HC Deb 22 February 1999 vol 326 c193W
Mr. Berry

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the impact on his Department's policies of the goods and services provisions of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 to be implemented in October 1999. [71269]

Mr. Fatchett

In the United Kingdom the Foreign and Commonwealth Office is responsible for the provision of Consular and Legalisation services to the public. We already ensure that where a customer has difficulty in accessing these services, by reason of a disability, alternative arrangements are made to ensure that person can access those services.

Consular Division of the FCO, which has responsibility for delivering these services, is to be relocated in 2000. A detailed disability access audit has already been carried out on the new site and the requirements of part III of the DDA have been fully incorporated into refurbishment plans.

Whilst the provision of goods and services by British Diplomatic Missions overseas is not covered by this legislation, our staff overseas will do all they can to adhere to the spirit of the Act in the provision of, for example, Commercial, Passport and Consular services to British Citizens, as well as entry clearance services to Citizens of other countries.