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25 July 2006 : Column 1565W—continued

Criminal Offences

Mr. Clegg: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many criminal offences his Department has created by Orders in Council in each year since 1997. [88465]

Mrs. McGuire: None.

CV Writing

David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what help is available through his Department to people seeking to return to work to assist them in writing a curriculum vitae. [80755]

Mrs. McGuire: Personal advisers provide information, advice and guidance to help people identify, apply for and secure employment. As part of this, they are able to provide help to people on a range of required jobsearch skills, including developing and producing a curriculum vitae (CV).

Particularly disadvantaged people who need additional help can also be referred to Programme Centres which provide more concentrated, in-depth support on the range of jobsearch skills, including CV preparation.

Departmental Budget

Jenny Willott: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how much was unallocated in his Department’s budget in each year since 1997; and if he will make a statement. [89094]

Mrs. McGuire: The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) was formed in June 2001 from the Department of Social Security (DSS), the Employment Service (ES) and parts of the former Department for Education & Employment (DFEE). Therefore it is not possible to provide information prior to 2001-02.

All of the Department’s funding is allocated over the Spending Review period with the exception of a relatively small Departmental Unallocated Provision (DUP). The Department follows Treasury Public Spending Guidance in maintaining this contingency fund from which unforeseen demands on resources can be met. Amounts carried forward at the end of one year are added to the DUP amounts set aside for the new year from the planning cycle. The amounts set aside for the DUP at the beginning of each year, the amounts expended during the year and the amounts carried forward to the following year are shown in the following table:


25 July 2006 : Column 1566W
£ million
Unallocated provision at start of year Expended during year Provision carried forward at the end of year

2001-02

56

9

47

2002-03

94

0

94

2003-04

105

103

2

2004-05

100

97

3

2005-06(1)

91

39

52

(1 )The figures for 2005-06 are subject to final audit.

Departmental Publications

Mr. Carmichael: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will list in date order the (a) (i) Green and (ii) White Papers and (b) written ministerial statements, excluding those on Benefit Fraud Inspectorate reports, which have been produced by his Department since May 1997. [86511]

Mrs. McGuire [holding answer 19 July 2006]: The Department for Work and Pensions was formed in June 2001. “Green” and “White Papers” are not defined terms. 66 papers were published within the Command Papers series since June 2001. A detailed list has been placed in the House of Commons Library.

Written ministerial statements were introduced in October 2002. Since then the Department for Work and Pensions have made a total of 274 excluding Benefit Fraud Inspectorate Reports. A detailed list has been placed in the House of Commons Library.

Departmental Staff

Simon Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many of his Department’s employees have been (a) dismissed, (b) suspended and (c) subject to disciplinary action for criminal activity in each year since 1997. [88455]

Mrs. McGuire: The information on the number of Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) employees who have been (a) dismissed and (c) subject to disciplinary action for criminal activity for the period July 2003 to March 2006 is shown in the following table. No information is available for the period before July 2003.

No information is held on (b) the number of DWP employees who have been suspended for criminal activity in each year since 1997.

Number of DWP employees who have been dismissed and subject to disciplinary action for criminal activity
Dismissed Disciplined

July to December 2003

6

13

January to December 2004

6

43

January to December 2005

10

33

January to March 2006

1

3


Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many staff in the Department have taken early severance in each of the last 12 months; how many of those have been
25 July 2006 : Column 1567W
re-employed by the Department; and how many of those have been re-employed in the same, or similar roles on (a) open-ended, (b) fixed-term and (c) temporary contacts (i) in England and (ii) at South Cheshire Jobcentre Plus. [88876]

Mrs. McGuire: Information on the number of staff who have taken early release, early severance and early retirement, in each of the last 12 months for which centrally held information is available is in the following table.

The number of staff who have been re-employed on permanent, fixed term and temporary contracts is also in the table but data is not available on the specific roles in which they have been re-employed.

You also asked for the position at South Cheshire Jobcentre Plus. South Cheshire is part of the Cheshire and Warrington District of Jobcentre Plus. Information is not available from centrally held data but information obtained from local records indicate that a total of 26 staff left the District in March and 41 staff in June on early release. Of those who left, nine staff have been re-employed on short term temporary contracts to deal with work prior to centralisation. This approach was considered the most cost effective solution given the short term nature of the staffing requirement and the fact that no additional staff training was required.

Number of staff re-employed in England
Number of staff taking early release in England Permanent contracts Fixed term contracts Temporary contracts

2005

June

169

3

July

199

1

1

1

August

30

1

September

325

1

October

218

November

43

1

1

December

235

3

2006

January

150

2

February

92

1

March

732

3

1

April

218

May

155

1

Total

2566

13

1

7

Notes:
Figures relate to the number of individual staff not full time equivalents
Figures relate to early retirement and early severance

Disability Benefits

Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the total departmental expenditure on benefits has been for those who are disabled and unable to work since 1997; and how much of the welfare reform budget has been spent on measures connected with this group. [79985]


25 July 2006 : Column 1568W

Mrs. McGuire [holding answer 26 June 2006]: The Information is not available. In the case of Department for Work and Pensions benefits which are not paid in relation to a disability, claimants are not required to classify themselves as being disabled or non-disabled.

Disabled Staff

Mr. Hunt: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what proportion of (a) staff and (b) new staff employed since April 2005 in (i) his Department and (ii) each of the agencies for which he has responsibility were registered as disabled. [89034]

Mrs. McGuire: The process of registration as a disabled person was removed by the Disability Discrimination Act 1995. DWP staff are, however, asked on a voluntary basis to state whether they are disabled.

The following table illustrates (a) the proportion of DWP staff that, according to computerised personnel records, have declared their disability status and stated that they are disabled, and (b) the proportion of new staff since 2005 that have declared on their application forms to the Department that they are disabled. The figures are broken down into the individual agencies and the corporate centre.

Agency Percentage all staff Percentage new staff since April 2005

DWP

5.20

6.79

Jobcentre Plus

6.43

6.33

The Pension Service

2.96

6.80

Child Support Agency

2.71

7.14

Disability and Carers Service

5.55

6.17

Debt Management

2.56

3.70

Corporate Centre

3.04

9.19


Escaped Prisoners (Benefits)

David T.C. Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what checks are in place to ensure that benefits are not paid to escaped prisoners. [79002]

Mr. Plaskitt [holding answer 20 June 2006]: The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) benefits are not payable to convicted prisoners in custody or released on temporary licence. When a claim is made for an income-related benefit, checks are made of the claimant’s recent past history as part of the process to establish entitlement.

Financial Assistance Scheme

Ms Gisela Stuart: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions pursuant to the Answer of 28th March 2006, Official Report, column 945W, on replacement pension costs, what estimate he has made of the annual cost over the next 10 years of administering the Financial Assistance Scheme (a) under the existing rules and (b) assuming (i) full and (ii) partial restoration of the pensions of those covered by the Parliamentary Ombudsman's report. [63868]


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