APPENDICES TO THE MINUTES OF EVIDENCE
Memorandum by the Cabinet Office
What efforts has your Department made so far to
implement the Act, and, in particular, to build a "human
1. The impact of the Human Rights Act has
been less substantial for the Cabinet Office than for those Departments
whose core business involve the profession of services direct
to the public. Nevertheless, we have been committed to promoting
a human rights culture. The Office embarked at an early stage
on a review of our policy areas and working practices.
2. We have made sure that information about
Human Rights Act guidance and training facilities are available
to staff members. Individuals have benefited from a variety of
opportunities: internal training sessions and presentations have
been held, and individuals have had access to the Civil Service
College's Human Rights Act training course. We have used the Cabinet
Office intranet site to disseminate guidance about the Act, publishing
the Home Office's core Guidance, and providing links to the fuller
range of material provided on the Home Office site.
3. We have also followed Home Office requirements
in briefing Agencies and other sponsored organisations about the
Act's implications for their work.
How has the Act affected your Department's approach
to human rights issues and what have been the consequences both
for policy-formulation and for the delivery of services?
4. The Human Rights Act has of course necessitated
a systematic approach to human rights issues, which now feature
in the services we provide to Government in a number of waysfor
(i) the Civil Service College has played
an important part in providing training across Government and
the public sector with dedicated Human Rights Act courses;
(ii) Economic and Domestic Secretariat checks
that Bill teams have taken on board the need to be clear about
the implications of the Human Rights Act when preparing their
(iii) Constitution Secretariat now co-ordinate
the central monitoring of the impact of the Human Rights Act post-implementation,
and will produce regular reports for Ministers.
What have been the implications of any court judgements
on human rights matters since the Act came into force on 2 October?
5. There have been no court judgments with
any direct impact on the Cabinet Office's policy areas.
What impact has the Act had on everyday life in
your fields of responsibility?
6. Given our particular role in providing
services to the rest of the Government, human rights issues do
not arise on a daily basis for the majority of our staff.
Nevertheless, now that commencement has happened, monitoring legal
developments is of course a serious concern for the Cabinet Office.
Have you addressed the duty under section 19 of
the Act to make statements of compatibility or non-compatibility
with the Convention in relation to Government bills? What problems
has this process created?
7. The Cabinet Office has had a relatively
light legislative schedule, but we have addressed that duty seriously
with the Regulatory Reform Bill (about which you wrote to Lord
Falconer on 14 February requesting specific information). The
process has not led to any significant problems.