basis the names and overall cost of special advisers and the number in each pay band.
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice on how many occasions Ministers in his Department have used their discretion to rule that a parliamentary question for written answer should be answered
because it would be in the public interest to do so, even though to do so would exceed the disproportionate cost threshold of £700 in the last 12 months. 
Mr. Wills: In the last 12 months, the Ministry of Justice has answered one written parliamentary question for which the cost of answering the question exceeded the disproportionate cost threshold as the Minister responsible believed it to be in the public interest to do so.
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice pursuant to the answer of 15 December 2008, Official Report, column 476W, on the Freedom of Information Act 2000, when the public consultation on section 5 of the Act concluded; and when he plans to publish his response. 
Mr. Straw: The public consultation on section 5 of the Freedom of Information Act concluded on 1 February 2008. The Government continue to assess the merits of designating additional public authorities under the Act and will publish their response to the section 5 public consultation by the summer.
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