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Customer Management Computer Systems

Danny Alexander: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the cost was of implementing the Customer Management computer systems (a) CMS, (b) CMS2 and (c) CMS3. [34251]

Margaret Hodge: The administration of Jobcentre Plus is a matter for the chief executive of Jobcentre Plus, Lesley Strathie. She will write to the hon. Member.

Letter from Lesley Strathie, dated 30 January 2006:


 
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Departmental Computers (Identity Theft)

Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what steps his Department is taking to change departmental computer systems to prevent identity theft. [45367]

Mr. Plaskitt: DWP operates a formal security accreditation process for all departmental computer systems to ensure that confidence can be placed in the appropriateness and effectiveness of security controls within these systems, and to ensure compliance with legal and regulatory requirements.

DWP recognizes that Identity and Access Management is a critical element of a robust IT system security capability. DWP are working closely with leading IT security vendors and integrators to ensure that effective Identity and Access Management IT controls are designed into new DWP IT systems and which will complement and strengthen existing security controls within legacy IT systems.

The Department is continuously reviewing and revising its strategy, capabilities and operations in this area to ensure that the Department's security controls remain effective and are capable of addressing emerging threats such as identify theft.

Departmental Efficiency Savings

Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what efficiency savings have been made by his central Department since 1 January 2004; and if he will make a statement. [41460]

Margaret Hodge: The Department is on track to meet its Gershon review efficiency targets, the baselines for which are March 2004. Progress against the targets has been reported in the Department's Autumn Performance Report which was laid before Parliament on 15 December 2005.

Disability

Danny Alexander: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if he will make a statement on the initial activity undertaken by his Department in response to those recommendations in the Prime Minister's Strategy Unit Report Improving the Life Chances of Disabled People where lead responsibility was assigned to all Government Departments. [37082]

Mrs. McGuire: The new Office for Disability Issues (ODI) will report annually to the Prime Minister on cross-government progress in implementing the Strategy Unit report, Improving the Life Chances of Disabled People. The first report is due to be published by summer 2006. It will contain an assessment of the activity undertaken both by the ODI and by relevant Government Departments to fulfil the responsibilities and recommendations set out in Strategy Unit's report.
 
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The Department for Work and Pensions has responded positively to the recommendations of the Strategy Unit report and, working closely with colleagues from other Departments, established the cross-government ministerial steering group that is taking forward the Government's strategy to deliver substantive equality for disabled people by 2025. The Department co-ordinated cross-government efforts in setting up the Office for Disability Issues, which was launched on 1 December this year, and partnered with the Department of Health and ODPM in the development of the pilots for individual budgets, announced by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Health on 21 November 2005. The Department is also leading an exercise to appoint people onto an advisory group that will work with disability organisations, disabled people, and Government officials to develop proposals for a national forum for organisations of disabled people.

The Department for Work and Pensions is also committed to taking forward the recommendations in the Life Chances report on employment, working with other Government Departments to achieve these. Progress against these recommendations will be published in the ODI annual report. The Life Chances report, and the recommendations within it are key in helping the Department for Work and Pensions in reviewing the employment services offered to disabled people, and in considering how best to reform incapacity benefit to ensure that disabled people are empowered and supported within the labour market.

Work is underway on a project to research information and advice required by disabled people and review existing cross-government provision. We will work with other Departments to develop proposals to improve the provision of information and advice about services to disabled people. The Directgov website for disabled people, www.directgov.uk/disability is now the central point for all information from Government. It has been warmly received by disabled people and organisations and continues to grow in popularity and interest. All Departments contribute to the information and services and it is now written and co-ordinated within the Office for Disability Issues.

Disability Benefits Unit

Anne Main: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) what assessment he has made of the Disability and Carers Service's reorganisation of the Disability Benefits Unit to operate on a regional basis; and if he will make a statement; [41112]

(2) if he will list the private sector firms that have been contracted for the reorganisation of the Disability and Carers Service; and what the value was of each such contract; [41113]

(3) how many staff hours he expects to be taken up by the (a) reorganisation of the Disability Benefits Unit and (b) subsequent training of staff; and what this represents in terms of financial cost; [41114]

(4) what advice he has received from the Disability and Carers Service on the likely impact on assessment of claims during the reorganisation of the Disability Benefits Unit; and if he will make a statement. [41115]


 
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Mrs. McGuire: The reorganisation of the Disability Benefits Unit is a matter fro the chief executive of the Disability and Carers Service, Mr. Terry Moran. He will write to the hon. Member with the information requested.

Letter from Terry Moran, dated January 2006:

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