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6 Feb 2006 : Column 943W—continued

Identity Databases

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department on how many occasions in the last 12 months the UK national fingerprint database was inaccessible to police forces. [42803]

Hazel Blears: The central UK national fingerprint database (NAFIS/IDENT1) has been unavailable to the police service on 96 unplanned occasions in the last 12 months. On only 36 occasions the central system was unavailable for more than two hours and for the remainder the system was unavailable for periods as short as 15 minutes. During these periods the police service were able to continue to carry out some of the identification business processes but this can also prevent users from carrying out all or part of the processes. There are currently no national figures available that reflect periods of local disruption directly connected to IDENT1 development and maintenance work. Presently Police Information Technology Organisation together with the supplier are migrating the fingerprint identification service from the National Automated Fingerprint System (NAFIS) to the new IDENT1 identification platform which will have additional capability. There has been disruption and problems to the IDENT1 service during the migration process in the last few months. These problems are being addressed by the Police Information and Technology Organisation (PITO) and should result in a robust and reliable service to the police forces being resumed as soon as possible. In order to ensure the Home Office investment in the IDENT1 service is developed and maintained to provide maximum benefit to the police fingerprint community I have asked my Home Office colleagues to review and report progress to me at regular intervals.
 
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Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department which international biometric databases are being used as exemplars for the development of the UK National Identity Card Register. [42804]

Andy Burnham: Since the final details of the design and implementation of the National Identity Register cannot be completed in advance of procurement stages for the Scheme, it is not possible to provide a direct comparison with another biometric database at present and as such there are no 'exemplars' for the Register. However, as well as looking at the outcomes of biometric research and testing and the advice of biometric experts, the development the National Identity Register will be informed by experience gained from the operation of other biometric databases including: IAFS—IND's biometric database, IDENT1—UK fingerprints database, Philippines Social Security Card System, Hong Kong Identity Card System, US Visit biometric border control system, US Department of Homeland Security border crossing database, US Department of State Mexican visa database, United Arab Emirates Iris Expellee Tracking and Border Control database.

Interception of Communications

Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many requests have been received by his Department for the electronic interception of (a) telephones, (b) emails and (c) other electronic communications between July and December 2005; and how many requests his Department has received for details of the communications traffic data of hon. Members in this period. [47558]

Mr. Charles Clarke: The available information is published annually in the report of the Interception of Communications Commissioner. Figures for 2005 will be included in the Commissioner's next report.

Jewish Festivals

David T.C. Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what his Department did to (a) celebrate Hanukkah and (b) mark Yom Kippur in 2005. [46760]

Mr. Charles Clarke: Staff are made aware of Hanukkah, Yom Kippur and other important Jewish festivals by means of the Department's Calendar of Religious and Cultural Festivals. Home Office staff have also attended talks, by a representative from the Chief Rabbi's office, to understand how Jewish people apply the principles of their faith to the modern world.

The Home Office aims to promote a workplace that values staff from different religions including providing prayer/private reflection rooms and guidance for managers about staff leave arrangements around religious festival periods.

Khat

Paul Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what evidence led to the decision by the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs not to classify Khat. [47806]


 
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Paul Goggins: The evidence which the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) considered in reaching a recommendation on Khat is described in its report which was published on 19 January. This includes research and studies on Khat drawn from both UK and international sources, and oral evidence provided by experts on the issues.

London Underground

Mrs. James: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment he has made of the security implications of internet websites which show disused stations and shafts on the London Underground. [34791]

Ms Buck: I have been asked to reply.

While some details are already available, both on websites and in written media, London Underground seeks to control access to security-sensitive information. When assessing the security of the network, and appropriate protective security measures, both operational areas and sites which are no longer in use are considered.

Motoring Offences

Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will publish the data set for findings of guilt in England and Wales for each type of motoring offence in 2004, broken down by (a) age and (b) sex. [46472]

Paul Goggins: The annual Home Office Statistical publication 'Offences relating to motor vehicles, England and Wales, Supplementary tables', table 17, lists data on findings of guilt at all courts by offence group, sex and age of offender.

2004 data will be published end of March 2006.

National Bureaucracy Adviser

Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether the National Bureaucracy Adviser is provided with a car and driver; and if he will make a statement. [47410]

Hazel Blears: The National Bureaucracy Adviser is not provided with a car and a driver.

National Database

Mr. Carmichael: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether DNA profiles held on the National DNA database will be tagged with the individual's National Identity Register number; and if he will make a statement. [47565]

Andy Burnham: The Government have no plans to link DNA profiles held on the National DNA Database with the proposed National Identity Register number.

National Identity Register

David Howarth: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department under what circumstances the particulars of an occasion on which information from the National Identity Register is provided to another person would not be recorded on the register as information falling under paragraph 9 of schedule 1 of
 
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the Identity Cards Bill (a) in cases where the information is provided under powers granted in clause 14 of the Bill and (b) otherwise. [23002]

Andy Burnham: It has not yet been decided on which occasions—either under the powers of Clause 14 or otherwise—information from the National Identity Register is provided to another person will be recorded on the register under paragraph nine of schedule one. The Identity Cards Bill does not require such information to be recorded on every occasion.

Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what risk assessments his Department has undertaken of the security of the National Identity Register; whether the Communications Electronics Security Group has been involved in the assessments; and what reports have emerged. [46496]

Andy Burnham: A range of security risk assessments have been undertaken on issues such as the physical, logical, procedural, personnel and systems aspects of the Identity Card Scheme. Reports have been produced and this work will be updated as the scheme develops further.

The Communication Electronics Security Group (CESG) has been involved in the development of these assessments including elements such as card design, card manufacture and business risk modelling.


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