HC Deb 27 February 2001 vol 363 cc602-3W
Mr. Tyrie

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when his strategic policy team was established; which of its reports are placed in the public domain; how many departmental or non-departmental special advisers participate in its work; how many regular(a) non-departmental and (b) departmental staff participate in its work; and how many of these work for the unit on a full-time basis. [150369]

Mr. Straw

The Head of the Strategic Policy Team took up post in April 2000. The rest of the team was then recruited, the last member joining in October 2000.

The team is an integral part of the Home Department, producing research and advice for Ministers. Its first major piece of work has been co-ordinating the production of "Criminal Justice: The Way Ahead", which was laid before Parliament on 26 February.

The team comprises eight departmental members of staff, seven of whom are full time. It employs one full time agency secretary. Where it examines issues cutting across more than one Department, it may involve staff from other Departments or from outside Government on secondment for the length of the project in question. For example, in its current work on criminal justice, it has received secondments for short periods of two officials from the Lord Chancellor's Department and one from the Crown Prosecution Service.

Special advisers contribute to the team's work as necessary in the same way as to that of other parts of the Department, and consistent with the Model Contract for Special Advisers.