|Previous Section||Back to Table of Contents||Lords Hansard Home Page|
Baroness Scotland of Asthal: The Prison Service and the Immigration and Nationality Directorate are committed to improving the way they share information about immigration status of foreign national prisoners.
24 Jun 2004 : Column WA141
Improvements are being made to the systems for exchanging information and consideration is currently being given to the development of IT links between the two organisations. There are also plans to set up a joint Prison Service/Immigration Service liaison group as a forum to tackle and solve operational problems.
Whether they will discuss with the International Organisation for Migration the resettlement in third countries of people trafficked for exploitation who cannot be repatriated and for whom there is no local employment, with particular reference to the United Kingdom, Bosnia and Kosovo. [HL3066]
Baroness Scotland of Asthal: The identification, registration and overall management of resettlement cases worldwide is conducted by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). All caseloads for the UK resettlement programme are selected in consultation with the UNHCR, based on its resettlement needs handbook. The International Organisation for Migration is responsible for certain aspects of the resettlement operation, such as transportation, but has no direct involvement in the process of referring applications to the United Kingdom. Plans have already been made for filling this year's quota for the UK resettlement programme.
Baroness Scotland of Asthal: The recent grant made to the Scottish mountain rescue teams went to the police forces in Scotland to cover costs incurred by teams affiliated to the Mountain Rescue Committee of Scotland. In England and Wales the police funding formula, by which police grant is allocated, reflects the relative needs of all police authorities. There is no component of the funding formula directly related to mountainous geography of any police force area. The funding formula is established and maintained in consultation with the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) and the Association of Police Authorities (APA) and any significant issues are taken into account when the funding formula is reviewed. My right honourable friend the Home Secretary is always prepared to consider requests for a special grant payment when a police authority is faced with a particularly extraordinary funding pressure on a specific issue.
24 Jun 2004 : Column WA142
How many additional civil servants have been employed to implement Section 2 of the Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000; and by which of the specified authorities listed in Schedule 1A to the Act they were employed; and [HL3173]
Baroness Scotland of Asthal: More than 43,000 public bodies are listed in Schedule 1A to the 2000 Act. There is no centrally held information on who is employed by these public bodies to implement Section 2 of the Act or the cost to them.
Research conducted on behalf of the Commission for Racial Equality (CRE) found that nearly 70 per cent of public authorities and educational institutions felt that their work on implementing the duty had already produced positive results. The benefit most commonly cited was increased awareness of race equality in policy making and service delivery; other benefits included increased ability to ensure policies and services were targeted and designed appropriately.
Supporting evidence to the findings of the research conducted on behalf of the CRE has been published in the Audit Commission's report, The journey to race equality published in January 2004. This states that the duty to promote race equality and good race relations under the Race Relations (Amendment) Act is the most influential driver of activity on race equality.
Baroness Scotland of Asthal: The Home Office Research Development and Statistics Directorate (RDS) does not collect ethnic monitoring information on the external organisations awarded research contracts. It does comply with Schedule 1A to the Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000, although the duties under this schedule cannot be passed to third parties.
24 Jun 2004 : Column WA143
Baroness Scotland of Asthal: The Home Office recognises that integrating race equality into the procurement process can improve the quality of Home Office services, making them more appropriate and more responsive to the needs of different communities.
Procurement guidance has been issued explaining how to take account of race equality and ethnic minority issues in public procurement. To comply with the Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000 and its duty to promote race equality, the department's procurement policies and practices promote equality of opportunity and good race relations. These policies and practices are regularly reviewed to check that they are in compliance with the aims of the Act.
What steps the Home Office Research, Development and Statistics Directorate is taking to develop and support a diverse group of researchers who can be invited to submit research tenders, and what is being done to provide support for potential bidders in complying with procurement requirements. [HL3210]
Baroness Scotland of Asthal: The Home Office Research Development and Statistics Directorate (RDS) conducts a wide range of research and analysis in support of Home Office delivery including work undertaken through external contracts. The RDS website allows interested parties the opportunity to submit an expression of interest in research areas. This information is then entered into an RDS database and used when considering who to send an invitation to tender. RDS is implementing a further initiative to place more details of research programmes on the website.
To develop and support a diverse group of researchers, RDS requests expressions of interest on a project basis; actively identifies potential new contractors through searches of university websites; is represented at significant public seminars and conferences and organises meetings itself to see the work of researchers outside the confines of the client-contractor context. The external peer review programme enables a wide group of researchers to be aware of RDS work. In addition, RDS staff membership of professional societies and networks enables RDS work to be visible to a wider group of potential contractors.
The Home Office provides support for potential bidders by ensuring that invitations to tender contain full details of instructions as to how to tender and the information required, as well as the Home Office
24 Jun 2004 : Column WA144
standard terms and conditions of contract. A suppliers' guide is available on the Home Office website. The guide acts as a signpost for potential bidders and helps to identify opportunities, explaining how to bid for work and providing contact points for all the Home Office procurement units.
|Next Section||Back to Table of Contents||Lords Hansard Home Page|