HC Deb 03 March 1999 vol 326 c741W
Mr. Berry

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport 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. [71271]

Mr. Banks

We are acting to ensure that the Department's policies meet the needs of disabled people and that we comply with our legal requirements. The Department already takes positive steps to make it easier to disabled people to participate in the arts, sport and leisure pursuits. We shall continue to do so, not only by complying fully with new duties in the Disability Discrimination Act but by aiming to exceed them where appropriate.

One of the Department's main objectives is to widen and improve access for disabled people and other groups by embedding consultation and consideration of their needs in mainstream policies, and by means of the funding agreements being negotiated with its sponsored bodies. This includes the need to ensure that our policies and their outcomes comply with the law. This complements the guidance "Policy Appraisal for Equal Treatment" which the Cabinet Office issued to all Government Departments in November 1998, and which was signed jointly by my right hon. Friends the Minister for Women, the Secretary of State for Education and Employment and the Home Secretary.

The Department's Management Board monitors the Department's performance and that of its sponsored bodies and will publish information on the progress being made in this area, as will other Government Departments.