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Volume 407: debated on Monday 23 June 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list the actions his Department, its agencies and non-departmental public bodies are taking to comply with the requirements of the Control of Asbestos at Work Regulations 2002; whether he has made an estimate of the cost of compliance; and if he will make a statement.[117703]

The new asbestos regulations come into force on 21 May 2004. The Home Office has already undertaken a number of actions to ensure that it complies with them. Building managers have been informed of the implications of the new regulations and they will be provided with relevant training.A survey undertaken last year indicated that about 70 per cent. of properties across the Home Office including all prisons are already compliant with the new regulations and this will be followed up by a survey in early 2004 to check compliance in advance of them coming into force. The total cost of compliance has not been centrally calculated and could be obtained only at disproportionate costs.