§ Ms Kingham
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many public interest immunity certificates have been issued in(a) 1997 and (b) each of the three previous years; and if he will provide a breakdown of the sources of requests for such certificates over that period. 
§ Mr. Straw
In respect of my Department, six public interest immunity (PII) certificates have been issued in 1997. For each of the three previous years the available figures are:
Year Number of PII certificates 1994 7 1995 13 1996 8
The certificates in question have been issued to protect information relating to the Security Service, and information relating to the security and operation of prisons. Of the 34 certificates issued since 1994, 19 have related to the Security Service and 15 to the Prison Service.