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8 Feb 2006 : Column 1188W—continued

Buncefield Oil Depot

Mike Penning: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions whether there have been changes to the guidance from the Health and Safety Executive to local authority planning departments since the Buncefield oil depot fire; and if he will make a statement. [47588]

Mrs. McGuire [holding answer 2 February 2006]: The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) advises local planning authorities about risks from major hazard sites and their potential effects on developments nearby. HSE and the Environment Agency have commenced a thorough investigation into the explosions and fire at Buncefield oil depot on 11 December 2005 and will make a special report in due course. The terms of reference of the investigation include establishing the root causes of
 
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the incident and making recommendations for future action to ensure the effective management and regulation of major accident risks at such sites.

Child Support Agency

Mr. Devine: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many external consultants were used by the Child Support Agency in 2005; and at what cost. [44019]

Mr. Plaskitt: The administration of the Child Support Agency is a matter for the chief executive, Mr Stephen Geraghty. He will write to the hon. Friend with the information requested.

Letter from Mr Stephen Geraghty, dated 8 February 2006:

Mr. Jenkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many outstanding Child Support Agency applications from people in (a) Tamworth and (b) Staffordshire were received more than (i) six months and (ii) 12 months ago; and what percentage of the total number of such applications each figure represents. [48649]

Mr. Plaskitt: This information is not available at the geographical level requested.

Anne Main: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many Child Support Agency cases in (a) Hertfordshire and (b) St. Albans were in arrears in each year between 1997 and 2005. [49333]

Mr. Plaskitt: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to the hon. Member for Wellingborough (Mr. Bone) on 14 December 2005, Official Report, column 1985W.

Civil Servants

Stewart Hosie: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many and what proportion of each civil service grade in his Department is located in each (a) region and (b) nation of the UK; what the average salary is for each grade; and if he will make a statement. [35912]

Mrs. McGuire: My hon. Friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary at the Cabinet Office will write to the hon. Member with details for the civil service of the percentage of staff in post by region and grade responsibility and the median salary of staff in post by region and grade responsibility as at 1 April 2004. Copies of his letter will be placed in the Library.
 
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Departmental Research Reports

Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how much his Department has spent on (a) internally and (b) externally commissioned research reports in each year since 1997. [45710]

Mrs. McGuire: The Department's expenditure on externally commissioned research is given in the following table. The Department for Work and Pensions was formed in June 2001, therefore figures have been provided from the financial year 2001–02 onwards. Costs of internal research are not available.
Financial yearExpenditure (£ million)
2001–0211. 8
2002–0310.2
2003–0412.5
2004–0514.2

Departmental Staff

Stewart Hosie: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions 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. [35911]

Mrs. McGuire: The information requested is published in Civil Service Statistics. Table D of this publication covers permanent staff numbers (Full-Time Equivalent) in each Department and agency.

Civil Service Statistics are available in the Library and at the following address on the Cabinet Office website: http://www.civilservice.gov.uk/management_of_the_civil_servi ce/statistics/civil_service_statistics/index.asp

Incapacity Benefit

Mr. Ruffley: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the overall expenditure on incapacity benefits was, including severe disablement allowance and income support on the grounds of incapacity (a) on the grounds of mental and behavioural disorders and (b) in total, in each year since 1997. [46325]

Mrs. McGuire: Information for income support expenditure is not available broken down by diagnoses. For the expenditure on incapacity benefit and severe disablement allowance, I refer the hon. Member to the written answer I gave on 30 January 2006, Official Report, column 251W.

Internal Audit Recommendations

Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions pursuant to the answer of 21 July 2005, Official Report, column 2018W, on internal audit recommendations, when he plans to place these in the Library. [35361]

Mrs. McGuire: The Department's review of its internal audit recommendations, Internal Audit Recommendations 2002–05 (06/011), was placed in the Library of the House on 23 December 2005. The only exceptions to this will be those recommendations where there is specific commercial or policy reason not to make the information available and those recommendations already placed in the Library on 22 March 2005 for the Child Support Agency.
 
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Jobcentre Plus

Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will list the Jobcentre Plus offices which (a) closed and (b) have had reductions in opening times of over one day per week since 1 January 2005; and if he will make a statement. [41219]

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:


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