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11 Feb 2003 : Column 709Wcontinued
Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many car-jackings have taken place in the Greater London area in each of the last three years. 
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Mr. Bob Ainsworth: Car jacking is not a specific recorded crime category under Home Office counting rules and the information requested is not available centrally. Offences involving the theft or attempted theft of a motorised vehicle by threat or use of force are recorded as either robbery or theft of a motor vehicle.
Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many staff are (a) employed, and (b) planned to be employed, by each of the commissioners and tribunals which have been created by the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 and the Intelligence Services Act 1994; and what the annual budget allocated to each commissioner and tribunal is. 
Mr. Blunkett: The Investigatory Powers Tribunal, the Interception, of Communications and Intelligence Services Commissioners are currently supported by a Secretariat consisting of three administrative staff. This is planned to rise to six administrative staff over the next few years.
The Office of the Surveillance Commissioner currently has eight support staff. Six surveillance commissioners, three assistant surveillance commissioners, a lead surveillance inspector and four surveillance inspectors assist the Chief Surveillance Commissioner.
For the current financial year the budget for the Office of the Surveillance Commissioner is £1,182,000 and that for the Investigatory Powers Tribunal, the Interception of Communications and Intelligence Services Commissioners Secretariat is £167,000.
Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the voluntary code of practice which relates to the retention of communications data. 
Mr. Blunkett: We intend to publish a draft Code of Practice shortly.
Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what estimate he has made of (a) the number of officials who will be allowed to demand access to communications data and (b) the number of requests they are anticipated to make broken down by Government department; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Blunkett: The number of officials ('designated persons') able to require communications data will be determined by Orders to be made under Chapter II, Part I of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000. We aim to lay these Orders following consultation on the addition of public authorities to the Chapter II regime. The consultation paper, to be issued shortly, will contain the best available information on the numbers of requests for communications data by public authorities.
Mr. Allan : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what discussions have taken place between
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law enforcement agencies and the (a) Mayor of London and (b) Information Commissioner concerning the retention of vehicle identification data collected by the congestion charge administration systems for law enforcement purposes. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth [holding answer 6 February 2003]: The Metropolitan Police have discussed and agreed a protocol with Transport for London, under which data on vehicles of interest to the police in combating crime and terrorism are passed to and retained by congestion charge administration systems, and the police are then notified of any movements of the vehicles. I am assured that the data are retained and accessed in accordance with the requirements of the Data Protection Act 1998 and the Information Commissioner has been consulted.
The Immigration Service have had no discussions with Transport for London or the Information Commissioner.
Mr. Kaufman: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department why he has not replied to the letter to him dated 28 November from the right hon. Member for Manchester, Gorton, with regard to Mr. S. Singh. 
Mr. Blunkett: I wrote to my right hon. Friend on 11 February 2003.
Mr. Kaufman: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he intends to reply to the letter to him dated 14 December from the right hon. Member for Manchester, Gorton, with regard to Mrs. Emilia Chinweokwu Unegbu-Kirby. 
Mr. Blunkett: I wrote to my right hon. Friend on 11 February 2003.
Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has to review the Regulation as to Cremation 1930, SR & O 1930/1016 to allow amputees to arrange for the cremation of their amputated limbs while they are still alive. 
Hilary Benn: We have no such plans.
Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to his answer of 21 January 2003, Official Report, column 291W, on the Criminal Records Bureau, what the cost was of the independent review conducted by the French Thornton Partnership Ltd.; and what proportion will be paid by (a) Capita and (b) the Home Office. 
Hilary Benn: The cost of the independent review conducted by the French Thornton Partnership Ltd. was approximately £76,000.00. The entire cost was borne by the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB), an Executive Agency of the Home Office who commissioned the review.
Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps his Department has taken to inform applicants to the Criminal Records Bureau
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that ex-gratia payments can be made if there has been an element of maladministration in processing their application. 
Hilary Benn: The Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) has published a Complaints Procedure leaflet, which details the process customers should take if they are not completely satisfied with the service. All complaints regarding maladministration are rigorously investigated and if appropriate, financial redress is made. While there is no specific mention made of ex-gratia payments in the CRB's publicity material, a customer is invited as part of the complaints process to make a claim if he or she feels that an aspect of the service has been mishandled and that this has resulted in loss. Customers are given appropriate advice about redress when they contact the bureau. The complaints procedure is also available in the information pack that is issued to all registered bodies and on the disclosure website, www.disclosure.gov.uk.
The CRB's main concern is to resolve any issues affecting the process of an application. In the first instance, a customer is encouraged to contact the CRB help line service or put their complaint in writing to the CRB customer service manager. The applicant's details will then be directed to the appropriate department for investigation and they will endeavour to resolve the issues raised.
If the customer is not completely satisfied with the way their complaint has been handled, they would be advised to write to the CRB operations director. Should the applicant remain dissatisfied with the operations director's reply they are able to refer their complaint in writing to the chief executive. Alternatively, people may contact their MP who will then raise the matter with the Minister or CRB chief executive. The CRB has appointed a complaint mediator to resolve those complaints where the customer remains dissatisfied with the chief executive's reply. The complaint mediator will make recommendations to the CRB for resolving any outstanding issues.
Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will place in the Library copies of the monthly Business Sector data reports that his Department has received in each of the last six months from the Criminal Records Bureau. 
Hilary Benn: The Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) produces a monthly Business Performance Report for consideration by the CRB Management Board. This provides detailed monthly management information on CRB performance.
As part of the Freedom of Information initiative consideration will be given to publishing these reports on the CRB website, and copying them to the Library, subject to any Commercial in Confidence issues.
Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will introduce legislation to revoke the powers of NHS bodies to undertake surveillance; and if he will make a statement. 
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Mr. Lammy: I have been asked to reply.
On 1 January 2003 a new National Health Service Counter Fraud and Security Management Service was created, which should be fully operational from 1 April 2003.
One of its tasks will be to review the arrangements for authorising applications to carry out directed surveillance under Part II of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 in NHS trusts as recommended in paragraph 8.25 of the Chief Surveillance Commissioner's report for 200102 (HC68).
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