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Business in Prisons

Mr. Bellingham: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what representations he has received regarding the future funding of Business in Prisons. [62769]

Mr. Sutcliffe: John Lowe, the Director of Business in Prisons, wrote to Baroness Scotland in August 2005 requesting funding. The Minister suggested that he should speak with Neil Moore who was then the HM Prison Service National Voluntary Sector Co-ordinator, working in the National Offender Management Service Voluntary Sector Unit. A meeting was held between Neil Moore and Mr Lowe where Neil explained that there was no central funding available but that the organisation was eligible to submit a bid for the NOMS VSU grant round for 2006-07. The organisation did submit a bid for funding but the application was unsuccessful. The NOMS Voluntary Sector Unit received almost 700 applications for grants and, having identified Finance, Benefit and Debt as a Pathway which was under-resourced, had to reject applications that did not cover that area. There is a new grant round for 2007-08 with a closing date for applications of 15 September 2006 for which the organisation is eligible to apply.

Child Abductions

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many children have been abducted from the UK in each of the last five years. [88536]

Ms Harman: I have been asked to reply.

The answer addresses the number of recorded civil cases of child abduction or wrongful retention for which statistics are available. If a recorded case involves more than one child this would not be reflected in the statistics.

Cases received by the ICACU claiming that a child or children have been abducted from England and Wales, or wrongfully retained in another country when habitually resident in England and Wales, in breach of article 3 of the 1980 Hague Convention are as follows:












The Child Abduction Section at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) records statistics on cases of international parental child abduction or retention brought to its attention and where it has offered consular assistance to British nationals, rather than recording the total number of abductions from the United Kingdom. The FCO usually provides assistance in abduction and retention cases in countries which are not party to the 1980 Hague Convention. Statistics are not available before 2003.








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Civil Service

Philip Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many and what proportion of his Department’s civil service have experience of working as a police officer. [90896]

Mr. McNulty: Details of an employee’s employment history are not held centrally and to provide the information requested would incur disproportionate cost.

Committee on Treatment in Custody

Mr. Beith: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what representations he has received from the Howard League on the proposals of the committee on treatment in custody chaired by Lord Carlile, QC; and what response he has given. [90656]

Mr. Sutcliffe: Lord Carlile wrote to the then Home Secretary on 14 December 2005, giving notice of his likely findings and proposing a meeting either before or after publication of the Howard League’s report. My noble Friend, the Baroness Scotland replied on 16 January, agreeing to a meeting to discuss the report. The meeting took place on 29 March. A number of the report’s recommendations were addressed to the Youth Justice Board: the Board’s response to these is published on its website:

The Prison Service is currently preparing its own response, which it plans to make available shortly.


Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when the Minister of State for Nationality, Citizenship and Immigration will reply to the letter dated 31 May from the hon. Member for the Forest of Dean regarding Ms Stephanie Caborn; and when his Department will return her driving licence. [90935]

Mr. Byrne: I wrote to the hon. Member on 12 September 2006. Ms Caborn’s driving license was returned to her by recorded delivery on 11 September 2006.

Criminal Records Bureau

Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what information technology projects are being undertaken by the Criminal Records Bureau which have started since 2000; what the (a) start date, (b) original planned completion date, (c) current expected completion date, (d) planned cost
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and (e) current estimated cost is of each; and if he will make a statement. [88586]

Joan Ryan: The Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) has made significant investment in a number of projects, to enhance the quality, coverage and accessibility of its service and to deliver real changes and benefits to its customers. There are eight information technology projects being undertaken by the CRB, which have commenced since 2000. Of these, four are currently at the feasibility stage and costings and completion schedules have yet to be determined. These are: the I-PLX+ project, which aims to enhance the national police cross referencing database of local police force information (I-PLX), which is an important development in vetting and security checks, delivering significant improvements to the protection of the vulnerable; vetting and Barring Scheme: the CRB will continue to play a key role in the development of the new Vetting and Barring Scheme, introduced as a result of Bichard recommendation 19—entry to the scheme will be via a CRB check—and New Disclosure application form (DAF). The CRB has also been examining the feasibility of devising an upgraded Disclosure application form. A prototype of a new form has been produced, in consultation with a number of its customers and has been piloted with a cross section of Registered Bodies. As part of the feasibility studies, full costings will be prepared. The on-line application project aims to enable applicants to complete applications for Standard and Enhanced Disclosures via the e-channel. During 2005 the CRB developed a new Quality Assurance Framework (QAF). This is now being rolled out to all police forces and should be completed by January 2007, subject to forces’ readiness to complete staff training and implementation. The framework will standardise the forces’ approach to deciding what, if any, information is relevant to be released on a Disclosure. The framework also provides good practice guidelines for the wording of this information on the Disclosure, including consideration of the victim's age and mental capacity. With the introduction of the On-line Tracking Service, customers will be able to track the progress of a CRB check from receipt to issue, providing greater visibility of the process. The Registration Cancellation project aims to improve the CRB’s assurance regime and enable greater support to its customers and Registered Bodies, whilst further eliminating risk.

The CRB now has legislation, as a result of the recent Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005, giving it access to a wider range of information that can be searched when carrying out a CRB check, for example that held by the British Transport Police, the Serious and Organised Crime Agency and the Royal Military Police. These are scheduled to come on stream during 2006-07.

Details of the four ongoing projects which have started since 2000 are provided in the following table:

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Project name Start date Original planned completion date Current expected completion date Planned cost (£) Current estimated cost (£)

QAF (Quality Assurance Framework)


31 October 2006

31 January 2007



On-Line Enquiry Service STAGE 1

May 2006

21 October 2006

21 October 2006



Registration Cancellation

November 2004

28 October 2006

25 November 2006



New Data Sources

April/May 2006


British Transport Police (BTP)(2)



(1) Planned completion at various dates as data sources are rolled out (2) Go live 25 September 2006( 3) £1.2 million budgeted (4) For BTP

Departmental Expenditure

Mrs. Villiers: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many (a) laptops and (b) mobile phones his Department bought in each year since 1997; and what the cost of each category of equipment was in each year. [41263]

Mr. Byrne: IT hardware including laptops used by the core Home Department is not bought by the Department but provided under a PFI contract by its IT service provider, Sirius (Fujitsu Alcedo Ltd). Details of any peripheral purchases made outside of this contract are not held centrally and to obtain this information would incur disproportionate cost.

Detailed records on purchase of mobile telephones by year are not available centrally and to obtain this information would incur disproportionate cost.

Departmental Pay and Pensions Service

Mr. Benton: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the total training budget for his Department’s Pay and Pensions Service was for the financial years (a) 2005-06 and (b) 2006-07. [84731]

Mr. Byrne: The total training budget for Home Office Pay and Pensions Service, for the current and previous financial years is detailed as follows.

Financial year Amount (£)





Mr. Benton: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the total cost was in each financial year of the Dale Carnegie training course which took place between autumn 2005 and autumn 2006 which was delivered to staff at the Pay and Pensions Service based at Litherland House, Bootle; how much of that sum is accounted for by (a) moneys paid to the company providing the training, (b) monies spent on the accommodation used for the course and (c) the cost of releasing staff from their departmental duties; and what the total cost was of all other training delivered to staff at his Department’s Pay and Pensions Service over that period. [84733]

Mr. Byrne: The contract value for the investment in Team Working Programme, delivered by Dale Carnegie Training is £113,200. The main training events began on 5 April 2006. Accommodation and travel costs from 5 April to 21 June were £6,495.85. It is estimated that a further £13,000 will be spent on travel and accommodation to complete the programme. Staff costs arising from the programme are notional and are regarded as part of the Department’s underlying commitment to provide management training and other development opportunities. For the 2005-06 financial year, spending against the HOPPS training budget was £56,734, against a budget figure of £80,000. The budget for 2006-07 is £129,000.

Departmental Premises (Security)

Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what measures are in place to ensure that no illegal immigrants are employed in the manned guarding of his Department’s premises. [80798]

Mr. Byrne: People employed to work on Home Office premises whether employed directly by the Home Office or provided by a contractor, are required to satisfy requirements on identity, nationality and immigration status. In the case of contract workers, these checks are carried out by their employers; under section 8 of the Asylum and Immigration Act 1996 it is an offence to employ a person aged 16 or over, who is subject to immigration control and who is not entitled to work in the UK or to undertake the employment in question.

Departmental Telephone Lines

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how the money that is raised from his Department's 0870 prefix contact telephone number is spent. [27132]

Mr. Byrne: The public inquiries telephone contact telephone number 0870 000 1585 was replaced with a geographic number in September 2005. Prior to that date any revenue generated was returned to HM Treasury, and not spent by the Home Office.


Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many of the foreign prisoners who were released without being considered for deportation are believed to be in Essex; and if he will make a statement. [70085]

Mr. Byrne: The Director General of the Immigration and Nationality Directorate wrote to the Home Affairs Select Committee on 29 June and set out, in line with the Home Secretary’s requirements, the most accurate
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data the Department currently holds on the 1,013 foreign national prisoner cohort released without due deportation consideration.

Mr. Clappison: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many foreign prisoners have been released and not removed under sections 259 to 262 of the early removal provisions of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 since they came into force. [76126]

Mr. Byrne: Sections 259 to 262 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 are only used to release foreign national prisoners for removal.

Mr. Spellar: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what policy direction he has issued to police forces on the issuing of names and photographs of former prisoners who should be considered for deportation. [75381]

Mr. Byrne: My right hon. Friend the Home Secretary has explained to the Home Affairs Committee on 23 May 2006 that this is an operational matter for the police. Discussions have taken place between officials from the Immigration and Nationality Directorate (IND) and the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) on whether making public details of ex-offenders would assist in locating them. It is the considered view of ACPO that a decision should only be taken on a case by case basis as to whether to publicise the details of those individuals who are the subject of ongoing deportation action and still need to be located.

Mr. Gauke: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department which Ministers in his Department have responsibility for ensuring that foreign nationals are considered for deportation prior to being released from prison. [67678]

Mr. Byrne [holding answer 3 May 2006]: My right hon. Friend the Home Secretary has overall responsibility for the Home Office. I am Minister of State for Immigration, Citizenship and Nationality, and I am supported in this by the Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department, my hon Friend the Member for Enfield, North (Joan Ryan) .

The Minister for Policing, Security and Community Safety is supported by the Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department, my hon. Friend the Member for Gedling (Mr. Coaker).

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Baroness Scotland of Asthal QC is for Criminal Justice and Offender Management and she is supported by the Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department, my hon. Friend the Member for Bradford, South (Mr. Sutcliffe).

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