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Defence Scientific Advisory Council

Mr. McNamara: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to his answer of 2 April 2001, Official Report, column 68W, if he will list the (a) individuals that sit on the Defence Scientific Advisory Council, (b) qualifications and employment profile of each member, (c) remuneration paid to each member and (d) terms of reference of the Council. [158041]

Mr. Spellar: I have been asked to reply.

The Defence Scientific Advisory Council (DSAC) is an advisory body offering independent advice to Ministers and senior officials. Currently it has over 170 members drawn from industry and academia. It reports annually to the Secretary of State. It also sets up working parties comprising some of its members, to draw up advisory reports, or assessments, on particular scientific topics from time to time. One such assessment was referred to in the written answer given by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Home Department on 2 April 2001, Official Report, column 68W. I am withholding details of individuals undertaking this work in accordance with Exemptions 2 and 4 of the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information.

Current remuneration of DSAC members is according to the table.

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£ per day
DSAC Chairman315
Sub-committee Chairman265

DSAC members are also paid travel and subsistence.

The terms of reference of the DSAC are as follows:

In performing these tasks it will take account of relevant advances in the civil field including opportunities for technology transfer in both directions between MoD and the civil sector.

Mr. McNamara: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to his answer of 2 April 2001, Official Report, column 68W, if he will place in the Library (a) the three unpublished statements of the Defence Scientific Advisory Council and (b) the Ministry of Defence and ACPO terms of reference of each. [158043]

Mr. Spellar: I have been asked to reply. I am withholding the information requested in accordance with exemptions 2 and 11 of the code of practice on access to Government information which relate respectively to internal discussion and advice and to incomplete analysis. The key conclusions of the statements requested can be found in the report of the DSAC sub-committee placed in the Library on 2 April.

Benefit Fraud

Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people were successfully prosecuted for (a) housing benefit and (b) council tax benefit fraud in each local authority in the latest year for which records are available. [158687]

Angela Eagle: I have been asked to reply.

The information has been placed in the Library.

Strip Searches (Prison)

Mr. McNamara: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list the recommendations of the Prison Service "Searches on the Person" Review indicating the progress made in the implementation of each proposal. [159551]

Mr. Boateng: Six recommendations have been implemented in full, and the security manual has been updated accordingly. On another seven recommendations,

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work has commenced towards full implementation. There are still three recommendations on which work has yet to start.

The review recommendations will be considered when the security manual chapters on searching are reviewed by the security manual project team. Given the importance of searching, it has been decided to review the searching chapter first.

Progress on the recommendations is as follows. The six recommendations implemented are:

Implementation has begun on the following recommendations:

A draft Business Case has been prepared which is awaiting approval.

The Prison Service Order on reception arrangements is being revised. When it is published, it will include further guidance on searching arrangements.

The Police Scientific Development Branch (PSDB) undertake this type of research for Security Group. This work forms part of the research programme.

This will be considered when the Prison Service prisoner database is upgraded.

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POINT is being revised, and will be trialled. The additional considerations for searching under 18s will be included in the revised training.

Searching strategies are agreed between governors and their Area Manager, and will be amended to comply with this requirement. The appropriate section of the Security Manual and the security standard now need to be amended, so that governors will be audited against this requirement.

A research project conducted by Defence Evaluation and Research Agency (DERA) reported recently. One of its recommendations was that further guidance was needed in the light of its findings, and this work will be taken forward.

The three recommendations on which progress has yet to commence are:

These recommendations will be picked up shortly as the Security Manual chapters on searching are reviewed.

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