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5 Jun 2006 : Column 268W—continued

Charitable Status

Philip Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has to change the procedures for (a) applications for and (b) granting charitable status. [67219]

Edward Miliband: I have been asked to reply.

Ministers have no power to change the procedures for applications for, or granting of, charitable status. Those procedures are administrative matters for the Charity Commission as the independent registrar and regulator of charities.

Contracts (Voluntary Sector)

Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many contracts are let by his Department to voluntary sector organisations; how many of those are let on an annual basis; and how many of those had received finalised contracts for 2006-07 by 31 March. [63206]

Mr. Byrne: Funding for voluntary and community sector (VCS) organisations may come from various parts of the Home Office itself or from money which the Home Office has provided for other bodies to buy services on its behalf.

The Department is, however, moving towards multi-year funding relationships with the VCS. The recently announced strategic grants to representative parts of the VCS now cover a three to five-year period and involve over £5 million. Our grant funding of the charities Crime Concern and Crimestoppers now also provides three-year strategic partnership agreements which total nearly £5.3 million over three years. The recent National Offender Management Service programme of grant funding for VCS organisations totalling nearly £900,000 provided up to three-year grants where they were requested. Of the grants awarded six organisations received them for three
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years, five for two years and two for one year. The provision of drug treatments by Drug Action Team partnerships is funded through the Home Office and we have issued guidance to them advocating a minimum period of two years for contracts and preferably longer.


Clare Short: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when the Minister for Immigration, Citizenship and Nationality will reply to the letter from the right hon. Member for Birmingham, Ladywood, to the Immigration and Nationality Directorate of 31 January 2006 on behalf of Jeffrey Tichaendepi Zungunde (Home Office reference Z10635301). [72828]

Mr. Byrne: The Immigration and Nationality Directorate wrote to the right hon. Member for Birmingham, Ladywood on 22 May 2006.

Mr. Winnick: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he will reply to the letter of 18 April from the hon. Member for Walsall, North about a constituent, reference M9535/6. [73122]

Mr. Byrne [holding answer 23 May 2006]: I wrote to my hon. Friend on 25 May 2006.

Criminal Justice Act

Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what amendments have been made to the Criminal Justice Act 2003; for what purposes; and when. [70084]

Mr. Sutcliffe: I am arranging for the information requested to be placed in the Library.

Criminal Records Bureau

Julia Goldsworthy: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many applications for compensation were received by the Criminal Records Bureau in each year since the office was set up; and how many were successful; [72369]

(2) what the value is of compensation paid by the Criminal Records Bureau due to maladministration in each year since it was set up. [72370]

Joan Ryan: The CRB operates a Redress Scheme which was implemented in September 2002. The following table provides a breakdown of the number of claims made, the number of awards made for maladministration and the sum of redress awarded in each year to December 2005.

The total number of awards made represent some 0.017 per cent. of the total number of disclosures issued during the same period.

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Number of disclosures issued Number of claims Number of awards Total redress paid (£)





















Mrs. Ellman: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many cases the Criminal Records Bureau has dealt with since its inception; how many errors have been made in identification in that period; and if he will make a statement. [73502]

Joan Ryan: The Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) has issued 8.9 million Disclosures since its launch in March 2002 to 31 March 2006. In that time, there have been 2,273 occasions where Disclosure applicant details were matched by the CRB to a person with the same or very similar details who has a criminal record and, where the details had been challenged by the applicant, their dispute was subsequently upheld.

These cases are clearly regrettable, but represent a very small proportion of cases—0.025 per cent. of the total number of Disclosures issued. The CRB is acutely aware of the human consequences of making an incorrect matching decision and does not do so lightly.

However, the CRB must err on the side of caution when an individual has the same or very similar personal details to those of someone who has a criminal record. This is because it is better to be safe than run the risk of letting an inappropriate person through.

When a Disclosure is disputed it is resolved by asking the applicant to have their fingerprints taken at a local police station to help either confirm or overturn the original matching decision.

The CRB will always apologise if the original matching decision is later found to be incorrect. In the event of a dispute the CRB notifies the prospective employer who would be aware of the CRB's Code of Practice that asks them not to take any precipitative action and defer any employment decision until the dispute is resolved. When a Disclosure is disputed the CRB will inform all parties that this is the case, including the employer. Where the information contained in the Disclosure is found not to relate to the applicant, a fresh Disclosure will be issued free of charge to both the applicant and the Registered Body. 90 per cent. of disputes are resolved within 21 days.

A public consultation exercise was conducted in October 2003 about making greater use of fingerprinting at an earlier stage in the application process and to aid the matching and decision-making procedures. The overwhelming response was not in favour of such a measure.

It is worth noting that under the previous police checking arrangements, individuals were not able to see the criminal records information disclosed about them. The information would have been passed only to the prospective employer and not to the job applicant and the prospective employer would have had no obligation to pass on the contents of the information to the individual.

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Mrs. Gillan: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many individuals in Wales have received an incorrect assessment from the Criminal Records Bureau since 1997. [73730]

Joan Ryan: The information sought by the hon. Member is not available. The Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) is unable to provide information on Disclosure applications based on geographical areas.

In order to identify how many applicants reside in Wales and received an incorrect assessment, the CRB would need to perform a manual trawl, at disproportionate cost, of each application to ascertain whether the postcode falls within Wales. Furthermore, this may not provide a conclusive figure as applicants may live on the borders of England and Wales.

Departmental Estate

Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what (a) land and (b) property his Department (i) leases and (ii) leased in (A) 1979, (B) 1983, (C) 1987, (D) 1992 and (E) 1997 in (1) the Southend, West constituency, (2) Essex, (3) Hertfordshire and (4) the Metropolitan Police area of London. [72099]

Mr. McNulty: Records of leases held in previous years are not maintained by my Department.

Other than land or properties where addresses cannot be disclosed for security reasons the Department leases no land, but leases property in the following locations:

Southend, West



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Metropolitan Police area of London

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