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Written Answers to Questions

Tuesday 24 September 2002


Written Questions

Mr. Yeo: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list the written questions asked of him between (a) 1 to 30 June 2001, (b) 1 to 31 July 2001, (c) 1 to 30 September 2001, (d) 1 to 31 October 2001, (e) 1 to 30 November 2001, (f) 1 to 31 December 2001, (g) 1 to 31 January 2002, (h) 1 to 28 February 2002, (i) 1 to 31 March 2002 and (j) 1 to 30 April 2002 that had not received a substantive answer by 30 April; and if he will state (i) the name of the hon. Member asking the question and (ii) the reasons the question had not received a substantive answer. [54081]

Mr. Blunkett [holding answer 2 May 2002]: I refer the hon. Member to the reply given by my right hon. Friend, Leader of the House of Commons (Mr. Cook) on 2 May 2002. For the Home Office, the number of outstanding questions for each month between June 2001 and April 2002 as at 30 April 2002 is shown in the table. The table also shows those that were still outstanding on 12 September 2002.

Outstanding PQs
MonthTotal PQsAt 30 April 2002At 12 September 2002
1–30 June 200113600
1–31 July 200149500
1–30 September 2001000
1–31 October 200142740
1–30 November 200164194
1–31 December 2001343137
1–31 January 20026614213
1–28 February 20025555313
1–31 March 200251210619
1–30 April 200270542113

We recognise that our performance in answering Parliamentary Questions needs to be improved and we are working closely with directorates and our business change and Information Technology (IT) partners to improve the situation.

Departmental Secondments

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many staff in his Department have been seconded to jobs in the (a) private and (b) public sector in each of the last four years. [31783]

Hilary Benn: Secondments are part of the Interchange initiative, which promotes the exchange of people and good practice between the Civil Service and other organisations. All sectors of the economy are

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involved: Voluntary, Education, Health, Public and Private. Interchange provides opportunities for civil servants to learn new skills, widen their experience and develop ideas. It also brings in skills and experiences from other sectors.

The number of Home Office staff seconded out to private and public sector organisations is set out in the table. Information for 2001–02 is not yet available.

Private sector2311
Public sector*162*80*94

* The figures given for Home Office staff seconded to the public sector include posts overseas.

IT Contracts

Richard Younger-Ross: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what has been the total expenditure of his Department on IT systems and support in each year from May 1997 to date; how many IT contracts have been let in each of those years; of the other main contracting party in each of those contracts, how many have been (a) companies whose registered office is in (i) England and Wales, (ii) Scotland and (iii) Northern Ireland and (b) foreign companies; and what are the names of the companies falling within category (a). [33676]

Hilary Benn: To obtain information on the total Information Technology spend for the years requested would involve disproportionate cost. However, the following information on high value Information Technology Information Systems (IT)/(IS) expenditure is available.

1. Total expenditure (at £10 million and only)


The significant increase in expenditure in 2001 was due to the letting of the Sirius contract at £25 million and the letting of a contract to Bull for IT hardware and infrastructure support for over £10 million.

2. Contracts let/year (at £10 million and only)

YearContracts let

3. How many suppliers have been registered in:

England and Wales




Northern Ireland


Foreign Companies


4. What are the names of the suppliers registered in England and Wales:

Sirius Consortium (ICL/Global Crossing/PricewaterhouseCoopers


Bull/Integris (now Steria))

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Disclosure of Interests

Mr. Paul Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what rules apply to the disclosure

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of interests on the part of those serving on public bodies which are responsible to his Department. [56464]

Beverley Hughes: All executive and advisory non-departmental public bodies (NDPBs) are required to adopt a board members' code, based on guidance produced by the Cabinet Office, and they should have a register of interests.

The following table lists the NDPBs sponsored by the Home Office and in each case indicates what the relevant Code of Practice is and where it is available.

Name of bodyCode of PracticeWhere available
Executive NDPBs
Central Police Training and Development Authority (CENTREX)Yes. A register of interests is being established which will be open to public scrutiny.Available on request from Central Police Training and Development Authority, Bramshill, Hook, Hampshire RG27 0JW.
Commission for Racial Equality (CRE)Yes with a register of interests.Available for inspection on request at the CRE's London office.
Community Development FoundationYes with a register of interests. Policy on disclosing interests also contained in Standing Orders.Standing Orders available on request from Community Development Foundation.
Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC)Yes entitled Code of Best Practice and Rules of Conduct.By appointment at the CCRC's office in Birmingham.
Criminal Injuries Compensation AuthorityNot applicable—no public appointments.
Office of the Immigration Services CommissionerNo. The two Public Appointees, (the Commissioner and the Deputy Commissioner) have been invited to confirm in writing adherence to the Cabinet Office code of practice and terms stating adherence will be written into future appointees' terms of apointment. Preparation for a register of interests in hand.
Parole BoardYes with register of interests.The Code as set out in "The Parole Board for England and Wales—Policy and Procedures" is available on request from the Parole Board. The register may be inspected on request, by writing to the Chief Executive of the Parole Board.
Police Complaints Authority (PCA)Yes with register of interests.Available for inspection by appointment at the PCA's offices at 10 Great George Street, London SW1P 2AE.
Police Information Technology Organisation (PITO)Yes with register of interests. Currently under review.Code available from PITO committee services. Register of interests published in the annual report (see www.pito.org.uk).
The Natonal Criminal Intelligence Service and the National Crime SquadBodies established on 1 April 2002. Policy on disclosing interests contained in standing orders. Code of practice to be drawn up.Standing orders available on request from the Service Authorities.
Youth Justice Board (YJB) England and WalesYesAvailable on request from the YJB.
Advisory NDPBs
Advisory Board on Restricted Patients (ABRP)Yes.Available from ABRP in paper form.
Advisory Council on the Misuse of DrugsNo. Preparation in hand.
Animal Procedures Committee (APC)Yes with register of interests.www.apc.gov.uk. Also published in the APC annual report, a copy of which is placed in the Library of the House.
Firearms Consultative Committee (FCC)No. Declaration of interests is published in Annual Report. Membership of the FCC expired in January 2002 and its future is under review.
Poisons BoardThe membership of the Poisons Board has been recently reconstituted after a lapse of 11 years. A new code of practice will be developed in due course.
Police Negotiating BoardNo. Preparation in hand.
Prison/Probation Accreditation PanelYes. Uses Cabinet Office's model code of practice.
Race Relations ForumMembership expired November 2001. The future of the Forum is under review.
Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act Technical Advisory BodyThis body was established in April 2002. The code of practice is in preparation.
Sentencing Advisory Panel (SAP)Yes with register of interests.Copies of Code of Practice are available from the SAP. Members' interests are published in its Annual Report.
Tribunal NDPBs
Criminal Injuries Compensation Appeals PanelYes. Uses Cabinet Office's model code of practice.
Investigatory Powers TribunalNo
Misuse of Drugs Advisory BodyNo. Currently in abeyance.
Misuse of Drugs Professional PanelNo. Currently in abeyance.
Misuse of Drugs TribunalNo. Currently in abeyance.
Office of the Surveillance CommissionersNo.
Police Arbitration TribunalNo.
Police Discipline Appeals TribunalNo.
Other NDPBs
Boards of Visitors to Penal EstablishmentsNo. Members abide by the Prison rules, which contain provisions for disqualifying from membership, any person interested in any contract for the supply of goods or services to a prison.

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