Previous Section Index Home Page

27 Mar 2006 : Column 701W—continued

Departmental Staff

Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster how many and what proportion of (a) staff and (b) new staff employed in his Department were registered as disabled in each of the last three years for which data are available. [61376]

Mr. Jim Murphy: Data on the number of staff who are registered as disabled is published annually. The latest published data is for 1 April 2004 and is available in the Library and on the Cabinet Office website at:

Archived data prior to 2004 is available in the Library and on the Cabinet Office website at: asp.

Data for 2005 will be published shortly by the Corporate Development Group in the Cabinet Office.

The number and proportion of new Cabinet Office staff registered as disabled for the last 3 years is given in the table.

Declaration of a disability is voluntary.

New staff joining between

As a percentage of new staff joining during that year
1 April 2002–31 March 200362.2
1 April 2003–31 March 200473.0
1 April 2004–31 March 200582.8

Human Resource Personnel database.

Directgov Website

Mr. Heald: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster which Government departments are not included in the Directgov website. [60159]

Mr. Jim Murphy: 18 government departments have actively contributed to the content that is available on Directgov. Of the main government departments, those who do not currently participate are the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Department for Culture, Media and Sport, Ministry of Defence and Department for International Development. We are working with these departments to develop their future participation.
27 Mar 2006 : Column 702W

Mr. Heald: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what the running cost of the Directgov website was in 2005; and how many hits the website received in that year. [60160]

Mr. Jim Murphy: Gross direct expenditure on Directgov by the Cabinet Office in 2004–05, including operations and development was £5 million. In addition £0.4 million was contributed to shared hosting costs, making a total of £5.4 million. Figures for 2005–06 are not yet available.

From 1 January 2005 to 31 December 2005, Directgov received 75,572,068 page views from 17,621,999 visits.

IT Projects

Mr. Heald: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what reviews are carried out at the preliminary stages of the implementation of Government information technology projects. [60158]

John Healey: I have been asked to reply.

All Central Civil Government departments, agencies and non-departmental public bodies are mandated to apply OGC Gateway Reviews to all procurement programmes and projects. The OGC Gateway review process provides assurance at critical stages of a project/programme including the Gate 4 Review, which focuses primarily on readiness for service.

No. 10 Downing Street

Norman Baker: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what the expenditure by the Cabinet Office was on No. 10 Downing street in each year since 1999; and how much was spent on (a) repairs and refurbishment to the fabric of the building, (b) furnishings and (c) other expenditure in each year. [59415]

Mr. Jim Murphy: Refurbishment and maintenance at 10 Downing street is part of a continuing programme of work. The Downing street complex is maintained to standards appropriate to its Grade 1/2 listed status in consultation with English Heritage. The building also fulfils an important representational role.

For details on the total cost of refurbishment, maintenance and structural improvements for the whole of the Downing street complex for the last three years, Irefer the hon. Member to the answer given by my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister to the hon. Member for Bridgewater (Mr. Liddell-Granger) on 16 March 2006, Official Report, column 2393W.

For details on how much has been spent on maintaining, decorating and otherwise improving 10Downing street since 1999, I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister to the hon. Member for Southend, West (Mr. Amess) on 21 July 2005, Official Report, column 1934W.

Expenditure on furnishings since 1999 is shown in the table.
Furnishings (£)

27 Mar 2006 : Column 703W

Other expenditure on 10 Downing street comprises local authority rates, utility and facilities management charges. For these purposes the Downing street complex forms an integral part of the Cabinet Office estate. Figures are therefore included in Cabinet Office costs. Irefer the hon. Member to the answer which my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister gave to the hon. Member for Angus (Mr. Weir) on 12 January 2006, Official Report, column 743W, and my subsequent letter of 18 January 2006. A copy of the letter is available in the Library.


Concessionary Travel

Rosie Cooper: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what formula was used to allocate funding for the concessionary travel scheme to local authorities. [61245]

Mr. Des Browne: The Government are providing an extra £350 million for 2006–07 through the Formula Grant system.

The £350 million announced in Budget 2005 for the expansion of the concessionary fares scheme included reimbursement to operators for lost income, additional costs due to the increase in generated users, the reimbursement of authorities already offering free off-peak local bus travel, and inflation.

Consumer Credit

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make a statement on the progress of his review of the regulation of (a) money service businesses, (b) trust and company service providers, (c) payment service providers and (d) firms providing consumer credit. [57994]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: The Post-Implementation Review (PIR) for the regulation of Money Service Businesses is well under way. The Government intend to publish a consultation document and an accompanying RIA in late spring, after the current pre-consultation engagement with the sector is concluded.

The Third EC Money Laundering Directive requires that trust and company service providers be monitored for their compliance with Directive and subject to a fit and proper test for the purposes of preventing money laundering and terrorist financing. The Directive needs to be implemented into UK law by December 2007 and the Government will publish a consultation document this spring which will consider how best to meet its requirements.

The European Commission adopted a proposal for a Directive on payment services in December 2005. This Directive will create a new regulatory regime for payment service providers across the EU, and is
27 Mar 2006 : Column 704W
currently being considered by the Council of Ministers and the European Parliament. The Government will consult on its implementation in due course.

The Consumer Credit Bill, introduced in the House of Commons on 18 May 2005, will reform the Consumer Credit Act 1974, improving the regulation of consumer credit business and enhancing consumers' rights and redress mechanisms.

The Government's 10-point plan for reforming the regulation of financial services, which included improving consumer credit regulation through better joint working between the FSA and OFT, was published in the 2005 pre-Budget report and will be updated in due course.

Departmental Policies

Emily Thornberry: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will set out, with statistical information relating as directly as possible to Islington, South and Finsbury constituency, the effects on Islington, South and Finsbury of his Department's policies and actions since 2 May 1997. [60736]

John Healey: The Government have put in place a broad programme of both macro-economic and micro-economic reform designed to improve the economic performance of all parts of the UK. Since these policies were implemented, the economic performance of the Islington, South and Finsbury constituency has improved considerably. For example, since May 1997, claimant unemployment in Islington, South and Finsbury has fallen by 45 per cent., while long-term youth unemployment has fallen by 54 per cent. and adult unemployment has fallen by over 85 per cent.

The Neighbourhood Statistics Service provides a wide range of statistical information at parliamentary constituency level, taken from the 2001 Census and other sources. This service is available on the National Statistics website at http://neighbourhood.statistics.

Next Section Index Home Page