§ Mr. Allen
To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how many people since May 1997 have placed themselves on the register for public appointments maintained by the Cabinet Office; how many of these have received a public appointment since May 1997; and how many public appointments for which the above register is maintained have been made since May 1997. 
§ Mr. Leslie
The Public Appointments Unit in the Cabinet Office is responsible for maintaining and developing the Government's central register of people who have expressed an interest in serving on a public body. The register is made available to Government Departments via the Government's secure intranet, and is a resource on which they may draw when carrying out the process of making a public appointment.
While the Public Appointments Unit does not itself make any appointments, it is consulted about several hundred appointments each year, though not approached about every opportunity that arises. Between 1 May 1997 and 24 April 2002, 2,515 people have been added to the register. The other information requested is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
The Deputy Prime Minister and First Secretary of State
Cabinet Office Ministers make appointments to the following bodies sponsored by the Cabinet Office and its agencies:
- Advisory Committee on Advertising
- Advisory Committee on Business Appointments
- Better Regulation Taskforce
- Civil Service Appeal Board
- Committee on Standards in Public Life
- Honours Scrutiny Committee
- House of Lords Appointments Commission
- Security Commission
- Security Vetting Appeals Board
- Senior Salaries Review Board
- Women's National Commission.
Appointments to the Equal Opportunities Commission which is sponsored by the Cabinet Office are made by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry.
In addition the Minister for the Cabinet Office, in his capacity as Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, makes appointments to the Advisory Committees on Justices of the Peace in Lancashire, Greater Manchester and Merseyside.
"Public Bodies: Opening Up Public Appointments 2002–05" sets out for each Department specific targets for increasing diversity on the boards of the public bodies it sponsors and the action that will be taken to ensure that the targets are met and for monitoring progress. Copies of the publication are available in the Library of the House.