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Race Relations

Volume 407: debated on Thursday 19 June 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what progress has been made in her Department and non-departmental public bodies on implementing the requirements of the Race Relations Amendment Act 2000; and if she will publish the results of the monitoring required by the Act. [117623]

One of the key values of the Department is to treat everyone fairly and to encourage, value and recognise everyone's views and contributions. This applies to the public and our external customers as well as to our staff.Defra's draft Race Equality Scheme, published last year, covered core Defra and the two smallest Agencies, the Pesticides Safety Directorate and the Veterinary Medicines Directorate. The remaining four Defra Agencies (the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Research, the Central Science Laboratory, the Veterinary Laboratories Agency and the Rural Payments Agency) have each produced specific schemes and associated action plans.The draft Defra Scheme was the subject of a public consultation exercise in the autumn last year and has been revised in the light of comments received. A revised Race Equality Scheme will be published in the summer together with a report on progress of action, including the results of monitoring.The Departments non-departmental public bodies are expected to follow the lead of the core Department. I will write to my hon. Friend separately to provide information on the action that they are taking to respond to the general duty.