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Mr. David Davis: The Council began with an open debate on the French presidency programme. All member states broadly endorsed the presidency's plans.
The Commission then set out its timetable for follow-up work to the Essen European Council. Commission priorities include the White Paper on the integration of the central and eastern European states into the single market, proposals on financing for trans-European networks and a paper on the Mediterranean.
The Council agreed the text of the EC/Vietnam co-operation agreement.
The presidency's proposals for handling the preparations for the Euro- Mediterranean conference were agreed.
The presidency reported on progress in the negotiations on customs union with Turkey and on preparations for the review of Cyprus' application for EU membership. This was remitted for further discussion at the 6 February FAC.
Ministers discussed events in Chechnya and issued a statement. The presidency outlined plans for the preparation for the Council's report to the 1996 IGC study group.
The Council agreed a statement on Algeria which confirmed the EU's support for all initiatives aimed at encouraging dialogue between those who reject terrorism and violence. The EU also confirmed its willingness to support a policy of democratic development and economic restructuring in Algeria.
Over lunch, the Italian Foreign Minister, Ms Agnelli, said the new Italian Government were ready to resume discussions soon with Slovenia over obstacles to the EU/Slovenia agreement.
Ministers took note of the Danish candidacy to succeed Switzerland as OSCE chairman in office in 1997.
The Council heard a report from Lord Owen and exchanged views on the situation in the former Yugoslavia. They approved a declaration on Bosnia and Croatia. They agreed to consider in March whether to begin negotiations on an EU/Croatia trade co-operation agreement. The Council also adopted a common position and Council regulation continuing sanctions relief for Serbia-Montenegro.
The presidency and the Commission informed Ministers about preparations for the concluding conference to adopt the stability pact in Paris on 20 21 March.
The French Foreign Minister, Mr. Juppe, and Sir Leon Brittan briefed the Council on the agenda for their 26 27 January visit to Washington. Mr. Juppe said that he would raise EU/United States relations, former Yugoslavia, the middle east peace process, Latin America, Russia and Chechnya, and the director-generalship of the WTO.
Column 288Sir Leon Brittan reported briefly on relations with Japan and looked forward to a full debate at the April FAC. He introduced the Commission's communication on Korea, proposing a Commission negotiating mandate for an EU/Korea trade and co-operation agreement.
The Council approved a statement expressing interest in the Singaporean proposal for an EU/Asian Summit and requesting the political committee and Coreper to present it with a report in March.
The presidency noted that the Commission would shortly come forward with a draft mandate for article XXIV.6 negotiations with the United States and others to compensate for tariff increases arising from EU enlargement.
There was a preliminary discussion on trade aspects of the mid-term review of the fourth Lome convention, and on the size of the eighth European development fund.
Mr. Martin--Commissioner for the Mediterranean, Latin America, the middle east and Asia--reported on progress in negotiations with Israel, Morocco and Tunisia.
The Council agreed on an early ministerial Troika visit to Lebanon, Syria, Israel and the Occupied Territories.
A partnership and co-operation agreement between the EU and Kazakhstan was signed on 23 January.
Mr. Foulkes: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what research his Department has carried out into the effectiveness of crop replacement programmes in zones of drug-linked cultivation in developing countries.
Mr. Baldry: The ODA has carried out research in Peru and North Morocco, and has funded desk studies covering the main coca growing areas of South America and the opium growing areas of Asia. Alternative crops have been identified, but their exploitation depends on social, economic and infrastructural changes. Since 1985, the ODA has committed £7 million to promote crop substitution in northern Pakistan.
Mr. Denzil Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how much aid, by way of grant, loans, credit or otherwise, has been provided to Algeria by the European Community or European Union and their institutions in the last four years.
Mr. Baldry: European Community support to Algeria is provided through its programme of grant and European Investment bank loan funded assistance to the mediterranean region and loan financed balance of payments support.
Under the Community's mediterranean programme, through the fourth financial protocol, 1992 96, Algeria is eligible for 350 mecu, or £276 million, comprising 280 mecu or £220 million, EIB loans, 18 mecu, or £14.2 million, risk capital and 52 mecu, or £41 million grant aid. By the end of January 1995, 88 per cent. of the budget funds had been committed and 64 per cent. of the EIB
Column 289loans. Algeria has also received a loan of 55 mecu, or 43.3 million, from the mediterranean structural adjustment facility as balance of payments support.
Since 1991, Algeria has been granted a total of 600 mecu, or £473 million, loan funded balance of payments support. Of this, 400 mecu, or £315 million, was agreed in 1991 and a further 200 mecu, or £157 million, subject to continuing compliance with its IMF programme, in December 1994. The first tranche of the further 200 meco--100 mecu, or £78.9 million--has already been disbursed.
Mr. Mullin: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what was the value of Britain's multilateral and unilateral aid to Trinidad and Tobago for each of the last five years; and what is the projected aid for the next two years.
Mr. Baldry: Gross bilateral aid expenditure for Trinidad and Tobago comprises primarily disbursements by the Commonwealth Development Corporation. Total gross United Kingdom bilateral aid for the last five years is as follows:
Year |£ thousands ------------------------------------ 1989-90 |556 1990-91 |808 1991-92 |5,310 1992-93 |11,659 1993-94 |5,725
The latest figures available for the estimated United Kingdom share of multilateral disbursements of net official development assistance to Trinidad and Tobago are:
Year |£ million ------------------------------ 1989 |0.29 1990 |0.97 1991 |0.33
The distribution of aid resources for the public expenditure survey period 1995 96--1997 98 is currently being considered and no final decisions have yet been made.
Mr. Worthington: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what humanitarian
Column 290assistance is being given to refugees from Sierra Leone in Guinea.
Mr. Baldry: The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and the World Food Programme are providing food, blankets and shelter materials for an estimated 24,000 Sierra Leonean refugees who have recently fled to Guinea, in addition to sustaining relief assistance to over 500,000 Liberian and Sierra Leonean refugees in Guinea's forest region over the past five years.
Mrs. Clwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what were the costs of training consultancy visits to Indonesia by British specialists working with the Indonesian police force in each year since 1990; and in each year how many consultants visited Indonesia.
Mr. Baldry [holding reply 3 February 1995]: The costs of consultancy visits have been as follows.
|Costs of |consultancy |Number of |Total number |visits to |UK consultants|of visits by |Indonesia £ |visiting |consultants --------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1990-91 |155,000 |4 |6 1991-92 |106,000 |4 |7 1992-93 |155,000 |4 |9 1993-94 |99,000 |4 |8
Mrs. Clwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) if he will list all aid and trade provision projects in Indonesia since 1980, in each case specifying the date of the agreement, the cost to the aid budget and the name of the British companies involved;
(2) if he will list dates when aid and trade provision government-to- government agreements and exchanges with Indonesia were signed in each year since 1980;
(3) if he will list all aid and trade provision contracts with Indonesia since 1980 stating the year and month in which the agreement was reached, the lead United Kingdom company, the value of aid given, and in each case the date of the formal appraisal documents submitted by the Overseas Development Administration and the Department of Trade and Industry.
Mr. Baldry [holding answer 3 February 1995]: A list of all aid and trade provision projects in Indonesia on which
government-to-government agreements have been concluded is set out in the attached table. Details of appraisal documents for aid projects are not held centrally and could only be provided at disproportionate cost.
ATP agreements with Indonesia concluded since 1980 |Company |EOL date |Type |Export value |ATP value |Sector Country |Project |£ million |£ million ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- ATP agreements concluded during 1982 Indonesia |Mrica Hydro Project |Balfour Beatty |22 October 1982 |44.646 |12.075 |Power ATP agreements concluded during 1983 Indonesia |Jambu Aye Hydroelectric |RendelWilliamson |1983 |0.200 |0.200 |Power | Dam Study |Hydro Indonesia |Ombelin Coal Mine |Dowty Meco |30 August 1983 |19.200 |4.445 | Project ATP agreements concluded during 1984 Indonesia |AIS Submarine Cable |STC |12 November 1984 |104.000 |3.093 |Telecom Indonesia |Education Equipment |British Council |27 November 1984 |0.036 |0.036 |Misc | Study Indonesia |Jabotabek Railway Study |L H Manderstan |1 June 1984 |1.000 |1.000 |Transport ATP agreements concluded during 1985 Indonesia |S Bengkulu Oil Palm |Massey |1985 |0.400 |0.400 |Misc | Study |Ferguson Indonesia |Isolated Diesels |HSPE |26 March 1985 |38.400 |12.515 |Power Indonesia |Bukit Asam Rail Bridges |Balfour Beatty |15 July 1985 |0.750 |0.152 |Transport Indonesia |Offshore Supply Vessels |Marine Design |14 August 1985 |2.156 |0.571 |Transport | Consultants Indonesia |Ombelin Coal Mine |Dowty Meco |1985 |0.655 |0.655 |Mining | Training ATP agreements concluded during 1986 Indonesia |Jabotabek Feasibility |Manderstan/F |5 September 1986 |0.007 |0.007 |Transport | Study |Wheeler Indonesia |Railway Track Turnouts |Henry Boot |6 March 1986 |ATP/TC |0.259 |0.259 |Transport |Railway Eng |Ltd ATP agreements concluded during 1987 Indonesia |Steel Bridging |Mabey and |2 April 1987 |SL |9.930 |6.642 |Transport |Johnson Indonesia |Navigational Aids |Pharos Marine |29 April 1987 |SL |9.906 |6.386 |Transport Indonesia |Coal Fired Power Station|British |4 June 1987 |ATP/TC |0.533 |0.533 |Power | Training |Electricity |International Indonesia |Marine Diesel Engines |Mirrlees |10 February 1987 |ATP/TC |0.048 |0.048 |Transport |Blackstone |(STPT) Ltd ATP agreements concluded during 1988 Indonesia |Batam Island Power |Kennedy and |17 June 1988 |ATP/TC |0.194 |0.194 |Power | Development Study |Donkin Power |Systems Ltd Indonesia |Bandung Television |Quantel Link |24 October 1988 |SL |11.735 |9.734 |Telecom | Studios |Systems Indonesia |Radio/Rehabilitation |David Whittle |29 February 1988 |ATP/TC |0.156 |0.156 |Telecom |Associates ATP agreements concluded during 1989 Indonesia |Cigading Port Extension |Tarmac |1 March 1989 | SL |17.280 |13.266 |Transport |International |Special Projects Indonesia |Radio Studios |David Whittle |2 November 1989 |ATP/TC |0.651 |0.651 |Telecom |Associates Indonesia |Satellite Remote Sensing|Technology |- |- |0.028 |0.028 |Telecom |Applied Systems Indonesia |Scattered Diesels |GEC Diesels |25 January 1989 |SL |6.887 |5.891 |Power |Ltd Indonesia |Ombilin Coalmine I |Dowty Meco |1.89 |ATP/TC |0.211 |0.211 |Mining |Ltd ATP agreements concluded during 1990 Indonesia |Citayam/Cibinong |Foster Wheeler |30 Novembeer 1990 |SL |23.000 |20.105 |Transport | Railway |World |Services Indonesia |Cigading/Serpong |Davy/British |15 March 1990 |SL |31.861 |24,690 |Telecom | Railway Rehabilitation|Railway |International Indonesia |Radio Communication |Philips Radio |30 November 1990 |SL |37.234 |34.111 |Telecom | System for the |Communication | Ministry |Systems | of Forestry Indonesia |Radio Studio |Audix Ltd |1 February 1990 |SL |6.330 |5.040 |Telecom | Rehabilitation Indonesia |Shortwave Radio |Marconi |30 November 1990 |SL |29.000 |26.911 |Telecom | Transmitters Indonesia |Aircraft Simulator |CAA |14 February 1990 |ATP/TC |0.050 |0.050 | Consultancy ATP agreements concluded during 1991 Indonesia |Western Universities |Philip Harris |14 May 1991 |SL |14.284 |13.671 |Misc | Equipment |International/ |Gallenkamp Indonesia |Bali and Medan Airport |IAL |21 August 1991 |SL |11.452 |10.455 |Misc | Security |International |Aeradio Ltd Indonesia |Jambi Power Station |Mirrlees |21 August 1991 |SL |5.740 |5.345 |Power |Blackstone |(STPT) Ltd Indonesia |Flight Simulator |Aeronautical |20 June 1991 |SL |4.969 |4.659 |Transport |Systems |Designers Indonesia |Steel Bridging II |Mabey and |22 May 1991 |SL |3.831 |3.669 |Transport |Johnson Indonesia |Cikampek/Padalarang |Cementation |15 October 1991 |ATP/TC |1.700 |1.700 |Transport | Toll Road Indonesia |Auto Industry |De Montfort |7 January 1991 |ATP/TC |0.489 |0.489 |Transport | Development Study |Management |Ltd ATP agreements concluded during 1992 Indonesia |Western Universities |Sunderland |29 August 1992 |ATP/TC |2.214 |2.214 |Education | Training Centre |Engineering |Education |Services Indonesia |Flight Simulator |CAA |24 January 1992 |ATP/TC |0.389 |0.389 |Transport
Mrs. Clwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what was the cost in each year since 1990 of supporting work with the Indonesian national police force.
Mr. Baldry [holding answer 3 February 1995]: Costs from 1 April 1990 to 31 March 1994 were as follows:
Year |£ ------------------------ 1990-91 |247,000 1991-92 |178,000 1992-93 |283,000 1993-94 |126,000
Mrs. Clwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what has been the cost of scholarship awards in Britain for Indonesian police officers in each year since 1990.
Mr. Baldry [holding answer 3 February 1995]: Costs from 1 April 1990 to 31 March 1994 were as follows:
Year |£ ---------------------- 1990-91 |33,200 1991-92 |26,000 1992-93 |66,500 1993-94 |3,000
Mrs. Clwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many members of the Indonesian national police force have visited the United Kingdom for training purposes in each year since 1990.
Mr. Baldry [holding answer 3 February 1995]: The numbers of such members financed by the Government were:
1990 91: 14
1991 92: 13
1992 93: 21
1993 94: 1
Mrs. Clwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list the cost to his Department of annual study tours to the United Kingdom for Indonesian police officers in each year since 1990, in each case stating which British police forces are involved.
Mr. Baldry [holding answer 3 February 1995]: The cost of study tours, which last up to one month, was as follows:
|Study tour |Cost per year |UK police forces|participants |£ ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1990-91 |Surrey |10 |31,000 1991-92 |Surrey |10 |30,000 1992-93 |Surrey |15 |43,000 1993-94 |- |0 |0
Mrs. Clwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many Indonesian police officers have received scholarship awards in each year since 1990, in each case specifying the recipient's rank, the cost and duration of the scholarship.
Mr. Baldry [holding answer 3 February 1995]: Scholarship awards involving training for one month or more have been made as follows:
|Cost of |Awards |Duration Name of police |Rank |per year |(months) officer |£ ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ 1990-91 Mr. Yusnar Arsyad |Lieutenant Colonel|8,300 |4 Mr. Adjie Rustarn Ramdja |Major |8,300 |4 Mr. Deddy S. K. |Lieutenant Colonel|8,300 |4 Mr. Medhy Chumadi |Lieutenant Colonel|8,300 |4 1991-92 Mr. Minton Mariaty Simanjuntak |Major |8,000 |3 Mr. Soekamid |Major |9,000 |8 Mr. Yadi Ermlady |Captain |9,000 |8 1992-93 Mr. Soekamid |Major |13,500 |12 Mr. Yadi Ermlady |Captain |13,500 |12 Mr. Pengasihan Gaut |Major |8,500 |3 Mr. Adjie Ramdja |Major |8,500 |3 Mr. Pepe Tjhjana |Lieutenant Colonel|8,500 |3 Mr. Tito Karnavian |First Lieutenant |14,000 |12 1993-94 Mr. Herman Rasyld |Colonel |3,000 |1
Mr. Colvin: To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage what plans he has for the capital receipts from privatising the transmission services of the BBC to be (a) retained by the corporation and (b) paid over to Her Majesty's Treasury.
Mr. Dorrell: I am currently considering the options for the future of the BBC transmission service.
Mr. Colvin: To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage what are the BBC's annual transmission costs broken down by revenue, capital and regions.
Mr. Dorrell: Information about the BBC's internal costs and charges is primarily a matter for the BBC. We do not routinely hold such information.
Mr. Chris Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage (1) what provision he is making for the encouragement of active participation by the elderly in contemporary arts; (2) what plans he has to enable regional arts boards to fund educational work with people beyond the age of 25 years.
Mr. Dorrell: My Department provides funds to the Arts Council, and through it to the regional arts boards, which themselves take decisions on how those funds are used. In doing so they take into account both artistic objectives and other issues of the kind the hon. Gentleman mentions.
Mr. Patten: To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage if he will list those public bodies for which he retains departmental responsibility; which of these bodies have been identified as suitable for placing in the private sector; and by when it is expected each of these bodies will enter the private sector.
Mr. Dorrell: The public bodies for which I am responsible are all listed in "Public Bodies 1994", which was published on 6 February and is available in the Library. None of the bodies for which I am responsible has been identified as suitable for placing in the private sector.
Mr. Campbell-Savours: To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage how many items he has received from Ian Greer in each week of the last month.
Mr. Dorrell: I have no record of any items received from Ian Greer in the last month.
Mrs. Roche: To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage what plans he has to ensure that women can play league football.
Mr. Sproat [holding answer 3 February 1995]: Responsibility for the development of women's football in this country rests with the Football Association. The FA is currently developing a strategy document outlining its aims and objectives for the future development of the women's game.
Mr. Battle: To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what were the median weekly earnings of full-time working men and women on adult rates in Yorkshire and Humberside and the north in 1994 and 1984.
Mr. Oppenheim: Information showing the median weekly earnings of full-time men and women employees on adult rates in each region of England can be found in part E, table 116 of the "New Earnings Survey", copies of which are available in the Library.
Ms Harman: To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will list the change in earnings for full time employees for every year, a cumulatively, since 1979 of the top and bottom (i) 1 per cent., (ii) 5 per cent. and (iii) 10 per cent. of the earnings distribution as recorded in the "New Earnings Survey", also breaking down the data by gender.
Mr. Oppenheim [holding answer 6 February 1995]: The top and bottom deciles are published in part A, table 1 of the "New Earnings Survey" from 1979 to 1994, copies of which are available in the Library. Information on the top and bottom 1 and 5 per cent. points of the earnings distribution is not available.
Mr. Bryan Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what are the latest available figures for the number of employees in each training and enterprise council area who have been recognised as achieving investors in people standard; and what percentage of the employees potentially eligible for receipt of the award this represents in each area.
Mr. Paice: The latest figures, at 4 December 1994, for employers in each training and enterprise council area in England and Wales, who have been recognised as achieving the investors in people standard are shown in the following table. It is not possible to provide information on what percentage of the employees potentially eligible for receipt of the award this represents in each area. Organisations committed to, or recognised as, investors in people employ between them 17 per cent. of the UK work force.
Employers recognised as investors in people-as at 4 December 1994 TEC |Employers -------------------------------------------------- Greater Nottingham |7 Leicestershire |11 Lincolnshire |6 Northamptonshire |16 North Derbyshire |11 North Nottinghamshire |17 Southern Derbyshire |28 Bedfordshire |10 CAMBSTEC |3 Essex |11 Greater Peterborough |2 Hertfordshire |7 Norfolk and Waveney |16 Suffolk |7 County Durham |18 Northumberland |14 Teeside |19 Tyneside |22 Sunderland City |6 Barnsley/Doncaster |17 Bradford and District |5 Calderdale/Kirklees |9 Humberside |48 Leeds |18 Rotherham |10 Sheffield |7 Wakefield |4 North Yorkshire |14 Bolton/Bury |14 Cumbria |6 ELTEC |22 LAWTEC |7 Manchester |19 METROTEC |6 NORMIDTEC |23 Oldham |7 Rochdale |2 South and East Cheshire |16 Stockport/High Peak |7 Birmingham |17 Central England |20 Coventry/Warwickshire |15 Dudley |6 HAWTEC |13 Sandwell |3 Shropshire |7 Staffordshire |5 Walsall |5 Wolverhampton |6 Mid Glamorgan |18 South Glamorgan |11 Gwent |10 Powys |4 North East Wales |5 North West Wales |6 West Wales |21 Avon |20 Devon and Cornwall |58 Dorset |39 Gloucestershire |89 Somerset |10 Wiltshire |16 Hampshire |30 Heart of England |14 Wight Training and Enterprise |1 Kent |9 Milton Keynes |4 Surrey |16 Sussex |15 Thames Valley Enterprise |39 AZTEC |8 North London |3 North West London |7 CILNTEC |4 CENTEC |10 London East |5 SOLOTEC |7 West London |8 South Thames |4 CEWTEC |15 Merseyside |32 QUALITEC |3
Mr. Campbell-Savours: To ask the Secretary of State for Employment how many items he has received from Ian Greer in each week of the last month.
Mr. Hinchliffe: To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will list the economic status of men and women just prior to reaching the statutory pension age for the latest year for which information is available.
Mr. Oppenheim: Estimates from the "Labour Force Survey" of the economic activity of men aged 64 and women aged 59 are given in the following table:
Economic activity of Men aged 64 and Women aged 59 Great Britain-Summer 1994 Thousands |Men |Women |aged 64|aged 59 ------------------------------------------------- In employment |95 |123 ILO unemployment |11 |<1>- Economically inactive<2> |160 |155 <1> Estimate below 10,000 not shown.<2> Includes long-term sick and disabled and people looking after the home. Source: LFS
Mr. Ingram: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will give the percentage of cases cleared by individual Child Support Agency centres during the first two quarters of 1994 95 (a) in under 40 days, (b) between 40 days and 100 days and (c) in over 100 days; and when he expects to be able to provide detailed information on the average time taken for each stage of the assessment process.
Mr. Burt: The administration of the Child Support Agency is a matter for Miss Ann Chant, the chief Executive. She will write to the hon. Member shortly.
Letter from Ann Chant to Mr. Adam Ingram, dated 8 February 1995: I am replying to your recent Parliamentary Question to the Secretary of State for Social Security about the Child Support Agency's clearance times for the maintenance application process. The information you require is shown in the tables in Annex A. Table 1 includes figures on all cases cleared by the Agency, many of which have been outstanding for a long period. Table 2 provides details of the average time taken for each stage of the assessment process.
I hope that this is helpful.
ANNEX A Table. 1 Time taken to clear the percentage of cases across all Child Support Agency Centres 1st quarter: April to June 1994 |More than |40 days, Child support |less than 100 |More than area centre |40 days or less|days |100 days |Per cent. |Per cent. |Per cent. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Belfast |45.63 |27.63 |34.41 Birkenhead |58.72 |17.04 |24.25 Dudley |45.63 |19.66 |34.71 Falkirk |34.68 |30.52 |34.81 Hastings |42.27 |21.00 |36.74 Plymouth |27.97 |24.35 |47.70 Agency |41.20 |23.37 |35.43
2nd quarter: July to September 1994 |More than |40 days, Child support |less than 100 |More than area centre |40 days or less|days |100 days |Per cent. |Per cent. |Per cent. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Belfast |38.85 |19.21 |41.95 Birkenhead |56.11 |9.89 |34.00 Dudley |43.68 |11.82 |44.51 Falkirk |43.34 |8.03 |48.63 Hastings |36.51 |15.96 |47.53 Plymouth |30.53 |11.31 |58.16 Agency |41.50 |12.70 |45.80
Table 2. Average times taken for each stage of the Agency's assessment process. Stages of assessment |Average time (days) process ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Period from the issue of the maintenance application form (MAF) to the parent withcare to the date it was returned to the Agency. |39 Period from the return of the MAF to the Agency to the date when a maintenance enquiry form (MEF) was issued to the absent parent. |69 Period from issue of the MEF to the date it was returned to the Agency. |47 Period from the return of the MEF to the date a maintenance assessment was completed. |86 Overall period. |<1>175 <1> This figure does not equal the sum of the first four stages due to the variation in sample sizes which arises when cases are withdrawn.
Mr. Ingram: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if the 2,269 outstanding Child Support Agency cases referred to in his answer of 18 May 1994, Official Report, column 526 , in which paternity was being disputed at the end of March 1994, have now been resolved; if he will consider monitoring disputed paternity cases to establish the outcomes; in how many cases dealt with by the Child Support Agency between April and October 1994 the alleged absent parent disputed paternity; how many of these cases have been resolved without reference to court; how many disputed paternity cases have been referred to court by the agency; how many cases have been heard to date; in how many paternity has been established by the court,; and what is the total number of unresolved paternity disputes to-date.
Mr. Burt: The administration of the Child Support Agency is a matter for Miss Ann Chant, the chief executive. She will write to the hon. Member shortly.
Letter from Ann Chant to Mr. Adam Ingram, dated 8 February 1995: I am replying to your recent Parliamentary Question to the Secretary of State for Social Security about disputed paternity cases dealt with by the Child Support Agency.
Improvements were introduced during April 1994 to the Agency's management information systems which improved the monitoring of paternity cases. As a result it has been ascertained that at the end of April 1994 there were 5,350 paternity cases on hand, just over 3, 000 more than had previously been reported at the end of March 1994. Between the end of April and October 1994 there were a further 5,693 cases of disputed paternity. Of these, 4,316 cases were resolved without reference to Court. There were 178 applications to Court for a hearing, and 51 cases were heard. Paternity was established in each of these cases.
At the end of October 1994, 5,976 cases were on hand, of these, 1,761 were more than 6 months old. In addition to the 51 cases where Court action was completed, there have been applications to Court for a hearing in a further 127 cases.
I hope this reply is helpful.
Mr. Ingram: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what considerations underlay the decision to transfer from child support offices to area managers the responsibility for issuing reduced benefit directions under the requirement to co-operate procedure in the special cases sections of the regional centres; whom the Child Support Agency consulted before changing the procedure; what training has been given to area managers when taking over this responsibility; and what systems are in place for monitoring the decisions made by area managers and ensuring consistency of decision-making across the country.
Mr. Burt: The administration of the Child Support Agency is a matter for Miss Ann Chant, the chief executive. She will write to the hon. Member.
Letter from Ann Chant to Mr. Adam Ingram, dated 8 February 1995:
I am replying to your recent Parliamentary Question to the Secretary of State for Social Security about the issuing of reduced benefit directions (RBDs).
This work was transferred to Field offices from the Child Support Agency Centres because a degree of double handling had been identified. As is usual in such circumstances, and internal consultation exercise on the implication and viability of the measure took place. The final decision was taken by the Operations Management Team in the light of the Agency's business needs, resources available and relevant staff experience. The Trade Union Side in the Agency were kept fully informed of the changes and the appropriate technical training was given.
The Agency monitors decisions on RBDs in a similar way to other adjudication decisions made by child support officers (CSOs). CSO decisions are also monitored by the Chief Child Support Officer, an independent authority, who reports annually, in writing, to the Secretary of State.
I hope that this is helpful.
Mr. Morgan: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will give figures for the number of cases taken on by the Child Support Agency that previously involved absent parents that had paid no maintenance as a proportion of all cases for each six-month period since the establishment of the agency; and if he will give figures for the actual child maintenance paid by absent fathers as a proportion of the child maintenance paid by virtue of the work of the agency for each six-month period since the agency was founded.
Mr. Burt: The administration of the Child Support Agency is a matter for Miss Ann Chant, the chief executive. She will write to the hon. Member.
Letter from Ann Chant to Mr. Rhodri Morgan, dated8 February 1995:
I am replying to you Parliamentary Question to the Secretary of State for Social Security on the number of absent parents (APs) who paid no maintenance for each six-month period of the Child Support Agency's operations; and the actual proportion of child maintenance paid as a result of action by the Agency.
The estimated proportion of cases that involve APs who had paid no child maintenance, as a proportion of all cases, is given in the following table: