|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment he has made of the effect of the redistribution of London work of the Forensic Science Service to the provincial laboratories on the efficiency of the organisation; and if he will make a statement. 
The Forensic Science Service (FSS) transferred approximately 1700 cases from the London site to its regional laboratories during the first six months of the financial year 200506. This resulted in a reduction of the London laboratory's caseload by 10 per cent. during this period. It has led to an improved performance in the London laboratory's delivery of the
24 Nov 2005 : Column 2314W
overall FSS target to turnaround 95 per cent. of cases in less than 33 days, which has assisted in improving organisational efficiency.
Peter Law: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list Freedom of Information (FOI) requests to his Department passed to the FOI clearing house for evaluation, broken down by (a) subject and (b) date of request. 
Mr. Charles Clarke:
Information about the handling of Freedom of Information requests is published in Freedom of Information Statistics on Implementation in central Government.
24 Nov 2005 : Column 2315W
The most recently published report was 30 September 2005 and copies are in the Libraries of both Houses. Additional information about the role of the Clearing House can be found on the DCA website at http://www.foi.gov.uk/guidance/index.htm#2. Departments do not release information about the internal handling of requests, such as details of which requests were referred to the Clearing House for guidance.
Paul Goggins: It is estimated that approximately 95 per cent. of the heroin bound for the UK originates from opium grown in Afghanistan. Statistics on the numbers and quantities of drugs seized within England and Wales by UK law enforcement can be found in the Drugs Seizure and Offender Statistics Reports published annually by the Home Office. The most recent data available covers 2003.
Mr. Waterson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department during which hours each day (a) passport control and (b) customs and immigration checks are operated at (i) Newhaven Port and (ii)Eurotunnel. 
Andy Burnham: At Newhaven, the immigration control is usually operated between 0500 hours to 2300 hours seven days a week. The operating hours are dependent on the number, and times, of the ferry arrivals at Newhaven. For operational reasons it is not HMRC policy to disclose particular deployment patterns to specific ports or airports. The immigration controls operating on the Eurotunnel site in France are staffed by immigration officers 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
Sarah Teather: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the target processing time is for an application for leave to remain under the provisions of the European Community Association Agreement; and what the average processing time achieved for such applications was in the most recent period for which figures are available. 
Mr. McNulty: Applications under the provisions of the European Community Association Agreements (ECAA) fall in to the category of non-charged casework. The published service standards for this category are 25 per cent. of postal applications to be processed in 20 working days and 30 per cent. in 70 working days.
The average time taken from the date of receipt until the date of decision for European Community Association Agreement (ECAA) applications during the period 1 August to 31 October 2005 was 331 days.
24 Nov 2005 : Column 2316W
Helen Goodman: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what investigations his Department has carried out into the reasons why Israeli Major General Almog has not been arrested following the issue of the warrant against him in London in September. 
Andy Burnham: Any investigation into the reasons why Major General Almog was not arrested, including how he may have become aware that a warrant had been issued, would be a matter for the Metropolitan Police.
Helen Goodman: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment he has made of how Israeli Major General Almog became aware of the issuing of an arrest warrant against him by Bow Street magistrates court. 
Andy Burnham: The arrest warrant, which was issued by Bow Street magistrates court on 10 September 2005 in response to a private application, was withdrawn by the judge who issued it on 15 September 2005.
Mr. McNulty: I refer the hon. member to the statement made by the then Minister for Citizenship and Immigration, my right hon. friend, the member for Kilmarnock and Loudoun (Mr. Browne) on 7 February 2005.
Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list those of his Department's advisory non-departmental public bodies which the Government are required (a) to consult prior to legislative proposals and (b) to publish their response to advice received from such bodies. 
Mr. Charles Clarke: The following are the Home Department's advisory non-departmental public bodies (NDPBs) which the Government are required to consult prior to legislative proposals but not required to publish their response to advice from those NDPBs:
2. The Police Negotiation Board (PNB). Under section 62 of the Police Act 1996 before making any regulations under section 50 or 52 of that Act the Secretary of State shall take into consideration any recommendation made by the PNB.
3. The Police Advisory Board (PAB). Under section 63 of the Police Act 1996 before making regulations under section 50 or 52 of that Act the Secretary of State shall supply a draft of those regulations and take into consideration any representations made by the PAB. The Advisory Panel on Country Information (APCI) is a bit different to the above NDPBs. The Government is not required to consult it prior to legislative proposals. However, during the passage of the 2002 Nationality Immigration and Asylum Act and the 2003 debates on
Dr. Starkey: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he expects to reply to the questions tabled by the hon. Member for Milton Keynes South West relating to General Almog tabled for answer on (a) 11 October, reference 17028 and (b) 19 October, reference 19756 and (c) 7 November, reference 25695. 
John Hemming: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many applications for passports have been rejected when received by post since the new categories of rejection came into operation, broken down by (a) category and (b) passport office. 
Andy Burnham: Since the implementation by the UK Passport Service (UKPS) of new photo standards from 12 September 2005, 597,863 passport applications have been received. For a variety of reasons, UKPS has had to contact the applicant for further information on 119,339 applications. Of these queries, 81,927 applications, that is, 13.7 per cent. of total intake have required new photographs to be submitted.
The three main categories of photograph rejection are incorrect paper quality, facial expression and eyes obscured. The UKPS are currently unable to provide a breakdown of these categories by office. The UKPS will shortly be issuing revised guidance to its customers clarifying how the standards should be met to ensure fuller compliance.
|Passport application intake||597,863|
|Total photo rejections||81,927|
|Photo queries as percentage of intake||13.7%|
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will investigate (a) how the passport of Mrs. Valerie Beale of Winchester (Royal Mail ref
24 Nov 2005 : Column 2318W
11601472618) was lost in the post, (b) why it was sent to the South Kensington sorting office and (c) why it was delivered to the Natural History Museum. 
Andy Burnham: The UK Passport Service (UKPS) understand that Mrs. Beale's passport was lost by Royal Mail en route to a visa application service. The UKPS no longer uses Royal Mail for the despatch of new UK passports. Since 9 February 2004 we have been employing a secure delivery courier service provided by Special Mail Services (SMS). This secure delivery service is also used to return any valid UK passports that are submitted in support of a passport application. UKPS involvement with Mrs. Beale has been limited to providing her with a replacement passport, which was despatched and securely delivered in August 2005.
Andy Burnham: Since 9 February 2004 the UK Passport Service has been employing a secure delivery courier service provided by Special Mail Services (SMS) for the despatch and delivery of new UK passports. This secure delivery service is also used to return any valid UK passports that are submitted in support of a passport application.
Andy Burnham: The UK Passport Service assessed the security of the standard Royal Mail delivery service in 2003 and as a consequence moved to the current secure delivery arrangements on 9 February 2004.
Mr. Gray: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many UK passports were lost in the post in the last 12 months for which figures are available; how many of them were sent in with new passport applications; and how many of them were en route to a foreign embassy as part of a visa application. 
Andy Burnham: In the last full year that Royal Mail delivered passports (2003), 3,593 passports were reported as lost in post. Secure Delivery commenced on 9 February 2004, and up until 31 March 2005, 683 passports have been reported as lost whilst in the delivery process. It is not possible to provide details of passports reported lost by customers where the loss took place within the Royal Mail whilst passports were en route to UK Passport Service for replacement or to embassies for a visa.
Mr. Gray: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry on the loss of UK passports by the Royal Mail. 
Andy Burnham: Such discussions have not been appropriate, as since 9 February 2004 the UK Passport Service has been employing a secure delivery courier service provided by Special Mail Services (SMS) for the despatch and delivery of new UK passports.
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|