some default text...
Previous Section Index Home Page


Immigration Appellate Authority

Mr. Vaz: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what the backlog of cases in the IAA is; and what estimate she has made of how long it will take to clear the backlog. [50699]

Ms Rosie Winterton: There is currently no backlog of asylum cases within the IAA. At the end of March the IAA was dealing with 20,626 outstanding adjudicator appeals, 1,883 outstanding leave to appeal applications and 1,753 outstanding substantive tribunal appeals. This level of work in progress for asylum cases is necessary to ensure the proper functioning of the IAA and is based on the SDA target of clearing 65 per cent. of all cases through both tiers within 17 weeks.

The IAA is also currently dealing with 4,114 adjudicator appeals, 36 leave to appeal applications and 39 substantive tribunal appeals in immigration cases. In each instance, this is within or in line with expectation. These immigration figures do not cover family visit visas.

Solar Panels

Ian Lucas: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what Government buildings owned by the Lord Chancellor's Department have solar panels installed. [51190]

Mr. Wills: The Lord Chancellor's Department does not own any buildings with solar panels.

Personal Injury Pre-action Protocol

Mr. Rooney: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what advice the Lord Chancellor's Department has given to solicitors and the Law Society on the operation of the personal injury pre-action protocol. [51003]

Ms Rosie Winterton [holding answer 18 April 2002]: None. The Law Society was instrumental in the development of this protocol. The pre-action protocols are designed to be self explanatory. Each protocol contains notes for guidance on the operation of the protocol.

Children and Family Court Advisory and

Support Service

Mr. Oaten: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord

29 Apr 2002 : Column 598W

Chancellor's Department what plans she has to allow parents to appeal against the decision of reports prepared for family courts by the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service. [52342]

Ms Rosie Winterton: None. The purpose of the report is to advise the court. The court must take account of the Children and Family Reporter's recommendation but is not bound to follow it. If a party to proceedings has concerns about the report written by the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (CAFCASS) or alternate proposals to put before the court, it is possible for all parties to the case to put forward their proposals, or raise concerns, at or before the hearing where the CAFCASS officer can be questioned on the content of the report.

Mr. Oaten: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department, what training she provides to staff working for the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service; and what qualifications they require. [52343]

Ms Rosie Winterton: All practitioners from the Family Court Welfare Service and Guardian Ad Litem Service who transferred to the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (CAFCASS) on 1 April 2001 have the Diploma in Social Work (DipSW) awarded by Central Council for Education and Training in Social Work (CCETSW), now the Training Organisation for the Personal Social Services (TOPSS), or an equivalent qualification. This is still a requirement for all staff appointed as of 1 April 2001.

All staff are encouraged to undertake post-qualifying training approved by TOPSS, such as the Post Qualification award in child care (PQCCA) or in some instances the Advanced Award in Social Work. The PQCCA is at post graduate diploma level, being specific to social work with children and the PQAA is at Masters level.

Most CAFCASS officers also have many years of experience working in the Family Courts—supported by a programme of induction, and training and development relevant to their work.

Immigration Appeals

Mr. Cox: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department, what the estimated waiting time is for an immigration appeal to be heard. [50591]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The average time to hearing for immigration cases received by the IAA between 1 October 2001 and 31 October 2001 was 5.2 weeks to first hearing and 12.5 weeks to substantive hearing at the adjudicator stage.

WORK AND PENSIONS

Correspondence

Mr. Kaufman: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions when he intends to reply to the letter to him dated 6 February from the right hon. Member for Manchester, Gorton, with regard to Mr. J. B. Cooper. [42798]

29 Apr 2002 : Column 599W

Mr. Darling: I replied to my right hon. Friend on 11 March.

Regulatory Impact Unit

Matthew Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many members his Department employs in its Regulatory Impact Unit; and if he will make a statement. [42932]

Mr. Nicholas Brown: One member of staff works full time in the Department's Regulatory Impact Unit. This is a dedicated resource which co-ordinates activity relating to all better regulation issues in the Department.

It is the job of the Department's Regulatory Impact Unit to establish and promote in the Department, the principles of good regulation, so that all officials within it may contribute effectively to the Government's regulatory reform initiative. The unit also works closely with the Regulatory Impact Unit in the Cabinet Office, and with the Small Business Service. A key element of the unit's work is to help minimise the impact on business, charities, and the voluntary sector, of those departmental regulations which are necessary.

Pensions

Mr. Boswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what information he collates on the cumulative value of employers' contributions to a pension scheme (a) on a defined benefit basis and (b) on a defined contribution basis; and if he will make a statement on current trends in what is offered under each of these structures. [43132]

Maria Eagle: The cumulative value of occupational pension funds depends on a number of factors including investment growth, employer and employee contributions, tax relief, national insurance rebates, pension payments and transfers. It is not possible to calculate the cumulative value of employer contributions separately.

However this Department does collect information on private sector contribution rates to defined benefit and defined contribution pension schemes as a proportion of employee salary, through the Employer Pension Provision (EPP) Report. The EPP Report 2000 was published on 18 March 2002, and shows that the median employer contribution rate in 'salary related' (defined benefit) schemes was 6 per cent. of pay, and the rate in 'money purchase' (defined contribution) schemes was 5 per cent. of pay. A copy of the report is available in the Library.

The Government Actuary's Department produces its Occupational Pension Schemes survey every five years. The most recent survey, for 1995, is in the House of Commons Library. It collects data on employers' contribution rates for defined contribution occupational schemes as a proportion of employee salary (note: this does not include payments to personal pensions or group personal pensions).

The Office for National Statistics collects data on the total amounts contributed to non-state pensions in its MQ5 series, produced quarterly. These figures have been withdrawn due to errors in the publication, and are being investigated.

29 Apr 2002 : Column 600W

For information about current trends, I refer the hon. Member to the statement made by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State on 4 February 2002, Official Report, columns 660–68.

Equipment Leasing

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will list the equipment leasing arrangements entered into by his Department in each of the last four years; and what the cost is to public funds in each case. [39082]

Mr. McCartney: Most equipment used by the Department is not leased but obtained via service contracts. Most office equipment is provided under serviced accommodation arrangements under the 20-year PRIME PFI deal for estates management services or under other facilities management contracts. IS/IT and telephony equipment is not leased but provided or sourced under long-term service contracts. The Department does enter into leasing agreements for some other equipment, principally photocopiers, but these arrangements are made at local level. The information on these arrangements required to answer the question is not collected centrally and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

Job Advertisements

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will list the job advertisements placed by his Department in the last 12 months specifying where the advertisements were placed and the cost in each case. [39071]

Mr. McCartney: The information is not held centrally and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.


Next Section Index Home Page