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10 Feb 2005 : Column 1759W—continued

Child Support Agency

Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the reasons are for the 20-week delay in the making of maintenance awards by the Child Support Agency; what action is being taken to (a) issue interim awards and (b) rectify computer problems at the Agency; and what arrangements will be made to deal with cases of hardship where awards have been delayed. [211185]


 
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Mr. Pond: The administration of the Child Support Agency is a matter for the Chief Executive, Mr. Doug Smith. He will write to the hon. Member with the information requested.

Letter from Mike Isaac to Mr. Geoffrey Clifton-Brown, dated 11 February 2005:

Mr. Steinberg: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many applications for child support submitted to the Child Support Agency are still outstanding after (a) three months, (b) six months and (c) 12 months. [214369]

Mr. Pond: The administration of the Child Support Agency is a matter for the Chief Executive, Mr. Doug Smith. He will write to the hon. Member with the information requested.

Letter from Mike Isaac to Mr. Gerry Steinberg, dated 11 November 2005:

Mr. Steinberg: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many complaints were received by the Child Support Agency in the past three years. [214370]


 
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Mr. Pond: The administration of the Child Support Agency is a matter for the Chief Executive, Mr. Doug Smith. He will write to the hon. Member with the information requested.

Letter from Mike Isaac to Mr. Gerry Steinberg, dated 10 February 2005:


Total written complaints
2001–0227,735
2002–0329,538
2003–0449,215

Civil Servants (Retirement)

Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the cost of the enhanced early retirement scheme for civil servants in his Department and its agencies was in each year from 1997–98 to 2003–04 and what the estimated cost will be in each year from 2004–05 to 2007–08; and if he will make a statement. [211656]

Maria Eagle: DWP was formed in June 2001 from the former Department of Social Security and parts of the former Department for Education and Employment, including the Employment Service.

Expenditure on enhanced early retirement schemes for each year from 1997–98 to 2000–01 is published in the Department of Social Security Resource Accounts and for each year from 2001–02 to 2003–04 in the Department for Work and Pensions Resource Accounts. Copies of the accounts are in the Library. Expenditure in 2004–05 is estimated at £27 million. It is not possible to provide estimates for each year between 2005–06 and 2007–08, but expenditure over the three year period is expected to be around £400 million.

Computers

Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many (a) computer terminals and (b) laptop computers are held by his Department and its executive agencies. [212025]

Jane Kennedy: According to the asset register, currently within the Department for Work and Pensions and its executive agencies there are 191,800 computer terminals and 13,800 laptops.

Some of these computers are not operational. The Department currently pays support costs for 158,100 of the terminals and 10,800 of the laptops. This supports staff working in more than one location and
 
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departmental flexible working practices. Of these, around 42,000 customer terminals and 1,500 laptops are not owned by DWP.

There are also a number of computers that are used to support business continuity requirements, as well as a number of computers that are waiting to be recycled in line with departmental policy.

Correspondence

Sir Gerald Kaufman: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions when he will reply to the letter dated 20 December 2004 from the right hon. Member for Manchester, Gorton with regard to Ms. Julie Walker, transferred from the Treasury. [215124]

Alan Johnson: I replied to the hon. member on 31 January 2005.

Crisis Loan Applications

Simon Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the latest figure is for the average timescale for dealing with crisis loan applications; and if he will make a statement. [214319]

Mr. Pond: The Actual Average Clearance Time (AACT) for crisis loans in December 2004 was 1.4 working days at National level. Regional AACT clearance in December 2004 ranged from 1.1 to 1.6working days.

This is within the current internal target of clearing crisis loans within an average of two working days. The minimum clearance time that can be recorded is one day.

Departmental Expenditure

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what his estimate is of the cost of (a) ministerial cars and drivers and (b) taxis for his Department in each of the last two years. [202432]

Maria Eagle: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by the Minister for the Cabinet Office on 10 January 2005, Official Report, columns 85–86W.

The cost of taxi fares incurred by the Department forWork and Pensions is not recorded centrally and the information could be provided only at disproportionate cost.


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