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9 Jan 2006 : Column 74W—continued

Departmental NDPBs

Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) 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 schools; [20139]

(2) which of the advisory non-departmental public bodies sponsored by his Department have a statutory base which (a) publish their advice to Government, (b) publish an annual report and (c) lay an annual report before Parliament; and whether it is under a statutory requirement in each case; [20140]

(3) which of the advisory non-departmental public bodies sponsored by his Department (a) hold public meetings, (b) conduct public consultation exercises, (c) conduct consultation exercises with outside commercial interests, (d) publish a register of members' interests, (e) publish agendas for meetings and (f) publish the minutes of meetings; and whether it is under a statutory requirement in each case. [20141]

Mrs. McGuire: The Industrial Injuries Advisory Council (IIAC) requires the Government to consult the Council prior to legislation on the list of prescribed diseases and on any other matter relating to the industrial injuries disablement benefit scheme or its administration. The Social Security Advisory Committee (SSAC) requires the Government to consult the Committee about proposals for most social security regulations. Only in the case of SSAC is there a statutory requirement to publish the Committee's advice together with the Government's response.
 
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The Disability Living Allowance Advisory Board (DLAAB) and IIAC have a statutory base, but neither body has a statutory requirement to publish their advice to Government. Only DLAAB has a statutory requirement to present an annual report, although it is not required to lay this before Parliament. In addition, although there is no requirement to do so, MAC, SSAC and the Disability Employment Advisory Committee (DEAC) also produce an annual report which is published on the body's website. Printed copies are also available from the secretariats.

IIAC holds public meetings and conducts public consultation exercises, as does SSAC. Where relevant, SSAC also conduct consultation exercises with outside commercial interests. IIAC is the only advisory body, which publishes its register of members' interests. The register is included within the annual report. MAC publish agendas for their public meetings, but do not publish the minutes of the meetings, although they are available on request. There is no statutory requirement for any of this activity.

Departmental Posts

Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the change in the number of jobs in (a) his Department and (b) its agencies was in (i)2003–04 and (ii) 2004–05, broken down by business area; what change is planned for (A) 2005–06 and (B)2006–07; and if he will make a statement. [23393]

Mrs. McGuire: The change in the number of staff in the Department and its agencies between 2003–04 and 2004–05 is shown in Table 1. The baseline for the Department's agreed efficiency challenge is 1 March 2004 at which time overall staffing was 130,632.

The change in planned staff numbers in the Department and its agencies for 2005–06 and 2006–07 is shown in Table 2.
Table 1: Change in staff numbers 31 March 2004 to 31 March 2005

31 March 200431 March 2005Reduction in numbers
Jobcentre Plus79,12273,4065,716
The Pension Service18,56716,1892,378
Child Support Agency10,7799,784995
Disability and Carers Service
7,103
6,506597
Appeals Service81675264
The Rent Service718n/a
Other Departmental Units12,06811,874194
Total128,455119,2299,226




n/a=Not available.
Notes:
1.Figures are full time equivalents and exclude staff on paid maternity leave.
2.The Rent Service joined the Department from 1 April 2004 from the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister.
3.Disability and Carers Service was granted Agency status from 1 November 2004.
4.Figures exclude the Health and Safety Executive.




Table 2: DWP planned staffing numbers

31 March 200631 March 2007
Jobcentre Plus70,20067,550
The Pension Service14,20013,350
Child Support Agency9,4009,400
Disability and Carers Service6,4005,950
Appeals Service750750
The Rent Service750650
Corporate HR1,2501,200
Group Finance5,5005,000
Programme and Systems Delivery500450
Other Corporate Services1,1501,150
Work, Welfare and Equality Group1,050950
Pensions Client Directorate350350
DWP Contingency1,0001,250
Total DWP112,500108,000




Notes:
1.Figures are full-time equivalents rounded to the nearest 50 and exclude staff on paid maternity leave.
2.Planned staffing numbers are subject to ongoing review.




 
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Departmental Rebranding

Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how much money has been spent on rebranding in his Department and related agencies in each of the last five years. [18150]

Mrs. McGuire: The costs for rebranding incurred by the Department for Work and Pensions during this period are £15,756 for the Child Support Agency brand in 2001–02.

Departmental Staff

Jim Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) how many staff in the Department accepted voluntary severance schemes in the last three financial years; [19267]

(2) whether voluntary severance has been suspended in sections of the Department or its agencies. [19266]

Mrs. McGuire: Information on the number of staff in the Department who have accepted voluntary severance and voluntary retirement through exit schemes in the last three financial years is in the following table.

There has been no suspension of voluntary severance or retirement in any section of the Department or its agencies.
Financial yearNumber of staff
2002–0373
2003–0463
2004–05467




Note:
Figures are full time equivalent (rounded).



Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the rates of employee absence in his Department have been in each year since 1997. [21039]

Mrs. McGuire: Not all of the information requested is available.

Information about worker absences other than sickness absences is not held centrally and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

There is no information available about sick absence rates from 1997 to 1998.

The information for the period from 1999 to 2003–04 has been published in NAO Report HC 18 on 8 December 04 (Page 17 Figure 6).
 
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The remaining information requested is as follows:
Department for Work and Pensions

Sickness rate
Average working days lostPercentage working time lost
2004–0512.45.0




Notes:
1.The average working days lost figure is calculated by dividing the working days lost in the Department for the year in question by the working days available for the same period, then multiplying by 250 (the working year: 365 days less weekends and public/privilege days).
2.The percentage working time lost figure is calculated as in note1, but the multiplier is 100 instead of 250.
Source:
Extracts from DWP payroll systems as processed by the DWP Information Directorate.



Jim Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what voluntary severance schemes are in place in (a) his Department and (b) its agencies. [21765]


 
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Mrs. McGuire [holding answer 25 October 2005]: The voluntary release schemes currently being run within the Department and its agencies are shown in the following tables. Table 1 illustrates the number of schemes operating in each Government Office Region. Table 2 illustrates the agencies and departmental directorates participating in schemes in each Government Office Region.
Table 1

Region/countryNumber of schemes
Wales3
South East3
Yorkshire and The Humber4
North East3
London4
East Midlands1
East of England1
West Midlands1
South West1
Scotland1
North West1

Table 2

Region/countryAgency/departmental directorate included
WalesJobcentre Plus; The Pension Service
South EastJobcentre Plus; The Pension Service
Yorkshire and The HumberJobcentre Plus; The Pension Service; Departmental Directorates
North EastJobcentre Plus; The Pension Service; Departmental Directorates
LondonJobcentre Plus; The Pension Service; Disability and Carers Service; Appeals Service; Departmental Directorates
East MidlandsJobcentre Plus
East of EnglandJobcentre Plus; The Pension Service; Departmental Directorates
West MidlandsJobcentre Plus; The Pension Service; Departmental Directorates
South WestJobcentre Plus; The Pension Service; Departmental Directorates
ScotlandJobcentre Plus; The Pension Service; Departmental Directorates
North WestJobcentre Plus




Notes:
1.Voluntary release schemes are managed on a regional basis. Each scheme may cover all or some staff in an agency/ departmental directorate at all or a limited number of sites within the region.
2.Voluntary release schemes include voluntary severance and voluntary early retirement.
3.All schemes are governed by the rules of the Civil Service Compensation Scheme in which there are a number of different types of scheme. More that one type of scheme can be run concurrently within a region.




Mr. Boswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will make a statement on reductions in departmental staffing to date in accordance with the Gershon efficiency targets, with particular reference to changes in the balance between (a) full-time and part-time staffing transfers from back-office to frontline functions and (b) natural wastage and redundancy. [26819]

Mrs. McGuire: The agreed baseline for the Department's Efficiency Challenge is 1 March 2004 at which time overall staffing was 130,631 (Full Time Equivalent). Staffing at the end of September 2005 was 116,417 (Full Time Equivalent); a reduction of 14,215 (Full Time Equivalent) since the baseline date.

The percentage of full-time and part-time staff at the baseline date and at 30 September 2005 is shown in the following table.
Full-time
Part-time
DateNumber
of staff
PercentageNumber
of staff
Percentage
1 March 2004103,4237927,20921
30 September 200588,0867628,33124








As part of the Department's plans to meet the efficiency challenge, we are increasing the number of posts that have regular, direct contact with customers by 10,000 by March 2008. The increase in posts will occur principally within Jobcentre Plus and they will be resourced through a combination of existing staff within the Department and new recruits. As at the end of September 2005, the Department had created and resourced around 4,000 new customer-facing posts.

Excluding temporary staff, the number of staff leaving the Department over this period through managed exits and natural wastage was 16,117. Of these, 91 per cent. were as a result of natural wastage, and 9 per cent. as a result of managed exits. There have been no compulsory redundancies.


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