I WAS interested to read your article 'Anger over prison links' (Reporter 3/3/11), particularly because I am responsible for carrying out the census, not the company called CACI which was mentioned in the article. CACI (UK) Ltd (a UK-registered company which is not involved in defence or intelligence contracts) is one of several contractors appointed by my department to help us deliver Scotland's Census in order to achieve best value for the taxpayer.

Your article highlighted unproven allegations - made seven years ago - of mistreatment of prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison by CACI (UK) Ltd's parent company CACI International.

My department is fundamentally committed to ethical conduct and would never have any dealings with a company convicted of human rights abuse.

These allegations remain unsubstantiated, the company strongly denies them and, under European procurement rules, we are not allowed to exclude bidders because they have a US parent company or because of unproven allegations.

Your article quotes the website of Scotland Against Criminalising Communities which has called for the census to be rescheduled, boycotted or false information provided to protest at the contract with CACI (UK) Ltd.

Rescheduling the census would involve substantial cost to the taxpayer (because CACI (UK) Ltd would require to be compensated, and the work which it has done would have to be replicated by another contractor) and would deprive Scotland in the meantime of the information which the census collects.

The census is the only way of doing a complete count of Scotland's population and its completeness and accuracy is of great importance to many people in Scotland.

If the census misses anyone, people across Scotland - including Dumbarton - will lose out, because the census's population figures play a big part in the Scottish Government's allocation of money to local councils and the NHS and because councils and many other bodies depend on census information to help them take decisions on where services like schools, houses and supermarkets should be located.

Duncan Macniven Registrar General for Scotland AS a supporter of the National Autistic Society living in the area, we are extremely concerned about the Government's Disability Living Allowance (DLA) reforms.

The reform means people with autism will have to undergo a stringent face-to-face assessment in order to claim this vital benefit.

Autism is a 'hidden' disability and unless assessors have specific training in the condition, it is very likely the needs of people with autism will be misunderstood or overlooked. I would like to appeal to our local MP to bring this issue to parliament in line with the National Autistic Society's Who Benefits? campaign, which puts forward the following four points aimed at protecting society's most vulnerable: � People shouldn't have to go through a face-to-face assessment if they already have sufficient evidence about their autism from previous assessments � People with autism experience a variety of difficulties with daily life. The Government must make sure that these are reflected in the new assessment.

� Assessors must be trained so that they understand autism and how to talk to someone with autism, and can make a fair assessment of that person's needs � The Government must not abolish mobility component of DLA for people living in residential care We urge others to take action now by visiting www.autism.org.uk/whobenefits.

Marina Gray, Dumbarton Alison Johnston, Dumbarton IT never ceases to amaze me that SNP party members can write into this paper blaming Jackie Baillie MSP and Labour for everything which is wrong with our society today, when their own party is making cuts across the board and doing the job for David Cameron and the Tories.

Let me put this into perspective. Labour has not been in power at the Scottish Parliament or here in West Dunbartonshire since May 2001. That is nearly four years since Labour was last in control.

It is the SNP which has been in charge these last four years, both in Edinburgh and in the council.

For the majority of that time SNP candidate and local councillor Iain Robertson was the man in charge of the SNP group.

He presided over cuts and, together with the SNP group in West Dunbartonshire, he slashed millions from care services, imposed millions of pounds of addition charges for essential services and equipment, cut supporting people funding, closed community libraries and cafes and cut teachers and learning assistants in our schools.

Not exactly a growing record of achievement.

Perhaps it is time for Iain Robertson and the SNP to wake up and smell the coffee.

They are the ones who are imposing cuts and charges, they are the ones who have been in power for the last four years and hopefully come May, they are the ones that are in opposition again.

James Conroy Alexandria