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Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many of the 340 widowers who have cases lodged in the European Court of Human Rights have cashed the cheques which the Department sent to them for back payment of benefit. 
Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what assessment the Department has made of the merits of mediation as a way of settling the dispute with the 340 widowers who have cases lodged with the European Court of Human Rights. 
Mr. Plaskitt: The House of Lords has already dealt with the cases and has provided a judgment. The Department does not consider mediation appropriate to the 340 widowers where such a clear decision has been established. Furthermore, the offer of friendly settlements is based on a previous European Court of Human Rights judgment in the case of Willis, providing an established policy for both parties.
Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many of the 340 widowers with cases against his Department lodged within the European Court of Human Rights have settled their dispute prior to court proceedings. 
Mr. Plaskitt: 58 of the 340 widowers have settled their dispute prior to any court proceedings. This includes nine cases settled before the European Court of Human Rights judgment in the case of Willis v. UK
Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions whether his Department advised those widowers to whom they sent cheques for back payments that they should consult a (a) solicitor, (b) Citizen's Advice Bureau and (c) trade union official prior to settling with his Department. 
The vast majority of widowers who have an admissible case for discrimination do have a solicitor, legal representative or other representative already in place and acting on their behalf. In these cases, the Department corresponds with the nominated representative and issues the payment in settlement directly to that representative.
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In the cases where a widower is acting on his own behalf, including making a claim to the European Court of Human Rights without any representative, the Department corresponds directly with the widower and issues the payment directly to them. There is no specific note that a widower should consult with a solicitor, Citizens Advice Bureau or trade union official prior to settling with the Department in either case.
Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how much and what proportion of his Department's catering budget was spent on fair trade produce in the last period for which figures are available. 
Mrs. McGuire: The information is not available. The Department's estate is managed through a facilities management contract including, where premises allow, catering, and therefore DWP has no direct responsibility for the procurement of catering except on a local level for receptions and meetings. Information systems do not allow us to analyse expenditure on fair trade commodities separately and data could be obtained only by a special exercise to examine both the Department's and our supplier's purchasing transactions. This would incur disproportionate costs.
Mrs. McGuire: In line with Government policy the Department is committed to fair trade and ethical supply routes. Where practicable, the Department aims to purchase sustainable produce for sale on departmental premises and for receptions and meetings wherever such produce meets our business requirements and gives at least as good value for money. The Department is working with its facilities management contractor, who provides in house catering services, to consider the feasibility of introducing a target to increase the supply of fair trade goods.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions on how many occasions since May 2005 officials in his Department have consulted their Freedom of Information Officer on answers to parliamentary Questions from (a) the hon. Member for Yeovil and (b) all hon. Members. 
Mr. Plaskitt: There are significant differences between the private rental market and social housing, and between the social housing sectors of the UK devolved administrations. Many complex factors will need to be taken into account before a decision is made on exactly how we take forward reform of housing benefit in this sector.
This why we are consulting on the direction that any reforms would take in our green paper A New Deal for Welfare: Empowering People to Work" published on 24 January. The consultation period will run until 21 April and a Government response will follow in due course.
Mr. Plaskitt: We provide training for staff in relation to identity fraud according to the needs of the role they undertake within the Department. New entrant induction training covers identity issues and security specific training instruction.
Specialist training is provided for fraud officers and for staff involved in national insurance number allocation work according to their role in the process. In particular, front line staff receive training to provide them with the necessary skills to carry out interviews effectively and to check documents, and specialist identity fraud training is specifically targeted at the needs of fraud officers.
Peter Law: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what representations he has received on the proposals to integrate individuals' visits to doctors' surgeries in connection with incapacity to work and evaluation of individuals' ability to work by officials from employment offices based in doctors' surgeries. 
Margaret Hodge: Arrangements to pilot employment advisers in GPs' surgeries announced in a new deal for welfare are currently being put in place. This service is being introduced with the full agreement of participating GPs and all referrals are on a voluntary basis. We have made it clear that this service is not about deciding a person's work capability but to provide GPs' with an additional non-medical intervention for their patients. Those representations we have received recognise that employment advice services not only improve an individual's ability to achieve a return to work, but can also have a positive impact on their health and well being.
Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what percentage of lone parents claiming incapacity benefit moved to incapacity benefit from Jobseeker's Allowance in each year since 1997. 
David T.C. Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will introduce proposals to amend legislation to enable women who return to work immediately after giving birth on a part-time basis to claim a full-time salary or full-time maternity pay. 
Mrs. McGuire: There are no plans to introduce a proposal to allow women who return to work on a part-time basis immediately after giving birth, to claim a full-time salary or to claim a full-time maternity pay.
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