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Richard Younger-Ross: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what training is given to (a) Jobcentre Plus and (b) other benefits staff on dealing with queries from hon. Members in relation to the Data Protection (Processing of Sensitive Personal Data) (Elected Representatives) Order 2002. 
Mrs. McGuire: No specific training on this particular Order is provided to Jobcentre Plus or other DWP staff. However, all staff in the Department must use the Personal Information Policy Guide when dealing with requests for personal information relating to our customers or staff. This is the primary guidance within the Department dealing with personal customer information and when it may be passed to third parties. The Guide contains specific instructions for staff to follow when a request is received under The Data Protection (Processing of Sensitive Personal Data Elected Representatives) Order 2002: SI 2002 no. 2905.
Chris Huhne: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will list the 10 non-public sector entities that have received the largest total sum of payments from his Department in each of the last five years. 
Mr. Jim Murphy: The Department was formed in June 2001. The information for 2001-02 relates to the former Department of Social Security only. Information for 2005-06 will not be available until July 2006. This response covers disbursements (and the value of any other consideration) for goods and services provided under a contract.
|Non-public sector entities|
Mr. Jenkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) what targets his Department hasset for the number of days taken to rate claims for (a) income support, (b) jobseeker's allowance and (c) incapacity benefit in Tamworth constituency; 
(2) how many days it took to rate a claim for (a) income support, (b) jobseeker's allowance and (c) incapacity benefit in Tamworth constituency in the most recent period for which figures are available. 
The Secretary of State has asked me to reply to your questions asking what targets we have set to process claims for Income Support, Jobseeker's Allowance and Incapacity Benefit and how many days it took to process a claim, in the most recent period for which figures are available, in the Tamworth constituency. This is something which falls within the responsibilities delegated to me as Chief Executive of Jobcentre Plus.
The time taken to process benefit claims is measured within Jobcentre Plus as Average Actual Clearance Times (ACCT), which are included as a Jobcentre Plus Target for 2006/07.
The current AACT targets for Income Support, Jobseeker's Allowance and Incapacity Benefit, and the performance levels for Hanley Benefit Delivery Centre (BDC) where claims are now processed for most of Staffordshire, including Tamworth, are in the table below.
|Jobcentre Plus Target AACT 2006-07||AACT Hanley BDC April 2006|
The ACCT for all three benefits are showing a month on month improvement. A national initiative is currently underway to further improve AACT performance across all three benefits. To drive this, a weekly review of outstanding claims was instigated from 15 May 2006.
Ms Katy Clark: To ask the Secretary of Statefor Work and Pensions how many (a) women and (b) men are employed in the Department; what the average pay was for (i) women and (ii) men in the Department in (1) 1997 and (2) 2006; what women's average pay is as a percentage of men's average pay; and how many (A) women and (B) men the Department employed in each of the last five years, broken down by grade. 
Table 1 shows the number of men and women by salary band at 31 October 2002, the first period available following the creation of DWP in 2001 and subsequent reorganisations as a result of its formation.
|Table 1: DWP Staff by gender on salary bands at 31 October 2002|
|Table 2: DWP Staff by gender on salary bands at 31 March 2006|
The salaries do not include any allowances or overtime, nor are they adjusted for liabilities such as national insurance, income tax or occupational pension contributions. The numbers are a headcount, that is, all staff are counted as one irrespective of their working pattern.
The 25 records where salary is below £10,000 (which is below the minimum of the lowest pay scale in DWP) relate to those staff on recurring periodic appointments who are paid manually. The records therefore show their salary as 0.
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