§ Dr. Cable
To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department, what plans the Lord Chancellor has to strengthen the supervision of solicitors with particular regard to(a) investigation of solicitor negligence and (b) more stringent penalties to be imposed by the Office for the Supervision of Solicitors in cases of poor service. 
§ Jane Kennedy
Allegations of negligence are reviewed by the Office for the Supervision of Solicitors, which, as it cannot give legal advice, has set up a panel of independent solicitors to whom such allegations may be referred. The panel solicitors will advise the complainant on whether a solicitor has been negligent and if so what action can by pursued. It is thereafter a decision for the complainant how to pursue the matter. However, the position on how complaints about negligence are handled is kept under review.
The Office for the Supervision of Solicitors can currently award compensation of £1,000 for inadequate professional service. However, the Lord Chancellor has exercised his powers to increase the limit to £5,000. This is to take effect from 31 March 2000.
How much was spent1 (£) The maximum bonus paid (£) Number of staff claiming the maximum The minimum bonus paid (£) Number of staff claiming the (£) Lord Chancellor's Department2 36,2503 600 10 50 98 Northern Ireland Court Service 26,1504 550 3 75 15 Land Registry 32,1105 365 1 25 47 Public Record Office 4,700 250 8 150 11 1 The amounts given do not include ERNIC (employment related National Insurance Contributions) 2 Including LCD Headquarters and Associated Offices, the Court Service and the Public Trust Office. 3 Based on bonus claims received up to and including 12 January 2000. 4 Based on bonus claims received up to and including 13 January 2000. 5 Based on bonus claims received up to and including 13 January 2000.