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Assets Recovery Agency

Volume 475: debated on Thursday 15 May 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if she will make it her policy to ensure that staff due to be transferred from the Assets Recovery Agency to the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) are assimilated on the same basis as staff previously transferred to SOCA from HM Revenue and Customs and the UK Immigration Service; and if she will make a statement. (190663)

[holding answer 10 March 2008]: The employment terms of SOCA officers are a matter in law for the director general of SOCA.

I understand that the assimilation of ARA staff into SOCA was handled so as to be fair to both the ARA staff and existing SOCA staff, with staff fulfilling equivalent roles placed in the same grade. ARA staff were assimilated on terms which resulted in no one losing money and in pay increases with effect from 1 April 2008 for around 45 per cent. of ARA staff.

Further, SOCA plans in the autumn of 2008 a job evaluation exercise for all its staff. This will ensure that initial gradings of former ARA staff were correct as well as addressing any remaining anomalies in the grading of existing SOCA staff.