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Anne Main: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will draw to the attention of all those in his Department concerned with parliamentary questions the passage in Erskine May's Parliamentary Practice, 23rd edition, page 342, relating to the timing of answers to Questions. 
Mr. McNulty [holding answer 17 July 2006]: My right hon. Friend, the Home Secretary is fully aware of the passage in Erskine May (page 342) that stresses the importance that Ministers should endeavour to answer such ordinary written questions within a working week of being tabled. He has instructed me, as Minister of State, to take strategic and operational oversight of all parliamentary affairsincluding parliamentary questions. He has also written to the Speaker on 14 July 2006, stating that by 9 October the Department should be in a position to provide timely replies to Members' parliamentary questions. I have communicated this message to all officials within his Department.
Mr. Steen: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he will provide a substantive answer to Question 80658 tabled on 27 June by the hon. Member for Totnes on Operation Pentameter. 
Mr. Steen: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he will provide a substantive answer to Question 78812 tabled on 20 June by the hon. Member for Totnes on child trafficking. 
Peter Luff: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many written questions to his Department remain unanswered at 25 July 2006 for (a) between two and four weeks, (b) between four and six weeks, (c) between six and eight weeks and (d) more than eight weeks; and how many in each category were tabled for named day answer. 
Anne Main: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) whether in his Department there is a parliamentary question answering unit separate from branches dealing directly with matters for which his Department has responsibility; 
Mr. McNulty: The Home Office ensures that its answers to questions abide by the terms of the Ministerial Code and the guidance issued in respect of the accuracy of answers. Ministers remain responsible for the answers given and seek the advice of relevant policy officials where required.
John Reid: Currently, any decision by a majority of the members of a parole board panel is legally the decision of the panel as a whole. No statistics are kept by the board as to whether decisions are taken unanimously or by a majority. The Government believe that the interests of public protection now demand that all such decisions should be taken unanimously and will bring forward legislation to this effect when parliamentary time allows.
Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the rate of recidivism was amongst paroled prisoners in each of the last five years, broken down by length of sentence served by those paroled. 
Mr. Sutcliffe: The information requested is not available. The most recent information on the re-offending of adults in England and Wales was published in December as Adult Re-offending: Results from the 2002 Cohort, Home Office Statistical Bulletin 25/05. The report is available online at:
Mr. David Hamilton: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he plans to extend free passports to British citizens born after 2 September 1929 when they reach their 75 birthday. 
The decision to give free passports for those born on or before 2 September 1929 was announced on 19 May 2004. This was a special concession intended to recognise the sacrifices made by adults of the world war II generation, whether in the services or on the home front. It would therefore not be appropriate, and there are no plans, to extend the scheme by reducing the qualifying age.
Mr. Gregory Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to the answer of 28 June 2006, Official Report, column 514W, on passports, whether he plans to make UK passport facilities available to people in the Irish Republic on the same basis as Irish Passport applicants have in Northern Ireland. 
Joan Ryan: I have no plans to change the current arrangements whereby British citizens can obtain UK passports from the Identity and Passport Service (IPS) only while present in the UK. British citizens resident in the Irish Republic are welcome to make appointments to apply in person at any IPS office, including Belfast, when present in the UK. The services available in this way are the same-day premium service or the one-week fast track service. Applications by post from British citizens resident in the Irish Republic must be made to the British embassy in Dublin.
|Financial year||Total passports issued|
In addition an unknown number of British citizens resident in the Irish Republic would, during visits to the UK, have used the Premium or Fast Track services available by applying in person to an Identity and Passport Service office, including Belfast. Records of passport applications are not kept in a way that would enable this number to be ascertained.
|(1) Includes passports reported as damaged or destroyed. (2) Combined total. (3) Current figures.|
Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what average time taken was for enforcement of (a) community penalties and (b) warrants, as referred to in the Home Office Departmental Report 2006 in each of the last five years. 
(a) The Home Office Departmental Report 2006 refers to the average time taken from failure to comply with a community penalty to resolution of the case, measured in working days. Data on this have only been centrally collected since October 2005, so it is not possible to provide data for the last five years. In March 2006 (the date referred to in the Home Office Departmental Report 2006), the average time taken was 43 days. This is a new data collection and some early problems are still being resolved.
Mr. McNulty: Penalty Notices for Disorder (PND) were piloted in four police forces for 12 months from August 2002 being rolled out to all police forces in England and Wales during 2003-4 financial year, under the provisions of the Criminal Justice and Police Act 2001. Further information on the Penalty Notices for Disorder scheme and information on where data from the pilot can be obtained can be accessed via the following website:
Data from the PND database held by the Office for Criminal Justice Reform shows that, in 2004, there were 63,639 Penalty Notices for Disorder issued and provisional data for 2005 show there were 142,625 Penalty Notices for Disorder issued in that year. Provisional data for 2006 will be available when 2005 data have been published.
Available information on motoring offences fixed penalty notices issued can be found within the Home Office publication, Offences relating to motor vehicles England and Wales, Supplementary tables (latest available, 2004). Copies are available in the Library and can also be accessed on the Home Office Research Development and Statistics (RDS) website at:
Under the Road Traffic Act 1991, Decriminalised Parking Enforcement (DPE) powers allow local authorities to take over responsibility for enforcing parking contraventions from the police. 2003 and 2004 data on penalty charge notices (PCNs) from individual local authorities operating Decriminalised Parking Enforcement can also be found in the above mentioned publication.
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