asked the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he is satisfied with the equality of opportunities in his Department in so far as they concern sex and race discrimination; and what advice has lately been given to staff in his Department in respect thereof by the officer designated as equal opportunities officer with responsibility for giving such advice.
Broadly speaking, yes. My Department is reviewing its policies and procedures to ensure equality of opportunity on the grounds of both race and sex. It is also participating in the service-wide development of policy and the creation of an adequate data-base on which the success of such policies can be evaluated. The Department's equal opportunities officers play a leading role in such work and promulgate appropriate guidance and instruction. All staff have been advised of the Department's general policy on race and sex equality through office circulars published in November 1984 and March 1985.