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David Simpson: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs how many staff in her Department did not achieve an acceptable mark in their annual report in each of the last three years; and what percentage this represented of the total number of staff in each case. 
Vera Baird: 35 staff did not achieve an acceptable mark for the 2004-05 financial year. This represents 0.25 per cent. of the total workforce. For 2003-04 the corresponding figure is 23 staff which represents 0.17 per cent. of the total workforce. For 2002-03 the figure is 24 staff which represents 0.18 per cent. of the total workforce. Comparative figures for the 2005-06 financial year are not available as they are still being collected.
To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what estimate her Department has made of the number of (a) failed asylum seekers and (b) foreign nationals not from the
Commonwealth or Irish Republic who are fraudulently on the electoral register. 
Bridget Prentice: This information is not collected. Electoral registers are available for public inspection and anyone who believes that an ineligible person has been included may notify the ERO who may then make further inquiries as to the eligibility of that individual. Currently, it is an offence to fail to supply information to the ERO and knowingly supply false information on the annual canvass form. The Electoral Administration Bill, currently under consideration, strengthens the objection process and creates a new offence of supplying false information of any kind to an ERO, or failing to supply information in connection with registration, at any time. The electoral register does not specify the immigration or asylum status of individuals entered on it; however, the addition of a nationality box in the registration form does provide an opportunity for EROs to determine the eligibility of an applicant for inclusion in the register on the basis of their stated nationality.
Mr. Spellar: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs pursuant to the answer of 18 April 2006, Official Report, column 43W, on electoral registration officers, what estimate her Department has made of the cost of writing to each electoral registration officer to obtain the information on prosecutions brought for failing to return an electoral registration form. 
Bridget Prentice: To obtain such information by writing to electoral registration officers (EROs) would exceed the threshold of £600 set for parliamentary questions. Furthermore, any records kept by EROs locally at their discretion would not necessarily distinguish between the cost of prosecutions brought specifically for failing to return an electoral registration form and the cost of any prosecutions brought for other electoral offences.
Mr. Oaten: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs how many claims for legal aid were (a) rejected and (b) successful in (i) England and (ii) Winchester in each of the last three years; and if she will make a statement. 
Vera Baird: Legal aid is administered by the Legal Services Commission (LSC) for both England and Wales combined. The following tables therefore include information for both England and Wales, as compared to Winchester.
For civil matters, the LSC records figures for applications received for legal aid and certificates issued. The following table shows the applications; received and the certificates awarded for civil legal aid in Winchester, and England and Wales for each of the three previous years.
|Winchester||England and Wales|
|Applications received||Certificates issued||Applications received||Certificates issued|
| Notes: Care should be taken not to confuse the certificates issued in any year as only relating to applications made in the same year. Certificates issued may relate to applications made in previous years. Additionally, certificates may not be issued following applications for a variety of reasons such as; the application being withdrawn or the matter being abandoned by the applicant, as well as being rejected.|
The following table shows the number of applications granted and refused in Winchester Crown court for representation in the Crown court, compared to all Crown court locations in England and Wales(1).
(1) These figures include a small number of applications granted in the magistrates court and extended by the Crown court.
|Winchester Crown court||Crown courts in England and Wales|
|Applications granted||Applications refused||Applications granted||Applications refused|
The number of legal aid applications for any specified geographical area should not be misinterpreted as being representative of the number of people within that area. The figures relate to the location of the court for criminal matters, and the location of the supplier for civil matters, For criminal matters it is possible for people from outside a specified location to have their applications decided by courts within it and vice versa. For civil matters, it is possible for people from outside a specified area to receive legal aid by suppliers within that area and vice versa.
Vera Baird: The following table gives information on applications for representation. Central records are not kept for matters such as civil legal help or criminal advice and assistance, as the decision whether to grant legal aid is taken by the service supplier, not the Legal Services Commission (LSC).
|(1)Before 2000, the Legal Aid Board administered legal aid. For civil matters, the LSC now records figures for applications received and certificates issued. Care should be taken not to confuse the certificates issued in any year as only relating to applications made in the same year. Additionally, certificates may not be issued following applications for a variety of reasons, such as the application being withdrawn or the matter being abandoned by the applicant, as well as being refused.|
(2) These figures are estimates based on returns submitted by magistrates courts.
(3) The information is not available.
Norman Baker: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs how many inquests were outstanding in each coroner's area at the end of 2005 according to the annual statistical returns. 
|Inquests outstanding at the end of 2005 by coroners district in England and Wales|
|Number of cases|
|Region, County or District||Deaths in England and Wales||Deaths Elsewhere|
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