Skip to main content

Written Answers

Volume 479: debated on Monday 29 September 2008

Written Answers to Questions

The following answers were received between Wednesday 17 September and Friday 26 September 2008

Women and Equality

Children

To ask the Minister for Women and Equality what discussions on age discrimination against children and young people in the provision of goods, facilities and services Ministers and officials in the Government Equalities Office have held with (a) non-governmental organisations and (b) UK children’s commissioners since 2005. (221125)

The Government Equalities Office was established on 12 October 2007. Prior to this date the Discrimination Law Review Project was the responsibility of the women and equality unit in the Department of Communities and Local Government. Since 2005, Ministers for women and equality have met the Children’s Rights Alliance for England on two occasions; one of those meetings was attended by a group of young people. In late 2006, the women and equality unit hosted a roundtable discussion on children and young people, which was attended by non-governmental organisations and the children’s commissioners for England and Scotland. During the consultation period for the Equality Bill, the Children’s Rights Alliance for England organised a consultation event on behalf of the women and equality unit. Officials also met the Children’s Rights Alliance for England in August 2007 and the children’s commissioners for England and Scotland in March 2008.

To ask the Minister for Women and Equality what written representations concerning age discrimination against children and young people in the provision of goods, facilities and services Ministers and officials in the Government Equalities Office have received from (a) non-governmental organisations, (b) UK Children’s Commissioners and (c) members of the public since 2005. (221126)

The consultation paper on proposals for the Equality Bill, “A Framework for Fairness”, signalled that the Government was considering the case for prohibiting age discrimination in the provision of goods, facilities and services and for a single public sector duty extended to cover age. Over 4,000 organisations and individuals responded to the consultation, of which over 700 addressed the issue of prohibiting age discrimination in the provision of goods, facilities and services and over 50 of these responded specifically on the issue of children. The list of organisations that responded to the consultation is available on the Government Equalities Office website.

To ask the Minister for Women and Equality how many refuges for women and children have a dedicated indoor play area for children. (221654)

The Government do not hold information centrally on the number of refuges for women and children which have a dedicated indoor play area for children.

Decisions about the provision of refuge spaces and what these should contain are a matter for local authorities, but we would expect them to build services based on the needs of their communities.

Commission for Racial Equality: Leave

To ask the Minister for Women and Equality how many days leave the chair of the Commission for Racial Equality took in (a) 2005, (b) 2006 and (c) 2007. (220721)

The chair of the Commission for Racial Equality (CRE) was Trevor Phillips from February 2003 until November 2006 and Kay Hampton from November 2006 until the CRE became part of the Equality and Human Rights Commission on 1 October 2007. The Equality and Human Rights Commission has not inherited records from the CRE about leave taken but it is clear that the chair was entitled to 24 days annual leave, in addition to public holidays and two and half privilege days per annum.

Departmental Alcoholic Drinks

To ask the Minister for Women and Equality what measures are in place in the Government Equalities Office to monitor expenditure on alcohol for hospitality purposes. (219585)

Expenditure from the Government Equalities Office’s official hospitality account is monitored internally by its finance team and externally by the National Audit Office. It is also subject to internal audit. The GEO’s directors and deputy directors (six in total) can claim for alcohol purchased for official events and functions.

To ask the Minister for Women and Equality what purchasing process is used by the Government Equalities Office for the procurement of alcohol for hospitality purposes. (219935)

The directors and deputy directors (six in number) of the Government Equalities Office can claim expenses for alcohol purchased for hospitality at official working lunches and business gatherings. The reimbursement of these is dependent upon the provision and scrutiny of detailed receipts. Such reimbursement is subject to official departmental limits. Since the GEO was established on 12 October 2007 one such claim has been made.

Departmental Aviation

To ask the Minister for Women and Equality how many individual domestic air flights were undertaken within Great Britain by representatives of the Government Equalities Office since its creation; and at what cost. (215564)

Since its creation on 12 October 2007 the Government Equalities Office has paid for one domestic flight for a member of its staff. This was a return flight to Glasgow and cost £246.40.

Departmental Consultants

To ask the Minister for Women and Equality how many contracts the offices now comprising the Government’s Equalities Office awarded to consultants in 2006-07; how many contracts went out to tender in 2006-07; what the value of each was; and which contracts were not put out to tender. (219633)

[holding answer 17 July 2008]: The Government Equalities Office was established on 12 October 2007. It has taken over responsibility for equality issues from a number of different teams and Departments, including: the Disability Rights Commission Sponsorship team, based in 2006-07 in the Department for Work and Pensions; the Commission for Racial Equality Sponsorship Team, based in the Home Office in the first part of 2006-07, then transferred to the Department of Communities and Local Government; the Women and Equality Unit, based in the Department for Trade and Industry until May 2006, then in Communities and Local Government; and lawyers from DTI and HO, who transferred to CLG in May 2006. To answer the question accurately would therefore require investigation of records that are widely dispersed in a number of different Departments and locations and this could be done only at disproportionate cost.

Departmental Domestic Visits

To ask the Minister for Women and Equality on how many occasions she visited (a) Scotland, (b) Wales and (c) Northern Ireland in an official capacity in the last 12 months. (204386)

The Minister for Women and Equality visited Scotland once in February 2008 and Wales once in March 2008

Departmental Paper

To ask the Minister for Women and Equality what percentage of paper used (a) for photocopying and (b) in printed publications by the Government Equalities Office has been from recycled sources. (220736)

In the Government Equalities Office (GEO) all of the paper used for photocopying contains 100 per cent. recycled content. All GEO’s publications are printed on paper containing a minimum of 75 per cent. recycled fibre content. This is in line with the mandatory ‘Buy Sustainable—Quick Wins’ minimum environmental product standards developed by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

Departmental Pay

To ask the Minister for Women and Equality how many and what proportion of staff in the Government Equalities Office have received bonus payments since the office was established; what the total amount of bonuses paid has been; what the largest single payment has been; and if she will make a statement. (213280)

Since the establishment of the Government Equalities Office on 12 October 2007, 26 staff (32 per cent. of work force) have received special bonus payments. The total amount of special bonuses paid was £11,700, with the largest single payment being £1,000.

Departmental Postal Services

To ask the Minister for Women and Equality what steps the Government Equalities Office has taken to monitor the cost of its mail services since its establishment. (221476)

The Government Equalities Office (GEO) was established on 12 October 2007. Since then it has been based in Department of Communities and Local Government (CLG) buildings and CLG have been providing mail services for GEO as part of wider rental agreements. CLG monitor these mail services and are concerned to minimise costs. For example, all post is sent second class.

Departmental Responsibilities

To ask the Minister for Women and Equality how many reviews of regulation the Government Equalities Office has conducted or commenced since its establishment, and in which areas. (215629)

The Government Equalities Office has carried out a far-reaching review of the entire discrimination legislative framework in the Discrimination Law Review. We announced the headline results last month, and published a comprehensive response on 21 July (The Equality Bill: Government Response to the consultation). The Equality Bill to streamline and strengthen discrimination law, decluttering the current complexity of legislation and guidance.

Departmental Retirement

To ask the Minister for Women and Equality what the standard retirement age in the Government Equalities Office is; and how many people worked beyond the standard retirement age since the Office’s inception. (214136)

Until the Government Equalities Office agrees its own set of terms and conditions its staff are on loan from other Departments and they, therefore, work under the terms and conditions they agreed with in their parent Departments. However the majority of GEO staff are drawn from the Departments for Communities and Local Government and Work and Pensions both of which have removed the retirement age for all staff below senior civil servant (SCS) grade. At present the latter can continue to work until they reach the age of 65 but this age limit is due to be reviewed in 2011. To date, the GEO has not received any requests from SCS staff who want to work beyond the mandatory retirement age.

Departmental Written Questions

To ask the Minister for Women and Equality how many and what proportion of Parliamentary questions for answer on a named day to the Government Equalities Office received a (a) holding and (b) substantive answer on the named day in each year since 2001. (190292)

The Government Equalities Office (GEO) was established in October 2007. However, it has been answering parliamentary written questions on issues relating to women and equality since July 2007. A total of 30 named day questions have been answered in that time, of which six (20 per cent.) received a substantive reply by the named day and 24 (80 per cent.) received a holding reply on the named day.

To ask the Minister for Women and Equality how long on average the Government Equalities Office took to answer (a) ordinary written and (b) named day questions since its creation. (215475)

The Government Equalities Office (GEO) was officially established in October 2007, but it has been answering parliamentary written questions since July 2007. Since then, it has taken an average of 12.6 working days (days when the House is sitting and when parliamentary questions can be tabled) and 9.5 working days to answer named day questions.

Equal Pay

To ask the Minister for Women and Equality what estimate she has made of the pay gap between men and women in each of the last three years. (219925)

The gender pay gap is calculated annually by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), using information from their Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings. The ONS recommends measuring the pay gap using the median value of hourly earnings.

The full-time gender pay gap is the percentage difference between men and women’s median hourly pay (excluding overtime) for full-time jobs. The full-time gender pay gap over the last three years is in the following table:

Percentage

2005

13.0

2006

112.8

2007

12.6

The part-time pay gap is the percentage difference between women’s median hourly part-time pay (excluding overtime) and men’s median hourly full-time pay (excluding overtime. The part-time gender pay gap figures for the last three years is in the following table:

Percentage

2005

40.4

2006

139.8

2007

39.1

1 The figures given for 2006 are a revision of the original figures for that year. The revised figures reflect a small number of methodological changes to the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings, which improve the quality of its results.

Equality

To ask the Minister for Women and Equality pursuant to the answer of 26 February 2008, Official Report, column 2831W, on equality, whether individual commissioners are required to give assurances that they support each of the objectives and statutory duties of the Equality and Human Rights Commission as a requirement of (a) appointment and (b) re-appointment. (220005)

Commissioners of the Equality and Human Rights Commission have a collective responsibility clause in their code of conduct and, when speaking as representatives of the Commission, are required to express the views of the Commission as a whole.

Single Equality Bill (Draft)

To ask the Minister for Women and Equality whether the draft single Equality Bill will be subject to pre-legislative scrutiny in the House. (201392)

No. The Government are committed to introducing an Equality Bill during this Parliament. The further policy consideration that our comprehensive consultation provoked, and our ongoing engagement with stakeholders, means that we have no plans to publish the Bill in draft.

Treasury

Banks

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what meetings he has had with representatives of the banking industry since the onset of the credit crunch; what agreements were reached at such meetings; what steps the (a) Government and (b) banking industry undertook to take at those meetings; whether proposals to (i) restructure the remuneration packages of banking industry employees and (ii) amend the accountability regime affecting banking activities were made at such meetings; and if he will make a statement. (223997)

The Chancellor of the Exchequer and other Treasury Ministers regularly meet with representatives of the banking industry. As was the case with previous Administrations, it is not the Government's practice to provide details of all such meetings.

The Government support the April 2008 Financial Stability Forum report recommendation that the financial services industry should take steps, working with regulators and supervisors, to adjust compensation models so as to mitigate the risks arising from inappropriate incentive structures.

Council Tax

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer with reference to the Valuation Office Agency’s local authority liaison meeting of 23 July, what assessment (a) his Department and (b) the Valuation Office Agency has made of the effect of council tax backdating on budgeting by billing authorities. (224078)

Gaming Machines

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what research (a) his Department and (b) the Gambling Commission has (i) commissioned and (ii) published since March 2008 on the effects of the availability of high-stake, high-prize gaming machines on problem gamblers. (224047)

I have been asked to reply.

On 14 March 2008 my hon. Friend the Minister for Sport wrote to the chair of the Gambling Commission, asking the Commission to prioritise its planned research into the impact of high-stake, high-prize gaming machines on problem gambling. The Gambling Commission replied on 31 July 2008, setting out the outcomes of some internal research which looked at the evidence surrounding this issue. A summary of the evidence reviewed will be published later in 2008. In the letter the Commission set out a programme of small projects that it would undertake to help establish a better understanding of the evidence. Among other things it will set up an expert panel and work with the gambling industry to explore player data, with a view to understanding how this data can be used in future research. The Commission will report to my Department again in June 2009 on progress with this programme of work.

National Insurance Contributions

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much was raised in national insurance contributions in (a) the UK, (b) England, (c) Wales, (d) Scotland and (e) Northern Ireland in each of the last 11 years. (224076)

Information on UK receipts of national insurance contributions is published in National Statistics Table 1.2 on the Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs website.

Estimates of national insurance contribution receipts for Scotland are prepared by the Scottish Government.

No other estimates are available of national insurance contribution receipts in the separate countries of the UK.

National Minimum Wage: Agriculture

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what his most recent estimate is of the level of compliance with national minimum wage requirements in the agricultural sector; and if he will make a statement. (224234)

I have been asked to reply.

The Statistics Digest for 2008 provides data on farm labour and wages. This includes data on workers paid below the statutory agricultural minimum wage rate. The table below shows the proportion of people according to the grades set out in the Agricultural Wages Order being paid below the set minima during the last full AWO year (October 2006-September 2006).

Grade

AWB minimum (£)

Below minimum (percentage)

Grade 1

5.35

6

Grade 2

5.74

18

Grade 3

6.31

19

Grade 4

6.77

8

Grade 5

7.18

10

Grade 6

7.75

13

These data are collected from the Department for Environment’ Food and Rural Affairs’s Earnings and Hours Survey and are based on a sample of 939 workers and only include people who are 20 years or over.

DEFRA is responsible for enforcing the Agricultural Wages Order and will investigate complaints about underpayment of the minimum wages rate.

Revenue and Customs: Correspondence

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will arrange for a substantive reply to be sent to the hon. Member for Walsall, North to his letter of 13 August to the tax credit office, Preston, concerning a constituent, ref JA121568A. (224017)

I have arranged for the Tax Credit Office to send a substantive reply to my hon. Friend about his constituent by 19 September.

Revenue and Customs: Official Hospitality

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much each HM Revenue and Customs office spent on (a) alcohol and (b) entertainment in the last three months, broken down by region. (224260)

Expenditure, including that on entertaining, is subject to audit and the principles of Managing Public Money and the Treasury handbook on Regularity and Propriety. £2,192 was spent within HMRC (excluding the Valuation Office Agency) on entertaining during the three months June 2008 to August 2008. Obtaining information on the amount spent on alcohol within this figure is available only at disproportionate cost.

Stamp Duty Land Tax

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the percentage of home purchase transactions that will benefit from the stamp duty exemption for properties between £175,000 and £125,000 in each of the next two years. (224207)

I refer the right hon. Member to the answer given to the hon. Member for Runnymede and Weybridge (Mr. Hammond) on 15 September 2008, Official Report, columns 2155-56W.

Tax Incentives: Energy

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what plans he has to use tax incentives to encourage energy conservation. (224057)

Government use a range of policy instruments to encourage energy efficiency, including spending, regulatory and voluntary approaches.

The Government keeps all taxes and reliefs under review.

Taxation: Energy

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what plans he has for the introduction of a tax on energy companies in relation to windfall profits. (224212)

Valuation Office: Geographical Information Systems

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether an invitation to tender document has been published for the Valuation Office Agency’s new geographic information system. (224085)

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will place in the Library a copy of the specification for the Valuation Office Agency’s new geographic information system, redacting any commercially sensitive information. (224079)

Valuation Office: Rightmove

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer with reference to the Valuation Office Agency’s Management Board meeting minutes of 19 June 2008, what conclusion the Board reached in relation to (a) the renewal of the Rightmove contract and (b) the use of third party information to support the automated valuation model. (224080)

The Valuation Office Agency Management Board approved further work to identify cost-effective approaches to gathering information to support its work.

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to the answer of 19 June 2008, Official Report, columns 1106-07W, on the Valuation Office Agency: Rightmove, what the contractual deadline and timetable are for the Agency to make a decision on whether to extend or continue with the contract. (224084)

The initial term of the contract between Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs and Rightmove.co.uk Ltd. expired on 31 March 2008. On the question of a timetable for a decision on whether to extend or continue with the contract, I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave him on 19 March 2008, Official Report, column 1225W.

Valuation Office: Travel

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what overseas countries and cities have been visited by representatives of the Valuation Office Agency during the last 12 months at public expense; and what the cost of such visits was. (224086)

During the last 12 months Valuation Office Agency staff have visited the following overseas cities and countries at public expense:

Cities

Purpose of visit

Kutching, Malaysia

Speaker at international valuation conference

Dublin, Ireland

Annual meeting to discuss valuation practice and procedures across England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland

Toronto, Canada

Valuation Symposium

Warsaw, Poland

Attendance at valuation conference

The cost of these visits was £7,006.

VAT: Energy

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate his Department has made of the revenue that will be raised from VAT on domestic energy as a result of increases in fuel prices in 2008-09. (224043)

International Development

Departmental Alcoholic Drinks

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what purchasing process is used by his Department for the procurement of alcohol for hospitality purposes. (219944)

DFID does not encourage expenditure on or consumption of alcohol in relation to hospitality. Therefore there are no specific processes for the purchase of alcohol. All entertainment and hospitality expenditure is made in accordance with published departmental guidance on financial procedures and propriety, based on the principles of Managing Public Money and the Treasury Handbook on Regularity, Propriety and Value for Money.

Departmental Buildings

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what account his Department takes of the level of energy efficiency of buildings before entering into agreements to (a) rent and (b) purchase those buildings. (221109)

The Department for International Development (DFID) has only two buildings in the United Kingdom, and has not taken on any properties in the last seven years. We have no plans to rent or purchase further properties.

Departmental ICT

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what IT contracts his Department has entered into in the last two years. (215137)

Copies of the document entitled "IT Contracts Awarded 2006-07 and 2007-08" which provides details of IT contracts entered into by the Department for International Development (DFID) in the last two years, have been placed in the Libraries of the House.

A limited number of low value IT purchases made by our overseas offices are not recorded centrally and would incur disproportionate cost to collate.

Departmental Postal Services

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps his Department has taken to monitor the cost of its mail services in the last 12 months. (221484)

All items sent through the UK post are through the Royal Mail, or in the case of items sent directly between our two offices, under a contract with TNT (Express) UK Ltd. Expenditure is monitored against budget in each location, and last year reduced overall by 12 per cent. over the preceding year.

Departmental Sick Leave

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many staff in his Department have had five or more periods of sickness absence of less than five days in two or more of the last five years. (218969)

There have been 90 home civil service staff in the Department for International Development (DFID) who have had five or more periods of sickness absence of less than five days in two or more years since 2003.

Departmental Visits Abroad

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what the cost of overseas visits by each Minister in his Department has been since 1997. (214648)

Since 1999, the Government have published the total cost of all overseas travel by Ministers and a list of all overseas travel by Cabinet Ministers costing over £500. Information for the last financial year was published on 25 July 2007, Official Report, column 1112W. Details for the financial year 2007-08 will be published before the summer recess and will include details of overseas visits undertaken by all Ministers. All ministerial travel is undertaken in accordance with the “Ministerial Code”.

Information in respect of overseas visits by all Ministers for the period 1997-99 could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Developing Countries: HIV Infection

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps his Department has taken to work in partnership on AIDS prevention with government bodies in those countries to which his Department provides aid to reduce the incidence of AIDS. (215414)

National Governments have responsibility for resourcing, coordinating and delivering effective AIDS responses, but they need support from a wide range of other stakeholders. The Department for International Development (DFID) supports countries to develop and implement evidence-informed HIV prevention strategies that promote and protect human rights; that are relevant to the local epidemic context; and that promote comprehensive approaches to HIV prevention based on the realities of people’s lives.

There is strong evidence for the effectiveness of many approaches to HIV prevention, including condom use, family planning, methods to prevent mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT), and for people who inject drugs, comprehensive harm reduction services, particularly needle and syringe exchange and drug treatment programmes, including non-injectable substitutes.

In countries with strong commitments to development, we focus on supporting the implementation of comprehensive country-led HIV and AIDS strategies, directly funding governments and working with civil society partners and donor agencies. In more fragile states, where governments are less effective, we provide technical support to strengthen government capacity as well as direct support for service delivery by civil society organisations.

A copy of the updated strategy “Achieving Universal Access—the UK’s strategy for halting and reversing the spread of HIV in developing world” and supporting evidence paper have been placed in the Libraries of both Houses. These are also available on the DFID website:

www.dfid.gov.uk

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what projects and programmes his Department funds (a) to address critical health worker shortages and (b) to secure long-term sustainable financing to strengthen health systems in countries where HIV positive and AIDS are endemic. (215485)

The Department for International Development (DFID) provides flexible funding to back national plans and priorities and to help strengthen health systems as a whole. UK Government health spend in developing countries was £750 million in 2006-07. Addressing the shortage of health workers in these countries is a high priority for DFID. For example, in Ethiopia DFID is contributing to the massive scale-up of community health workers—from fewer that 3,000 in 2004 to 24,000 now and 30,000 by 2009. In Malawi, DFID is contributing to the Emergency Human Resources Programme, which aims to double the number of nurses and triple the number of doctors. DFID has also provided £1 million to the Global Health Workforce Alliance from 2007-09.

In "Achieving Universal Access—the UK's Strategy for Halting and Reversing the Spread of HIV in the Developing World" the Government have committed £6 billion to strengthen health systems and services over seven years to 2015 in poor countries where HIV and AIDS are a major problem. We have also committed £1 billion to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria by 2015. A copy of the updated strategy 'Achieving Universal Access—the UK's strategy for Halting and Reversing the Spread of HIV in the Developing World' and supporting evidence paper have been placed in the Libraries of both Houses. These are also available on the Department for International Development (DFID) website:

www.dfid.gov.uk

Food

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much was spent by his Department on (a) food and (b) food of British origin in each of the last five years. (214881)

The Department for International Development (DFID) has budgeted to spend £279,000 on food through our catering contracts for our two UK offices in the current year. Information on the breakdown of food based on country of origin is not collated, and could not be obtained without incurring disproportionate cost. Information for previous years is not available as DFID changed its catering contractors at the beginning of 2008.

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development from which five countries of origin the greatest amount of food was procured by his Department in the last year for which figures are available; and what the (a) cost and (b) quantity procured was in each case. (214882)

The Department for International Development is unable to answer this question as we do not require our catering contractors to maintain records of the country of origin of food procured, and to obtain this information would incur disproportionate cost.

Kenya: Asylum

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assistance his Department has provided to enable Kenyan families displaced by post-election violence to return to their homes. (215410)

The UK Government's Department for International Development has committed £2.5 million in humanitarian assistance to Kenya for those displaced by the crisis.

In May, the Government of Kenya launched an operation to assist those who voluntarily wished to return home, providing transport, food, shelter and household items.

Although DFID has currently not committed funds to the resettlement of internally displaced people, we are working with the international community and the Government of Kenya to ensure resources are allocated to meeting the needs of those displaced and in finding ways of successful resettlement.

Overseas Aid

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development pursuant to paragraph 7.53 of his Department's 2008 Annual Report, which Millennium Development Goals his Department is not on track to meet by 2015. (217228)

The official assessment of progress towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) is made by the United Nations (UN) each year. The last assessment was published last autumn in the UN's annual report "The Millennium Development Goal Report 2007", which is available at:

http://mdgs.un.org/unsd/mdg/Resources/Static/Products/Progress2007/UNSD_MDG_Report_2007e.pdf.

This assessment of progress was also reproduced in Annex 3 of the Department's 2008 annual report. The next update of global progress towards the MDGs is expected to be published later in September by the United Nations.

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what scenario and contingency planning his Department has employed in its country programmes relating to fragile states; what the cost of such planning was; and what dialogue it has promoted with other Government departments, with reference to paragraph 8.10 of his Department's Annual Report 2008. (220384)

Scenario and contingency planning has been carried out by Department for International Development (DFID) country offices in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria, Nepal, Pakistan, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen. DFID has also participated in joint UK Government scenario planning exercises in Kosovo and Iraq. Scenario and contingency planning has helped DFID develop a better, shared understanding of context within country offices and with other Government Departments, particularly the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and Ministry of Defence (MOD). It has helped DFID think through the mix of aid instruments and partnerships we should use, improve risk assessment and management, and define and test options for country plans and HMG strategies.

Six DFID country offices have drawn on some support from external experts as part of the work (Bangladesh, Sudan, Somalia, Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan) and the estimated cost of this work has been £130,500. The majority of country offices have carried out the work in-house. A cross-Whitehall scenario planning group (comprising DFID, FCO, MOD, Stabilisation Unit and the Horizon Scanning Centre) has also been established centrally, and this group is sharing lessons and experiences of scenario planning work. DFID's new country planning guidance (issued on 14 July 2008) requires all country offices to include scenario and contingency planning as part of the process.

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what progress has been made in meeting the objectives of the Millennium Development Goals Call to Action; what steps have been taken to increase the number of countries supporting the Call to Action; how much his Department has spent on Call to Action; what administrative costs his Department has incurred; and what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of Call to Action. (220496)

Progress to date against objectives on the Call to Action has included:

45 countries and the EC have signed up to the Call to Action, showing their dedication to achieving the MDGs. We expect the number of signatories will continue to grow.

The G8 and the EU in its Agenda for Action have reaffirmed their commitments on aid and agreed ways of accelerating progress on the MDGs.

Over 60 private sector leaders have signed up to the Business Call to Action. Some of these set out in the Business Call to Action event organised with UNDP in May how they will contribute through their core business to reaching the MDGs. Others will do the same at the UN meeting on the MDGs in September.

Civil society and faith groups are engaging in support of the Call to Action.

We have seen close co-operation by countries and others in co-ordinating partnership events that will help shape a common vision of how to accelerate action on the MDGs.

In order to help increase the number of signatory countries, UK Government representatives, working closely with our partners, have sought to raise the Call to Action with bilateral partners in a range of meetings over the past year.

The Department for International Development (DFID) has so far spent approximately £375,000 from its programme budget.

Based on salary costs, the administrative spend so far on the CtA, has been approximately £300,000 for the core team. In addition to this there are unquantified costs for the time of a range of other staff, who provide support as part of their wider responsibilities, and in-country costs incurred by the UK Mission in New York.

The CtA has been very effective in engaging a broad set of players to harness their potential to help achieve the MDGs. However there is still much to be done and we will continue to work closely with the UN and others.

Home Department

Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs: Finance

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how much her Department spent to support the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs in each of the last five years. (223151)

[holding answer 10 September 2008]: The Home Office allocated the following sums of money in each of the last five years to support the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs:

Sum allocated to the ACMD (£)

2003-04

80,000

2004-05

135,000

2005-06

165,000

2006-07

152,000

2007-08

152,800

In addition the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs secretariat staff and other civil servant costs have not been allocated as such costs are subsumed within normal salaried remuneration and within existing budgets.

Airwave Service

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department on what date the Airwave system will be implemented for police forces in the London area. (223508)

[holding answer 15 September 2008]: The Airwave service is already being used operationally throughout both City of London Police and the Metropolitan Police Service. Migration to Airwave from the previous radio systems was completed by September 2007.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the guaranteed lifespan of the aerials used in the Airwave project is; and what preventative maintenance programme for these aerials has been put in place. (223509)

[holding answer 15 September 2008]: The Airwave service is provided by Airwave Solutions Ltd. (ASL) and is paid for by the National Policing Improvement Agency and police authorities by means of a service charge. The responsibility for aerials and any associated preventative maintenance rests with ASL. The Airwave contract does not make specific reference to either aerial life or aerial maintenance but ASL are obliged to maintain service levels as specified in the Airwave contract.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what options her Department has considered for integrating talk groups within the Airwave system; and what estimate it has made of the cost of implementing the preferred option. (223510)

[holding answer 15 September 2008]: Talk groups are a basic component of the Airwave service and as such are included in the core charge for the service. They exist within every police force and have been implemented progressively ever since Lancashire Constabulary first started using Airwave in September 2001.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what discussions her Department has had with construction industry representatives on the inclusion of Airwave technology in large construction projects. (223511)

[holding answer 15 September 2008]: There is no legal requirement for Airwave to be installed within large construction projects and the service is usually provided on a bespoke basis at the behest of the local force under a provision in the Airwave contract for Special Coverage Solutions. In such situations, the cost is borne by the appropriate police authority. We are not aware of any discussions that have been held on this issue with the construction industry.

Animal Experiments: Scotland

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many (a) supplying, (b) breeding and (c) scientific procedure establishments designated under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 there were in Scotland on 31 December 2007. (223096)

[holding answer 10 September 2008]: As at the 31 December 2007 in Scotland there were 11 supplying, 18 breeding and 32 user establishments designated under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many regulated procedures under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 were carried out in Scotland in 2007. (223196)

[holding answer 10 September 2008]: During 2007, in Scotland there were 392,671 regulated procedures carried out under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many project licences were (a) granted under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 in 2007 and (b) in force at the end of 2007 in respect of work to be carried out in Scotland. (223197)

[holding answer 10 September 2008]: During 2007 102 project licences were granted under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 in Scotland. On 31 December 2007 there were 482 project licences in force in Scotland.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what proportion of the regulated procedures conducted in Scotland in 2007 under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 were performed in (a) public health laboratories, (b) universities and medical schools, (c) national health service hospitals, (d) Government Departments, (e) other public bodies, (f) non-profit making organisations and (g) commercial organisations. (223198)

[holding answer 10 September 2008]: During 2007, in Scotland, based on the numbers of procedures, universities and medical schools carried out 68 per cent. of the regulated procedures under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986, Government Departments 1 per cent., other public bodies 13 per cent. and commercial organisations 18 per cent.

Non-profit making organisations accounted for less than ½ per cent of procedures whilst public health laboratories and NHS hospitals did not carry out any regulated procedures.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what proportion of the regulated procedures conducted in Scotland in 2007 under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 were carried out for (a) fundamental and applied studies other than toxicology and (b) toxicity tests or other safety and efficacy evaluation. (223199)

[holding answer 10 September 2008]: During 2007, in Scotland, 84 per cent. of the regulated procedures conducted under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 were carried out for fundamental and applied studies other than toxicology and 16 per cent. for toxicity tests or other safety or efficacy evaluation.

Antisocial Behaviour Orders

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many individual support orders were issued in (a) 2006 and (b) 2007; and what proportion of all antisocial behaviour orders issued to 10 to 17 year olds individual support orders represented in each year; (223153)

(2) how many intervention orders have been made since 1 October 2006; and what proportion this represents of all antisocial behaviour orders issued in this period.

[holding answer 10 September 2008]: The available information on the number of Individual Support Orders (ISOs) issued is shown in the following table. ISO Data for 2007 will be available in 2009.

Intervention Orders became available in October 2006. The Office for Criminal Justice Reform started collecting data on the number of Intervention Orders from 1 October 2007. Data for 2007 are due to be published in early 2009.

Number of Individual Support Orders1 given at the magistrates court, in addition to an antisocial behaviour order (ASBO), as reported to the Office for Criminal Justice Reform by the Court Service, from 1 January to 31 December 2006, England and Wales

All persons aged 10-17

Period

Individual Support Orders

ASBOs issued on application

ASBOs issued on conviction

Percentage of ASBOs issued on application with an ISO attached

Total 2006

75

423

631

18

1 Available at magistrates courts only for juveniles (aged 10-17) with ASBOs issued on application. Commencement date 1 May 2004.

Notes:

1. Previously issued data have been revised.

2. Every effort is made to ensure that the figures presented are accurate and complete. However, it is important to note that these data have been extracted from large administrative data systems generated by the courts. As a consequence, care should be taken to ensure data collection processes and their inevitable limitations are taken into account when those data are used.

Source:

Prepared by OCJR-Evidence & Analysis Unit.

Antisocial Behaviour: Blackpool

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps her Department has taken to reduce antisocial behaviour in Blackpool since 2005. (223128)

[holding answer 10 September 2008]: We are strongly committed to tackling, not tolerating, antisocial behaviour. That is why local crime and disorder reduction partnerships were introduced under the Crime and Disorder Act 1998. These enable the police, local authorities and other agencies representing the local community to work together to identify the crime and disorder problems in their area and take action to tackle them.

Blackpool was confirmed as one of 40 areas in January 2007 to lead the Respect Area programme by the strong track record in tackling antisocial behaviour and a willingness and capacity to do more.

As a Respect Area, Blackpool signed up to:

Family Intervention Projects

More Parenting Classes for parents struggling with troublesome children.

Face the People sessions where the police, local authorities and others can be accountable to their local public.

Keep up the relentless action to tackle anti-social behaviour by using the full range of tools and powers available.

Using the Respect Housing Standard to prevent and deal with any problems in social housing.

The work of the Respect Task Force is now being undertaken by the Youth Taskforce—established at the Department for Children, Schools and Families to focus on delivering positive outcomes for young.

Blackpool utilises the full range of the tools and powers available to tackle antisocial behaviour as set out in their ASB strategy.

Asylum

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many appeals against decisions made in legacy asylum claims had been heard by the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal as of 31st July 2008. (223994)

[holding answer 17 September 2008]: The reference to "legacy asylum claims" is taken to mean those which have not been processed through the new asylum model since the former Home Secretary John Reid's legacy announcement on 19 July 2006. Our records show that there have been 5,545 such appeals heard by the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal.

Note:

The information provided in this response is taken from local management data and is not a national statistic. It should therefore be treated as provisional and is subject to change.

Asylum: Finance

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what estimate her Department has made of the number of asylum seekers who had been waiting more than two months to be paid section 4 support at 31 July 2008. (223328)

[holding answer 10 September 2008]: Provision for failed asylum seekers eligible for support under section 4 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 is in the form of accommodation and vouchers. Cash payments are not made.

No decision was recorded on or before 31 July in respect of 101 applications made before 1 June 2008 for support under section 4.

This is based on management information which is subject to change.

Asylum: Zimbabwe

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many (a) Zimbabwean and (b) Darfuri asylum seekers of each (i) age group and (ii) sex are in each UK immigration removal centre; and how long each has been there. (219964)

[holding answer 21 July 2008]: The following table shows the number of Zimbabwean and Sudanese asylum seekers (including dependants) detained solely under Immigration Act powers as at 29 March 2008, broken down by centre and sex; all detainees were adults.

Following a change in the system in which information is collected, published statistics on all persons detained under sole Immigration Act powers by length of detention are not available.

The UK Border Agency does not electronically record the region from which asylum applicants originate; this information would only be available by examination of individual case files at disproportionate cost.

It is therefore not possible to say how many Darfuri asylum seekers are in immigration detention centres.

Further national statistics on persons detained solely under Immigration Act powers are available from the Library of the House and the Home Office's Research, Development and Statistics website at:

http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/immigration-asylum-stats.html

The decision to detain is made on a case by case basis and may be appropriate in one or more of the following circumstances: to effect removal; to establish a person's identity and claim; where a person presents a risk of abscond or where the application is capable of being considered quickly.

Zimbabwean and Sudanese adult1 asylum seekers2 recorded as being detained in Immigration Service Removal Centres in the United Kingdom solely under Immigration Act powers as at 29 March 2008, by place of detention and sex3

Number of individuals

Zimbabwean nationals detained

Sudanese nationals detained

Place of detention

Female

Male

Total

Female

Male

Total

Immigration Service Removal Centres

Campsfield House

*

*

*

*

Colnbrook Long Term

5

5

5

5

Dover Immigration Removal Centre

5

5

*

*

Dungavel

*

*

5

5

5

Harmondsworth

*

*

*

*

Haslar

5

5

*

*

Lindholme

*

*

Oakington Reception Centre

*

*

*

*

Tinsley House

*

*

*

*

Yarl's Wood

*

*

Total

5

25

30

20

20

1 Persons recorded as being aged 18 or over as at 29 March 2008. 2 Persons detained under Immigration Act powers who are recorded as having sought asylum at some stage, including dependants. 3 Figures rounded to the nearest five, (— = 0, * = 1 or 2), may not sum to the totals shown because of independent rounding and exclude persons detained under both criminal and immigration powers.

Biometrics: Airports

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what use the UK Border Agency will make of data collected during biometric fingerprint checks at airports. (214145)

A broad range of biometrically enabled measures have already been introduced or are planned for deployment by the UK Border Agency. These include:

The processing of 1st and 2nd generation e-travel documents (passports and ID cards) at the Border;

The recording of the biometrics of all individuals applying for a visa or entry clearance to travel to the UK;

The enrolment of biometrics of foreign nationals in the UK and issuance of biometric residence permits;

The verification of visa holders’ identity by the scanning and checking of their fingerprints; and

The issuing of biometric identity documents to individuals recognised as refugees, granted humanitarian protection etc.

The enhanced use of biometrics will enable individuals to be locked down to a single identity, preventing the opportunity for multiple identities to be created and used, and helping to ensure that UKBA's strategic objectives to secure our border and tackle immigration crime are met.

Legal powers have extended our capability to capture fingerprints from other categories of passengers. This includes, among others, those who have been detained; those for whom removal directions have been set and those who have been granted temporary admission, and where there have been doubts about their compliance with such a grant.

The use of biometrics in border control processes supports UKBA's strategic objectives to strengthen our borders. Increasingly, biometrics are used to confirm a person's identity for law enforcement purposes.

British Nationality

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether there are any circumstances in which it makes a material difference to the inheritance of British citizenship by descent whether the citizenship is inherited from the maternal or the paternal side. (224106)

[holding answer 17 September 2008]: The British Nationality Act 1981 makes no distinction between men and women in terms of their ability to pass on the benefits of their status under the Act to their children. Nor does it distinguish, so far as British citizens by descent are concerned, between those whose ancestral connection with the United Kingdom is traced through the male line and those whose connection is traced through the female line.

Community Safety Accreditation Schemes

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what powers (a) private companies and (b) other organisations participating in community safety accreditation schemes have in each police force area. (223545)

[holding answer 15 September 2008]: It is for the Chief Constable of a police force to decide which of the powers available under the community safety accreditation scheme are given to individuals working for private companies and other organisations. The Home Office has carried out an audit of the powers accredited under CSAS in each police force which can be found on the Home Office website at:

http://police.homeoffice.gov.uk/communitypolicing/citizenfocusedpolicing/communitysafety-accredit-scheme/.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department which (a) private companies and (b) other organisations are in the community safety accreditation scheme in each police force area; and how many people have been accredited by each such scheme to date. (223546)

[holding answer 15 September 2008]: The Home Office does not collect data on which private companies and other organisations are in the community safety accreditation scheme (CSAS). However, a Home Office audit on the CSAS found there to be 1,406 people accredited under the scheme across England and Wales.

The audit shows, among other things, the number of accredited people per force and can be found on the Home Office website at:

http://police.homeoffice.gov.uk/communitypolicing/citizenfocusedpolicing/communitysafetyaccredit-scheme/.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many non-UK citizens have been accredited under community safety accreditation schemes since the inception of such schemes, broken down by nationality. (223548)

[holding answer 15 September 2008]: The Home Office does not collect information on the number of non-UK citizens accredited under community safety accreditation schemes.

Community Support Officers: Greater London

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many police community support officers there were in the London boroughs of (a) Newham, (b) Hackney and (c) Tower Hamlets in each of the last five years. (223531)

[holding answer 15 September 2008]: Information on the number of Police Community Support Officers has been collected since 2005 and the figures for Newham, Hackney and Tower Hamlets are set out in the following table.

Police community support officers1

31 March

London Borough Operational Command Unit

2005

2006

2007

20082

Hackney

51

51

66

86

Newham

76

82

105

122

Tower Hamlets

59

79

86

94

1 Full-time equivalent numbers.

2 Provisional data provided by Metropolitan Police.

Crime

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what her most recent estimate is of the annual cost to the British economy of crime. (223555)

[holding answer 15 September 2008]: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given on 9 July 2008, Official Report, column 1537W.

Crime: Business

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what her most recent estimate is of the number of crimes committed against business in each of the last three years. (223152)

[holding answer 10 September 2008]: The term “business crime” is not specifically used within the recorded crime offence series. The offences that may be attributed to business crime are: robbery of business property, theft by an employee, shoplifting, and fraud by a company director. The available statistics are given in the following table.

Our strategy is to encourage business to work closely in partnership with the police and local authorities through the Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnerships (CDRPs) to inform local crime reduction strategies.

Partnership working is perhaps the single biggest success in tackling crime over the past 10 years. We funded the Action Against Business Crime Group to set up and maintain 200 business crime reduction partnerships in towns and cities across England and Wales. These partnerships have proved remarkably successful.

The Home Office is committed to working with our retail partners to ensure that we find effective solutions and responses to retail crime.

Shops and stores are at the heart of most of our communities and crime against those outlets affects us all.

A key strand of the work to address business crime is to ensure that partnerships and stakeholders have the right “tools” and knowledge to deal with retail crime effectively.

As an example of this, the Home Office has funded the Perpetuity Group, which is led by Professor Gill, to devise an audit tool which retailers can apply to their stores and significantly lower the opportunities for shop thieves to operate.

Recorded crime statistics: number of offences recorded for offence classifications that may be attributed to “business crime”, 2005-06 to 2007-08

Offence

2005-06

2006-07

2007-08

Percentage change 2005-06 to 2007-08

Robbery of business property

8,760

9,454

9,141

4

Theft by an employee

17,048

16,323

15,858

-7

Shoplifting

295,999

294,282

290,625

-2

Fraud by company director1

626

101

197

-69

1 The large increase in this offence in 2005-06 was due to one large-scale fraud recorded by Cambridgeshire Constabulary and the large rise in 2007-08 was due to fraud recorded by the North Yorkshire Constabulary.

Crime: Waste Disposal

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many waste disposal offences were recorded in England and Wales in each of the last 10 years, broken down by (a) type of offence and (b) police force area. (223666)

[holding answer 15 September 2008]: The information requested is not collected centrally. Offences prohibiting the unlicensed disposal of waste come under the Control of Pollution Act 1974 and are summary offences. As such they do not form part of the recorded crime statistics collected by the Home Office.

Criminal Records: International Cooperation

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what proposals are under discussion at EU level to enable access to the criminal records of one EU member state by the authorities of another. (217321)

We welcome EU-wide initiatives to exchange criminal record information for criminal investigation and vetting purposes.

The European Union is currently discussing a proposal for a Council decision on the establishment of the European Criminal Record Information System (ECRIS). The ECRIS proposal is designed to provide a standardised format for the electronic exchange of information extracted from criminal records, in particular information on the offence for which a person has been convicted and the sentence passed by the court. When adopted the ECRIS proposal will allow swifter exchange of criminal conviction information between member states than is the case now.

The ECRIS proposal will allow the application of Article 11 of Framework Decision 2008/xx/JHA on the organisation and content of the exchange of information extracted from criminal records between member states. The EU has agreed a general approach on this proposal and we expect it to be adopted by the end of 2008 with an implementation deadline of three years from the date of agreement. When the Framework Decision comes into force it will be mandatory to notify other EU countries of convictions of its nationals and it will also be mandatory to respond to requests for the criminal records of EU national being proceeded against in another member state.

The United Kingdom already can, in the context of criminal proceedings in the UK, request the criminal record of an EU National using Council Decision 2005/876/JHA of 21 November 2005. While the Council Decision is not mandatory a number of EU member states, including the UK, Germany and Poland are already using the Council Decision to obtain criminal record information from other member states.

Departmental Buildings

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what her Department’s policy is on improving the energy efficiency of the buildings which it (a) rents and (b) owns; what changes there have been in the energy efficiency of such buildings in the last (i) five and (ii) 10 years; and whether her Department has adopted targets on energy efficiency improvements in the buildings it occupies over the next (A) five and (B) 10 years. (221083)

The Department is committed to the Sustainable Operations on the Government (SOGE) targets which include a requirement to improve energy efficiency per m2 by 15 per cent. by 2010, and then 30 per cent. by 2020, based on 1999-2000 levels. Energy efficiency performance in 2006-07, the latest year for which data is available, compared to 1999-2000 is given in the following table. No earlier data is available. This shows a 12.9 per cent. improvement in energy efficiency over the period.

1999-20001

2006-071

Energy per m2 (kWh/m2)

458

400

1 Includes core Home Office, UK Borders Agency, Identity and Passport Service as well as the National Offender Management Service (NOMS), including the prison service, since transferred to the Ministry of Justice.

The reporting period 2007-08 is the first for which we will have performance data on the much reduced departmental estate, following the transfer of the National Offender Management Service, incorporating the probation and prisons estates, to the Ministry of Justice. Once this data is finalised we will use it to assess current performance and to identify what improvement activity may be required to enable us to achieve the SOGE energy efficiency targets by 2010 and then 2020, as well as actions required to reduce emissions from energy use in the same period.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what account her Department takes of the level of energy efficiency of buildings before entering into agreements to (a) rent and (b) purchase those buildings. (221099)

The Department is committed to acquiring accommodation which minimises carbon emissions and provide lowest achievable energy costs. When purchasing or leasing buildings, the Department seeks to choose those that offer the best available certification under the BRE environmental assessment method which also meet operational needs and provide best value for money.

Departmental Data Protection

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether personal data for which her Department is responsible is (a) stored and (b) processed overseas; and if she will make a statement. (176019)

Some personal data provided by individuals to the Criminal Records Bureau and to UK Visas is temporarily stored for processing purposes overseas.

The CRB data processed overseas is only stored for the duration of time taken to input it, determine that quality criteria are met and transfer it back to the United Kingdom. Thereafter, the data is destroyed. The overseas site in India is ISO27001 certified and is subject to CRB audit and accreditation reviews.

The processing of visa applicant data overseas is carried out either by Foreign and Commonwealth Office staff in diplomatic or consular premises or, in certain countries, by commercial partners. In these countries, commercial partners are only responsible for the basic collection of visa application data, under the supervision of UK-visas staff.

In all circumstances the Home Office seeks to handle personal data in a way that complies with our obligations under UK law.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether personal data held by her Department has been transferred to compact discs and sent to external agencies in the last 12 months. (180399)

In line with current Cabinet Office guidance, the Home Office has used compact discs to transfer personal data to external agencies in the last year. Since 22 November 2007, the Home Office has been undertaking a review of its technical, process and procedural arrangements to ensure the risk of data being compromised is managed and reduced to a minimum.

I also refer the hon. Member to the statement made by my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister on 21 November 2007, Official Report, column 1179:

"...I have asked the Cabinet Secretary and security experts to ensure that all Departments and all agencies check their procedures for the storage and use of data.."

An interim progress report on the review was published by the Cabinet Office through a written ministerial statement on 17 December 2007, Official Report, column 98WS. This included a recommendation to enhance the transparency with Parliament and the public about the action taken to safeguard information, and the results of that action, through publication of results, departmental annual reports and an annual report to Parliament.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what instructions are issued to staff in her Department on how to (a) collect, (b) use and (c) delete personal information on members of the public. (219354)

The information is as follows:

(a) and (b)

Data collected by the Home Office are held on systems secured to Government standards and are managed according to the Data Protection Act (1998). Those managing these information assets are "trusted stewards" with an obligation to protect it. Any transmission of protected personal information is performed according to the Data Handling Review recommendations and with the security of the of the information in mind.

(c)

The Home Office disposal of personal information is governed by the Data Protection Act and the Home Office review and retention policies. These policies are based on the standards set by The National Archive, which specifies time limits for the retention of information. The Department's security policy governs the classification of information and the disposal policies that control the appropriate methods of destruction.

Departmental Databases

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether (a) companies based in the United States and (b) UK subsidiaries of US companies have been contracted by her Department and its agencies to provide services involving the use, storage, processing or analysis of databases of personal information held by the Government on UK citizens in the last five years. (188219)

The Home Office including its agencies has engaged UK subsidiaries of US-registered service providers to manage aspects of storage, processing or analysis of personal information.

The Data Protection Act 1998 includes provisions to ensure that personal data benefits from adequate protection when it is transferred outside the European Economic Area by UK data controllers. Contracts are based on UK contract law with the applicable statutory safeguards.

Departmental Disciplinary Proceedings

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many staff in her Department were (a) dismissed, (b) made subject to disciplinary procedures short of dismissal, (c) moved to different duties as a result of a performance assessment and (d) offered early retirement in each of the last five years. (219182)

The number of staff (a) dismissed and (b) subject to formal disciplinary procedures for poor performance within Home Office headquarters, the UK Border Agency, Identity and Passport Service, and the Criminal Records Bureau, is set out in the following table.

Table 1

Dismissed

Disciplined short of dismissal

Moved to different duties

2003

2004

0

15

2005

13

2006

5

38

2007

12

40

2008 (to 30 June 2008)

8

37

The information contained in the table has been drawn from centrally held databases at this time.

Information prior to 2005, or on the number of staff moved to different duties as a result of poor performance, is not held centrally within Home Office HQ or the UK Border Agency and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost. Where fewer than five members of staff were dismissed, disciplined or moved to different duties, further information has been withheld on grounds of confidentiality.

The number of staff given early retirement within Home Office headquarters, the UK Border Agency, Identity and Passport Service, and the Criminal Records Bureau in each of the last five financial years is set out in the following table.

Table 2

Number

2002-03

10

2003-04

18

2004-05

13

2005-06

141

2006-07

125

2007-08

84

2008-09 (to 11 July 2008)

112

The numbers are calculated on the basis of last day of service.

Departmental Early Retirement

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many staff in (a) her Department and (b) her Department's agencies have taken early retirement in the last two years. (217381)

The following table shows the numbers of staff in the Home Office and its agencies who have taken early retirement in the last two full financial years and the current year to date.

The numbers are calculated on the basis of last day of service.

A more detailed breakdown, including distinguishing between Home Office headquarters and the UK Border Agency and between different types of retirement, could be obtained only by running additional, tailored, reports and this would incur disproportionate cost.

The following table shows the number of staff taking early retirement from the Home Office and its agencies by financial year since 2006-07.

2006-07

2007-08

2008-091

HO headquarters and UK Border Agency

107

70

110

Criminal Records Bureau

0

1

1

Identity and Passport Service

18

13

1

1 1 April to 11 July 2008.

Departmental ICT

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the (a) start date, (b) original planned completion date, (c) current expected completion date, (d) planned cost and (e) current estimated cost is for each information technology project being undertaken by her Department and its agencies; and if she will make a statement. (180570)

Following is a table of information technology projects currently being undertaken by the Home Office and its agencies. Please note that, due to the large number of IT projects run by the Home Office we have limited the scope of this response to projects valued at more than £5 million.

Business owner

Programme

Start date

Original planned completion

Current expected completion

Planned cost (£)

Current estimated cost (£)

UK Border Agency

eBorders

14 November 2007

1 March 2014

1 March 2014

849.5 million

827.3 million

IPS

National Identity Scheme—IPS element

24 October 2006

2012

2012

15.43 billion

24.74 billion

UKBA

Identity Cards for Foreign Nationals (formerly BRP)

April 2007

March 2009

August 2010

39.6

12.4 million

UK Border Agency

Immigration Casework (ICW)4

April 2008

June 2015

June 2015

370 million

370 million

UK Border Agency

Points Based System (PBS)

July 2008

March 2011

March 2011

33 million

33 million

Shared Services

SBS Programme

2005

2011

2011

32 million

541 million

CRCSG/Independent Safeguarding Authority

Vetting and Barring Scheme

January 2007

April 2009

October 2009

684 million

684 million

1 10 year period October 2007 to October 2017) consisting of: set up costs £0.24 billion, operational costs £5.19 billion (2007-08 prices).

2 10 year period April 2008 to April 2018) consisting of: set up costs £0.32 billion, operational costs £4.42 billion (2008-09 prices).

3 For IT costs only high level estimate at start of project.

4 These figures are estimates developed for the ICW OBC. They have not yet been baselined.

5 Including costs of enhanced technology and Procurement Centre of Excellence.

6 Set up £246 million operational costs over five years.

In addition to the above, the Home Office is also the lead department for the cross Government Interception Modernisation Programme, announced by the Prime Minister in February 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many of her Department's personal digital assistants were (a) lost and (b) stolen in each of the last five years; and what the value of those items was. (185283)

Since 2005, Home Office IT Shared Services have enabled access to the Home Office IT infrastructure via the use of Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs) for personnel in Home Office HQ and UKBA.—the UK Border Agency.

Numbers reported lost and stolen are given in the following table.

The devices are provided by a third party supplier, to whom the Department pays a service charge. Hence, the value of any losses would be borne by the supplier.

The devices are security protected. Attempted use by unauthorised persons results in the device being locked or the data being completely erased after three failed password attempts.

We do not have comprehensive central records for any devices issued prior to 2005.

Lost

Stolen

Value (£)

2005

0

0

0

2006

6

1

1

2007

10

2

1

2008

8

3

1

1 Cost borne by third party.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps she has taken to ensure that counterfeit routers and other hardware are not utilised in her Department’s computer networks. (203248)

It is not in the interests of the UK’s national security for departments to confirm whether they hold information about malicious attacks against their IT systems.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent estimate she has made of the cost of the PentiP computer system; and if she will make a statement on the timetable for its introduction. (223556)

[holding answer 15 September 2008]: The estimated cost of designing, developing and implementing the PentiP system is £19.3 million.

PentiP will introduce a number of improvements to the current working processes involved in dealing with penalty notices. The net effect of which will be a more efficient overall process for the police staff who input tickets to the system and for the courts' staff who process the payment of fines.

The first stage of PentiP, which supports the National Driver Improvement Scheme (NDORS), has now been delivered. It is planned that the contract for the delivery of the remainder of the PentiP system will be awarded in March 2009. Implementation of PentiP in all forces in England and Wales will be completed by May 2012.

Departmental Internet

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if her Department will (a) follow the Internet Content Rating Association (ICRA) guidelines and (b) display ICRA's label on the websites for which it is responsible. (191772)

The Government are committed to safety online for all users, including children. The Central Office for Information is preparing a new set of guidance for many aspects of the Government web estate and we will implement what they mandate.

Departmental Manpower

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many jobs her Department expects to relocate under the policy of civil service job dispersal. (213413)

The Home Office has a target to locate 2,200 full-time equivalent (FTE) posts in the regions, to contribute to the cross-Government target of 20,000 FTE posts by 2010. Progress is reported in my Department's annual report (Cm 7396).

Despite meeting this target in June 2007 we have still continued to relocate staff out of London and the south east. To date, the number of staff that we have relocated stands at 2,707. The policy of relocation makes use of diverse and valuable skills that can be found across all regions of the UK as well as in London and the South East.

Over the next 18 months we shall continue to relocate posts in the most cost effective manner. We currently have plans in place to relocate a further 250 posts, this figure may rise as and when we make further relocations, depending on the needs of the business.

Departmental Marketing

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the cost was of (a) internet and website design and hosting, (b) print media design and (c) broadcast media of each of her Department’s public information campaigns since 1997. (214715)

It is not possible for the Home Office to calculate the costs of print media design without incurring disproportionate costs.

Departmental Paper

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what percentage of paper used (a) for photocopying and (b) in printed publications by her Department was from recycled sources in each of the last two years. (220724)

100 per cent. of the paper used by the core Home Office for photocopying is from recycled sources, and has been for the last two years. The Department also has a policy of using paper from recycled sources for its printed publications where practicable, although we do not have information on the percentage used.

Departmental Pay

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many and what proportion of her Department’s staff are employed within each salary band; what the title and role of each position within each salary band is; and for each salary band what the (a) bonus structure, (b) retirement provision, (c) expenses provision, (d) total expenses incurred in each of the last 10 years, (e) average age of employee, (f) number of (i) women and (ii) men and (g) ethnic composition is. (171403)

The data is in presented (tables 1 and 2) by grade bands rather than by the requested salary bands. They provide average age, gender and ethnicity information. To provide the information by salary bands would incur a disproportionate cost due to the way the databases are organised.

The Home Office Headquarters (HOHQ) and the United Kingdom Border Agency (UKBA) do not centrally record the title and role of each employee; to provide this information would incur a disproportionate cost.

Bonuses1

Bonuses are funded from the existing pay bill. As part of the annual salary award, non-consolidated (cash) bonuses may be awarded to staff below SCS who have demonstrated exceptional performance. Special bonuses may also be awarded to recognise outstanding achievements.

Bonus arrangements for the SCS are set out in the Senior Salaries Review Body report which can be found at:

http://www.home.uk.com/downloads/30thpercent20Report percent20onpercent20Seniorpercent20Salariespercent20-percent202008.pdf

1 Applies to UK Border Agency and Home Office Headquarters.

Retirement provision

Those eligible for a retirement provision are covered by the terms of the Principle Civil Service Scheme. This scheme is administered by the Civil Service Pensions Division of the Cabinet Office. The following link may be useful:

http://www.civilservice-pensions.gov.uk/publications.aspx

Reimbursement of expenses incurred in the course of official work Permanent Home Office staff and others (such as contractors (when specified in their contract) who are employed by the Home Office) are entitled to reimbursement for expenses that are necessarily incurred in the course of their duties including, for example travel and accommodation. When no extra expense is incurred, no reimbursement is due.

HO HQ and UKBA are unable to provide expenses paid to staff in civil service salary bands only, without incurring disproportionate cost.

Table 1: HO HQ staff breakdown by grade, gender, ethnicity and average age data as at 31 March 2008

Grade

Title

Full time equivalent

Headcount

Percentage headcount

Male

Female

BME

Prefer not to say

White

Unknown

Average age

AA

Administrative Assistant

113.51

119

3

68

51

7

1

24

87

39

AO

Administrative Officer

471.58

500

14

176

324

92

8

176

224

41

EO

Executive Officer

545.33

566

16

232

334

125

12

246

183

40

HEO

Higher Executive Officer

608.66

624

17

326

298

59

4

297

264

37

SEO

Senior Executive Officer

533.77

550

15

308

242

58

7

301

184

41

G7

Grade 7

492.31

506

14

297

209

32

20

266

188

41

G6

Grade 6

204.97

210

6

122

88

10

5

158

57

46

SCS

Senior Civil Servant

147.35

149

4

113

36

4

1

90

54

48

Other

401.5

402

11

248

154

1

1

18

382

33

Total

3,519

3,626

100

1,890

1,736

388

59

1,556

1,623

41

Percentage

100

100

52

48

11

2

43

45

Table 2: UKBA staff breakdown by grade, gender, ethnicity and average age data as at 31 March 2008

Grade

Title

Full time equivalent

Headcount

Percentage headcount

Male

Female

BME

Prefer not to say

White

Unknown

Average age

AA

Administrative Assistant

2,003.6

2,180

11.33

695

1,048

228

10

422

1,082

39

AO/AIO

Administrative Officer/Assistant Immigration Officer

4,793.9

5,174

26.90

2,115

2,942

970

27

1,693

2,368

38

EO/IO

Executive Officer/Immigration Officer

6,781.6

7,137

37.10

3,179

3,838

1,302

58

3,074

2,583

39

HEO//CIO

Higher Executive Officer/Chief Immigration Officer

2,793.6

2,905

15.10

1,341

1,471

302

21

1,408

1,081

34

SEO/IMM INSP

Senior Executive Officer/HM Immigration Inspector

1,153.6

1,196

6.22

556

576

132

11

727

262

42

G7

Grade 7

402.27

416

2.16

197

195

19

6

265

102

43

G6

Grade 6

133.77

137

0.71

86

47

3

0

92

38

44

SCS

Senior Civil Servant

51.6

52

0.27

31

15

0

0

29

17

46

NA1

40

40

0.21

Total

18,153.94

19,237

100.00

8,200

10,132

2,956

133

7,710

7,533

40

Percentage

100

100

45

55

16

1

42

41

1 A small number of new or temporary staff were held on the date in question without a grade recorded, on the personnel information management system.

Departmental Pensions

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many and what percentage of staff in her Department were making additional voluntary contributions to their pensions in each of the last two years. (193562)

In February 2007, 965 staff were contributing to recognised AVC schemes, partnership pension schemes and stakeholder pension schemes. This total represented 1.28 per cent. of employees. These figures are for staff in core Home Office, Prison Service, Borders and Immigration Agency, Identity and Passport Service and Criminal Records Bureau.

In February 2008, 398 staff were making contributions to recognised AVC schemes, partnership pension schemes and stakeholder pension schemes, which represents 1.40 per cent. of employees. The figures are for staff in core Home Office, Borders and Immigration Agency, Identity and Passport Service and Criminal Records Bureau. They do not include Prison Service, which became part of Ministry of Justice in May 2007.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the cash equivalent transfer value is of the public sector pensions of the 10 highest paid members of staff in her Department and its executive agencies; and if she will make a statement. (200745)

It is not appropriate to disclose values for staff, other than those whose details are reported on in Remuneration Reports in the Department's Resource Accounts. A copy of the Resource Accounts for the financial year 2007-08 can be found in the Library. The document can be accessed electronically by the following link.

Home Office Resource Accounts 2007-08 (pages 29 to 32 refer):

http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/documents/resource-accounts-07-08?view=Binary

Departmental Retirement

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the mandatory retirement age in her Department is; and how many people were allowed to work beyond the mandatory retirement age in each of the last five years. (214126)

The following table shows the number of staff who have worked beyond the mandatory retirement age in each of the last five years.

In 2005-06 and 2006-07, the Home Office HQ included the following Departments; Communities Group, National Offender Management Service (NOMS) and Office for Criminal Justice Reform (OCJR). NOMS and OCJR left in May 2007 to join the new Ministry of Justice, and Communities Group transferred to the Department for Communities and Local Government in May 2006.

From 1 October 2006—in line with the Employment Equality (Age) Regulations 2006—the retirement age for all staff became 65 (before that, it was 60). Staff still have the option to take their pension and retire from the age of 60 and can, exceptionally, work until the age of 70 subject to certain conditions.

Retirement age

60

65

2003-04

2004-05

2005-06

2006-07

2007-08

Home Office Headquarters (HO HQ)1

n/a

n/a

91

4

23

United Kingdom Border Agency (UKBA)1

n/a

n/a

454

26

43

Identity and Passport Service (IPS)

1

0

1

2

6

Criminal Records Bureau (CRB)2

n/a

7

7

8

15

Total

1

7

553

40

87

1 Data for HO HQ and UKBA is not available for 2003-05 without incurring a disproportionate cost.

2 CRB is unable to provide 2003-04 data without incurring a disproportionate cost

Departmental Sick Leave

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many staff in her Department have had five or more periods of sickness absence of less than five days in two or more of the last five years. (218960)

The Home Office headquarters and United Kingdom Border Agency are unable to provide the requested sickness data without incurring a disproportionate cost. The period concerned will require manual checks for each record. This is due to the move from the old personnel information manpower management system (PIMMS) database to the current Oracle (Adelphi) database in 2004-05.

55 staff in the Criminal Records Bureau and 326 in the Identity and Passport Service have taken five or more periods of sickness absence of less than five days in two or more of the last five years.

Departmental Sick Pay

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many staff in (a) her Department, (b) its agencies and (c) the non-departmental bodies for which it has responsibility have received sick pay for sick leave due to (i) stress and (ii) mental health and behavioural disorders in each of the last 10 years; what the average length of time was for which sick pay was paid in these cases; and if she will make a statement. (216107)

Prior to 1 April 2007 annual sick absence reporting across Government Departments was published by the Cabinet Office. Data for Government Departments was not analysed and reported at the time against the criteria outlined in the question and it is not possible for the Home Office to do so now, retrospectively, without incurring disproportionate cost.

From 1 April 2007 sick absence reporting across Government Departments was standardised and reported via quarterly surveys to Cabinet Office. Figures are reported as paid days lost to sickness by length of sick absence (short and medium term) and by absence reason.

One category of absence reason is "Mental Disorders" which includes all mental health and behavioural disorders as well as stress, anxiety and depression. The Home Office currently does not analyse and report figures against the full criteria outlined in the question and is not possible now without incurring disproportionate cost.

The Home Office is currently piloting a new standardised data source for its HR reporting; the intention is to move to this new data source by the end of this financial year so that it will be in a position to answer future questions about its staff more fully than has been the case in the past.

Figures for the Home Office and its Agencies for the financial year 2006-07 for those receiving sick pay for Mental Disorders, and as reported to Cabinet Office, are as follows:

Summary

Days lost (short term)

Days lost (long term)

Total days lost (12 month period)

Home Office Headquarters

498

4,242.00

4,740.00

Home Office UKBA

7,395.70

40,325.60

47,721.30

Home Office IPS

1,696.50

9,279.00

10,975.50

Home Office CRB

861

1,113.00

1,947.00

Home Department Grand To

10,451.20

54,959.60

65,410.801

1 Grand totals vary due to rounding on Cabinet Office spreadsheets used by Departments for Quarterly Returns.

The Home Office does not analyse and report HR information on its non-departmental public bodies against the criteria outlined in the question and to do so now would incur disproportionate cost.

Departmental Vetting

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what percentage of staff recruited to (a) her Department and (b) its agencies were required to have a Criminal Records Bureau check before an offer of employment was made in each year since 2002. (219042)

A Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) check is primarily a requirement for posts that involve working with children and/or vulnerable adults. Home Office headquarters and the Criminal Records Bureau do not require staff to undergo CRB checks prior to being offered employment. The UK Border Agency has carried out 1,449 CRB checks in total for staff since 2002. A breakdown by year could be obtained only at a disproportionate cost. The Identity and Passport Service (IPS) only require staff within the Interview Office Network to undergo CRB checks. The network has been in place for three years. Table 1 shows the percentage of IPS staff employed who had CRB checks before being made an offer of employment in each year was as follows:

Table 1

Percentage of staff

2005-06

1.6

2006-07

13.5

2007-08

1.4

Detention Centres: Translation Services

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what appointment procedures individuals, organisations or companies providing interpretation services in detention or immigration centres are subject to; what account is taken of the specific needs of those in detention and immigration centres in such appointment procedures; whether specific training is provided for those working as interpreters; and if she will make a statement. (223573)

[holding answer 15 September 2008]: Immigration Removal and Detained Fast Track Centres will either call on the services of an interpreter from the United Kingdom Border Agency panel of freelance interpreters for face to face interpretation or a commercial supplier for telephone interpretation. Detainee needs vary but are taken into account when arranging an interpreter as far as practicably possible.

Asylum seekers are offered the option of an interviewer and interpreter of a specific gender. Applicants are made aware of this during screening procedures and this is acted on as far as operationally possible.

Interpreters registered with the United Kingdom Border Agency panel of interpreters do receive training which is either one or two day in duration depending on the level of public service interpreting experience they hold.

Disabled Staff

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many and what proportion of staff in (a) her Department and (b) the executive agencies for which she is responsible are disabled; and what the average salary in her (i) Department and (ii) executive agencies is of (A) full-time disabled staff, (B) full-time non-disabled staff, (C) part-time disabled staff and (D) part-time non-disabled staff. (220176)

The information requested is not available for all staff because the declaration of disability is not mandatory: 'prefer not to say responses are available to staff.

Home Office Headquarters and its agencies are unable to provide all of the information requested without incurring a disproportionate cost1; that which is available is presented in the following table.

We are unable to provide average salary information for disabled and non-disabled staff without incurring disproportionate cost.

1 Information on the proportion of staff recorded as having a disability has been obtained from the personnel information systems as at 31 May 2008. Information is only available for the proportion of staff that have chosen to declare themselves as disabled.

Staff in the Home Office and its agencies who have declared themselves as disabled

Percentage

Home Office Headquarters (HQ)

4

UK Border Agency

4.12

Criminal Records Bureau

3.10

Drugs: Misuse

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the cost of testing people committing trigger offences as defined in Schedule 6 of the Criminal Justice and Court Services Act 2000 for the presence of a specified class A drug was in the most recent year for which figures are available; and what estimate she has made of the annual cost of extending testing for class A drugs to those committing other public order offences. (223262)

[holding answer 10 September 2008]: Drug testing of people who have committed trigger offences as defined in Schedule 6 of the Criminal and Court Services Act 2000 for specified Class A drugs is conducted in authorised police stations across England and Wales as part of the Drug Interventions Programme (DIP).

This drug testing is funded directly by the Home Office to the 23 police force areas authorised to carry out DIP drug testing.

In 2007-08 the Government invested some £26.5 million in DIP drug testing. Over 80 per cent. of this investment funded the police to run DIP drug testing operations and the remaining 20 per cent. is spent on the provision of drug screening kits and confirmatory test analysis.

Around 224,000 tests were carried out in 2007-08 including 1,232 tests authorised by a police officer of inspector rank or above for public order offences.

The Home Office has not made any estimates on the annual cost of extending DIP drug testing to those committing public order offences.

Emergency Calls: Greater London

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many emergency calls were received by the police regarding incidents in (a) the London borough of Newham, (b) the London borough of Hackney, (c) the London borough of Tower Hamlets and (d) London in each of the last five years. (223528)

[holding answer 15 September 2008]: The information requested is not collected centrally.

Information on emergency call handling is available at the police force level only, and data for the Metropolitan Police Service are given in the table.

The requested data are collected on behalf of Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and were published each year in their Annual Report up to 2004-05. The available data are given in the table.

Emergency calls received1 by the Metropolitan Police service for 2003-04 to 2007-08

2003-04

2004-05

2005-062

2006-072

2007-082

Metropolitan Police

2,288,519

2,154,876

2,124,000

2,278,003

2,444,417

1 Data on the number of emergency calls are collected on behalf of HMIC, who previously published this Information in their Annual Report, HMIC have advised that it will no longer release this data and that the data for 2004-05 Is the last series to be published.

2 Provisional data that have not been validated by police forces.

Emergency Calls: Hoaxes and False Alarms

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many hoax 999 calls to the police there were in each of the last three years in (a) Bolton, (b) the North West and (c) England and Wales. (223672)

Entry Clearances: Foreign Workers

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many businesses had applied for licences to sponsor foreign migrants by (a) 31 July 2008 and (b) 31 August 2008. (223329)

[holding answer 10 September 2008]: The number of businesses which have applied for licences to sponsor foreign migrants by (a) 31 July 2008 is 469 and (b) 1 August 2008 is 799.

The figures quoted are not provided under national statistics and have been derived from local management information and are therefore provisional and subject to change.

Entry Clearances: Iraq

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the percentage refusal rate was for UK visas applied for by Iraqi citizens (a) at the British Embassy in Jordan and (b) overall in the latest period for which figures are available. (223493)

[holding answer 15 September 2008]: The refusal rate for visa applications submitted by Iraqi nationals in the FY—financial year—2007-08 at the British embassy in Amman and globally was 51 per cent. and 43 per cent. respectively.

Please note that these figures have not been previously published and should therefore be treated as provisional.

Genetics: Databases

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many (a) males and (b) females aged (i) under 15, (ii) 15 to 24, (iii) 25 to 34, (iv) 35 to 44, (v) 45 to 54, (iv) 55 to 64 and (viii) over 65 years in each ethnic appearance category were registered on the national DNA database in each of the last five years. (200244)

Data on the number of males whose profiles have been added to the National DNA Database (NDNAD) by English and Welsh police forces, as at 16 July 2008, broken down by sex and the age groups requested, is shown in table 1. Equivalent data for females is given in table 2. Age is defined as the person’s age at the time DNA was taken from them, not their current age. This data could only be further broken down to show which profiles were added in each of the last five years at disproportionate cost.

The number of profiles is not the same as the number of individuals. This is because a number of subject profiles on the NDNAD are replicates, that is, a profile for a person has been loaded to the NDNAD on more than one occasion. This may arise for a number of reasons, such as a person giving a different name on different occasions they are arrested, or because of upgrading of profiles. It is estimated that 13.3 per cent. of the subject profiles held on the entire NDNAD are replicates.

Ethnic appearance is based on the judgment of the police officer taking the sample as to which of six broad ethnic appearance categories the person is considered to belong to. ‘Unknown’ means that no ethnic appearance information was recorded by the officer taking the sample.

Table 1: Male

Ethnic appearance

Age range

Number of subject profiles

Number of individuals using 13.3 per cent. estimated replication rate

Unknown

Under 15

11,340

9,832

15 to 24

71,251

61,775

25 to 34

50,416

43,711

35 to 44

36,863

31,960

45 to 54

21,654

18,774

55 to 64

10,347

8,971

65 and over

4,186

3,629

Unknown age on load

810

702

Total unknown

206,867

179,354

Black

Under 15

20,531

17,800

15 to 24

116,685

101,166

25 to 34

79,665

69,070

35 to 44

56,347

48,853

45 to 54

16,045

13,911

55 to 64

3,631

3,148

65 and over

1,681

1,457

Unknown age on load

6,451

5,593

Total black

301,036

260,998

Middle Eastern

Under 15

804

697

15 to 24

12,278

10,645

25 to 34

12,003

10,407

35 to 44

5,069

4,395

45 to 54

1,829

1,586

55 to 64

434

376

65 and over

102

88

Unknown age on load

288

250

Total Middle Eastern

32,807

28,444

Asian

Under 15

10,905

9,455

15 to 24

99,171

85,981

25 to 34

66,185

57,382

35 to 44

31,105

26,968

.

45 to 54

14,508

12,578

55 to 64

4,000

3,468

65 and over

1,408

1,221

Unknown age on load

2,166

1,878

Total Asian

229,448

198,931

White South European

Under 15

3,751

3,252

15 to 24

27,937

24,221

25 to 34

24,250

21,025

35 to 44

12,462

10,805

45 to 54

3,972

3,444

55 to 64

998

865

65 and over

246

213

Unknown age on load

1,091

946

Total white South European

74,707

64,771

Chinese, Japanese or SE Asian

Under 15

533

462

15 to 24

7,641

6,625

25 to 34

7,078

6,137

35 to 44

4,381

3,798

45 to 54

1,741

1,509

55 to 64

393

341

65 and over

100

87

Unknown age on load

113

98

Total Chinese, Japanese or SE Asian

21,980

19,057

White North European

Under 15

227,880

197,572

15 to 24

1,195,063

1,036,120

25 to 34

664,089

575,765

35 to 44

479,342

415,590

.

45 to 54

234,760

203,537

55 to 64

100,249

86,916

65 and over

32,960

28,576

Unknown age on load

53,243

46,162

Total white North European

2,987,586

2,590,237

Total male

3,854,431

3,341,792

Table 2: Female

Ethnic appearance

Age range

Number of subject profiles

Number of individuals using 13.3 per cent. estimated replication rate

Unknown

Under 14

5,333

4,624

15 to 24

22,839

19,801

25 to 34

13,389

11,608

35 to 44

10,491

9,096

45 to 54

4,971

4,310

55 to 64

1,706

1,479

Over 65

519

450

Unknown age on load

53

46

Total unknown

59,301

51,414

Black

Under 14

7,976

6,915

15 to 24

31,087

26,952

25 to 34

18,897

16,384

35 to 44

11,904

10,321

45 to 54

3,063

2,656

55 to 64

492

427

Over 65

133

115

Unknown age on load

294

255

Total black

73,846

64,024

Middle Eastern

Under 14

144

125

15 to 24

960

832

25 to 34

844

732

35 to 44

602

522

45 to 54

288

250

55 to 64

84

73

Over 65

29

25

Unknown age on load

7

6

Total Middle Eastern

2,958

2,565

Asian

Under 14

2,166

1,878

15 to 24

13,579

11,773

25 to 34

8,751

7,587

35 to 44

4,519

3,918

45 to 54

1,973

1,711

55 to 64

588

510

Over 65

128

111

Unknown age on load

66

57

Total Asian

31,770

27,545

White South European

Under 14

1,815

1,574

15 to 24

6,741

5,844

25 to 34

4,241,

3,677

35 to 44

2,336

2,025

45 to 54

808

701

55 to 64

195

169

Over 65

46

40

Unknown age on load

76

66

Total white South European

16,258

14,096

Chinese, Japanese or SE Asian

Under 14

267

231

15 to 24

2,927

2,538

25 to 34

2,609

2,262

35 to 44

1,587

1,376

45 to 54

678

588

55 to 64

165

143

Over 65

31

27

Unknown age on load

14

12

Total Chinese, Japanese or SE Asian

8,278

7,177

White North European

Under 14

99,852

86,572

15 to 24

321,176

278,460,

25 to 34

166,925

144,724

35 to 44

134,767

116,843

45 to 54

58,131

50,400

55 to 64

19,347

16,774

Over 65

4,976

4,314

Unknown age on load

2,807

2,434

Total white North European

807,981

700,520

Total female

1,000,392

867,340

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department with reference to the answer of 18 April 2006, Official Report, column 290W, on DNA database, what the projected growth is for the number of individuals with a DNA profile on the national DNA database over the next five years. (212354)

Updated figures for the projected growth in the number of individuals on the National DNA Database are not yet available.

Work on revising the figures is in progress. It will also take account of the judgment in the S and Marper case before the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) on the proportionality of retaining biometric data for those charged but not convicted of an offence. The ECtHR judgment is expected later this year. Revised projections should be available in early 2009.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what proportion of people with DNA profiles held on the national DNA database living in (a) Leeds West constituency, (b) Leeds Metropolitan District and (c) the UK are of (i) Asian, (ii) Black and (iii) Eastern European ethnic origin and are under 18 years old. (213352)

Information held on the National DNA Database (NDNAD) is available on the basis of the police force which added the DNA profile, not the residence of the person sampled. Information is, therefore, not available on the number of residents of Leeds, West constituency or Leeds metropolitan district who have had a DNA profile added to the NDNAD, but is available on the number of profiles loaded by West Yorkshire police. The people from whom these profiles were taken may not be resident in the area where they were sampled.

The NDNAD holds records on the ethnic appearance of persons who have DNA taken, based on the judgment of the police officer completing the record about which of six broad ethnic categories the person belongs to. These categories are white—north European; white—south European; middle eastern; Asian; black; and Chinese, Japanese or other south east Asian. There is no separate category for eastern Europeans. If the police officer does not make an entry for ethnic appearance, this is recorded as 'unknown'.

It is not, therefore, possible to provide the information requested. However, it is possible to provide information on the number of profiles added to the NDNAD by West Yorkshire police, and by all English and Welsh police forces, broken down by age and the ethnic appearance categories used. The age shown is the person's current age, not the age they were when the DNA sample was taken. This is shown in the following table.

The number of profiles held on the NDNAD is not the same as the number of individuals. As it is possible for a profile to be loaded onto the NDNAD on more than one occasion, some profiles held on the NDNAD are replicates. This can occur, for example, if the person provided different names, or different versions of their name, on separate arrests, or because profiles are upgraded.

At present, the national replication rate is 13.3 per cent., that is, the number of people whose details are loaded is 13.3 per cent. fewer than the number of profiles. However, this rate may vary between police forces, so figures for the number of individuals whose profiles have been loaded are not given for specific forces.

End August 2008Subject Profiles under 18sSubject Profiles all ages

Ethnic appearance

English and Welsh forces

Per cent. in each ethnic appearance group

West Yorkshire

Per cent. in each ethnic appearance group

English and Welsh forces

Per cent. in each ethnic appearance group

West Yorkshire

Per cent. in each ethnic appearance group

Unknown

18,323

5.3

406

2.2

299,141

6.0

5,087

2.3

Asian

14,507

4.2

1,876

9.9

268,896

5.4

24,591

10.9

Black

25,897

7.5

1,108

5.9

383,859

7.7

11,529

5.1

Chinese, Japanese or SE Asian

921

0.3

39

0.2

31,392

0.6

971

0.4

Middle Eastern

1,306

0.4

28

0.1

36,947

0.7

1,293

0.6

White-North European

279,031

81.0

15,264

80.9

3,870,526

77.7

179,358

79.8

White-South European

4,341

1.3

155

0.8

93,098

1.9

2,003

0.9

Total , profiles

344,326

18,876

4,983,859

224,832

Total individuals

298,531

4,321,006