§ Mr. Drew
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment if he will(a) place in the Library and (b) issue to the Access Committee for England a copy of the review which was carried out jointly by the Department of Health, Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions and Department for Education and Employment of ACE's performance. 
§ Mr. Alan Howarth
[holding answer 29 June 1998]: I have considered this question in relation to the guidance in the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information. The review of the funding arrangements for the Access Committee for England (ACE) that was completed in March reflects internal discussion and advice—one of the categories of information exempt from the commitments to provide information—and I have concluded that it would not be appropriate to publish the submission that was made to me. I have, however, explained the decision to Mr. Peter Lainson, Chairman of ACE, in writing. I have also agreed to meet him to discuss the decision and his concerns.
There have been two reviews in connection with ACE. A review in 1996 examined their role and functions, taking into account their performance. It established new and different terms of reference for ACE. Mr. Alistair Burt, then a Department of Social Security Minister, also put in place funding arrangements, secure until 31 March 1998, to give ACE time to adapt to its new role.
The review concluded earlier this year looked at the funding arrangements that had been agreed to help ACE in that transitional period. The conclusion was that, in accordance with a general policy of moving away from core funding to funding for specific projects, funding under s64 of the Health Services and Public Health Act 1968 for ACE's central administrative costs should cease. ACE are free to bid competitively for specific projects.