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Mr. Anthony Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what financial penalties have been imposed on (a) Electronic Data Systems, (b) the contractor and (c) the provider, in relation to the Customer Management System. 
The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions has asked me to reply to your question concerning the financial penalties that have been imposed on (a) Electronic Data Systems, (b) the contractor and (c) the provider, in relation to the Customer Management System (CMS). This is something which falls within the responsibilities delegated to me as Chief Executive of Jobcentre Plus.
The development of the CMS application was contracted on a fixed price basis, with payments conditional on our acceptance criteria being met by the agreed dates. In the case of CMS application delivery payments were withheld to IBM until the relevant criteria were met.
Once the system is in use by our staff we monitor its performance to ensure it meets their needs in processing departmental business. For CMS, there are two key performance standards, Service Availability and Response Times. Service Availability measures when the CMS service is available for staff to use. Response Times measure the processing speed of the system in supporting staff in carrying out their duties. If the system fails to meet the required standards a deduction is made from the suppliers invoice reflective of the scale of the performance failure according to the terms of the contract.
Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how much his Department has spent on debt management (a) consultants and (b) staff training in each quarter since Q2 2001. 
Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many individual debt cases have been opened in each quarter since Q2 2001; and how many of these cases were followed up with written correspondence. 
Separate figures are not kept of the volume of letters issued. In the vast majority of recoverable overpayments the customer or their representative would have received at least one item of written correspondence. In the cases where the overpayment is classified as non-recoverable, correspondence would only be issued where it is considered they should have realised they were being overpaid.
|Volume of new recovery overpayments in quarter||Volume of new non-recovery overpayments in quarter||Total volume of new debt|
Mr. Plaskitt: The Department held contracts, across all the government office regions, with two suppliers in 200405 for the provision of bottled water, water cooler hire, cups and also covers delivery charges. Expenditure for the period was £435,000 and relates to these contracts only. We are unable to separate the costs for each individual element within the contracts without incurring disproportionate costs.
It is very likely that the Department would have also provided bottled water at certain meetings as part of a refreshment order, however, we are not able to separate the cost for these from the overall refreshment costs.
Anne Main: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many cases of financial irregularities have been recorded in his Department in each of the last five financial years; and if he will make a statement. 
For such information as is available, in respect of the estimated cost of internal and contractor fraud to the Department, I refer the hon. Member to the written answer I gave the hon. Member for Yeovil (Mr. Laws) on 6 February 2006, Official Report, column 870W.
Sandra Gidley: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what his Department's target is for paying invoices to contractors; and what percentage of bills were paid on time in the last period for which figures are available. 
Margaret Hodge: All admin payments are made within the terms of the contract, or within 30 days of receipt of the goods/services or receipt of an invoice whichever is the later. The Departments target for paying invoices to contractors is 96.5 per cent. The percentage of bills, which were paid on time in the last period, period 10 of the current financial year for which figures are available, is 96.9 per cent.
Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will list the instructional leaflets his Department and the agencies for which he has responsibility produced in the period from January to December 2005. 
A list of the Department's leaflets that were current on the 16 February 2006 has been placed in the Library. Information on the instructional leaflets issued during the period January to December 2005 is not held centrally and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.
18 Apr 2006 : Column 137W
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