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Dawn Primarolo: Estimates for 2004-05 of the numbers of in-work families with tax credits awards, including information on overpayments and underpayments, by constituency, based on final family circumstances and incomes for 2004-05 are due to be published on 31 May 2006.
Dawn Primarolo: With the exception of the tax credits award notice and renewals pack, HMRC currently provide Welsh language versions of all standard tax credits letters and forms, including the claim pack.
Mr. Burns: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when the tax credit office will reply to the letter from the hon. Member for West Chelmsford (Mr. Burns) of 11 November 2005 (ref 2005/11006403); for what reasons there has been a delay in replying; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will place in the Library a copy of the Valuation Office Agency's training material on aspects of council tax, including dwelling house coding. 
I refer the hon. Member to the answer given on 6 February 2006, Official Report, column 1038W. This included training material on aspects of council tax. Any additional training is based on the Valuation Office Agencys council tax manual and instruction and advice documents to staff, which are available on the agencys website at www.voa.gov.uk.
Meg Munn [holding answer 18 May 2006]: The Prime Minister wrote to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government on 9 May asking her to chair the Commission on Integration and Cohesion that he announced last year.
Angela E. Smith: The Department will bear down on the necessary costs arising from the establishment of the Department for Communities and Local Government and at all times will look to achieve best value for money for the complete exercise.
Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what arrangements are in place for monitoring proper use of grant money allocated by her Department; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Woolas: Grants, other than those paid to local authorities, are covered by a legal agreement called a grant funding agreement. In that my Department carefully defines the expenditure which is eligible for grant funding and that which is not, and we include conditions covering value for money and financial propriety.
Where these grants are over £20,000 a year then, by 30 September after the end of each year, the grant recipient must complete and submit to the Department a Statement of Grant Usage giving details of eligible expenditure during the funding period. This must be accompanied by a report from a reporting accountant, who must be a member of a supervisory body recognised by the Companies Acts, and be independent of the grant recipient using the definition given in section 27 of the Companies Act 1989.
Arrangements for European grants and grants to local authorities are similar, except that for local authorities, instead of a reporting accountant, the Audit Commission appoints an external auditor to carry out the work. Some grants provided to local authorities from Government Departments are on a non ring-fenced basis, that is with no conditions attached. However, local authorities are subject to a comprehensive statutory framework which governs the uses to which their income can be put, and the control and accountability of their financial transactions. Since 2002 local authorities have also been subject to a comprehensive performance framework which provides a rounded picture of local councils performance. The framework provides the basis for establishing a more effective and efficient relationship between central and local government, based on performance and on risk.
A register of completed home condition reports will be held by the Department in order to ensure the integrity of the reports. Data stored in the register will be accessible only to those parties having a legitimate interest in the transaction such as buyers, sellers, their advisers, and mortgage lenders, plus those ensuring the quality of the reports. Certification schemes will operate their own local registers. There will be no central database of home information packs.
Neither the Housing Act 2004 nor the regulations made under the 2004 Act will prescribe a validity period for Home Information Packs. The regulations to be made later this year will provide that certain time-sensitive items in the pack (e.g. local searches and the Home Condition Report) are no more than three months old when marketing begins, but they will not require sellers to renew these documents thereafter.
An assessment of the impact of home information packs will be published shortly in a regulatory impact assessment to accompany regulations to be made under Part 5 of the Housing Act 2004. This assessment will be updated in the light of the findings of a baseline study of the home buying and selling process to be carried out this year and information obtained during the dry-run of home information packs.
Michael Gove: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister who will be liable for the costs of a new local authority search for a home information pack if the property for sale is still on the market after the search has been deemed out of date. 
It should be relatively a rare occurrence that searches become out of date as we expect that home information packs will speed up the buying and selling process. We are not proposing to stipulate whether the buyer or the seller should update searches as it is a matter of judgment when searches need to be refreshed. Where they do need to be refreshed this can be done for a fraction of the cost of new searches.
The partial Regulatory Impact Assessment for Home Information Packs published in March 2003 (a copy of which is deposited in the House Library) covers the anticipated effect of the Home Information Pack on the estate agency sector. The Department also commissioned research Litmus Test of Impact of Regulations on Small Businesses, DETR 2000, that examined the impact of the proposals on a range of small businesses, including estate agents.
Currently costs in the estate agent sector are not fully transparent. Over the last 10 years property prices have doubled allowing estate agents who keep their percentage fee broadly constant to significantly increase their income per transaction. The introduction of Home Information Packs will increase transparency over information and services provided to both sellers and buyers. This has the potential to increase competition and demand for transparency across the estate agency sector.
The Government have a duty to inform the profession, stakeholders and homebuyers and sellers about the forthcoming change in the law. Expenditure for the 2005-06 financial year was £706,000. This includes the cost of an extensive trade advertising campaign to raise awareness of the June 2007 implementation date within the home buying and selling professions.
Planned expenditure of £2,500,000 for 2006-07 includes continued awareness raising within the professions and a national and regional advertising campaign to raise awareness of home information packs among consumers, during the dry run.
In 2007-08 we expect to run a major information campaign for consumers which would include marketing, advertising and publicity. The extent of the campaign and the level of investment will be decided later in the year on the basis of the experience of the dry run.
Michael Gove: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how many home inspectors have completed their training to provide home condition reports; and how many inspectors he estimates will need to have qualified to ensure an effective introduction of the home information pack scheme. 
4,400 Home Inspectors are in the process of being trained, and as of 30 April 2006 200 have completed their training. The amount of training required depends on previous experience but the average surveyor can be trained in around five days plus the time taken to assemble a portfolio of work. Over the next 12 months we expect thousands of Home Inspectors to complete their training in time for the implementation date of 1 June 2007.
Home information packs will be tested through a dry-run before becoming mandatory in June 2007. The dry-run will include home information packs provided on a voluntary basis throughout England and Wales.
(a) £175,000 was spent on marketing,
(b) £462,000 for planned advertising and
(c) £69,000 on planned publicity.
(a) £628,000 on planned marketing,
(b) £1,700,000 for planned advertising and
(c) £172,000 on planned publicity.
In 2007-08 we expect to run a major information campaign for consumers which would include marketing, advertising and publicity. The extent of the campaign and the level of investment will be decided later in the year on the basis of the experience of the dry run
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