Below is the text of the written answers relating to Prime Minister’s Question Time from 22nd July 1996.
Mr. Rowe: To ask the Prime Minister what plans he has to ensure that major publications from his Department are accompanied by a simultaneous electronic release of the text on the Internet.
The Prime Minister: For these purposes, my Office is part of the Cabinet Office. I refer the hon. Member to the reply given by my hon. Friend the Parliamentary Secretary, Office of Public Service, on 18 July, Official Report, column 621.
Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Prime Minister what inquiries to detect fraud by cross-checking his Department’s payroll with details of those claiming benefit he has undertaken; when these exercises took place; and how many staff were (a) suspended, (b) dismissed and (c) prosecuted as a result.
The Prime Minister [holding answer 17 July 1996]: None, but where the Benefits Agency had reasonable grounds for suspicion that an individual might be involved in benefit fraud the Cabinet Office would respond to its inquiries. Employees found guilty of fraud or dishonesty are liable to disciplinary action up to and including dismissal.
Next Steps Review
Mr. Alfred Morris: To ask the Prime Minister when he expects to publish the next steps review; and if he will make a statement.
The Prime Minister [holding answer 19 July 1996]: The review will be published in the autumn so as to provide an input into ministerial discussions and subsequent decisions on public expenditure and resource allocation. The 1996 publication will continue the development of the review, providing trend data and other measures common across agencies and will also report on progress towards developing benchmarking or organisational performance.