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Steve Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions when he will reply to the letter from the hon. Member for Northavon, dated 8 December, regarding his constituent Mr. Quintana. 
Mr. Plaskitt: I replied to the hon. Member on 28 March 2006.
Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what steps he has taken to modernise and streamline back office functions of (a) finance and (b) human resources within (i) his Department and (ii) the agencies for which he has responsibility in the last three years. 
Mrs. McGuire: The Department is always looking to maximise efficiency from its back office functions of Finance and Human Resources.
Finance has been modernising and streamlining (through the Finance Transformation Programme) in both the Departmental and Agency functions in order to:
increase the resource awareness and resource management capability of the Department's staff. This programme of activity should be completed in 200607.
implementing the first two phases (of four) of an integrated finance, procurement, human resource and payroll system based on Oracle e-business software;
modernising the way that pensions and benefits are paid to customers. Ninety seven percent of customers now have payments made directly into an account;
providing the largest contribution to the Office of Government Commerce (OGC) targets to deliver value for money savings through improved procurement;
The Human Resources Modernisation Programme has been looking to harness industry best practice and investment in technology to improve the way Human Resource services are delivered across the Department and to help make significant efficiencies. This applies to both Departmental and Agency functions.
designing and implementing a new, integrated HR Service Delivery Model for the operation of all HR systems and services;
introducing the first three phases of self-service, on-line HR support for managers and staffthe staff information systemas a stepping stone to the rollout of the integrated finance, procurement, human resource and payroll system;
centralising HR Service Centres (ultimately in 200607 to two sites) which provide telephone based advice and guidance, with the aim of delivering a more effective and efficient service to line managers and staff, with key performance indicators for timeliness, quality and customer satisfaction in place;
freeing up Business HR Teams to concentrate on working more strategically with operational managers on the HR issues affecting business performance; and
In 200607 the Department will also be combining many Finance and HR activities into a new Shared Services organisation. This will allow more effective and efficient services to be provided both within the Department and potentially on a wider cross-departmental basis.
Mrs. Villiers: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many (a) laptops and (b) mobile phones his Department bought in each year since 1997; and what the cost of each category of equipment was in each year. 
Mrs. McGuire: DWP records on laptop purchases are available from October 2001 onwards:
|Laptops (Number)||Value (excluding VAT) (£)|
The information requested on mobile telephones is not available prior to 2005. Mobile phones are treated by DWP as an expensed item" and therefore are not recorded as central assets. Each local manager is responsible for such items within their local cost centre.
Figures for calendar year 2005 are available; 2,385 mobiles were purchased in 2005 at a cost of £100,971 (excluding VAT).
Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what (a) building and (b) refurbishment projects are planned by his Department in (i) 200506 and (ii) 200607; and what the expected costs are of each project. 
Mrs. McGuire: The Department for Work and Pensions is undergoing an extensive, long-term programme to refurbish Jobcentre Plus sites and the Pension Service call centres. Details of these projects and other planned building and refurbishment projects are given in the tables lodged in the Library.
Anne Milton: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will list the (a) 0800 and (b) 0845 telephone numbers for the public administered by (i) his Department and (ii) agencies which report to him. 
Mrs. McGuire: The hon. Member has requested information broken down by the Department and agencies; the information is not available in this format. Under the arrangements the Department and its agencies has with its supplier there are around 4,700, 0800 or 0845 numbers for the public and its internal use. The details of numbers have been placed in the Library.
Mr. Ruffley: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many specialist (a) disability employment advisers and (b) non-disability employment advisers (i) have been employed by Jobcentre Plus in each of the last three years and (ii) are expected to be employed in each of the next three years. 
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.
The Secretary of State has asked me to reply to your question asking how many specialists (a) disability employment advisers and (b) non-disability employment advisers (i) have been employed by Jobcentre Plus in each of the last three years and (ii) are expected to be employed in each of the next three years. This is something which falls within the responsibilities delegated to me as Chief Executive of Jobcentre Plus.
The numbers of full time equivalent staff employed over the last three years are shown in the table below:
|Disability Employment Advisers||657.64||730.08||830.28|
|Non Disability Employment Advisers||9,088.51||9,407.06||9,681.98|
Against a background of the national roll-out of Pathways to Work, ongoing reorganisation of Jobcentre Plus delivery, and the Department efficiency challenge, it is not possible to quantify the future numbers at this stage with certainty. However, we remain committed to maintaining the valuable service provided by our specialist advisers.
Ms Gisela Stuart: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the (a) average pension entitlement of all those eligible for the financial assistance scheme and (b) the average entitlement to financial assistance scheme top-up for all those eligible. 
Mr. Timms: The information is as follows.
(a) We estimate that the average accrued pension of all non-pensioner members in eligible schemes within three years of retirement who will receive assistance because they have less than 80 per cent. funding levels in their schemes, and who are not affected by the de minimis rule or the benefit cap, is £5,800 per year.
(b) We estimate that the average payment from the financial assistance scheme for all those eligible is around £1,800 per year. Payments will range from £500 per year to £12,000 per year with the majority of payments towards the lower end of this scale.
Ms Gisela Stuart: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people he estimates are eligible for assistance under the financial assistance scheme qualifying criteria. 
Mr. Timms: We estimate that up to 15,000 people may be eligible for assistance under the qualifying criteria for the financial assistance scheme.
Jenny Willott: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people (a) living in Wales and (b) former Allied Steel and Wire workers living in Wales have received money from the Financial Assistance Scheme; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Timms: The information is as follows.
(a) Fifteen people living in Wales have so far received money from the Financial Assistance Scheme, (b) of these, 14 are former Allied Steel and Wire workers.
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