To ask the Attorney-General if he will make a statement on the achievements of (a) his policies and (b) his Department in helping small businesses over the last 12 months as against the previous 12 months; and if he will publish the performance indicators by which his Department monitors those achievements and the statistical results of such monitoring.
The Government continue to place a high priority on helping small businesses through improvements to the business climate, through deregulation and through specific programmes of support and assistance.The departments for which I am responsible are the legal secretariat to the Law Officers, the Treasury Solicitor's department, the Crown Prosecution Service and the Serious Fraud Office. The services provided by the first two are largely internal to Government. The functions of the Crown Prosecution Service and the Serious Fraud Office relate purely to the criminal justice system.As regards purchasing, all the departments have regard to the desirability of encouraging small businesses in line with the policy of the Government as a whole. However, no specific programmes of support and assistance operate in the departments for which I am responsible.