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Departmental Pay

Paul Holmes: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many times the appraisal system for each pay bargaining unit in his Department has been changed in the last five years; and how many staff are fully or partly employed in connection with pay negotiations in each pay bargaining unit, broken down by grade. [200345]

Maria Eagle: In June 2001 the Department for Work and Pensions was formed from the Department of Social Security (DSS) and parts of the former Department for Education and Employment (DfEE). The department inherited seven different legacy appraisal systems. This was unsustainable given our desire for consistency and fairness throughout DWP. Staff continued to use their legacy appraisal system while a new DWP Performance and Development System (PDS) was developed. The new system was developed taking into account best practise within government and the private sector and the central rules regarding appraisals as set out in Chapter 6 of the Civil Service Management Code.

PDS was implemented for all DWP staff up to Grade 6 (below Senior Civil Service) from April 2003.

Of the Departments and Agencies who came together to form DWP only the former Employment Service (ES), part of DfEE, had changed its appraisal system within the last five years.

The following table shows the numbers and grades of staff in DWP employed in connection with pay negotiation in respect of pay negations for 2004. Only a small number of the staff identified in the table are extensively engaged in the pay negotiations. Most are responsible for specific areas of pay policy and feed in their expertise to the pay negotiations at the appropriate time.
Grade of staffNumber of staff
Grade 6/Band G1
Grade 7/Band F2
SEO/Band E1
HEO/Band D4
EO/Band C3
AO/Band B1

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Departmental Policy

Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions whether it is his Department's policy to implement the proposals in the recent cross-cutting interdepartmental review of contracting with the voluntary sector. [206421]

Mr. Pond: It is the Department for Work and Pension's policy to implement the proposals of the Cross Cutting Review on the role of the Voluntary and Community Sector in Service Delivery that relate to departmental contracting with the voluntary sector. Action to implement the wider recommendations of the Review is lead by the Active Communities Unit in the Home Office.

The department follows the cross-Government Compact framework for guiding relationships with the Voluntary and Community Sector set up in 1998. The Cross Cutting Review identified a widespread failure to implement the Compact and its Codes, and recommended that all departments take action to ensure that it is mainstreamed into normal business. The department has appointed a senior Compact Champion and established a Compact Working Group that is actively developing a Compact Implementation Strategy, working closely with the Active Communities Unit.

The department will continue to respond constructively to all the proposals in the Cross Cutting Review, taking account of the department's wider obligations under the Chancellor's Efficiency Review.

As an example of its constructive response, the department volunteered to take forward recommendation 18 of the Cross Cutting Review, on behalf of other Government Departments. The aim is to reduce the level of bureaucracy involved in contracting between the Voluntary and Community Sector and Government Departments. A Lead Funder project has worked with three voluntary organisations—The Prince's Trust, NACRO and Project Full Employ—and sought to reduce bureaucracy through a method of "passporting" pre-contractual information and streamlining the monitoring of contracts post contract award. The pilots have had some success and identified opportunities for departments to become more aligned and consistent in the way they contract with this sector. The project will report back to the Home Office with a range of recommendations in March 2005. The project has established a dedicated website where common information for each of the voluntary sector organisations is accessible to public sector funding bodies.

Departmental Properties

Mr. George Osborne: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many properties are held by the Department; what total floor space these properties provide; how many properties are vacant; and how much floor space vacant properties comprise. [206494]

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Maria Eagle: DWP occupies approximately 1,800 buildings. The total floor space occupied by DWP in those buildings is 2,648,773m2. We have no vacant properties.

Of the buildings we occupy 1,681 have been transferred (for value) to Land Securities Trillium under the terms of the PRIME PFI contract.


Keith Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many of the staff employed by his Department have a declared disability. [205798]

Maria Eagle: At 30 September 2004, 6,831 out of 137,330 staff employed by DWP had a declared disability.


Sue Doughty: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what his Department's policy is in relation to the storage and deletion of emails; and whether this policy has been reviewed in the past 12 months. [206736]

Maria Eagle: The Department for Work and Pensions continues to implement well established policies and procedures for the review and disposal of files in accordance with its administrative needs and the Public Records Act.

Email messages that form part of the official record are saved for as long as business needs require and stored corporately in accordance with departmental record management procedures. Further email guidance is available on the National Archives website at:

This policy has not been reviewed in the past 12 months.

Ethnic Minorities

Keith Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what assessment he has made of the extent to which his Department's policies meet the needs of ethnic minorities. [205797]

Maria Eagle: This Department published its first Race Equality Scheme "Equality, Opportunity and Independence for All", in May 2002. This publication was issued as a consultation document, and following staff and stakeholder feedback, a revised scheme "Realising Race Equality in the Department for Work and Pensions" was published in July 2003. The scheme lists our functions and policies in order of priority for any potential impact on race equality, and sets out our plans for consultation and monitoring in respect of employment and service delivery functions.

Details of both these schemes, and the first annual progress report, can be found on the DWP website at

Plans are currently in train for reviewing the scheme by May 2005, in line with the legislative requirement.

There are several ways in which we assess how our policies meet the needs of ethnic minorities.
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Impact Assessment

Customer satisfaction surveys



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