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Ethnic Monitoring

Volume 177: debated on Monday 23 July 1990

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To ask the Minister for the Civil Service if he will make a statement regarding his office's implementation of its ethnic monitoring policy.

My Department continues to monitor the ethnic origin of applicants and new entrants to assess the effectiveness of our equal opportunities policies.

I thank the Minister for that answer. If he does move on, he will at least have left behind the appreciation of many people for his personal efforts on equal opportunities. Does he recognise, however, that a vast amount remains to be done and that an equal opportunities monitoring policy is useless on its own without positive action to ensure its enforcement? What is the Minister doing to ensure that his policy is brought into real effect so that we get some black people at senior levels in the civil service?

The hon. Gentleman knows that at the end of May I launched a programme of action to ensure proper equality of opportunity for black and Asian people within the service. I stress that it is equality of opportunity and involves getting there on the basis of merit. I am sure that the hon. and learned Gentleman would not disagree with that. I hope that he feels that the programme of action will facilitate that aim.