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21 Feb 2005 : Column 84W—continued

British Passports

Mr. George Osborne: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many British passports have been reported lost or stolen (a) in the UK and (b) abroad in each year since 1997. [204447]

Mr. Browne: The UK Passport Service did not routinely collect information on the number of lost and stolen passports prior to 1999. Up until the introduction in December 2003 of a new comprehensive system for the reporting and recording of lost and stolen passports, only the total number of these passports was recorded.

The information shown in the table for 1999 to 2003 cannot therefore be broken down between the UK and abroad. Also it is mainly based on information
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contained in applications for replacement passports. It may not therefore show the true number of passports lost and stolen in these years.

In 2004 of the total number of 306,406 lost and stolen passports reported under the UK Passport Service's improved reporting and recording arrangements, 49,802 were reported lost/stolen abroad, and 256,604 were reported lost/stolen in the UK.
Number of lost and stolen passportsAs a percentage of total passports issued
1997Not available
1998Not available


Sir Gerald Kaufman: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he will reply to the letter dated 30 December 2004 from the right hon. Member for Manchester, Gorton, with regard to Mr. Dwight Swanson. [215101]

Mr. Charles Clarke: I wrote to my right hon. Friend on 10 February.

Departmental Costs

Mr. George Osborne: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the costs of cleaning the Department were in each year since 1997. [213777]

Fiona Mactaggart: The cost of cleaning the Department is not centrally recorded. Cleaning usually forms part of a wider facilities management contract and separating out the cleaning element of these contracts for the Home Office estate could be done only at disproportionate cost. However, the cost of cleaning the Central London estate in 2003–04 was £1,097,606.

Mr. George Osborne: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how much has been spent on (a) provision of parking spaces for civil servants and (b) parking tickets and penalties incurred by civil servants in the Department in each year since 1997. [213804]

Fiona Mactaggart: Information on the cost of parking spaces at Home Office buildings is not recorded centrally and could be estimated only at disproportionate cost. The Home Office does not reimburse staff for any parking tickets or penalties they may incur while on official business. Staff are personally responsible for meeting the costs of any such fines.

Deportation Orders

Jeremy Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many deportation orders against British prison inmates who were also Irish nationals there have been since 2000. [214695]

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Mr. Browne: The numbers of deportation orders enforced against British prison inmates who are also Irish nationals are as follows:

These figures are provisional, based on management information and are not National Statistics.

European Public Bodies

Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the(a) budget, (b) role and (c) staffing levels of the European Agency for the Management of Operational Co-operation at the External Borders of the Member States of the European Union; when this body was agreed in Council; whether this body was notified to Parliament; under what legal treaty base it will operate; where it will be based; and whether its staff will enjoy diplomatic immunity. [215207]

Mr. Browne: The provisional budget for the European Agency for the Management of Operational Co-operation at the External Borders of the member states of the European Union was set out in the legislative financial statement annexed to the first version of the Agency Regulation (14766/03). The initial estimate for the years 2005–09 is as follows: 2005—€6,157 million; 2006—€9.754 million; 2007—€15,754 million; 2008—€15.754 million; and 2009—€8.754 million. But the final figures are still being discussed as part of the negotiations on the new financial perspective which begins in 2007. As the UK has been excluded from participation in adoption of the Agency Regulation, we will not be making a financial contribution to the Agency through the EU budget—we receive an automatic rebate on measures in which we do not participate. UK contributions will only be made when we request to participate in specific activities undertaken by the Agency.

The role of the Agency will be to provide effective co-ordination of member states joint actions at the EU external borders. Article 2 of the final version of the Agency Regulation (2007/2004) outlines the Agency's main tasks:

The UK fully supports the aims and objectives of the Agency.
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The staffing levels of the Agency will be set once the Executive Director, Deputy Executive Director and the Management Board are in place—it will be their responsibility to decide what the staffing levels should be (within the limits of the provisional budget).

The Agency Regulation was adopted by the Council on 26 October 2004, was published in the Official Journal of the European Union on 25 November 2004 and came into force on 26 November 2004. The Agency itself should be operational by May 2005.

Parliament was kept fully informed of negotiations on the Border Agency Regulation through the usual European Parliamentary Scrutiny mechanisms. It cleared scrutiny in the European Scrutiny Committee [Commons] on 25 February 2004 and in the European Union Committee [Lords]on 2 March 2004.

The Agency will operate under a joint legal treaty base—Articles 62(2)(a) and 66 of the Treaty establishing the European Community.

No decision has yet been taken on where the Agency will be based. Five member states (Poland, Hungary, Slovenia, Estonia and Malta) submitted bids to host the Agency. The UK supports the Polish bid. The Agency will still become operational by May 2005, even if no decision has been taken on its permanent location by then.

Permanent staff of the Agency will have the same status as the staff of the other EU institutions (e.g. including the Commission). This is in accordance with the existing Staff Regulations and conditions of employment of officials of the European Communities, as set out in Article 17 of the Border Agency Regulation.

Fixed Penalty Notices

Mr. Steinberg: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many fixed penalty notices were issued during the last week of October and the first week of November 2004 for (a) letting off or throwing fireworks in any highway, street, throughfare or public place, (b) possession of fireworks in a public place by those under the age of 18 years and (c) breaching the curfew time for the use of fireworks. [214368]

Ms Blears: The available information, relating to the four offences connected with fireworks for which penalty notices for disorder can be given, is contained in the table:
Penalty notices for disorder issued for firework offences in England and Wales between 25 October and 7 November 2004—provisional figures

Fireworks offence for which PND issuedIssued between 25–31 October inclusiveIssued between 1–7 November inclusive
Throwing fireworks in a thoroughfare1836
Breach of fireworks curfew34
Possession of a Category 4 firework23
Possession by under 18 of adult firework
Total PNDs issued for firework offences2347

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