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18 Jan 2005 : Column 912W—continued

Pay Television Subscriptions

Mr. George Osborne: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Department for Constitutional Affairs how many pay television subscriptions the Department had in each year since 1997; and what the cost was in each year. [207668]

Mr. Lammy: The Department currently has four pay television subscriptions, at an annual cost of £1,580. Information for previous years is not readily available and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.


Ross Cranston: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Department for Constitutional Affairs what steps he has taken to implement the recommendations of the Better Regulation Task Force report, Better Routes to Redress (2004). [208051]

Mr. Lammy: Some have already been implemented and work is under way on taking forward the remaining accepted recommendations. The Ministerial Steering Group and the Action Group are being established and an announcement will be made shortly.
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Voter Turnout

Mr. Drew: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Department for Constitutional Affairs pursuant to the answer given to the hon. Member for Coventry, South (Mr. Cunningham) of 10 January 2005, Official Report, column 120W, on voter turnout, what discussions he has had with the Electoral Commission on enhancing voting procedures, including postal and internet voting, at the next general election. [209203]

Mr. Leslie: The Department has regular contact with the Electoral Commission about various electoral issues including postal voting and internet voting. There are no plans to change voting procedures at the next general election. There is no provision for internet voting under current rules.


Benefits Centralisation

Tony Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what progress is being made towards centralising benefits processing in Workington. [208663]

Jane Kennedy [holding answer 17 January 2005]: The Secretary of State announced on 16 September 2004 plans to centralise benefit processing on 81 sites including Carlisle.

On 14 December 2004, I met with my hon. Friend, the Member for Workington, to discuss the implications for benefit processing staff in Workington. Departmental officials have since visited West Cumbria and Carlisle
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and met with Public and Commercial Services (PCS) officials to respond to their suggestion for a second processing centre in Workington.

The Department cannot justify a second long-term benefit processing centre in Cumbria and needs to take a firm decision so we can deliver the planned business improvements. We therefore confirm our original decision to centralise benefit processing in Carlisle. We will continue to work closely with staff and the PCS to manage the transition and redeployment of staff affected.

IT Projects

Mr. George Osborne: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will list his Department's IT projects in each year since 1997, broken down by (a) amount spent, (b) purpose, (c) cost of over-run and (d) time of over-run. [205781]

Jane Kennedy: The Department for Work and Pensions was created in June 2001. The Department and its businesses currently have in excess of 100 individual projects which encompass information technology (IT) changes to a greater or lesser extent. The Department's major projects are those contained in its modernisation programme. For the most part, these projects embrace both IT and business change.

The information in the table lists the Department's current major programmes and projects that include significant IT change, with information on their purpose, due end date, over-run status and spend to date.

It should be noted that project details may alter as they pass through the project lifecycle and as the Department considers its wider plans as part of the normal spending review process.



Due end date
Expenditure to date (£ million)
Customer Management SystemThis system is an information gathering business process for working age income support jobseekers' allowance and incapacity benefit claims and changes of circumstances. It will allow information supplied by the customer to be gathered electronically by staff, improving efficiency and customer service. Staff will be able to check information supplied against that already held.March 2006219n/a
Benefit Processing Replacement ProgrammeThe programme aims to deliver a core IT platform that provides a lasting foundation for modern flexible IT solutions in support of business priorities.October 200618n/a
New Tax CreditsThis project supports the implementation of new tax credits by the Inland Revenue by putting a tax credits service in place for DWP customers (principally through Jobcentre Plus) and ensuring that necessary amendments are made to DWP benefits.April 2005114n/a
ISCS/JSA Modernisation ProjectDelivered initiatives that enhanced or augmented existing working age IT systems. These included the sharing of electronic data with disability living allowance, attendance Allowance and personal details computer systems.August 200417Completed on time
Digital Office InfrastructureDOI provided a modern IT infrastructure platform across the Department providing access for all staff to the internet and intranet and modern business software.June 2004722Completed on time
Managing Core Systems EstateTo improve the ways in which our core legacy systems are managed.March 20064n/a
Pensions Forecasting ProgrammeTo establish the new combined pension forecasting service and enhance and replace the existing individual pension forecasting IT system.April 200536n/a
Pensions CreditThis project successfully introduced pension credit in October 2003. It delivered new IT functionality to existing DWP systems, and associated business products (e.g. training, staff guidance, customer notifications).October 2004294Completed on time
Pensions Transformation ProjectThe programme will transform the pension service, bringing together business and IT change in ways that improve customer service and deliver efficiencies.2006113n/a
Customer Information SystemThis project will deliver a database of key citizen information to be shared across DWP. The database will complement information currently available in the Department's key customer information systems, i.e. personal details computer system and departmental central index, and become their replacement.February 200714n/a
Payment Modernisation ProgrammeThe payment modernisation programme aims to establish direct payment into a bank or building society account as the normal, method of payment for all customers. This includes those who wish to collect their money from the Post Office.December 2005297n/a
Resource ManagementThis programme will provide modernised HR, financial and procurement functions for DWP staff. It will introduce significant business process change, enabling Departmental resources to be managed more effectively.September 200670n/a
Debt ManagementThe debt programme introduces a new organisational structure based on 10 Debt Centres and a Commercial off the Shelf (COTS) package to provide new Management Information Systems, combined with increased focus on the management and ultimately reduction of debt stock.April 200570n/a

Additionally the Department has a Private Finance Initiative contract for the provision of IT services to the Child Support Agency worth approximately £456 million over 10 years. The Department is working closely with EDS to stabilise the new Child Support IT system. A decision on timescales for migration and conversion of existing cases to new rules will be made by Ministers once they are confident that the system is fully stable. Meanwhile, the Department will continue to deduct a percentage of its monthly payments to EDS.

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New Deal

Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people in the Leyton and Wanstead constituency have found work through new deal programmes since they were introduced. [208767]

Jane Kennedy: The new deal has been very successful in helping more than 1.2 million people into work including 1,960 in the Leyton and Wanstead constituency.

Information on numbers helped into work by each new deal programme is in the table.
Number of people who have found work through new deal programmes in the Leyton and Wanstead constituency

ProgrammePeople gaining a job
New deal for young people970
New deal 25 plus520
New deal for lone parents380
New deal 50 plus90

1. All data is to September 2004, except for new deal 50 plus which is to March 2003.
2. New deal for disabled people and new deal for partners is not available at parliamentary constituency level.
3. Figures have been rounded to the nearest 10.
New Deal Evaluation Database, DWP Information and Analysis Directorate

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