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27 Feb 2006 : Column 90W—continued

Illegal Workers

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what penalties are available against businesses which hire illegal workers; and if he will make a statement. [53768]

Mr. McNulty: It is a criminal offence under section eight of the Asylum and Immigration Act 1996 to employ someone over the age of 16 who is subject to immigration control and who has not been granted leave to enter or remain in the United Kingdom or whose leave is not valid or subsisting or is subject to a condition precluding the employment. The sanction on conviction is a fine; the maximum penalty is £5,000 following summary conviction and an unlimited fine following conviction on indictment. In more serious cases involving the employment of illegal migrant workers, offences relating to the law on trafficking and facilitation which carry a maximum custodial sentence of 14 years imprisonment may also be relevant.

Provisions in the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Bill, which is currently before Parliament, will replace section eight with a system of civil penalties for employers who employ illegal workers as a consequence of slipshod employment practices, and a more serious offence of knowingly employing an illegal worker, which carries a maximum custodial penalty of two years' imprisonment following conviction on indictment.

Immigration and Nationality Directorate

Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many hon. Members have registered with the Immigration and Nationality Directorate's internet service for them since its launch. [53322]

Mr. McNulty: 354 Members have registered for access to the Immigration and Nationality Directorate's dedicated website for them since the service was launched on 13 December 2004.

Indefinite Leave to Remain

Mr. Clappison: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to the answer of 30 January 2005, Official Report, columns 195–96W, what criteria are used by his Department in assessing subsequent applications from dependants seeking to join families with indefinite leave to remain in the UK; and what estimate he has made of the number of such applications that have been made. [48289]

Mr. McNulty: Various provisions exist in the Immigration Rules to allow for those who can demonstrate dependency to join their sponsors in the UK. Categories include marriage or civil partnership, dependent children under 18, and in some circumstances, elderly dependent relatives.

There is no separate provision for dependants to join a family after the decision has been taken to grant the family indefinite leave to enter or remain under the
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exercise for asylum-seeking families. Such dependants must apply for entry clearance under the Immigration Rules in the normal way.

Figures on dependants coming to the UK to join sponsors, including British citizens, who are settled here are published in Control of Immigration: Statistics United Kingdom, 2004. This is available on the Home Office website at Figures on dependants conning to join families who have been granted settled status under the exercise for asylum-seeking families are not recorded separately and no estimates are available.

Judicial Inquiries

Mike Penning: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list the judicial inquiries that have taken place since May 1997; and what the cost of each has been to date. [52547]

Ms Harman: I have been asked to reply.

Two inquiries were established under the Tribunals of Inquiry (Evidence) Act 1921 after May 1997: the Shipman Inquiry, chaired by Dame Janet Smith with an estimated final cost of £21 million and the Bloody Sunday Inquiry, chaired by Lord Saville, as yet to be completed and estimated at £160 million.

Since May 1997 public inquiries that have had judicial chairmen include:

Kurshed Ullah

Tony Baldry: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he expects to decide the immigration status of Kurshed Ullah, reference M1004556. [51541]

Mr. McNulty: The Immigration and Nationality Directorate wrote to Mr. Ullah's solicitors on 15 February 2006 advising them of the decision taken in their client's case.
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London Olympics

Patrick Mercer: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what organisational structures will be put in place to ensure the security of the London 2012 Olympic Games. [42323]

Paul Goggins: I refer to my answer given to the hon. Member on 11 January 2006, Official Report, column 682W.


John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what assessment he has made of whether failed asylum seekers removed to Malawi will be safe upon their return; and what guarantees he has received over the safety of such people; [52158]

(2) what assessment he has made of the likelihood that non-Malawian failed asylum seekers removed to Malawi will be deported to Zimbabwe; [52205]

(3) if he will make a statement on his Department's policy of removing non-Malawian failed asylum seekers to Malawi. [52204]

Mr. McNulty: Failed Malawian asylum seekers will only be returned to Malawi if the asylum decision making and independent appeals system have found that they would not be at risk there. A failed asylum seeker who, although not a national, was entitled to reside in Malawi would only be returned there if it would be safe to do so, taking into account any likelihood that they would be returned to a country where they would be at risk. We do not remove asylum seekers to Malawi who are not entitled to reside there.

Manuel D'Custra

Tony Baldry: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when Manuel D'Custra, ref LR144101179X/1, will receive notification of his immigration status. [47977]

Mr. McNulty: I have written separately to the hon. Gentleman.

National Identity Register

Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether his Department is assessing the merits of introducing a PIN-like system of access to the National Identity Register for telephone clients in circumstances when someone is not carrying their identity card; and if he will make a statement. [52457]

Andy Burnham: The Identity Cards Programme is reviewing at a number of different possible methods of remote authentication on the basis of security and functionality that allow for the implementation of secure remote authentication over the telephone, including those that involve the use of a PIN-like system.

This information will be used as a basis to assess solutions for remote authentication requirements that are proposed by bidders during the procurement process. It is important to note that the Identity Card Programme intends to provide an identity verification service. This does not provide direct access to the
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register, as implied in the question, but rather it verifies an individual's identity based on information that is held on that individual's record on the National Identity Register.

Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is his estimate of the average number of online verifications per holder of identity card against the National Identity Register in a year. [52458]

Andy Burnham: At present, work is continuing to refine interim estimates of the likely number of verification transactions on the basis of consultation regarding the needs of likely users of the scheme. The figure will vary each year depending on what stage of the rollout of Identity Cards Scheme has been reached.

The last interim estimate published by the Identity Card Programme was that research had shown that at least 163 million verification transactions could be anticipated at full rollout but that figure could be exceeded considerably.

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