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Retirement Age

Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the (a) set retirement age applying to all or most personnel and (b) maximum age beyond which applications for employment will not be considered is in (i) his Department and (ii) its agencies. [186375]

Fiona Mactaggart: The Civil Service Management Code gives departments and agencies the authority to determine policy on normal retirement age for their own staff subject to the conditions set out in Chapter 11.3.

In answer to part 'A' of your question all non-industrial Home Office staff working in grades between Administrative Assistant and Grade 6, including equivalent grades will have the option to retire at any point between the ages of 60 and 65. The normal retirement age for the Senior Civil Service is 60. However, Heads of Departments and Agency Chief Executives have the flexibility to retain members of the Senior Civil Service beyond 60 if they judge it to be in the public interest and are satisfied about the fitness and efficiency of the individual to carry out his or her duties.

In answer to part 'B' of your question, Home Office policy continues to be that there should be no age discrimination on selecting candidates who have the relevant skills and qualifications and are considered to be capable of delivering value for money (i.e. a return on recruitment costs and training requirements before the normal retirement age). Up to and including Grade 6. European Law also prevents us from imposing age limits as part of the selection procedure.

Sentencing Guidelines

Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether the Sentencing Guidelines Council will review the magistrates court guidelines. [187245]

Paul Goggins: The Sentencing Guidelines Council will in due course produce guidelines on all criminal offences. These will supersede the magistrates courts guidelines.
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Young Offenders

Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many (a) male and (b) female prisoners under the age of 18 years were (i) serving a custodial sentence and (ii) on remand in each of the last three years in England. [186523]

Paul Goggins: The requested information is provided in the table.
Population of juveniles in STCs, LASCHs and prison establishments, by custody type and sex England, 30 June

Immediate custodial sentenceRemand

Information on population in STCs and LASCHs is from the Youth Justice Board.
Information on population in prison establishments is from the Prison Service information system.

Mr. Oaten: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many young offenders aged 18 to 21 are in prison (a) under sentence, (b) on remand and (c) in total; and how many there were on average in each category in each of the last five years. [187231]

Paul Goggins: The table shows information from the Prison Service information system on the number of young offenders aged 18–20 who were in prison establishments in England and Wales (a) under immediate custodial sentence (b) on remand and (c) in total in each of the last five years.
Population of young offenders aged 18–20(5) in prison establishments, by custody type England and Wales, 30 June

Immediate custodial sentenceRemandTotal

(5) The figures include young offenders who have turned 21 but who have not been reclassified as adults.


Criminal Cases Review (Angela Cannings Judgment)

Vera Baird: To ask the Solicitor-General if she will take steps to ensure that those whose convictions are reviewed under the process set up after the Angela Cannings decision with no further action resulting are notified that a review has taken place. [172613]

The Solicitor-General: The review of cases identified following the Angela Cannings judgment follows a three-stage review process. First, the relevant CPS areas identify the key features in cases and then they are passed to a Central Review Team comprising
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prosecutors who are highly experienced in complex criminal casework. A smaller number of cases are then passed to the Interdepartmental Group for final consideration.

The review process is not determinative of whether any conviction is unsafe or not. Offenders' legal representatives will be written to where it is felt there may be features which warrant further consideration by either the Court of Appeal or Criminal Cases Review Commission. The Crown Prosecution Service will in each case where an offender is written to make an independent decision on whether to contest the appeal.

As the review process initiated by the Attorney-General is not determinative of the safety of any conviction it is not the intention of the Interdepartmental Group to notify each offender whose case does not contain features identified by the Court of Appeal in Angela Cannings. It is however open to any convicted person if it is felt he or she was wrongly convicted to appeal out of time to the Court of Appeal or to bring the case to the attention of the Criminal Cases Review Commission.


Departmental Expenditure

Mr. Swayne: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what the cost of running her Office's canteen facilities was in (a) 1996–97 and (b) the latest year for which figures are available. [185381]

Ruth Kelly [holding answer 20 July 2004]: Since April 2002 canteen facilities at the Cabinet Office's core London buildings have operated on a nil subsidy basis.

In 2003–04, the Government Car and Despatch Agency, an Executive Agency of the Cabinet Office, incurred some £35,000 for the running of a canteen facility at its London Headquarters site. For the remainder of the Department's estate, either no such expenditure was incurred or figures can be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

Owing to changes in the Cabinet Office's accounting system, figures for 1996–97 cannot be readily retrieved without incurring disproportionate cost.


Miss McIntosh: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office (1) which elements of the production and operation of the Directgov website are being outsourced to India; [181131]

(2) for what reason elements of the production and operation of the Directgov website are being outsourced to India; [181132]

(3) what the security implications are of elements of the production and operation of the Directgov website being outsourced to India; [181133]

(4) what assessment he has made of the economic effect on the United Kingdom of elements of the production and operation of the Directgov website being outsourced to India; [181134]
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(5) if he will make a statement on the outsourcing of the production and operation of E Gov ventures to foreign countries. [181135]

Ruth Kelly: Outsourcing is a long established element of business. The UK gains economically from free and open global markets, and the Government believe companies should source from whichever country best fulfils their need.

Directgov website, powered by a bespoke content management system and application known as DotP, is government information organised and delivered by multiple departments. Directgov provides consistent information on UK government services for citizens and businesses, at home and overseas.

DotP is part of the secure central infrastructure that this Government are putting in place to ensure best value electronic government services. There has always been an outsourced element of DotP involving the private sector—these companies have obligations to make certain such work is carried out adopting government policy on security and competition, whether the work is carried out in the UK or overseas. The central infrastructure will continue to be developed in a way that ensures its viability and in line with government policy on security and competition. The intellectual property belongs to Her Majesty's Government. Any outsourcing under the contract has not resulted in a loss of UK jobs.

The approach to production and operation (i.e. the maintenance) of Directgov content is a matter for participating departments. As far as we are aware, at this time none of the elements of content production or maintenance are being outsourced to India.

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