§ Mr. McDonnell
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions (1) what assessment he has made of the report by Pearn Kandola in relation to discrimination in his Department on grounds of(a) race and (b) gender; 
(2) what factors underlay the commissioning of a review of his Department's staff appraisal system by Pearn Kandola; 
(3) what were the findings of the report commissioned by his Department into his Department's staff appraisal system, undertaken by Pearn Kandola; 
(4) if the report by Pearn Kandola into his Department's staff appraisal system identified the causes of the statistically significant differences in performance marking between ethnic minorities and whites; 
(5) what advice he has received from officials on the compliance of departmental staff appraisal systems with requirements to be non-discriminatory; 
(6) if the report by Pearn Kandola into his Department's staff appraisal system identified the causes of the statistically significant differences in performance marking between men and women in certain grades; 
(7) what was the cost of the study of his Department's staff appraisal system by Pearn Kandola; 
(8) if he will make a statement on staff concerns relating to racial discrimination contained in the Pearn Kandola report into his Department's staff appraisal system; 
(9) if he will publish the report by Pearn Kandola into his Department's staff appraisal system; 
(10) what action he is taking on the findings of the study by Pearn Kandola into his Department's staff appraisal system. 
§ Mr. Meale
The Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions is committed to equality of opportunity. All DETR staff have a right to fair treatment throughout their careers regardless of race, ethnic or national origin, age, religion, gender, marital status, disability or sexual orientation.432W
As part of our commitment to equality of opportunity, my Department monitors and compares the annual performance and promotability of its staff by gender, ethnicity, disability and part/full-time working. When the analysis of performance reports for staff in the central Department for the year to 31 March 1998 was carried out, a number of statistically significant differences were identified in relation to gender, ethnic and other groups: the performance marks for women were significantly higher than those for men in administrative grades, and white staff received higher marks than ethnic minority staff at Executive Officer and Personal Secretary level.
In the light of these findings, Pearn Kandola, a firm of occupational psychologists, were appointed to carry out an independent study of the appraisal system.
The Pearn Kandola report was completed in the first week of December. It concluded that overall, from the evidence looked at, the appraisal system on balance appeared to be fair. The specific cause or causes of the differences in report markings could not be identified. The report made a number of recommendations on how the system could be improved which the Department will be acting on.
The cost of the study was £32,000.
I have placed copies of the full report in the House of Commons Library.
The issues raised by the report are currently under consideration.