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House of Commons Hansard
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Written Statements
10 February 2016
Volume 605

Written Statements

Wednesday 10 February 2016

Communities and Local Government

Homes and Communities Agency

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I am today announcing the launch of a review of the Homes and Communities Agency in line with the requirement on all Government Departments to regularly review non-departmental public bodies. Established in 2008, the agency is the national housing, land and regeneration agency and the regulator of registered social housing providers in England.

The spending review underlined the priority this Government attach to our ambition to build a million homes this Parliament and to double the number of new homeowners. Building on the successful contribution the Homes and Communities Agency made in the last Parliament, this review will ensure that we are well-placed to deliver the Government’s objectives and will:

i) Examine the continuing need for a non-departmental public body, covering:

how each of the agency’s functions contributes to Government objectives;

whether each function and the body is still required; and

the best future delivery options.

ii) Examine the capacity of the Homes and Communities Agency to deliver more efficiently and effectively.

iii) Examine whether corporate governance and management arrangements are sufficiently robust and transparent and ensure that agency is operating in line with recognised principles of good corporate governance.

We will be seeking evidence from a wide range of sources, including the agency itself, and there will be an opportunity for interested stakeholders to feed in views. I will inform the House once the review is complete and copies of its report will be placed in the Library of the House.

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Defence

Defence Votes A: Annual Estimate

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The Ministry of Defence Votes A estimate 2016-17, has been laid before the House today as HC 715. This outlines the maximum numbers of personnel to be maintained for each service in the armed forces during financial year 2016-17.

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Defence Votes A: Supplementary Estimates

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The Ministry of Defence Votes A supplementary Votes 2015-16, has been laid before the House today as HC 716. This outlines the increased maximum numbers of personnel to be maintained for service in the reserve marines force during financial year 2015-16.

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Home Department

Joint Fraud Taskforce

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Today I announced the launch of the Joint Fraud Taskforce.

Fraud is a serious crime which shames our financial system. Fraudsters not only prey on vulnerable members of our society, but use the proceeds of their crime to fund terrorism, and other heinous acts. Fraud damages the lives of individuals, the bottom line of businesses and negatively impacts on the UK’s economy.

The Home Office has worked with the financial sector and law enforcement to develop a Joint Fraud Taskforce to strengthen our collective response on fraud. The taskforce will make it much more difficult for fraudsters to operate by improving intelligence sharing and close the loopholes which they exploit. It will help protect individuals and businesses from becoming victims of fraud by increasing public awareness and put in place interventions to support those who have been a victim. It will develop a much richer understanding of how fraud happens, and what can be done to stop it.

The only way we can effectively tackle fraud is for much closer and effective collaboration between industry, Government and law enforcement. Senior representatives from the financial sector and law enforcement have given their commitment to fully support the objectives and the work of the taskforce.

The taskforce will report progress under Home Office governance. Public updates will also be provided.

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