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Mr. Wills: The National Archives was created in April 2003. Since then it has featured in a series of machinery of government changes. The first occurred in 2006 with the transfer of the Office of Public Sector Information (OPSI) from the Cabinet Office, and the second in 2008 when the Statutory Publications Office (SPO) moved from the Ministry of Justice both adding to the scope of the National Archives' policy and service delivery responsibilities.
The table shows the resource and capital budget out-turn for the National Archives for the period 2003-04 to 2008-09 and the current budget plans for 2009-10. In order to ensure proper comparability all the figures shown above assume that both OPSI and the SPO are part of the National Archives throughout.
|MOG (year and body merged)||OPSI||SPO|
There have been no cuts to the National Archives' budget. They have recently announced some proposals for restructuring their public services to ensure they can operate sustainably for the next few years. The Lord Chancellor and I have been fully briefed on both the rationale and details of the proposals. We are both supportive of them recognising that these were operational decisions made by the management team.
Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice whether he intends to use his powers under section 143(6) of the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 to produce rules for the inclusion of imprints on election materials that take the form of websites, emails or other similar electronic means; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Wills: The legal requirements relating to imprints on election material are set out in Section 143 of the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 for printed election material issued centrally by political parties, and Section 110 of the Representation of the People Act 1983 for printed election material which is intended to promote or procure the election of a candidate.
These requirements do not apply in the case of non-printed election material, although Electoral Commission guidance for parties and candidates is clear that it is considered good practice to include an imprint that complies with the legal requirements on any website that contains information about an election or candidate(s).
The Government recognise the importance of ensuring proper transparency as to the source of election material, in any form. Where practical, the Government agree that it is a matter of good practice for an imprint to be placed on non-printed material. However, the Government believe that any regulations introducing legal imprint requirements for non-printed material would need to be workable and long-lasting, in particular taking account of the fast-evolving nature of online campaigning. The Government do not propose to introduce regulations requiring imprints for non-printed material at this time but will keep the issue under review. If evidence suggests that further statutory provision is required we will consider that carefully.
Mr. Straw: For the current financial year the National Offender Management Service introduced a maximum benchmark of £2.10 per prisoner per day. Many establishments already operate below this level and provide good quality food. Those operating above the benchmark are working towards reducing their costs with appropriate central support.
Evidence and experience has proven that acceptable healthy meals can be provided in prisons within this level of funding by carefully managing menu content and utilising key messages from the Department of Health in regard to promoting a healthy diet.
Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice (1) how many prisoner transfer applications have been received from foreign governments since 2005; and how many such applications have been (a) granted and (b) refused; 
Mr. Straw: Prisoner transfers are initiated by prisoners who may express an interest to either of the Governments concerned or by a Government. Formal requests for transfer are made by Governments. Between 1 January 2005 and 31 December 2008 677 prisoners expressed an interest in being transferred from England and Wales under prisoner transfer arrangements. Of these 376 applications were approved and 102 were refused. 199 either remain under consideration or have been withdrawn. During the same period, 367 prisoners expressed an interest in being transferred to England and Wales, of which 212 were approved and 46 were refused. 109 either remain under consideration or have been withdrawn.
Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many prisoner transfer agreements the Government has signed with foreign governments since 1979; and on what date each such agreement was signed. 
Mr. Straw: The United Kingdom is a signatory to two multiparty prisoner transfer agreements: the Council of Europe Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons (1983) and the Commonwealth Scheme for the Transfer of Convicted Offenders (1990). The UK signed the Council of Europe Convention on 25 August 1983 and the Commonwealth Scheme on 27 June 1991.
On 9 February 2009 the United Kingdom signed the Additional Protocol to the Council of Europe Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons. It was ratified on 17 July 2009 and it will enter into force on 1 November 2009.
On 27 November 2008 the European Union adopted Council Framework Decision 2008/909/JHA on the application of the principle of mutual recognition to judgments in criminal matters imposing custodial sentences or measures involving deprivation of liberty for the purpose of their enforcement in the European Union. It will enter into force on 5 December 2011.
|Country||Date of signature|
Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what overwhelming United Kingdom interests he took into account in agreeing to a prisoner transfer agreement with Libya which did not exclude Mr. Abdelbaset ali Megrahi; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Straw: The discussions over the prisoner transfer agreement between the United Kingdom and Libya were part of the wider negotiations for the normalisation of relations with Libya following its renunciation of international terrorism and its voluntary dismantling of weapons of mass destruction. I concluded that the normalisation of relations with Libya, including the fight against terrorism, cooperation in stemming the flow of illegal migration, and wider UK/Libya trade relations, were in the United Kingdom's national interest.
Under the terms of the prisoner transfer agreement prisoners could only be transferred with the consent of both Governments. It was therefore not necessary to exclude Mr. Al Megrahi from its terms. As Mr. Al Megrahi was a Scottish prisoner decisions relating to his transfer were a matter for Scottish Ministers. Scottish Ministers refused Mr. Al Megrahi's application for transfer under the prisoner transfer agreement.
Mr. Straw: The information is not available in the form requested. However, over the period April to July 2009 male prisoners were engaged in 11.9 hours of work (paid and unpaid) per week on average. For female prisoners the average was 12.7 hours per week. The data are taken from the Regimes Monitoring (Regmon) database by means of a query which only picks out the types of purposeful activity which fall under the activity group of "Works". This does not tell us whether or not this is paid work.
Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what proportion of (a) male and (b) female offenders released from prison were in sustained employment (i) three months, (ii) six months and (iii) one year after their release in each of the last 10 years. 
|Male/female||Total number of prisoner discharges||Number on discharges with an employment outcome||Percentage of offenders entering employment on release|
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