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Departments: Equal Opportunities

Volume 458: debated on Thursday 15 March 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps his Department has taken to implement the Race Equality Duty since 2000. (120633)

Following the introduction of the race duties we produced a Race Equality Scheme in draft format for public consultation in May 2002. We revised and updated our Race Equality Scheme in July 2003.

Our revised scheme, which took account of comments received during the consultation, lays out in detail how we implemented the Race Equality Duty. This includes information on how we:

assess, and consult on, the likely impact proposed policies will have on promoting race equality;

monitor policies for any adverse impact on promoting race equality;

publish the results of assessments, consultation and monitoring;

make sure the public have access to information and services; and

train staff to carry out the general duty and the specific duties.

A copy of our Race Equality Scheme is enclosed/available at www.defra.gov.uk

Key achievements include:

Race Relations Act training for staff;

launch of an Equality Impact Assessment toolkit; and

the extension of DEFRA’s successful Elevator Partnership Scheme to specifically address under-representation of minority ethnic and disabled staff at senior management levels.