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Public Service Agreement

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Solicitor-General (a) how many and (b) what grades of officials are responsible for the monitoring of progress towards the public service agreement targets of the Department. [109461]

The Solicitor-General [holding reply answer 28 April 2003]:

In relation to the departments for which the Attorney General holds ministerial responsibility, the answer is as follows.

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Crown Prosecution Service

The public service agreement (PSA) targets for the criminal justice system are overarching measures. They apply to all criminal justice agencies working together in the 42 local criminal justice boards. Delivery against the targets and local monitoring of progress towards them are the responsibilities of a wide range of managers at both a local and national level, some within the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) and some working for other agencies. Their grades vary according to their respective range and level of responsibility. These diverse arrangements cannot be readily summarised, nor is any central record held of the numbers and grades of those involved.

A new Directorate within CPS Headquarters, the Business Development Directorate (BDD), established in April 2003, has national responsibility for the Service's response to the PSA targets. Its role includes ownership of the business processes and co-ordination of the programme of change and reform needed to support service delivery. It also provides policy and guidance on planning and performance management, together with the provision and analysis of the management information which measures and accounts for our steps towards PSA goals. None of the staff within the BDD works exclusively on monitoring PSA targets: all have other responsibilities related to supporting the 42 CPS areas in realising the Service's demanding reform programme.

BDD is headed by a business development director and, within his overall command, the management of performance falls to the head of resources and performance. Both posts are filled at senior civil service level. Performance information is handled within the Internal Resources and Performance Branch, headed at grade D level, by one level B3 and one level B2, both of whom also have other responsibilities.

Serious Fraud Office

The Serious Fraud Office does not have a public service agreement. Instead, it has a service delivery agreement which contains targets on the total number of cases undertaken and the time taken to complete those cases. Responsibility for monitoring progress against these targets rests with the Director the Serious Fraud Office.

Treasury Solicitor's Department

Progress towards the public service agreement targets is monitored quarterly by the Executive and Supervisory Boards of the Treasury Solicitor's Department.

The Executive Board comprises six Senior Civil Servants; the Supervisory Board comprises 19 Senior Civil Servants, including the Treasury Solicitor.

HM Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate

HMCPSI does not have direct responsibility for delivering any PSA targets. However, its activities have close links to all three key PSA targets for the criminal justice system (i.e. Narrowing the Justice Gap, increasing public confidence and increasing value for money). The HMCPSI Business Plan links all activities to one or more PSA targets. However, it does not have any officials directly involved in monitoring progress.

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A number of HM inspectors employed by HMCPSI comment on the progress of CPS performance towards PSA targets. However that work is integrated to their ordinary duties and cannot be separately costed.

Serious Fraud Office

Hugh Bayley: To ask the Solicitor-General, if she will make a statement about the resources for detection and investigation available to the Serious Fraud Office. (115021)

The Solicitor-General [holding answer 22 May 2003]: The SFO is responsible for investigating and prosecuting serious complex fraud.

In this financial year the budget of the SFO has risen to £23.41 million. In 2004–05 it rises to £30.39 million and in 2005–06 it rises to £35.34 million.

The SFO employs both permanent civil servants and contract staff. It also investigates in conjunction with the police and is working with the Corporation of London and the Government to explore ways of making more police resources available for investigating fraud.

Smoking in the Workplace

Chris Grayling: To ask the Solicitor-General what policy her Department has adopted on smoking in the workplace. [100934]

The Solicitor-General [holding answer 7 March 2003]:

All of the Departments for which the Attorney General holds ministerial responsibility have adopted policies forbidding smoking except in designated areas.

Sunset Clauses

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Solicitor-General if she will list the sunset clauses included in legislation from her Department since 1997. [106944]

The Solicitor-General [holding answer 7 April 2003]:

The Departments for which the Attorney-General holds ministerial responsibility have not been responsible for any legislation containing sunset clauses since 1997.


Asylum Seekers

Mr. Malins: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he expects the first accommodation centre for asylum seekers to be operational; and if he will make a statement. [115214]

Beverley Hughes: Firm opening dates have yet to be finalised, and will depend upon such issues as planning consent, the nature of each site, and the design proposals.

Mr. Chaytor: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what his policy is on the return of failed asylum seekers to Zimbabwe; and if he will make a statement. [112213]

Beverley Hughes [holding answer 20 May 2003]: On 15 January 2002, my right hon. Friend, the Home Secretary announced a temporary suspension on

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removals of unsuccessful asylum seekers to Zimbabwe, pending the outcome of the presidential elections in March 2002. The Government have been keeping under review whether this suspension should remain and have concluded that it should be kept in place.

Mr. Gerrard: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make it his policy that asylum seekers from minority groups, with particular reference to (a) the Roma, (b) people from Serbia and Montenegro and (c) people from Kosovo will not be placed in Oakington Immigration Reception Centre pending the outcome of a case filed by the European Roma Rights Centre on 9 May concerning the expulsion of a Kosovo Romani family from Denmark. [114972]

Beverley Hughes: The case filed by the European Roma Rights Centre (ERRC) with the European Court of Human Rights concerns the removal of a Kosovo Roma family to Kosovo. The UK does not currently enforce the removal of Roma or people from any other Kosovan ethnic minority groups to Kosovo or to other parts of Serbia and Montenegro.

The ERRC case therefore has no bearing on our policy in relation to asylum seekers from Kosovo or other parts of Serbia and Montenegro and there are no plans to alter our arrangements for dealing with these cases.

Mrs. Ellman: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps have been taken to review contracts with private landlords providing accommodation and services for asylum seekers following the report on the Landmark company in Liverpool. [115572]

Beverley Hughes: Current contracts with accommodation providers are subject to contract compliance monitoring. The National Asylum Support Service (NASS) also regularly reviews its contractors' performance against key performance indicators. Officials hold regular meetings with all contracted accommodation providers.

In addition senior officials within NASS meet the senior management of contracting companies at least once a year although steps are in hand to hold these bi-annually. As it develops its strategy for procuring accommodation when current contracts expire, NASS will take account of its experience with the present contracts.


Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the total expenditure on advertising by the Department was in (a) 2001–02 and (b) 2002–03; and what the level of planned expenditure is for (i) 2003–04 and (ii) 2004–05. [114440]

Mr. Blunkett: The total advertising spend for the Home Department was:

(a) £14.4 million

(b) £9.9 million

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During 2002–03 we ran campaigns which supported police recruitment, a reduction in vehicle crime, the national firearms amnesty and advising parents and children on safe use of the internet.

In 2001–02 our campaigns again focused on police recruitment, vehicle crime reduction and child protection on the internet. We also ran campaigns to support a reduction in drug misuse and the introduction of postal voting.

Expenditure plans for (i) 2003–04 and (ii) 2004–05 have not yet been finalised.

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