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1 Feb 2006 : Column 571W—continued

Immigration and Nationality Directorate

Mr. Hands: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many full-time equivalents were employed to answer hon. Members' letters to the immigration and nationality directorate in each of the last five years. [46479]

Mr. McNulty: The figures on 1 April in each year for full-time equivalent posts within the immigration and nationality directorate (IND) engaged in handling Members' correspondence were as follows:
Number
2005276.9
2004229.5
2003170.0

These figures include both posts whose main role is drafting replies to Members' letters and those whose chief responsibilities relate to the administration of the correspondence handling process. They exclude, however, those posts in respect of which dealing with Members' correspondence represents only a minor part
 
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of the work. Because of organisational changes within IND it is not possible to provide comparable figures for 2002 and 2001.

Mr. Hands: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what percentage of letters addressed to the MPs' correspondence section of the immigration and nationality directorate between 6 May and 30 November 2005 had been replied to by 1 January 2006. [46480]

Mr. McNulty: Of 16,140 Members' letters sent direct to the immigration and nationality directorate and received between 6 May and 30 November 2005, 13,455 (83 per cent.) were answered by 1 January this year.

IT Systems

Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to the answer of 24 January 2006, Official Report, column 2027W, on IT systems, when he expects the remaining probation areas to be connected to the prison OASys IT system; and if he will make a statement. [47291]

Fiona Mactaggart: Our intention is that all 42 probation areas will be connected to the Prison Service OASys IT system by the end of this financial year.

London Bombings

Adam Price: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether UK officials investigating the 7 July 2005 bombings have visited (a) Bosnia-Herzegovina, (b) Kosovo, (c) Albania and (d) Serbia-Montenegro as part of their investigations. [46655]

Mr. Charles Clarke [holding answer 30 January 2006]: The events of 7 July remain the subject of an ongoing police investigation and it is not the Government's policy to comment on specific operational details in such cases.

National Offender Management Service

Mr. Gerrard: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what (a) staff and (b) other resources have been allocated to each regional offender manager in the National Offender Management Service. [23270]

Fiona Mactaggart: Each Regional Offender Manager (ROM) is allowed to have up to eight members of staff, including the ROM. In recognition of their additional workload, the offices of the South East and Welsh ROMs have been allocated an additional post.

The budget given to each Regional Offender Manager in the financial year 2005–06 ranges between £456,314 and £654,506. These figures are dependent on profiles reflecting the differing needs and requirements of each region, and cover staff and office management costs.

Mrs. Dunwoody: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list the regional offender managers within the National Offender Management Service; and when each was appointed to the post. [44876]

Fiona Mactaggart: The information is provided in the following table.
 
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NameDateLocation
Steve Murphy1 April 2005London
Sarah Payne1 January 2005South East
Kevin Lockyer2 December 2004South West
Trevor Williams1 November 2004East of England
Linda Jones5 December 2004East Midlands
Steve Goode13 December 2004West Midlands
Carol Bernard1 December 2004Wales
Paul Wilson1 December 2004Yorkshire and Humberside
Liz Hill1 April 2005North West
Mitch Egan1 April 2005North East

Mrs. Dunwoody: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list the prison establishments falling within the areas covered by each regional offender manager. [44877]

Fiona Mactaggart: A list of both public and contracted out prisons in each of the nine regions and Wales is in the following.

North West:

North East:

Yorkshire and Humberside:


 
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East Midlands:

East of England:

West Midlands:

South East:


 
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London:

South West:

Wales:

Mrs. Dunwoody: To ask the Secretary of State for theHome Department when the first assessment of theeffectiveness and value for money of regional offender managers is expected to be (a) made and (b) published. [44881]

Fiona Mactaggart: The effectiveness and value for money of the regional offender managers will be assessed against the target to deliver a five per cent. reduction in re-offending by adults and young offenders by 2007–08 compared to 2002–03, leading to a 10 per cent. reduction by the end of the decade. Statistics on
 
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reducing re-offending are published annually by the Home Office and report progress against the target on reducing re-offending.

Mrs. Dunwoody: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether regional offender managers will commission prison places (a) from local governors, (b) from area managers and (c) across England and Wales. [44882]

Fiona Mactaggart: Regional Offender Managers will commission prison places through Service Level Agreements (SLAs) with the public sector Prison Service at a regional level. SLA's will specify the total number of spaces commissioned in a region and include a breakdown by establishment. For contracted prisons, contracts specify the number of places provided by individual providers. The SLA for the High Security Estate will be between the National Offender Manager and the Director General of Her Majesty's Prison Service.

Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what proportion of (a) male and (b) female prisoners in England and Wales have re-offended since the introduction of the National Offender Management Service. [46580]

Fiona Mactaggart: The information requested is not available. To calculate the re-offending rate we need to consider criminal activity in the two year follow up period. The most recent figures are for the 2002 adult cohort and can be found on the Home Office's website (www.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/pdfs05/hosb2505.pdf).

Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what formal training is provided for staff working in the National Offender Management Service prior to their contact with prisoners; and how much has been allocated for such training. [46581]

Fiona Mactaggart: Newly recruited prison officers participate in the eight-week prison officer entry level training programme. This year Her Majesty's Prison Service allocated £1,193,646 to provide 1,100 programme places through its central staff college. A further 1,100 places are provided through 12 establishment-based centres, but aggregate budget figures are not available and to collect them would incur disproportionate cost.

The national probation service commissions a probation officer qualification scheme that leads to the Diploma in Probation Studies. The training for the qualification is work based, therefore a trainee probation officer may spend time on placement in a prison at different stages of the two year course. There are currently 1,340 trainee probation officers in the programme and the sum allocated for the training in 2005–06 is £51.4 million.

Mrs. Dunwoody: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the latest projection is of the number of staff that each regional offender manager will require for each of the next three years. [44944]

Fiona Mactaggart [holding answer 23 January 2006]: National Offender Management Service (NOMS) is currently considering the future resource requirements
 
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of regional offender mangers (ROMs) and until decisions have been made about these no further statistical prediction can be made.

Mrs. Dunwoody: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment has been made of the requirement for (a) prison places, (b) prison healthcare services, (c) prison workshop places, (d) prison programme places and (e) annual prison escorts for each regional offender manager; and what the outcomes of each of these assessments has been. [44945]

Fiona Mactaggart [holding answer 23 January 2006]: One of the key objectives for the National Offender Management Service in the next year is to map out the need of offenders on a regional basis, using OASys and other assessment tools. This will enable regional offender managers to commission services on the basis of identified need rather than historic provision. For 2006–07, service level agreements will be based largely on existing service provision.


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