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Departmental Data

Dr. Strang: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what methods his Department employs to ensure that its data are up-to-date, with particular reference to information on people who have (a) moved house and (b) died. [37790]

Mr. Plaskitt: The Department for Work and Pensions makes every effort to ensure that its data is accurate, up-to-date and relevant. It employs different methods according to the type of data it holds in relation to change of address and death details.

Where people move house there is no obligation on them as individuals to notify my Department of such a change unless they are in receipt of benefit, where checks are made at the start of the claim and in certain benefits at specified points during the course of the claim. However, through closer working with other Government Departments, particularly Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC), my Department receives on a daily
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basis, changes of address notified to HMRC for their customers who are in employment, claiming tax credits or liable for income tax or national insurance contributions. In addition to this, my Department fully supports cross-government data sharing initiatives such as the setting up of a National Identity Register for ID Cards in order to maintain the integrity of its data. If the person moving home is in receipt of housing benefit or council tax benefit processes are in place for local authorities to notify my Department of the change.

When a person dies, my Department is notified of the death by the Office of National Statistics (for England and Wales), the General Registrar's Office (Scotland) and the General Registrar's Office (Northern Ireland). These data are recorded centrally and, where appropriate, forwarded to the relevant benefit system to suspend payment of benefit and alert staff to the need to take action on specific cases. In addition to this, many relatives, friends and next of kin of the deceased person notify the death direct to the Department when benefit is in payment or bereavement benefit claimed, providing copies of the death certificate. Between these processes my Department captures the death data within a matter of weeks. As modernisation programmes progress in registrations of death, plans are in place to automate the notifications from ONS (England and Wales) and GRO (Scotland), making the process quicker and more efficient.

Departmental Expenditure

Martin Horwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how much his Department and its agencies have spent on (a) the design and production of new logos and (b) employing external (i) public relations and (ii) graphic design agencies in each year since 2000, broken down by project. [33204]

Mrs. McGuire: The information requested is not held centrally and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

Departmental Research

Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what research projects commissioned by his Department are being undertaken; and what the publication arrangements are in each case. [32991]

Mrs. McGuire: Research projects currently being undertaken that have been commissioned by the Department for Work and Pensions are outlined in the following list.

Project name:

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Externally commissioned research findings are released publicly, the vast majority appearing in the Department's Research Report Series which is available both in hard copy and for download from the website (

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