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Mr. Gale: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how much was spent on his Department's public relations and information services in each of the last five years for which figures are available. 
|Phone line information service expenditure by year|
|Police recruitment||Car security||Year of the volunteer|
|(1) 2000-01. Expansion of the Home Office press office followed an external consultant's review of its staffing and operation in 1999 and recommended the creation of the Newsdesk to better meet the demands of the 24-hour media. This improved efficiency from 'losing' in excess of 20 per cent. of the calls pre-expansion, to a positive where from June 2003 to June 2004, 91.8 per cent. of 61,070 calls received by the Newsdesk were answered. (2 )2001-02. The Home Office press office and the Prison Service press office merged in May 2001.|
Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many (a) questionnaires, (b) statistical inquiries and (c) investigations have been carried out wholly or partly at public expense on behalf of or by his Department or public bodies for which he is responsible in each year since 1997; and what the (i) nature, (ii) purpose and (iii) cost was in each case. 
Mr. Nicholas Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment he has made of the cost of visas and work permits for visiting orchestras from Russia; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Byrne: Proposals for recovering, through fees and charges, the costs of the new Points Based System are at an early stage of development. Alongside developing these, we have continued to engage with key stakeholders, including representatives from the Arts and Entertainment sector and are aware of the issues surrounding touring groups such as visiting orchestras. We will be undertaking a public consultation on fees and charges in the autumn.
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the total value was of contracts entered into by his Department with Science Applications International Corporation in each year since 1997; and if he will make a statement. 
|Total value of contracts (£)|
|(1) Value includes a contract initially entered with another company that was subsequently acquired by SAIC.|
David T.C. Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what checks are in place to ensure that persons applying for a security licence from the Security Industry Authority are not asylum seekers. 
Mr. Byrne: Employers have clear legal responsibilities under the Asylum and Immigration Act 1996 which makes it a criminal offence to employ a person who is subject to immigration control unless that person has permission to work in the UK. The possession of a Security Industry Authority licence does not give a person a right to work in the UK, and employers are still expected to assure themselves that their employees have the necessary permission.
Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment the Government have made of the incidence of security service personnel (a) infiltrating terrorist groups and (b) colluding in paramilitary killings; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. McNulty: The longstanding practice of successive governments is not to comment on the work of the security and intelligence agencies. The agencies operate within the law. Any person may complain to the Independent Investigatory Powers Tribunal if he or she is aggrieved by anything they believe has been done to them or their property by the agencies. The tribunal has full powers to investigate and order such remedial measures as it sees fit.
Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what actions have been taken by his Department to implement Home Affairs Select Committee recommendations since the 2001-02 Session; and if he will make a statement. 
The latest report, Memorandum from the Home Office: progress in implementing accepted Committee recommendations 2001-05, was published by the Home Affairs Committee on 26 May 2006. A copy is available in the House Library and on the Home Affairs website at:
Jeremy Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what support his Department has provided for Somali community groups in each of the past five years; what support is planned for 2006-07; and if he will make a statement. 
The grants presented in the following table have been provided by the Home Office, through the Immigration and Nationality Directorate or its former Communities Group (now part of the
Department for Communities and Local Government) to Somali community organisations over the past five years, or will be provided in 2006-07:
A total of £7,520 to two Somali groups: grants were paid from the Home Office Purposeful Activities for Asylum Seekers Fund (the Fund supports constructive activities by asylum seekers while they await decisions on their asylum applications)
A total of £132,074 is to be provided to four Somali organisations from the Refugee Integration Challenge Fund, and a total of £26,000 to two Somali groups from the Purposeful Activities for Asylum Seekers Fund.
Keith Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many overseas visits special advisers in his Department made in an official capacity since 31 March 2004; what places were visited; and how much each visit cost. 
Mr. McNulty: Since 1999 the Government have published, on an annual basis, the total costs of all ministerial overseas travel and a list of all visits by Cabinet Ministers costing in excess of £500. Copies of the lists are available in the Library of the House. Information for the financial year 2004-05 was published on 21 July 2005, Official Report, column 158WS, and for the financial year 2005-06 on 24 July 2006, Official Report, column 86WS. Since 31 March 2004 to 31 January 2006, special advisers accompanied Ministers on the visits that they made to Italy (October 2004), France (November), Germany (June 2005), Switzerland (July), France (September), USA (October), Luxembourg (October), Belgium (November and December), France (December), Austria (January 2006), and Jordan-Egypt-Libya (February). The travel costs of special advisers accompanying Ministers on overseas visits are included in the annual list of overseas travel by Cabinet Ministers. All travel by special advisers is undertaken in accordance with the guidelines set out in the Ministerial Code and the Civil Service Management Code.
Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many traffic offences have been lost under the six-month rule in each of the last eight years; and what estimate he has made of the resulting loss of revenue from fines. 
Mr. Steen: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many unaccompanied children have entered the UK in each of the last three years; how many of them have (a) been returned immediately to their country of origin, (b) been granted indefinite leave to remain and (c) entered the UK and subsequently been returned to their country of origin as the result of a failed asylum claim; and what proportion (c) were (i) under 18 years and (ii) over 18 years at the time of their deportation. 
Mr. Byrne [holding answer 5 July 2006]: Information relating to the number of unaccompanied children who have entered the UK and subsequently been returned to their country of origin as a result of a failed asylum claim is unavailable and could only be obtained at disproportionate cost.
Information on asylum applications and initial decisions for unaccompanied children is published quarterly and annually. Copies are available from the Library of the House and on the Home Office Research Development and Statistics Directorate website at http://homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/immigration1.html.
Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many video conferencing units are installed in (a) the Department and (b) each agency of the Department; what percentage of offices have these facilities in each case; and what plans there are to increase the number. 
It should also be noted that individual business units within Home Office Corporate Services may have purchased video-conferencing facilities out of their own budgets and there is no centrally held record of these.
|Business area||Number of VC Units||Percentage of office coverage||Plans to increase|
Consideration is being given to expanding VC capacity across the NOMS estate. There are no firm figures and the final decision will be based on evidence of it offering financial savings and opportunity for improved performance
|(1 )This percentage relates to coverage of Probation areas, not offices. Each Probation area has many offices.|
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