(2) how many construction industry services registration (CIS4) cards (a) have been issued and (b) are in use; and if he will make a statement.
There have been 2.4 million construction industry registration cards (CIS4) issued since the scheme began in 1999. Of these 1.9 million have been used.
Unused cards are attributable to: holders of recently issued cards having not yet been paid within CIS; holders that normally work within the domestic sector having applied for a card in case they become involved in CIS work; and where one or two partners in a company use their cards on behalf of the company (with those of the other partners being unused).
A quarterly breakdown of the number of CIS4 cards issued since 1 April 2001 is given in the following table. These figures include replacements for cards that have been lost, stolen or have expired (in the case of temporary cards).
Quarter 2001-02 2002-03 2003-04 2004-05 2005-06 April to June 56,000 61,000 63,000 74,000 77,000 July to September 61,000 83,000 73,000 83,000 82,000 October to December 48,000 55,000 63,000 65,000 63,000 January to March 58,000 70,000 78,000 75,000 81,000 Total 223,000 269,000 277,000 297,000 303,000
April to June
July to September
October to December
January to March
(2) what changes he plans to make to the construction industry services registration card system in 2007; what (a) identity checks and (b) immigration status checks will be put in place; and if he will make a statement.
Neither the legislation for the current construction industry scheme (CIS) nor the legislation for the new scheme empowers HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) to question the immigration status or nationality of applicants for CIS registration cards. There is also no legal exchange of information gateway to allow such information that might be obtained by HMRC to be passed to the Home Office.
Under both the current and new schemes, HM Revenue and Customs must be satisfied about the applicants' identity and addresses. They may be required to produce appropriate documentation to evidence their identity, which might include a passport or driving licence. The new CIS scheme will also allow HMRC to require attendance in person to provide such information as satisfies HMRC on an applicant's identity and address.