§ Mr. Singh
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many appointments to quangos he made between(a) 1 June 1997 and 31 May 1998 and (b) 1 June 1998 and 31 May 1999; and in each case of those how many were members of Britain's (i) Asian and (ii) ethnic minority communities. 
§ Mr. Chris Smith
The information is noted on the following table, which includes all appointments which fall under my responsibility or where my role is to advise my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister and, through him, Her Majesty The Queen. Where numbers of public appointees in any category are less than five, Government policy on disclosure of the ethnic origin is not to provide this data to avoid the risk of identifying individuals without their consent.
Total Asian1 All ethnic minorities 1 June 1997–31 May 1998 DCMS + HMQ 2101 Not disclosed 5(4.9%) 1 June 1998–31 May 1999 DCMS + HMQ 3158 5(3.1%) 7(4.4%) 1 Asian includes Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi and Chinese 2 Includes 13 appointments where information on ethnic background is not known or where appointees have declined to disclose this information 3 Includes 21 appointments where information on ethnic background is not known or where appointees have declined to disclose this information
My Department has published an action plan on equal opportunities in Quangos—Opening up Public Appointments 1999–2002, which was published by the Government on 25 May 1999 and deposited in the Libraries of both Houses. The action plan sets out DCMS objectives and targets for improving representation of women, people from ethnic minority groups and from people with disabilities.