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Inspections

Volume 482: debated on Tuesday 11 November 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many inspectors were employed by his Department in (a) 2007-08 and (b) 1997-98. (228087)

The Department for Work and Pensions was established in 2001. The core Department does not currently employ any inspectors. Details of any inspectors employed by its predecessor Departments is not available.

The Rent Service, an Agency of the Department, employs 311 rent officers. As part of their duties rent officers carry out inspections of properties to assess property rental rates in relation to housing benefit claims.

The Rent Service was established in 1999, prior to this rent officers were employed by local authorities. The number previously employed by local authorities is not available.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE), a non-departmental public body, employs health and safety inspectors and security inspectors. The numbers are shown in the following table:

1 April each year

Health and safety inspectors

Security inspectors

1998

1,473

0

2008

1,366

13

Notes: 1. All figures quoted are full-time equivalents. 2. Transfers of staff between inspection bodies have caused some fluctuations in the number of health and safety inspectors over the period covered by this question—in particular, the transfer of 99 FTE inspectors to the Office of Rail Regulation on 1 April 2006. 3. Security inspectors work in HSE's Nuclear Directorate and transferred to HSE, from what was the Department for Trade and Industry, on 1 April 2007.