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Lord McIntosh of Haringey: The following criteria apply for deciding when unclaimed sums in National Savings & Investments should be handed over to the Commissioners for the Reduction of the National Debt:
Lord McIntosh of Haringey: Sport England has allocated £40 million in principle to the Olympic Aquatics Centre, of which £1.5 million of their Lottery funding will be provided to the London Development Agency as a grant for development work on the Aquatics Centre in 200405. In addition, Sport England has made a £7 million Lottery Grant to the Lee Valley Regional Park Authority for the Lee Valley Regional Athletics Centre that will be used as a training venue for the Games. The project will be on site in late 2004 and it is anticipated that £4.5£5 million of Sport England's Grant will be drawn down in 200405.
What is the cost of the third survey being carried out for the Rural Payments Agency by a marketing research company, which is seeking the views of 2,500 farmers on the standard of the agency's service. [HL4580]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Whitty): The cost of the third survey being carried out for the Rural Payments Agency by a marketing research company is £71,175. The costs cover consultancy, a telephone survey of 2,500 customers and subsequent analysis work. The cost also covers presentations of the findings to RPA management, staff and customer groups.
Lord Whitty: The 2002 survey was undertaken by consultants in July of that year at a total cost of £51,997. Feedback was obtained from 2,500 customers through telephone interviews. Consultancy costs included analysis work, reports and presentations to staff and industry groups.
The 2003 survey was undertaken by a different consultant company at a total cost of £82,213. Again 2,500 interviews were completed over the phone during November. Additional costs were incurred because of the merger of the Rural Payments Agency with the British Cattle Movement Service which resulted in longer interviews to cover extra questions.
Further to the Written Answer by the Lord Evans of Temple Guiting on 25 October (WA 111), which department is the depositing department responsible for giving or withholding permission to make available documents submitted to the Cullen inquiry into the Dunblane tragedy; and when that department will decide on the closure period. [HL4659]
The Public Records (Scotland) Act 1937 makes provision for the preservation, care and custody of the public records of Scotland. There is not, however, any statutory basis for closure of records created by Scottish public bodies.
By contrast, in England and Wales the Public Records Act 1958 (as amended by the Public Records Act 1967) sets a statutory "closure period" of 30 years after which records must, with limited exceptions, be made available to the public. The 1937 Act does not impose similar obligations on Scottish Executive departments, but in practice those procedures are followed in Scotland.
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The criteria for closures longer than 30 years were defined in a White Paper on open government published in 1993 (Cm 2290), which stated that it is for the department responsible for depositing the material to decide on the closure period.
Documents containing information about individuals, whose disclosure would cause either substantial distress, or endangerment from a third party to persons affected by disclosure or their descendants can be subject to a variable closure period of between 40 and 100 years.
At the conclusion of Lord Cullen's inquiry, the papers were lodged with the then Scottish Record Office. As is normal practice, the closure periods were identified by the SRO, in consultation with the secretary to the inquiry and the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service. In light of the obvious sensitivities in relation to the information about
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children and alleged offences against them the productions were closed for 100 years. This closure was in accordance with the government guidelines published in the White Paper, Open Government, Cm 2290 (1993), and Lord Cullen was content with these arrangements.
However, subsequently the Lord Advocate decided that the material from the Dunblane inquiry should be catalogued by staff at the National Archives of Scotland in a way which did not lead to the identification of children. The cataloguing of the productions has recently been completed. Officials from the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service are currently reviewing this material and considering what information is suitable for release either in its entirety or in an edited format. However, the sensitive nature of the information contained in some of the material will obviously prevent its release before the end of the 100-year closure period.
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