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4 Jun 2003 : Column 475W—continued

Audit Commission

Mr. Pickles: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how many mobile phones or pagers owned by the Audit Commission have been lost by its staff since 1997. [115501]

Mr. Leslie: Information on the numbers of Audit Commission-owned mobile phones and pagers which have been lost or stolen is not available prior to 2001–02; since then the Commission has maintained a register to record all lost items, and no mobile phones or pagers have yet been recorded as lost.

Mr. Pickles: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how many times Audit Commission staff have travelled abroad at public expense since 1997; what countries they visited; and what the total cost of each visit was. [115503]

Mr. Leslie: Information on the number of visits abroad by Audit Commission staff and the cost of each visit is not collected separately. Foreign travel is seldom undertaken by Commission staff. When it is, it is only for specific Audit Commission business purposes. Most

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overseas travel is undertaken at the request and at the expense of host organisations who are keen for the Commission to share its knowledge and experience, mainly through conferences and symposiums.

Award Schemes

Annabelle Ewing: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister if he will list the award schemes in (a) 2001 and (b) 2002 promoted by the Department; what their scope was; when the relevant participating organisations are scheduled to be sent results; and whether other parties will be given notification of the results at the same time. [102050]

Mr. Leslie [pursuant to his answer, 17 March 2003, Official Report, c. 607W]: The Neighbourhood Warden Achievement Awards has been running since 2001. The awards cover 10 categories and are open to all Neighbourhood Wardens. The awards are launched in May/June and applicants have until the beginning of September to send in their nominations. The judging panel is comprised of representatives from the Neighbourhood Renewal Unit and the Government Offices. All applicants are notified in writing in October. The winners are presented with a trophy and £500 to spend on their neighbourhood warden schemes at the annual Neighbourhood Wardens Conference in November.

Bed and Breakfast Accommodation

Dr. Ashok Kumar To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what percentage of (a) households and (b) households with children are living in bed and breakfast and similar temporary accommodation in (i) England and (ii) each region. [114297]

Mrs. Roche: Latest information reported on the number of homeless households being accommodated by local authorities in bed and breakfast hotels, including annexes where main facilities are shared is shown in the following table. These are expressed as a rate per thousand of all households as identified in the 2001 Census.

Homeless households housed by local authorities in Bed and Breakfast accommodation (including shared facility annexes)as at 31 December 2002

All householdsHouseholds with dependent children
Total (in April 2001)Homeless in bed and breakfastRate per thousandTotal (in April 2001)Homeless in bed and breakfast(30)Rate per thousand
North East1,066,000900.08318,000200.06
North West2,813,000700.02856,000200.02
Yorkshire and the Humber2,065,0004100.20618,0001000.16
East Midlands1,732,0001900.11514,0001000.19
West Midlands2,154,000800.04662,000400.06
South East(31)3,287,0001,3400.41960,0005600.58
South West(31)2,086,0001,5500.74570,0006401.12

(30) The count of homeless households also includes those with an expectant mother, but no dependent children.

(31) As figures for homeless households in B&B have been updated to reflect late returns and revisions, they differ very slightly from those published in the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister 's Statistical Release (Supplementary Tables) of 13 March 2003.


The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister PIE housing activity return (quarterly); 2001 Census

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Departmental Invoices

Mr. Pickles: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what percentage of undisputed invoices were paid in 30 days by (a) the Audit Commission and (b) the average local authority in England in the last year for which figures are available. [115492]

Mr. Leslie: 83 per cent of the undisputed bills received by the Audit Commission in 2001–02 were paid within 30 days. For 2001–02 the average percentage of invoices for commercial goods and services that were paid by English local authorities within mutually agreed

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terms or, if such terms did not exist, within 30 days of such invoices being received by the authority, was 88 per cent.


Brian Cotter: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister if he will list by project the consultancies (a) his Department and (b) its non-departmental public bodies have used on e-government projects since 1st January 2001. [115231]

Mr. Leslie: Since 1 January 2001 the following consultancies have been used to provide advice on e-government to the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister:

Business AreaProjectConsultancyService
Neighbourhood RenewalRenewal netPA ConsultingProject development
Housing and Employment Mobility ServiceHEMSHEMSCapita Business ServicesBird and BirdFeasibility study and business caseLegal advice
Local Authority HousingGASP3HEDRAProject management
GASP3Methods ApplicationsQuality assessment
Local e-Government
e-voting pilotsActicaQuality assessment 2002 and 2003
OGCProcurement support
Bird and BirdLegal advice
QinetiQQuality assessment 2003
EchelonQuality assessment 2003
CESGSecurity standards development
ScopeAccessibility standards development
Pathfinder projects VantagepointProject dissemination
Implementing e-Government (IEG) statement processPublic sector strategiesProcess development and assessment
Planning PortalHEDRAStrategic direction
OptaMarketing and business development
Cap Gemini Ernst and YoungXML schema development
QI ConsultantsTechnical design advice
VegaProject management
AirtightTechnical assurance
Usability CompanyUsability testing programme development
BuffaloDesign and marketing advice
Media LoungeData management advice
Proactive PlusMarket research advice and services
Design @ LargeDesign and printing advice
Brian Fowler ConsultingTeam building and development
Planning caseworkHEDRAStrategic direction
Ringwood softwareRecords and document management
Mott MacDonaldBusiness continuity planning
Charlton CommunicationsDesign and marketing advice
National Computer CentreIT systems security
Paston ConsultancyProgramme and project quality assurance
Supporting People
SPINTLsSystem development
TDAPMSupport system development

For the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister Executive Agencies, the details are as follows:

Business Area/ProjectConsultancyService
Fire Service CollegeMDCe-training and development pilot modules
The Rent Service
"Fair Rent" applicationsParityFunctional specification development
Market Rental evidenceParityFunctional specification development

Staff Profiles

Mr. Pickles: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what percentage of (a) the Audit Commission staff, (b) local authority staff in England and (c) the economically active population in England (i) are from ethnic minorities and (ii) people with disabilities. [115488]

Mr. Leslie: The information requested is in the following table.

Percentage from ethnic minority backgroundsPercentage with disabilities
Audit Commission staff (2001/02)7.73.0
Local authority staff (average figures from best value performance indicators 2001/02)3.22.4
Economically active population in England (figures from February 2003 Quarterly Labour Force Survey)7.813.2

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