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Government Departments: Web Pages

Lord Avebury asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Falconer of Thoroton: I refer my previous answer to the noble Lord (Official Report, 22 February 1999, col. 97).

In addition, we have, as part of the Corporate IT Strategy outlined in the Modernising Government White Paper, given a commitment to publish a framework policy for government websites.

We will shortly publish the document and I will arrange for copies to be placed in the Libraries of the House.

Non-departmental Public Bodies and the Parliamentary Ombudsman

Lord Lester of Herne Hill asked Her Majesty's Government:

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Lord Falconer of Thoroton: The Government arranged on 15 March 1999 for the largest single extension of the Parliamentary Ombudsman's jurisdiction, bringing an additional 111 executive and 47 advisory non-departmental public bodies within his remit.

There are now only a very few executive NDPBs, out of over 300, which, for exceptional reasons, are not within the Parliamentary Ombudsman's jurisdiction or that of another Ombudsman or external adjudicator. These and the reasons for their exclusion from jurisdiction are set out in the Government Response to the First Report from the Select Committee on Public Administration on the Report of the Parliamentary Ombudsman for 1997-98 (HC 817), published on 19 October.

The majority of advisory non-departmental public bodies have no dealings with the public and it would therefore not be appropriate to bring them within the Parliamentary Ombudsman's jurisdiction. Only those bodies with significant dealings with the public have been brought within jurisdiction.

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Task Forces

Lord Roberts of Conwy asked Her Majesty's Government:

    How many task force committees have been established since May 1997; and what is their total current membership and annual cost.[HL4121]

Lord Falconer of Thoroton: I refer the noble Lord to the reply I gave earlier today to the noble Lord, Lord Bruce of Donington, setting out detailed information about the Task Forces established since May 1997, and their membership.

Details of costs incurred by individual Task Forces are not held centrally. However, the majority of Task Forces incur only minimal costs to cover, for example, members' out of pocket travel expenses. I am sorry for the delay in answering this Question.

Lord Bruce of Donington asked Her Majesty's Government:

    How many Government Task Forces were in existence in May 1997, May 1998 and May 1999, together with the number of individuals comprised in them, distinguishing between Civil Service employees and non-Civil Service persons.[HL4084]

Lord Falconer of Thoroton: I am sorry for the delay in answering the Question. The information requested is set out in the following table. Task Forces which are classified as non-departmental public bodies are excluded from the table, as information on them is published in the annual Public Bodies publication. Copies of Public Bodies 1998 are available in the Libraries of the House.

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Task Forces established since May 1997

Name of Task ForceDate EstablishedDate Reported/Due to ReportReport Details (if applies)Date Wound Up (if applies)MinistersCivil ServantsWider Public ServantsVoluntary/Charity SectorPrivate SectorTotalName of Chairperson
Cabinet Office
Modernising Government Quality Schemes Task Force--see note (a)Jan 1999Dec 1999--see note (a)--0700613Steve O'Leary, Cabinet Office
Notes: (a) To report on how the four major quality schemes (Charter Mark, the Excellence Model, IiP and ISO 9000) can work together in the public sector to enhance their overall impact.
Department for Culture, Media and Sport
Creative Industries Task Force--see note (a)Jul 1997Nov 1998"The Mapping Document" measured the contribution of the creative industries to the National Ecomony(Nov 1998)--1020301043Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport
Notes: (a) Established to look for ways of maximising the economic impact of British goods and services in the creative sector.
Library and Information Commission Education Task ForceSep 1999Dec 1999----0250613Mark Wood, Reuters
Tobacco Task ForceDec 1998------100157Minister for Sport (Kate Hoey MP)
Ministry of Defence
Service Families' Task Force--see note (a)Jan 1999--The Families' Association Report is produced monthly--6303012Minister of State for the Armed Forces (John Spellar MP)
Notes: (a) The Service Families' Task Force comprises three elements--a Ministerial Group, a Families' Forum, which includes the Chairs of the three Service Family Associations, and a Working Group.
Department for Education and Employment
Careers Service Special Needs Task ForceDec 1997Dec 1998"Report of the Careers Service Special Needs Task Force", Dec 1998Jun 19990681318Graham Robb, Chief Inspector of Careers
Numeracy Task ForceMay 1997Jun 1998"Final Implementation Report on the National Numeracy Strategy", June 1998Jul 19980081110Professor David Reynolds, University of Newcastle
School Standards Task ForceMay 1997------32180225Secretary of State for Education and Employment
Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions
Cleaner Vehicles Task ForceJan 1998Jul 1999"Driving the Agenda" and "Environmental Impacts of Road Vehicles in Use--Air Quality, Climate Change and Noise Pollution"--3212816see note (a)
Notes: (a) Chaired jointly by Minister for Transport (Rt Hon the Lord Macdonald of Tradeston CBE), and Ian McAllister, Ford Motor Company.
Local Government Construction Task ForceOct 1999------04172225Ted Cantle, Chief Executive, Nottingham City Council
Shipping Task ForceDec 1998--Work on-going to implement "Charting" commitments. Progress reports as appropriate--0850417Brian Wadsworth, Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions
Task Force for London TransportAug 1999------1740012see note (a)
Notes: (a) Chaired by the Minister for Transport (Rt Hon the Lord Macdonald of Tradeston CBE).
Task Group on Home Buying--see note (a)Jul 1997------31210925Minister for Housing and Planning (Nick Raynsford MP)
Notes: (a) Linked to the Review of the Home Buying and Selling Process. The Task Group on Home Buying comprises a Ministerial Group and an Advisory Group which replaced a Steering Group in March 1999.
The Coalfield Task ForceOct 1997Jun 1998"Making the Difference--A New Start for England's Coalfield Communities"Jun 19980337013Paula Hay-Plumb, English Partnerships
The Construction Task ForceApr 1998Jul 1998"Rethinking Construction"Jul 199801001011Sir John Egan, Chief Executive, BAA plc
Urban Task ForceApr 1998Jun 1999"Towards an Urban Renaissance"Jun 19990072514Lord Rogers of Riverside
Department of Health
Eight Regional Task Forces to support Waiting List Action TeamNov 1997------0189430115see note (a)
Notes: (a) Eight Chairs are: Ms S Jennings/Mr D Higton/Mr J Brunt/Mrs D Whittingham/Mr A Bedford/Mr I Carruthers/Mr N Clifton/Mr S Day (all Department of Health Staff).
Expert Patients' Taskforce--see note (a)Nov 1999July 2000----08913030Professor Liam Donaldson (Chief Medical Officer)
Notes: (a) Designing programme for the needs of people with a chronic disease or disability.
Ministerial Task Force on the Government's Response to the Children's Safeguard ReviewMar 1998------12452023Secretary of State for Health
National Task Force on Violence against Social Care StaffSep 1999Nov 2000----0166316Chris Davies, Director of Social Services, Somerset County Council
NHS Efficiency Task ForceJun 1997------1090010Minister of State for Health (John Denham MP)
NHS Task Force on Staff InvolvementMay 1998Jul 1999--Jul 19990190313Hugh Taylor, Human Resources Director, NHS Executive
Home Office
Human Rights Task ForceJan 1999------3426015Minister of State, Home Office (Mike O'Brien MP)
Task Force on Youth JusticeJun 1997Jul 1998Task Force reported to the Home Secretary in July 1998. The report is available from the Home OfficeJul 199803122118Norman Warner (now Lord Warner)
Lord Chancellor's Department
Quality Task Force--see note (a)Feb 1999Dec 1999Consultation paper on the Community Legal Service was issued in August 1999. Consultation period ends on 15 October 1999.--0378321Alan Cogbill, Director, Civil Justice and Legal Aid Reform, LCD
Notes: (a) Quality Task Force set up to develop criteria for a Community Legal Service Quality Mark (quality standards).
Northern Ireland Office
Northern Ireland New Deal Task ForceAug 1997------0244212Bill Maginnis, Chairman, Training & Employment Agency Board, NI
Northern Ireland Skills Task ForceFeb 1999------00101011Bill Maginnis, Chairman, Training & Employment Agency Board, NI
Scottish Executive
Coronary Heart Disease Task ForceJul 1998Jul 2000----035109Professor Ross Lorimer, Scottish Executive
Joint COSLA/Scottish Office Best Value Task ForceMay 1997--"Best Value in Local Government" Jun 1997 "Best Value in Local Government 2" Jul 1998 "Best Value in Local Government 3": Long Term Arrangements, Interim Conclusions" Mar 1999--036009Bill Howat, Scottish Executive Development Department
Prestwick Task Force--see note (a)Jun 1997Dec 1998"Prestwick--a Leading Edge Location: Final Report of the Prestwick Task Force"Dec 199815501324Minister of State for Business and Industry, Scottish Office
Notes: (a) Task Force established to assist in the economic development of Prestwick in the light of recent job losses.
Scottish Advisory Task Force on the New DealJul 1997--Advises on ad hoc matters and does not report formally--00531018Ian Robinson, Chief Executive, Scottish Power
Notes: NB: From July 1999, responsibility for the above Task Forces passed from the Scottish Office to the Scottish Executive.
Department of Social Security
Pension Provision Task GroupSep 1997Jun 1998"We All Need Pensions--The Prospectus for Pension Provision" (Responses to the Pensions Green Paper published March 1999)00106(see (a)7Tom Ross OBE, AON Consulting and Chairman, Scottish Life
Notes: (a) includes one Pensions Officer from the TUC and one Academic.
Department of Trade and Industry
The Oil & Gas Industry Task ForceNov 1998Sep 1999"The Oil & Gas Industry Task Force Report--A Template for Change" summarises the work, recommendations and initiatives of the seven working groups established by the Task Force--28011122see note (a)
Notes: (a) Minister for Energy and Competitiveness in Europe (Rt Hon Helen Liddell MP).
HM Treasury
Credit Unions Task ForceJul 1998Jul 1999To be published shortly entitled "Credit Unions of the Future"Jul 19990013913Fred Goodwin, Royal Bank of Scotland
Private Finance Task ForceJul 1997----see note (a)--06 see (a)0013 see (a)19Adrian Montague see note (a)
Notes: (a) The remit of the Private Finance Task Force is to advance the Private Finance Initiative, and Public/Private Partnerships across government. The Task Force incorporates Project and Policy arms. Adrian Montague is Chief Executive of the Projects arms, and Tim Wilson heads the Policy team. The Projects arm is constituted as a private company limited by guarantee, and wholly owned by HM Treasury. It has 13 full time employees (including Adrian Montague) and currently two short-term secondees from the private sector. The Policy arm currently comprises six civil servants (including Tim Wilson) and one private sector secondee.
Task Force on Economic Instruments and Business Use of EnergyMar 1998Nov 1998Report on Role of Taxes and Emissions TradingNov 199804 see (a)0015Lord Marshall
Notes: (a) Varying membership of senior officials from HM Treasury, Customs and Excise, Department of Trade and Industry, and Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions.
National Assembly for Wales European Structural Funds Task ForceOct 1998Sep 1999Advice to National Assembly on contents of Obj 1 Single Programme documentSep 199900182727Jon Shortridge, Permanent Secretary, National Assembly for Wales
Wales New Deal Advisory Task ForceJul 1997------00111618Paul Lovelock, Chief Executive, Countryside Council for Wales
Notes: NB: From July 1999, responsibility for the above Task Forces passed from the Welsh Office to the National Assembly for Wales.

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