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Mike Penning: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many (a) consultants and (b) special advisers were employed by his Department in each year since 1997; what the cost of each was in each year; and if he will make a statement. 
Margaret Hodge: Consultants are not employed by this Department but are engaged under contractual arrangements. We are unable to provide an answer to how many consultants were engaged by this Department in each year since 1997 without incurring disproportionate cost.
The cost to the Department of consultants engaged in each year is given in the table. Please note DWP was formed in June 2001, therefore there is no expenditure for this Department prior to this date.
Since 2003, the Government have published on an annual basis the names and overall cost of special advisers and the number in each pay band. For the most recent information I refer the hon. Member to the statement made by my right hon. Friend, the Prime Minister on Thursday 21 July 2005, Official Report, 15862WS.
Clare Short: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions when he will reply to the letter from the right hon. Member for Birmingham, Ladywood, of 22 September 2005, reference POS (7) 10476/0058, which was acknowledged on 11 October 2005. 
Margaret Hodge: Matthew Nicholas, the Acting Director for External Relations and Communications replied to the right hon. Member for Birmingham, Ladywood on the 28 November 2005 on behalf of the chief executive for Jobcentre Plus, Leslie Strathie.
Mr. Paul Goodman: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many enforcement notices have been served on his Department by the Information Commissioner in connection with the Data Protection Act 1998 since it came into force. 
Mr. Wallace: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) how many people are employed by his Department (a) at each of its sites and (b) by each (i) agency and (ii) directorate of his Department at each of its sites along the Fylde coast; 
|Fleetwood Road North||Blackpool||Jobcentre Plus||18||15|
|Queen Street||Blackpool||Jobcentre Plus||62||57|
|Marton Mere||Blackpool||Jobcentre Plus||333||310|
|Mexford House||Blackpool||The Pension Service||252||241|
|National Savings Buildings||Blackpool||Jobcentre Plus||27||24|
|Norcross||Blackpool||Disability and Carers Service||786||725|
|Norcross||Blackpool||Programme and Systems Delivery||9||8|
|Norcross||Blackpool||The Pension Service||3||3|
|Peel Park||Blackpool||Human Resources||4||4|
|Peel Park||Blackpool||Programme and Systems Delivery||98||94|
|Peel Park||Blackpool||The Pension Service||47||46|
|Tydesley Road||Blackpool||Jobcentre Plus||51||48|
|Warbreck Hill||Blackpool||Disability and Carers Service||2,476||2,189|
|Government Buildings||Lytham St. Annes||Disability and Carers Service||31||31|
|Government Buildings||Lytham St. Annes||Child Support Agency||357||295|
|Government Buildings||Lytham St. Annes||Finance Directorate||34||33|
|Government Buildings||Lytham St. Annes||Human Resources||8||8|
|Government Buildings||Lytham St. Annes||Information Division||10||9|
|Government Buildings||Lytham St. Annes||Programme and Systems Delivery||72||68|
|Government Buildings||Lytham St. Annes||Work, Welfare and Equality Group||18||17|
|Government Buildings||Lytham St. Annes||Jobcentre Plus||572||545|
|Government Buildings||Lytham St. Annes||The Pension Service||93||91|
|Westmorland House||Lytham St. Annes||Jobcentre Plus||38||37|
|Beacon Road||Poulton Le Fylde||Disability and Carers Service||91||75|
Mrs. McGuire: The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) makes a number of learning resources available to meet the work-related literacy and numeracy needs of its staff. These resources address specific business needs such as effective briefing and written communication with customers and are provided either as face-to-face courses or as blended learning solutions. All staff have a Personal Development Plan which is reviewed twice yearly with their manager and any development needs, including literacy and numeracy needs, are identified and addressed.
In addition, DWP has entered into a partnership with its main trade union, the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS), to address the basic literacy and numeracy needs of its staff. Since March 2004 this has been the main focus of activity of the union learning representative (ULR) network that has been established within DWP.
ULRs encourage staff to assess their skills and support them to address any learning need they identify through a local college or Learndirect. The DWP is committed to help staff by providing any necessary time off to attend learning designed to bring their skills up to level 2 of the national qualifications framework.
The PCS has made provision for staff at our offices in Newcastle and Leeds to access learning to level 2 at their workplace. This type of internal provision is likely to increase as more staff assess their basic skills using an online diagnostic tool that will be available to them in the new year.
Mr. Francois: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions 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. 
Mrs. McGuire: Progress was reported in Budget 2005 and in the departmental annual reports. Further progress will be reported in the autumn performance reports and at aggregate level in the pre-Budget report.
Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many full-time equivalent employee reductions there have been in his Department as a result of the Gershon review; what cost savings relating to IT projects were achieved; what value of efficiency savings (a) were achieved in 200405 and (b) are expected to be achieved in 200506; and if he will make a statement. 
Mrs. McGuire [holding answer 3 November 2005]: Staffing within the Department at the end of September 2005 was 116,417 full-time equivalents, an overall reduction in headcount of 14,215. In order to meet the efficiency challenge, the Department has implemented business change programmes and projects that are enabled by changes to our IT systems. These programmes and projects have provided savings of around £150 million for 200405. The Department has an efficiency target for 200708 but no intermediate target for 200506.
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