Mr. Ivan Lewis: Economic appraisals and evaluations of central government policies, programmes and projects, as required by the HM Treasury Green Book guidance, involve analysis of the costs and benefits of policies over time. These are conducted by Departments responsible for front-line public services. The Treasury has not undertaken, or begun to undertake, any of these since January 2004.
Regulatory Impact Assessments (RIAs) for new policies always include a cost-benefit analysis. A list of full RIAs produced by HM Treasury from 1 January 2001 is available on the HMT website. HM Revenue and Customs publish RIAs for Budget measures on their website.
Mr. Ivan Lewis: My officials are in touch with the Financial Services Authority for the purposes of co-operating with the parliamentary ombudsman's investigation into the prudential regulation of Equitable Life.
Mr. Francois: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what progress has been made, in terms of (a) headcount reductions and (b) cost savings, in achieving the efficiency objectives set for the Department by the Gershon review. 
Mr. Des Browne: Progress was reported in Budget 2005 and in the Spring Departmental Report. Further progress will be reported in the Autumn Performance Report and at aggregate level in the pre-Budget report.
Mr. Des Browne: The Finance Director for HMRC, who is a member of the Department's Executive Committee, is the appointed Senior Responsible Officer responsible for the overall delivery of the department's Efficiency programme.
Mr. Spring: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the proceeds of gold sales from the UK reserves have been in each year since 1997; and if he will estimate the value of that gold at today's prices. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: 395 tonnes of gold were sold from the reserves between July 1999 and March 2002. The proceeds in dollars, and further details, can be found on page 27 of Review of the sale of part of the UK gold reserves" published by the Treasury in October 2002 http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/media//9EFEF/Gold Reserves.PDF).
The programme was part of a prudent restructuring of the foreign currency and gold reserves aimed at achieving a better-balanced portfolio. As a result of the programme a one-off reduction in risk of approximately 30 per cent. was achieved (as measured by Value-at-Risk).
The proceeds from the sales were reinvested in interest bearing foreign currency assets in broadly the same proportions as the foreign currency assets held in the net reserves (40 per cent. dollars; 40 per cent. euros; and 20 per cent. yen) and these have earned returns over this period.
Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) how regularly he assesses each Department's performance against (a) the efficiency saving targets set out within departmental efficiency technical notes and (b) each public service agreement target and associated indicators; 
(2) how many reports he has received from the Efficiency Unit with regard to each Department's performance against efficiency savings targets as set out in its efficiency technical notes; and if he will publish them. 
Mr. Des Browne:
Progress against the efficiency targets was reported in Budget 2005. John Oughton, chief executive of the Office of Government Commerce,
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provides half-yearly reports to the Prime Minister and Chancellor on progress against the efficiency targets. Two such reports have been made to date. These reports will not be published, but departments will publicly report progress in their autumn performance reports.
Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many incidents of slippage against departmental efficiency savings, as forecast in efficiency technical notes, have been reported to the Treasury, broken down by Department. 
Mr. Des Browne: Budget 2005 reported that the Government are ahead of schedule in meeting the target of £20 billion efficiency gains. Departments will report progress towards their efficiency targets, as forecast in efficiency technical notes, in their autumn performance reports.
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) how many investigations have been undertaken by HM Revenue and Customs following complaints relating to the national minimum wage in each of the last five years in (a) total and (b) the (i)
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hotel, (ii) retail, (iii) care-home, (iv) security and (v) hairdressing sectors; in how many there has been evidence of non-compliance in each case; and how many penalty payments have been awarded; 
(2) how many complaints have been made by workers in the (a) hotel, (b) retail, (c) care home, (d) security and (e) hairdressing sectors in respect of alleged breaches of national minimum wage rules in each of the last five years. 
Dawn Primarolo: Sector details are recorded for investigation cases closed during the year. HMRC records details for hotels within the category of hospitality and for care homes within the social care category. Details for security are recorded within the category of security and cleaning. The details held for cases closed for the categories most closely relating to the sectors specified are shown in the following table.
Details by sector of the number of cases where non-compliance was identified and details of the number of penalty notices issued per sector are not available. To provide these statistics would require a disproportionate amount of time and other resource. However, the figures that are provided in the following table show the total number of complaint cases closed in the year where arrears were identified. Also, the total number of penalty notices issued for all complaint cases is shown for each year.
|Retail||Hospitality||Hairdressing||Security and cleaning||Social care||Other sectors||Total|
|Number of penalty notices issued|
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