§ Mr. Keetch
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make a statement on his Department's(a) responsibilities and (b) assets with regard to civil contingency planning; what funds are committed; what action he is taking within his Department to improve such planning; and what action he is taking in collaboration with other departments. 
§ Ruth Kelly
I refer the hon. Gentleman to the answer given to him by the Minister of State, Cabinet Office on 21 March 2003.
In conjunction with the Cabinet Office, HM Treasury is reviewing its areas of responsibility with regard to civil contingency planning. Areas likely for inclusion in this review encompass:Protecting art treasures (supported by Department for Culture Media and Sport)Banks and financial services (supporting Department for Trade and Industry)Government financeRestricting finance for international terrorism (supporting the Foreign and Commonwealth Office)Sequestration of foreign assets (supported by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office)Transport co-ordination and support (supporting Department for Transport)Rationing (supporting the Cabinet Office, Department of Work and Pensions, and Home Office)
HM Treasury's core asset is our staff expertise based in our Whitehall office accommodation. The department has substantially upgraded its business continuity arrangements and has established alternative back-up office accommodation and emergency working arrangements. These arrangements are periodically tested with a variety of crisis management scenarios to improve resilience. Resource for these activities continues to be found within the department's expenditure limit.