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Race Relations

Volume 409: debated on Friday 18 July 2003

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To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Department for Constitutional Affairs what progress has been made in the Lord Chancellor's Department and non-departmental public bodies on implementing the requirements of the Race Relations Amendment Act 2000; and if he will publish the results of the monitoring required by the Act. [117472]

The Department for Constitutional Affairs is fully committed to providing equality of opportunity and valuing diversity in everything it does. Our Race Equality Scheme was published by the Lord Chancellor's Department (as it then was) in May 2002 and sets out the action the Department will take to meet its statutory duties under the Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000. The Scheme identifies the policies and functions of the Department that have a high relevance to meeting the general statutory duty and outlines the programme of action that is being undertaken in each case in order to meet that duty. Diversity awareness training has been provided for all permanent staff and we have incorporated diversity awareness into induction training for new staff. In accordance with the requirements of the Act we will publish a summary of the assessments, consultation exercises and monitoring we carry out and this will be included as part of the Equality and Diversity Annual Report. We will conduct a review of the Scheme in 2004 to assess which of our functions and policies are relevant to meeting the statutory duties and will publish a revised Scheme by 1 April 2005.