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1993 - PMQT Written Answers 30th March 1993

Below is the text of the written answers relating to Prime Minister's Question Time from 30th March 1993.


PRIME MINISTER:

Mr. Ghazanfer Ali

Mr. Madden : To ask the Prime Minister, pursuant to his answer of 15 March, Official Report , column 34 , what information he has received about the outcome of court proceedings in Pakistan concerning Mr. Ghazanfer Ali.

The Prime Minister : The two murder charges facing Mr. Ghanzanfer Ali were heard on 13 and 14 March. Both cases were adjourned until 8 and 12 April. We shall continue to watch developments.


World Forestry Organisation

Mr. Dalyell : To ask the Prime Minister what representation he has had from Professor Ingvar Carlsson, former Prime Minister of Sweden, on the establishment of a world forestry organisation; and if he will make a statement.

The Prime Minister : None. Ambassador Ola Ullsten announced at the recent global forestry conference in Indonesia an initiative to establish a world commission on forestry and sustainable development. The Ministers concerned know of the initiative and expect to receive more information about it shortly.


Equal Opportunities

Mr. Janner : To ask the Prime Minister what steps he has taken to recruit women, members of ethnic minorities and disabled people respectively in top grades of employment at the Cabinet Office.

The Prime Minister : Recruits to the senior grades, as to any grade in the civil service, are selected on merit on the basis of fair and open competition, unless one of the exceptions permitted under the Civil Service Order in Council 1991 applies. Various steps have been taken by the civil service commissioners to aid recruitment from all sectors of the community, including : extending links with institutions of higher education; equal opportunities training for all those involved in selection; using validated section procedures.

The Cabinet office, which has signed up domestically to Opportunity 2000, is working towards achieving the civil service-wide benchmark of increasing the proportion of women in the top three grades to 15 per cent. or more by the year 2000. The Department continually seeks to encourage the employment of people from the ethnic minorities and those with disabilities.

Mr. Janner : To ask the Prime Minister when the Cabinet Office last conducted surveys of (a) ethnic origins and (b) the number women among its employees; when it next plans to do so; and whether he will make a statement.

The Prime Minister : A survey of the ethnic origins of all non-industrial civil servants was completed in 1988. The Cabinet Office introduced a computerised personnel database in 1991. All staff were given the opportunity to update their own entries, which include sections on ethnic origins. All new staff are given the opportunity to complete an ethnic monitoring questionnaire. There are no firm plans to conduct further surveys. The sex of employees is identified in staff records.