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Mr. Hague : The Pensions Law Review Committee considered the role of pension scheme trustees and dispute resolution procedures as part of its wide-ranging review of pension matters. We are currently considering the PLRC's recommendations and will announce our conclusions in due course.
Mr. Fatchett : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if the making of the television programme "Here and Now" at Quarry house, Leeds, constituted a breach of security ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Hague : The element of the television programme "Here and Now" which involved internal filming in Quarry house did not constitute a breach of security. Those involved were authorised visitors to the building.
Ms Armstrong : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will list for each civil service grade in his Department the number of (a) male and (b) female, (i) full-time and (ii) part-time employees.
Grade Male Female (including equivalent professional and other grades) |Full-time |Part-time |Full-time |Part-time ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Grade 1 |1 |0 |0 |0 Grade 2 |4 |0 |0 |0 Grade 3 |14 |0 |3 |0 Grade 4 |6 |0 |3 |0 Grade 5 |92 |1 |25 |4 Grade 6 |240 |2 |66 |7 Grade 7 |543 |3 |142 |10 Senior Executive Officer |1,090 |4 |373 |9 Higher Executive Officer (D) |11 |0 |6 |0 Higher Executive Officer |3,418 |9 |2,295 |228 Executive Officer |9,700 |104 |12,503 |3,132 Administrative Officer |11,389 |195 |27,566 |7,262 Administrative Assistant |4,585 |117 |8,058 |2,311 Others |43 |1 |82 |34 |------- |------- |------- |------- Totals |31,136 |436 |51,122 |12,997 Notes: 1. The table excludes:- (i) staff on loan or secondment and not being paid by the Department. (ii) staff on unpaid leave for more than 3 months or on unpaid maternity leave. (iii) casual staff.
Mrs. Ray Michie : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security when he expects the European Court of Justice to consider the case of women on invalidity benefit whose payments are reduced when they reach 60 years ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Lilley : The targets for 1994-95 which I have set for DSS executive operations are set out below. The targets support the continued success of the Government's "next steps" agencies and citizens charter initiative.
The targets represent a challenging level of performance and a year-on-year improvement in the service that the customers receive. In particular, I have set a comprehensive list of targets for the new War Pensions Agency to be launched in April.
As well as the performance targets, agencies have been set resource management targets requiring them to deliver their plans within their agreed financial allocation and, where appropriate, to make efficiency savings.
Targets for the Child Support Agency will be announced as soon as they have been finalised.
The business plans of the Benefits Agency, Contributions Agency and the Resettlement Agency have been published today, the War Pensions business plan will be published on 13 April. The Information Technology Service Agency's business plan will be published shortly. The Child Support Agency's business plan will be published after the targets have been finalised. I will arrange for copies of business plans to be placed in the Library.
The targets are :
1. Benefit Clearance Times
Social Fund Crisis Loans--the day the need arises.
Income Support New Claims--71 per cent. of claims cleared in 5 days and 90 per cent. in 13 days.
Sickness and Invalidity Benefit Claims--65 per cent. of claims cleared in 10 days and 95 per cent. in 30 days.
Child Benefit--67 per cent. of claims cleared in 10 days and 95 per cent. in 30 days.
Family Credit--60 per cent. of claims cleared in 13 days and 95 per cent. in 42 days.
Disability Living Allowance--68 per cent. of claims in 30 days and 85 per cent. in 53 days.
2. Benefit Accuracy
Income Support--to pay the correct amount in 92 per cent. of cases. Incapacity Benefits --to pay the correct amount in 96.5 per cent. of cases.
Family Credit--to pay the correct amount in 93 per cent. of cases. Disability Living Allowance--to pay the correct amount in 96 per cent. of cases.
3. Customer Satisfaction
85 per cent. of customers to regard the Agency's service as satisfactory or better.
4. Resource Management
To keep the net cash limited provision for the discretionary Social Fund budget approved by Parliament.
Column 5875. Financial Recovery
Recovery of Social Fund loans--£221 million.
Benefit savings from the detection and prevention of fraud--£654 million.
Recovery of Benefit overpayments--£75 million.
(1) clearance times cover the date of receipt of a written claim in the Agency to the date of decision/payment. All days refer to working days.
(2) Incapacity benefits is an overall term used to cover Sickness Benefit, Invalidity Benefit, Severe Disablement Allowance and Maternity Allowance.
1. Performance : compliance.
Collection of contribution arrears (excluding Central Payments Section) of £206 million.
Identification of £131 million Class 1 arrears as a result of compliance work.
Increase the number of surveys to 134,000 including 27,000 employer educational visits.
Actively identify 80,000 persons with Class 2 liability of whom 28, 000 will have an immediate requirement to pay contributions. 2. Performance : records maintenance
Process 98 per cent. of available employers end of year returns by 31 December 1994.
Correct 91 per cent. of rejects from employers end of year returns by 31 March 1995.
3. Performance : information provision/customer service Clear 99 per cent. of benefit enquiries handled clerically in 2 working days to 98 per cent. accuracy.
Despatch either a full reply, or an informative response, to 95 per cent. of all customer enquiries within 10 working days of receipt. Complete action to register acceptable Personal Pension cases and process straight- forward Termination Notices for 94 per cent. of all cases within 24 working days of receipt.
Provide a level of public service considered to be satisfactory by at least 80 per cent. of customers surveyed.
War Pensions Agency
1. Performance targets
Disablement 1st claims (UK)--60 per cent. of claims cleared in 150 days
War Widows claims (UK)--80 per cent. of claims cleared in 70 days
Disablement second and subsequent claims--60 per cent. of claims cleared in 135 days
Claims accuracy (all claims)--95 per cent.
Entitlement appeals--70 per cent. of appeals processed in 275 days
Assessment appeals--70 per cent. of appeals processed in
2. Customer satisfaction target
85 per cent. of clients to regard the Agency's service as satisfactory or better, as measured by an independent survey. Resettlement Agency
1. Disengagement Strategy
Cease direct operation of four resettlement units by granting funds to suitable organisations who will provide similar resettlement services in the same premises by 31 March 1995.
Progress replacement proposals for Leeds and Bishopbriggs Resettlement Units to enable completion of the disengagement programme by 31 March 1996.
2. Grant management
Agree with DSS HQ by 31 March 1995 the aims and objectives of the business which will remain after resettlement unit closes in 1996. By 30 June 1994, review and evaluate the initial programme of monitoring visits to grant- aided organisations. Produce a plan to address the problems found by 30 June 1994. Determine a framework for the following year's monitoring programme by 1 September 1994. Revise the standard conditions of award by 31 December 1994.
3. Customer Care
Survey of residents to confirm that not less than 85 per cent. express satisfaction with standards.
By 31 March 1995 place 625 resettlement unit residents into suitable alternative accommodation in the community.
Column 588Information Technology Services Agency
1. Manage ITSA's resources within the net running cost regime. 2. Deliver an overall business efficiency improvement of 5 per cent.
3. Deliver 80 per cent. of services to customers to service levels for budget, time and quality as agreed within contracts. 4. Prepare ITSA for outsourcing the bulk of its IT Processing functions to Departmental timescales.
5. Departmental Information Technology Authority (DITA)--provide agreed regulatory services within allocated resources.
Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will call for a report into the circumstances in which a prosecution of Devon divisional ambulance office failed due to the loss of prosecution documents ; and if she will make a statement.
Mr. Milburn : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will itemise by regional health authority and family health service authority the expenditure by general practitioner fund-holders of management allowances on (a) employment of staff, (b) use of loan services, (c) training, (d) buying in specialist advice, (e) purchase of equipment and (f) other in each year since 1990-91.
Dr. Mawhinney : I refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave him on 26 January at column 298 . More detailed information about the breakdown of reimbursement from the management allowance is available from regional health authorities.
Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will list the general practitioner fundholding practices in South Yorkshire ; and if she will give the total spent out of the allocation for each practice for 1992-93 and the current year to date.
Dr. Mawhinney : There will be 152 fundholding practices in the Yorkshire region from 1 April 1994, covering 39 per cent. of the population. Regional health authorities are responsible for managing the general practitioner fundholding scheme in their areas. For local information about South Yorkshire the hon. Member may wish to contact Sir Bryan Askew, chairman of the Yorkshire regional health authority.
Mr. Cousins : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will draw the attention of agencies with auditor responsibilities inside the national health service to the new guidelines issued by the Auditing Practices Board regarding the duty to report fraud.
(2) to what extent her Department helps or encourages organisations which remove disfiguring tattoos.
Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many staff were employed by the Doncaster royal and Montagu hospital NHS trust in (a) April 1992, (b) October 1992, (c) April 1993 and (d) October 1993.
Dr. Mawhinney : The most recent information available centrally is that 2,330 and 2,520 whole-time equivalent national health service staff were employed in Doncaster royal and Montagu hospital national health service trust on 30 September 1991 and 1992 respectively.
Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what was, in cash terms, the rate of return on capital for the Doncaster royal and Montagu Hospital national health service trust in (a) 1992-93 and (b) 1993- 94 ; and what rate is projected for 1994-95.
Mr. Sackville : The operating surplus of the trust in 1992-93 was £3.82 million, which represented a return of 7.2 per cent. on average net relevant assets. The forecast rate of return for 1993-94 and the projected rate for 1994-95 are estimated and unaudited information which is only appropriate for the internal performance management purposes for which it is collected.
Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many long -term hospital ward beds have been closed in the Doncaster area since the coming into effect of the community care provisions of the National Health Service and Community Care Act 1991.
Mr. Bowis : Information about available beds on long-term care wards in Doncaster since the community care arrangements were introduced in April 1993 is a matter for the local health authorities or trusts.
Dr. Mawhinney : The most recent information available centrally is that 1,740 whole-time equivalent national health service staff were employed by the Doncaster Healthcare national health service trust on 30 September 1992.
Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Health what was, in cash terms, the rate of return on capital for the Doncaster Healthcare NHS trust in 1993-94 ; and what rate is projected for 1994-95.
Mr. Sackville : The rate of return for 1993-94 will not be available until the trust prepares its accounts later this year. The information for 1994-95 is estimated and unaudited and is appropriate only for the internal management purposes for which it is collected.
Mr. Matthew Taylor : To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will list each appointment for which a Minister has to approve the appointment or shortlist for the appointment, showing for each appointment (a) which Minister exercises the responsibility, (b) the salary, if any, attached to the post, (c) the term of the appointment and (d) the person currently appointed to the post.
A full list of members and their remuneration was placed in the Library in July 1993.