Skip to main content

Identity and Passport Service

Volume 454: debated on Wednesday 13 December 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what foreign visits have been undertaken by the Identity and Passport Service staff on official business in the last 12 months; what the total cost was of each visit; and how much of that sum was accounted for by (a) travel expenses, (b) expenses claimed and (c) accommodation in each case. (105572)

Separate details of all foreign visits are not held centrally within the Identity and Passport Service. However within the last 12 months the total cost of foreign trips can be broken down as follows:

£

Cost of travel

21,475

Expenses

4,918

Hotels

8,446

Total

34,839

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what estimate he has made of the cost of replacing an identity card if (a) it is lost or stolen and (b) an individual's relevant information changes. (104615)

The Government have indicated in Parliament that they anticipate that changes to information on a person's record on the national identity register that would not require a change of card (e.g. address) would not incur a fee.

With regard to other changes of information that do involve a change of card, a schedule of fees has not yet been decided and will depend on the outcome of procurement processes related to the national identity scheme. Fees will be set out in regulations under section 35 of the Identity Cards Act 2006. It is likely that a charge will be made to replace lost and stolen cards, as is the case with passports.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he expects UK citizens to be charged for (a) changing their (i) PIN and (ii) passcode to facilitate the provision of information held on the National Identity Register and (b) registering a change of address on the Register. (104613)

The Government have indicated in Parliament that they anticipate that changes to information on a person's record on the National Identity Register that would not require a change of card (e.g. address) would not incur a fee. It is likely that changes to PINs et cetera would also fall into this category.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether data from the National Identity Register may be shared with private-sector organisations. (104656)

I refer the hon. Gentleman to the answer given to the hon. Member for Fareham (Mr. Hoban) on 4 December 2006, Official Report, column 147W.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many useable blank pages there were in each new version of the standard passport introduced since 1997. (105575)

Since 1997, the Identity and Passport Service (formerly the United Kingdom Passport Service) has introduced two new passport designs. The first, introduced in 1998, contained 27 pages that were useable for visas and endorsements. This year we introduced the e-passport which has 25 useable pages. The number of pages has been reduced because of the need to improve the clarity of the ‘Notes’ to assist the visually impaired plus the requirement to cater for additional languages following the expansion of the European Union and the decision to include the Welsh and Scottish Gaelic languages.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many jumbo 48-page passports were issued in each of the last five years for which figures are available. (105576)

The number of jumbo 48-page passports issued in each of the last five years are as follows:

Number

2002

32,609

2003

37,635

2004

45,031

2005

50,540

2006

136,666

1 The figures for 2006 are until the end of September 2006.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many officials were employed by the Identity and Passport Service and its predecessors in the processing of (a) standard and (b) jumbo passport applications and the issue of those passports in each of the last nine years for which figures are available. (105577)

It is not possible to provide specific information to this level of detail, however I can confirm that the breakdown of standard and jumbo passports over the last five years is as follows:

Standard

Jumbo

2002

4,944,941

32,609

2003

5,441,661

37,635

2004

6,030,404

45,031

2005

6,691,048

50,540

20061

5,984,842

36,666

1The figures for 2006 are until the end of September 2006

In addition the total number of staff employed at peak period for each of the last five years is as follows:

Staff

2002

2,825

2003

2,890

2004

3,303

2005

3,739

20061

3,850

1The figures for 2006 are until the end of September 2006.)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether his Department continues to issue jumbo 48-page passports. (105702)

Provision of the jumbo 48-page passport was withdrawn on 18 September 2006 and at present only 32-page biometric passports are available. The 48-page book was withdrawn so that the Identity and Passport Service could safely move from digital to biometric passports and meet the US visa waiver deadline of 26 October for full production of 32-page biometric books. A date has yet to be set as to when the 48-page passport may be reintroduced; this will potentially be spring 2007.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many passport applications there were in each of the last five years. (106988)

The number of passport applications received by the Identity and Passport Service (formerly UKPS) in each of the last five calendar years are as follows:

Number

2001

5,692,000

2002

5,570,000

2003

5,635,000

2004

6,134,000

2005

6,539,000