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10 Jan 2005 : Column 151W—continued

Departmental Expenditure

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the cost has been of criminal damage to his Department's buildings in each of the last two years. [202418]

Charlotte Atkins: The cost of criminal damage in DfT for 2002–03 was £27,423. In 2003–04 the cost was £74,080 although this included £13,127 for the cost of security guarding at a DVLA Local Office which was an additional cost arising from criminal damage.

Mr. George Osborne: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much has been spent by his Department on (a) new furniture and (b) hired furniture in each year since 1997. [205614]

Charlotte Atkins: The Department for Transport was formed in May 2002 and as a result the information provided relates to the period covering 2002–03 and 2003–04.
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We are unable to be specific about the costs of furniture or furniture hire alone as the costs are often recorded in a general furniture and fittings budget which includes the provision of other accommodation supplies. To specifically identify cost information for just furniture across the Department's large estate would involve disproportionate cost. However, DfT Central comprising DfT HQ in London and Hastings, the Air Accidents and Marine Accidents Investigation Branches and the Mobility Advice and Vehicle Information Service spent £0.073 million on furniture and fittings in 2002–03 and £1.519 million in 2003–04. The six DfT agencies together spent £2.016 million in 2002–03 and £2.659 million in 2003–04.

Mr. George Osborne: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the cost of refurbishments in his Department was in each year since 1997; and what the planned expenditure is for 2005–06. [205676]

Charlotte Atkins: The Department for Transport was formed in May 2002 and as a result the information provided only relates from the years 2002–03 onwards:

For details on refurbishment costs for 2002–03 and 2003–04, I would refer the hon. Member to my answer of 20 December 2004, Official Report, column l355W, to the hon. Member for Buckingham (Mr. Bercow). The forecast outturn for 2004–05 and estimated spend for 2005–06 are set out in the following table but figures are subject to change depending on priorities and budget allocations.
DfT UnitRefurbishment cost outturn 2004–05
(£ million)
Refurbishment costs estimated spend 2005–06 (£ million)
DfT Headquarters0.4600.150
Air Accidents Investigation Branch00.025
Driving Standards Agency0.3960.200
Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency4.211(5507180035)3.850
Highways Agency00.800
Marine Accident Investigation Branch0.0450
Maritime and Coastguard Agency1.1000.260
Vehicle and Operator Services Agency0.1990.400
Vehicle Certification Agency00

(5507180035) DVLA will be entering into a large PFI contract in 2005–06 which includes services and amongst other items the refurbishment of a large portion of the Morriston estate in Swansea which is estimated to cost approximately £31million. It is not possible at this stage to allocate in which year these costs will be incurred.

Mr. George Osborne: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much has been spent by his Department on lighting in each year since 1997. [205869]

Charlotte Atkins: This information is not collected centrally and is not available without disproportionate cost. The costs of providing the lighting equipment are often undifferentiated from other mechanical and electrical service costs and are not accounted for separately in the individual finance systems. The energy consumption used by lighting is not measured specifically and therefore the costs are not identified separately from the general energy costs of electrical equipment across the DfT estate.

Mr. George Osborne: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much the Department spent on first-class travel in each year since 1997. [206576]

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Charlotte Atkins: Neither the records kept by the Department for Transport, nor those of its Executive Agencies, differentiate between first class and standard class travel. The information can only be obtained at disproportionate cost.

All travel undertaken by Ministers and civil servants in the Department for Transport complied with the requirements of the Ministerial Code, Travel by Ministers, and the Civil Service Management Code.
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Departmental Properties

Mr. George Osborne: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport 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. [206486]

Charlotte Atkins: The property details for the Department as at 1 December 2004 are shown in the attached table:
Department for Transport UnitNo of PropertiesTotal Floor Space ALA (m 2 )No. Vacant PropertiesVacant Floor Space ALA (m 2 )
Department for Transport HQ319,00200
Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB)14,83600
Marine Accidents Investigations Branch (MAIB)182000
Mobility Advice and Information Vehicle Service
Driving Standards Agency (DSA)46043,8281185
Driving and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA)5590,4911385
Highways Agency (HA)54651,70076Not Recorded
Marine and Coastguard Agency (MCA)50141,7953552
Vehicle and Operator Service Agency (VOSA)111113,50000
Vehicle Certification Agency (VGA)22,16000

(5507180036) Does not include HA vacant floor space (unrecorded).
1. ALA—Agents Letting Area
2. The figures for HA include 495 residential properties relating to the Targeted
Programme of Improvement in the strategic road network and floor space data for
these properties are not held.
3. The MCA figures include helicopter sites and remote radio sites;
4. VOSA figures include operational test stations.

Ethnic Minorities

Keith Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the extent to which his Department's policies are meeting the needs of ethnic minorities. [205800]

Charlotte Atkins: The Department for Transport is committed to valuing diversity and promoting equality. We published our first Race Equality Scheme on 31 March 2003. The Scheme covers the activities of the Department and its Executive Agencies as an employer as well as a policy maker and service provider.

The Scheme has built on the results of extensive research, which the Department has carried out to identify the specific transport needs of people from different ethnic and faith communities.

Race Equality Impact Assessments are being completed across all areas of our business to inform the preparation of a departmental action plan which will feature as part of the revised Departmental Race Equality Scheme for the period 2005 -08. This will be available on the departmental website from April 2005.

In addition to this, the DfT and its Agencies follow Cabinet Office guidelines on consultation to ensure policies meet the needs of ethnic minorities in the first instance and for employees we make use of in-house staff networks to monitor policies/practices which have been implemented.

First Group

Mr. Sheerman: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) whether the Strategic Rail Authority will take account of the actions of First Group in the United States when deciding on the franchise of the east coast line; [206821]

(2) whether it is within the remit of the Strategic Rail Authority to take into account the poor punctuality and reliability of First Group's buses when deciding on the franchise of the East Coast Line. [206822]

Mr. McNulty: The Directions and Guidance to the SRA set out the factors to be considered when letting a franchise. However, the SRA are not specifically required to take into account any non-rail operations undertaken by bidders. The SRA issued formal Invitations to Tender for the ICEC franchise on 6 October 2004 and are currently evaluating the bids.

The new recently announced pre-qualification questionnaire arrangements for use in the forthcoming Greater Western and Thameslink/GN franchises will take account of an operator's past performance.

Mr. Sheerman: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what action his Department will take to ensure that First Group's Yellow buses meet safety requirements. [206833]

Mr. Jamieson: The First Group yellow school buses that are currently being trialled are required to comply with the same safety regulations as any passenger service vehicle operating on the public highway.

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