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25 Jan 2006 : Column 2158W—continued

Valuation Office Agency

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs how many cases the Information Commissioner has considered in relation to the Valuation Office Agency since the introduction of the Freedom of Information Act; and what the ruling of the Commissioner was in each case. [42826]

Ms Harman: The Information Commissioner's Office has considered four complaints from individuals about the Valuation Office Agency and disclosures of information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

In two cases the complainants were advised, in accordance with the Act, that they needed to seek an internal review of their complaint by the Valuation Office Agency before the Commissioner would consider their complaints. In a third case, as the complainant did not provide enough information to allow the Commissioner to investigate, the case was closed with no action being taken.

In the final case the Information Commissioner did investigate and issued a Decision Notice in June 2005. The Commissioner decided that the agency had not
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dealt with the complainant's request in accordance with the requirements of part 1 of the Act in that it failed to comply with s1(1) or s17 within the time limit set out in s10(1). The complainant was provided with the information he requested.


Aliens (Removal)

Dr. Evan Harris: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many aliens facing removal are signing on regularly at his Department. [38499]

Mr. McNulty: We do not use such an offensive term as aliens". For the purpose of this question, aliens in the country who are removable" is taken to mean failed asylum seekers and other immigration offenders who have no legal basis upon which to remain in the UK. The information requested, on the number of people in the country illegally who are facing removal and are signing on regularly at this Department, is not available. This information could be obtained only by examination of individual case files at disproportionate cost.

Asylum Seekers

Jeremy Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he has received reports concerning the monitoring of returned asylum seekers to the Democratic Republic of Congo by state officials; and if he will make a statement. [44579]

Mr. McNulty: I am aware of allegations such as those raised in the BBC World Service Assignment programme on 16 November 2005 and a subsequent BBC article of one December 2005 that failed asylum seekers are subject to mistreatment on return.

Bicester Accommodation Centre

Tony Baldry: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what preparatory work his Department instructed GSL UK Ltd. to undertake on site A at Ministry of Defence Bicester as part of the project to build an accommodation centre for asylum seekers. [43506]

Mr. McNulty: GSL were not instructed to carry out any preparatory work on site A. All site enabling works were carried out by contractors working for the Immigration and Nationality Directorate.

Tony Baldry: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will place in the Library the contract between his Department and GSL UK Ltd. to build an accommodation centre for asylum seekers at Bicester. [43507]

Mr. McNulty: Arrangements are being made to place a copy in the Library following appropriate scrutiny and removal of sensitive matters.

Tony Baldry: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the cost to his Department was of submitting detailed design plans for an accommodation centre for asylum seekers at Bicester to the planning inquiry. [43514]

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Mr. McNulty: None.

No planning inquiry was held to consider the reserved matters, and, thereby, the detailed designs.

Civil Service Relocation (Scotland)

Stewart Hosie: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many departmental civil service jobs have been relocated to Scotland in each year since 2001. [32377]

Mr. Charles Clarke [holding answer 28 November 2005]: The existing Home Office personnel systems are designed to show moves of people not posts. The only information the Department holds is based on moves between buildings where 10 or more staff move on the same day, and all the relocations that can be identified are within the same city or area. Since 2001, there have been no such relocations of departmental civil service jobs to Scotland.

Criminal Records Bureau

Daniel Kawczynski: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether there is a deadline by which police checks via the Criminal Records Bureau should be completed. [44920]

Andy Burnham: Section 119 of the Police Act, 1997, which underpins the CRB Disclosure service states that

Departmental Staff

Stewart Hosie: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many staff are employed by his Department in each (a) region and (b) nation of the UK; and if he will make a statement. [35908]

Mr. Charles Clarke: The number of staff employed in each area (a) region and (b) nation of the UK, please see the table.
Core HO and IND

North East2,033
North West658
South East1,491
South West40
England total21,262
Scotland totalScotland287
Wales totalWales101
Northern Ireland totalNorthern Ireland29
Other(6) total391
All staffTotal22,070

(5) Region as centrally recorded on personnel systems
(6) base location outside UK, or unrecorded, or withheld for reasons of security

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RegionFull-time equivalent staff in post
East Midlands5,066
North East3,486
North West5,875
South West3,751
West Midlands4,982
Yorkshire and Humberside5,377
South East7,777
England total46,145


RegionTotal staff
Scotland total454
England total2,736
Scotland total3,251

Entry Clearance

Mr. Godsiff: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many nationals of each country from which a visa is required applied for entry clearance to come to the United Kingdom in (a) 2003 and (b) 2004 for temporary purposes, including visitor and student applications; how many visas were issued for temporary purposes; how many recipients of these visas returned to their country of nationality before the visas expired; and how many applied (i) to remain permanently in the United Kingdom and (ii) for political asylum. [31381]

Mr. McNulty: Entry clearance data are available by visa post of application, which is not necessarily the country of the applicant's nationality. Financial year data on applications and issues are published annually. Copies of the publication are available from the UK Visas website at Statistics on grants of settlement (indefinite leave to enter and remain) by main nationality are published annually in the Command Paper 'Control of Immigration: Statistics United Kingdom'. Information on asylum applications, initial decisions, appeals and removals are published quarterly and annually.

Information for 2003 and 2004 is published in the annual bulletin 'Asylum Statistics United Kingdom 2004', and the aforementioned mentioned Command Paper. Copies of these publications are available from the Library of the House and on the Home Office Research Development and Statistics Directorate website at
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