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Maria Eagle: The majority of tenders received are in response to low value, low risk procurements let locally under devolved budget arrangements. The Department does not collect information centrally about these tenders and to provide a complete answer to the question would incur disproportionate cost. However, information is collected centrally on high value, high risk procurements conducted by specialist procurement teams. In 200304 the Department let 440 contracts and framework agreements with values over the EU threshold level (about £100,000). The total value of these over their full durations, which range between two and 18 years, is expected to be about £2,012 million. The actual value will depend upon the volume of business we place and the quality of services delivered over the period.
Paul Holmes: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how the employment advisers pledged in the Department's Five Year Strategy will be recruited; and if they will be exempt from the Department's proposed job cuts. 
The Secretary of State has asked me to reply to your question concerning how the employment advisers pledged in the Department's Five Year Strategy will be recruited: and if they will be exempt from the Department's proposed job cuts. This is something which falls within the responsibilities delegated to me as Chief Executive of Jobcentre Plus.
Whilst external recruitment may be required in some locations, many of the Personal Adviser posts, which will help Jobcentre Plus continue to deliver services to jobless customers, are already occupied by our skilled staff. In other cases, as an important element of the Department's approach to seek to avoid compulsory redundancies, vacant Adviser posts will be filled by re-trained, surplus staff from Jobcentre Plus, or from elsewhere within the Department.
It is not possible to say that any individual staff member will be exempt from the staffing reductions which will be implemented. The particular circumstances of, for example, a voluntary early release scheme could lead to a current Personal Adviser deciding to leave Jobcentre Plus to be replaced by a surplus person. However, given Jobcentre Plus will increase the proportion of our staff in active roles which support customers into work, it is likely that this group of staff will be affected less than those providing support roles which do not involve contact with the public.
Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will place in the Library a list of the wards referred to in paragraph 30, page 29, of his Department's Five Year Strategy, broken down by constituency. 
Mr. Sanders: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what his estimate is of the number of accidents involving low voltage single phase generators since 199697 (a) in total and (b) in fair and amusement park sites; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Flight: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) what assessment he has made of the impact that implementation of the Verification Framework has had on the processing of housing benefit by local authorities; 
We monitor processing times for new claims and change of circumstance across all local authorities, but we have not specifically assessed the impact of the Verification Framework (VF) since 2002. The assessment was inconclusive but suggested that there is an initial dip in performance followed by an improvement in some groups of local authorities.
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Local authority performance is affected by a multitude of factors, but using the most recent data, the average processing times for new claims for VF and non-VF local authorities are currently 45 days and 52 days respectively. The average processing times for changes of circumstances are 13 days and 15 days respectively. In some other recent quarters, however, these differences have been smaller.
Mr. Goodman: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people leaving incapacity benefit in each year since 1995 had received the benefit for (a) less than six months, (b) less than 12 months, (c) less than two years and (d) more than five years. 
|Quarter ending||All||Up to 6 months||Over 6 months|
up to 1 year
|Over 1 up to 2 years||Over 2 up to 5 years||Over 5 years|
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