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Asylum Seekers

Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many asylum seekers from the Kurdish area of Iraq have been deported in each of the last 24 months for which figures are available, broken down by destination in Iraq to which they were sent. [9140]

Mr. McNulty: The nationality of asylum applicants is recorded by the Home Office. However, information on the region of a country that asylum applicants originate from is not recorded.

Information on the destination for the removal of failed asylum seekers has only been available since the beginning of 2004. The latest published information on removal of asylum seekers covers the first quarter of 2005.

Information on the number of asylum seekers removed can be found on the Home Office website at:

Community Support Officers

Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the training of community support officers. [8098]

Hazel Blears: Under the Police Reform Act 2002 it is for each chief constable to be satisfied that community support officers (CSOs) have received adequate training for the powers with which they are designated. The Central Police Training and Development Authority has prepared a CSO training package for use by forces but the training is delivered locally. A report on the National Evaluation of CSOs by the Home Office Research, Development and Statistics Branch will address various areas, including training. The report will be published later this year.


Mrs. Dean: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has to issue guidance on effective commissioning for those in the public and voluntary sectors who are commissioning work from external consultants. [7028]

Paul Goggins: The Home Office follows OGC best practice advice to the public sector through its web-based product the Successful Delivery Toolkit ( The guidance is aimed at public sector organisations and complies with Government policy and regulations for procurement but is not specifically tailored to the voluntary sector. The guidance includes the use of consultants covering:

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There are currently no plans for the Home Office to issue further guidance.


Daniel Kawczynski: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many British citizens have been extradited to the USA under the UK-US Extradition Treaty 2003. [11609]

Andy Burnham: The UK-US Extradition Treaty 2003 has not yet been brought into force but some of its provisions have been given effect by the Extradition Act 2003, which came into force on one January 2004. Eight British citizens, and three US citizens, have been extradited to the US under the Extradition Act 2003. The Act and the Treaty have not changed the position whereby both the UK and the US are prepared to consider the extradition of their own citizens.

Fine Defaulters

Mrs. Gillan: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people have been sent to prison in the first five months of 2005 for defaulting on the payment of a fine. [8988]

Fiona Mactaggart: Information is only available for January to April 2005. In this period there were 731 persons received into prison establishments in England and Wales in default of payment of a fine, as recorded on the Prison Service IT system.

Identity Cards

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment the Government have made of the cost to local authorities of introducing identity cards. [9547]

Andy Burnham: The Regulatory Impact Assessment (RIA) published along side the Identity Cards Bill on 25 May 2005, contains the most recent assessment of the impact of introducing Identity Cards. The RIA makes it clear that there are no proposals to require any organisations or individuals to undertake any checks on Identity Cards. No local authority will be obliged to check Identity Cards as part of their business, however some may choose to do so to in order to benefit from more efficient processes and a estimated reduction in fraud as a result of using the Identity Card Scheme.

Mr. Garnier: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what estimate he has made of the cost of equipping police premises in each police area in England and Wales; and police officers with identity card readers. [9753]

Andy Burnham: The Home Office has been working to identify areas where the identity cards scheme could provide business benefits. My right hon. Friend the Home Secretary placed in the Library a paper containing the latest estimates of benefits of the identity cards scheme. The cost of equipping premises will depend on the nature of the use of the identity cards scheme and the type of identity check(s) necessary to deliver the business benefits. In some cases, benefits could be realised without the use of card readers and the cost of installing any readers needs to be considered alongside future plans to refresh or upgrade IT systems.
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As the design of the scheme matures, during and after the procurement exercise, so will our understanding of where the scheme will be of most benefit which will allow us to further refine our estimates of costs and benefits.

Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment he has made of the likely need to replace identity cards before their expiry date; by what means he intends to arrange for replacements to be issued; and what estimate he has made of the likely cost (a) to the Government and (b) to the individual concerned. [9919]

Andy Burnham: Reviews of current research and surveys conducted with companies involved in card technology has indicated the feasibility of an ID card that lasts for 10 years. This has been reflected in other identity cards schemes, Hong Kong for example.

As the planned validity period of the identity card issued to UK nationals is 10 years, requests for replacement cards in advance of their expiry date are likely to arise from lost, stolen, damaged or faulty cards. Estimates have been made of the likely rates of failure, damage and loss (including theft) based on industry benchmarks and experience from other government departments, however due to reasons of commercial sensitivity, it is not appropriate to release these figures as it would hinder the Department's ability to achieve value for money in the forthcoming procurement phase.

It is planned to issue replacement identity cards in a secure yet convenient manner for the public. A member of the public will be able to report their card lost, stolen or damaged via post, internet, telephone and in-person, subject to a secure process of authentication.

Costs based on this work have been included in the operating costs published in the RIA. However we cannot disaggregate these costs for reasons of commercial confidentiality. No decisions have been made in respect of the fee charged for issuing a replacement card.

Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how he plans to ensure that measures in the Identity Cards Bill are compatible with disability rights legislation. [9936]

Andy Burnham: The Disability Discrimination Act 1995 applies to the identity cards scheme. There is nothing on the face of the Identity Cards Bill that contradicts any provision of that Act.

The Identity Cards Bill contains, at Clause 41(1), the usual provision which ensures that any secondary legislation can contain different provision for different cases and that any exemptions and exceptions as are necessary are made. This inbuilt flexibility will allow for any special policies, practices or procedures which will have to be adopted to cater for the wide variety of special needs people with disabilities have.

The United Kingdom Passport Service biometric trial which was a trial of the processes of enrolling biometrics, rather than a test of the technology, included a sample group of disabled participants to record their customer experience. Disability Matters Ltd. were satisfied with this approach and reported that they had been impressed with the way that disabled people were
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actively involved in the project. The Identity Cards Programme Team continues to liaise with organisations who best understand the needs of disabled people so that these needs are dealt with directly and sensitively.

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