|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
There will be a presentation to update the Council on the European security research and innovation forum by Mr Dragutin Mate, the chairman of ESRIF and former Interior Minister of Slovenia. ESRIF is currently completing a report that is intended to chart the EUs
security research and innovation requirements over the next 10 to 20 years. The UK supports the objectives of ESRIF and the production of its final report.
During the Mixed Committee with Norway, Switzerland, Iceland and Lichtenstein, Ministers will be asked to report on progress in implementing the second generation of the Schengen information system (SIS II), in the light of the Council conclusions adopted at the last Council which identified the need to resolve problems in the central system. The UK remains of the view that we need a decision in June on the future of SIS II. The Council is also expected to adopt conclusions on the development of the SIRENE bureaux. These are not relevant to the UK since they concern arrangements for the operation of the current Schengen information system, to which the UK is not a party.
The presidency will present to the Mixed Committee the current state of play on the implementation of the regulation establishing the visa information system (VIS). The UK does not participate in that regulation.
Under AOB in the main Council session, there will be a presentation by the Commission on the state of negotiations relating to the EC re-admission agreement with Morocco. The UK welcomes progress made by the Commission but wants to see these efforts taken forward, especially in view of the time that the mandate has been opened. There will also be a report on the state of play in relation to ratification of the EU-US extradition and mutual legal assistance agreements. The Commission will provide Justice Ministers with an overview of the EU funds available to support e-justice. Finally, information will be provided on the visit between VP Commissioner Barrot and Czech Minister of Interior Langer to the US.
The Prime Minister (Mr. Gordon Brown): In accordance with Section 57 of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000, I have re-appointed the right hon. Sir Paul Kennedy as Interception of Communications Commissioner from 11 April 2009 to 10 April 2012.
The Secretary of State for Justice and Lord Chancellor (Mr. Jack Straw): The renovation of Middlesex Guildhall has now been completed on time and within budget by Kier Group Plc. The building has been handed to the Ministry of Justice to carry out the final phase of works.
This is a major milestone in the development of a Supreme Court for the United Kingdom. We remain on track to deliver a fully functioning Supreme Court in time for the opening of the legal year in October 2009.
This renovation has breathed new life into a previously tired building, which sits in one of the most historic and recognisable public spaces in the world. The renovation works have been completed to the highest standard, as appropriate for its setting and required for a Grade II* listed building.
The Parliamentary Secretary, Cabinet Office (Mr. Tom Watson): I am today publishing a report on Departments and Agencies performance on handling Members and Peers correspondence during 2008. Details are set out in the table below. The 2007 correspondence statistics can be found on 20 March 2008, Official Report, column 71WS. Departmental figures are based on substantive replies unless otherwise indicated.
|Correspondence from MPs/Peers to Ministers and Agency Chief Executives in 2008|
|Correspondence from MPs/Peers to Ministers and Agency Chief Executives(i)||2008|
|Department or Agency||Target set for Reply (Working Days)||Number of Letters Received||% of Replies Within Target|
|(i)Departments and Agencies which received 10 MPs/Peers letters or fewer are not shown in this table. Holding or interim replies are not included unless otherwise indicated. The report does not include correspondence considered as Freedom of Information requests.|
(ii)Implementation of new correspondence handling system led to delays in first half of the year. Issues have been resolved and led to significant improvement in performance in second half of the year.
(iii)Communities and Local Government's performance improved in 2008 and it continues to take measures to improve further.
(iv)During 2008, DCMS underwent a Department-wide transformation programme, including significant changes to the central correspondence unit. This resulted in a drop in performance and efforts are being made to resolve outstanding issues as quickly as possible.
(v)DEFRA/BERR currently handle DECC correspondence. The setting up of new Department led to delays in responding to correspondence. Measures being put in place to improve correspondence performance as a matter of high priority.
(vi)Creation of DECC led to a significant increase in correspondence which was initially handled by DEFRA. Prior to this 75 per cent. of correspondence was responded to within target.
(vii)GEO, a new Department, began handling its own Ministerial correspondence in May 2008. It is making changes to improve performance of internal handling of correspondence. New internal guidance has been implemented as well as staff training.
(viii)The FSA and DH are working together to minimise delays in the processing of correspondence.
(ix)DfID is introducing changes to their correspondence handling system and will be introducing a new correspondence database in June to improve performance. The correspondence unit has been restructured and reinforced with additional staff and targets have been steadily improving since July 2008.
(x )Includes HM Prison Service
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|