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Mr. Andrew Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what budget has been allocated to the Benefit Fraud Inspectorate in each of the past two years; and how many staff have been employed by the Inspectorate in each year. 
|Benefit Fraud Inspectorate budget|
|Staff employed by Benefit Fraud|
Mr. Pond: We expect to release "Income Related Benefits: Estimates of Take-up in 200203" in January 2005. The statistics were originally intended for release in December 2004 but have been put back due to delays in the provision of data. A precise date of release will be pre-announced at least two weeks prior to publication in National Statistics Updatesthe diary of statistical releases.
Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will ensure that the money paid to him in error by the Child Support Agency is passed without further delay to Ms Oakes, the constituent of the right hon. Member for Birkenhead. 
You asked the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if he will ensure that the money paid to him in error by the Child Support Agency is passed without further delay to Ms Oakes the constituent of the honourable Member for Birkenhead.
Mr. John Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will take steps to improve the performance of the Child Support Agency in the handling of direct approaches in correspondence and by telephone from the constituents of honourable Members. 
You asked the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if he will take steps to improve the performance of the Child Support Agency in the handling of direct approaches in correspondence and by telephone from the constituents of honourable Members.
The Child Support Agency is continuing to improve its performance in handling approaches from the constituents of honourable members. We are deploying our staff equitably across the new and old child support schemes to provide the best possible level of service to our clients. Telephone calls are routed direct to a client's caseworker wherever this is possible and our National Helpline continues to provide a back-up service. In addition we offer an e-mail service which is growing in demand and which generally provides a response to a client within 24 hours.
Mr. Todd: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what assessment he has made of (a) the frequency of health and safety inspection in the construction industry, (b) the sanctions available for enforcement of breaches reported and (c) the criteria used to choose which sanctions are used in a particular case; and if he will make a statement. 
Jane Kennedy: The Health and Safety Executive's Field Operations Directorate (FOD) have made the following number of inspection contacts in the construction industry in the last three years (based on companies identified with a construction Standard Industrial Classification code):
FOD's Construction Division works with the construction industry and seeks improvements in health and safety standards using a range of methods in addition to inspection and investigation activity and appropriate enforcement action.
The health and safety enforcing authorities have a range of tools at their disposal in seeking to secure compliance with the law and to ensure a proportionate response to criminal offences. These include the provision by an inspector of information and advice. Inspectors may also serve improvement and prohibition notices that require remedial measures to be carried out, or to stop dangerous activities. They may also prosecute (or report to the Procurator Fiscal with a view to prosecution in Scotland).
The health and safety enforcing authorities follow the principles and approach set out in the Health and Safety Commission's Enforcement Policy Statement. This policy statement requires proportionality and consistency in enforcement, in line with the Enforcement Concordat, to make most effective use of enforcing authority resources.
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