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16 Nov 2004 : Column 1420W—continued

Departmental Estate

Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list the properties occupied by (a) his Department and (b) its agencies in (i) 1997 and (ii) 2004; and what the (A) area and (B) annual rental value (1) in aggregate and (2) in each case was in each year. [196069]

Fiona Mactaggart [holding answer 4 November 2004]: The addresses of Home Office properties are not disclosed for national and personal security reasons.

The non-agency part of my Department currently occupies 1,498 properties which have a combined floor area of 773,357 square metres. Home Office agencies occupy 605 properties which have a combined floor area of 3,606,948 square metres.

The figures exclude premises that are held under service agreements and those where costs are shared with other Government Departments where the other Department pays the rent. The total number of properties figure includes leased residential accommodation but as the floor areas of this type of property are not known residential floor area figures have been excluded.

A rental valuation of the estate has not been undertaken. Historic records in respect of earlier years are not kept.

Departmental IT

Brian White: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what percentage of the Department's (a) implemented and (b) planned computer systems use open source software; and what plans are in place to raise this level. [195654]

Fiona Mactaggart: The choice of software to meet the business needs of the Home Office largely rests with our contracted strategic ISIT suppliers who include the consideration of open source solutions on a level basis with proprietary software in accordance with the Governments open source software police, which would
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include a test to ensure value for money. The Governments policy on open source is available on

Current suppliers to the Home Office are not known to extensively use, or have plans for implementing, open source software. None of the major non-PFI delivered projects utilise open source software.

However within parts of the Home Office, where they no longer operate under PFI arrangements for IT there is a greater degree of choice over the software used e.g. The Immigration and Nationality Directorate intend to trial Linux solutions in a research and development area, as well as such things as Open Office, Apache, Tomcat, Mozilla.

Departmental Offices

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the cost of (a) decoration and (b) refurbishment of the London offices of the Department was in each of the last four years. [196151]

Fiona Mactaggart: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to the right hon. Member for Haltemprice and Howden (David Davis) on 15 July 2004, Official Report, column 583W.

Departmental Publications

Mr. Bellingham: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what his Department's target is for the interval between publication of (a) departmental announcements and documents and (b) material published by public bodies for which his Department has oversight and their posting online; and what the average interval was in the latest year for which figures are available. [195393]

Fiona Mactaggart: The Home Office seeks, wherever possible, to ensure that publication on the internet is simultaneous with publication in other media.

In doing so, the Department follows guidance contained in section 2.2 of the "Guidance for UK Government Websites" available at

The Department does not keep statistics on typical intervals between publication and posting online, nor do we hold information about the operation of agency and non-departmental public body websites.

Departmental Publications (Access)

Mr. Goodman: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many and what proportion of publications issued by his Department are available in (a) Braille, (b) autoprint, (c) large print and (d) easy read format. [194287]

Fiona Mactaggart: All Publications produced by the Home Office are readily made available in these formats on request as this has proved to be the most cost-effective approach.

If publications relate directly to people with disabilities then these formats would be produced as a matter of course.
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Publications produced this year in alternative formats:
Large print4
Audio tape/CD4
Easy read format(48)

(48) All publications are produced in plain English.

4.25 per cent. of publications are currently produced in these formats (demand is low).

The Home Office follows the good practice guidelines included in a range of central guidance including: "Let's Make it Accessible" (improving government information for disabled people); The Informability Manual, and Guidelines for UK Government Websites (illustrated handbook for web management teams).

Departmental Staff

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what percentage of the staff of the Department in (a) 2002 and (b) 2003 were people with disabilities. [196136]

Fiona Mactaggart: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to him by my hon. Friend the Minister for the Cabinet Office on 9 November 2004, Official Report, column 619W.

Detention Centres

Tom Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list the detention centres in England and Wales. [194138]

Mr. Browne: Section 66 of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 changed the name of detention centres to removal centres. There are nine immigration removal centres in England and one in Scotland. There are no immigration removal centres in Wales. The following table lists immigration removal centres and indicates their location:
DungavelStrathaven, South Lanarkshire
HaslarGosport, Hampshire
Tinsley HouseGatwick
Yarl's WoodBedfordshire

Domestic Violence

Hugh Bayley: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what measures the Government are taking to tackle domestic violence in North Yorkshire; and how many convictions for domestic violence there have been in each year since 1997. [192403]

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Paul Goggins: As part of a three-year funding package from November 2003 to March 2006, the Home Office has allocated £230,000 to North Yorkshire, spread evenly between the eight Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnerships (CDRPs), to improve local responses to tackling domestic violence.

The eight CDRPs in North Yorkshire work closely with each other and with North Yorkshire police and have formed the North Yorkshire Domestic Abuse Initiative which employs four full-time domestic abuse co-ordinators. In addition, the North Yorkshire Domestic Abuse Strategy has just completed its initial consultation stage.

There is no specific offence of domestic violence, but we are currently working with the Crown Prosecution Service to develop a new performance indicator for tracking domestic violence cases.

Sandra Gidley: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how long it has taken, on average, to reach the first positive decision for applications under the domestic violence rule. [195649]

Mr. Browne: The Immigration and Nationality Directorate is responsible for considering applications for indefinite leave to remain from victims of domestic violence using special provisions under the Immigration Rules. Information on the average length of time to reach the first positive decision in these applications is not currently available.

Information on immigration applications is published annually in the Command Paper "Control of Immigration: Statistics United Kingdom". The next publication covering 2003 was published on 16 November 2004 on the Home Office Research and Development and Statistics Directorate website at

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