Previous Section Index Home Page

9 Oct 2006 : Column 11W—continued

9 Oct 2006 : Column 12W
Telephony outcomes for calls relating to cases on both CS2 and CSCS, 2002-03 to 2005-06
April 2002 to March 2003 April 2003 to March 2004 April 2004 to March 2005 April 2005 to March 2006 April 2006 to June 2006

Attempted customer calls to both CS2 and CSCS numbers






Calls for which outcome not recorded






Calls for which outcome recorded






Of which:

Calls that received an engaged/busy tone






Calls abandoned/lost during the IVR process.






(1) It is not possible to break down ineffective calls into those that did or did not receive an engaged tone for old system calls in 2002-03. Notes: 1. Data are presented for calls made regarding cases on the new system (CS2) and the old system (CSCS) combined. 2. "Attempted customer calls" excludes calls attempted outside working hours. 3. "Calls for which outcome not recorded" are those that were received but for which, due to data problems, the eventual outcome was not recorded. The volume of such calls has decreased significantly in the last three years as management information systems have improved. 4. "Calls for which outcome recorded" are those which were received and for which there is management information to track the eventual outcome. 5. IVR denotes the automated touch tone part of the process where customers enter their details via the telephone key pad. Once callers have cleared this part of the process, they enter a queue to be answered by a member of CSA staff. Note that there is no IVR process on the old system. 6. Numbers are rounded to the nearest thousand. Components may not sum to totals due to rounding.

Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the estimated cost is of the proposed changes to the Child Support Agency. [90531]

Mr. Plaskitt: Enabling and helping parents to make their own child support arrangements will help to create a simpler, more focused child support system. We are currently developing plans for introducing a new system of child support. As part of this we are considering the most cost effective way of moving to, and administering, the new system.

We are carrying out an intensive programme of work to determine the way forward and plan to publish final, detailed proposals in a White Paper in the autumn.

Cold Weather Payments

Mr. Salmond: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what account he takes of the number of homes in Scotland which are heated by coal fires when determining cold weather payments. [89330]

Mr. Plaskitt: Eligible customers for cold weather payments are those people awarded pension credit and those awarded income support or income-based jobseeker's allowance who have a pensioner or disability premium, or have a child who is disabled or under the age of five when the temperature criteria are met for their postcode.

No account is taken of the form of heating used.

9 Oct 2006 : Column 13W

Departmental Agency Staff

Mr. Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what average hourly rate his Department paid to employment agencies for agency staff in each year since 1999, broken down by agency. [89418]

Mr. Jim Murphy: The Department’s policy is first to source any requirements for temporary administrative staff from the local Jobcentre Plus office. If this is unsuccessful we acquire agency staff through a framework agreement led by the Prison Service. Under these arrangements the average hourly rate by agency in 2005-06 was:

9 Oct 2006 : Column 14W





(1) Mainly London based staff

Information on earlier years is not held centrally and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

Departmental Contracts

Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what contracts were awarded by his Department to Bird and Bird Solicitors in each year since 1997; what the (a) value and (b) duration of each such contract was; and if he will make a statement. [88159]

Mr. Jim Murphy: The information requested is provided in the following table.

Department for Work and Pensions: Contracts with Bird and Bird Solicitors
Description Start date End date Value (£)

Medical Services (Impact ‘97—Property issues)

10 October 1997

25 September 2003


Extension of medical services contract to cover DTI

16 January 1998

10 July 1998


Estates contractual issues

13 February 1998

9 February 2000


Accommodation and Office Services Procurement Advice

12 November 1998

17 November 1999


War Pensions Agency: Ilford Park Polish Home

18 February 1999

10 May 1999


IT commercials (Accord)

29 April 1999

9 June 1999


Contract Change Advice

27 September 2000

27 December 2000


Medical Services (Impact ‘97) commercials

13 February 2001

15 February 2001


IT commercials—Accord Contract Review

21 November 2002

10 March 2003


Warbreck House, Blackpool

16 May 2002

6 January 2003


Dinerth Road Colwyn Bay—Renewal

7 January 2003

6 May 2003


Commercials—Disaggregation of Contracts

7 January 2003

2 April 2003


Resource Planning

5 March 2003

27 June 2003


Web Portal and Hosting Agreement

2 July 2003

20 October 2003


Medical services provision project

20 November 2003

20 July 2006


IT commercials—Office Infrastracture

18 December 2003

5 March 2004


IT commercials—accommodating supplier’s equipment

4 December 2003

2 February 2004


Office Services Retender

22 March 2005

5 July 2006


Medical Services Contract Management

18 March 2005

23 June 2006


IT commercials—Operating System Upgrade

7 June 2005


Office Services Retender

2 June 2005


Logistic Service Integrator—commercials

23 November 2005

6 December 2005




DWP was created in 2001 and earlier figures relate to the ex-DSS.

Departmental Staff (Bicycles)

Hywel Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what tax efficient schemes for the purchase of bicycles his Department makes available to its employees; how many and what percentage of his Department's staff purchased bicycles through such schemes in 2005-06; whether the schemes are available through a range of suppliers; and whether arrangements are made to enable staff with disabilities to purchase adapted bicycles from a specialist supplier. [90058]

Mrs. McGuire: The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) offers employees an interest-free advance if they wish to purchase a bicycle. Cycle racks are provided at sites where we have parking. We also offer lockers and showers where possible and where the building allows.

The Department has no current plans to implement the cycle to work tax incentive scheme. As the Department cannot reclaim VAT, the tax savings are more limited than they would be for other employers, and the scheme is therefore not as attractive to our employees. Based on the low take-up of our existing scheme, we do not believe that the tax incentive scheme would be widely used. We will, however, keep the position under review.

Departmental Telephone Lines

Mr. Carmichael: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how much has been spent on hold music for telephone lines operated by his Department in each of the last five years. [92642]

9 Oct 2006 : Column 15W

Mrs. McGuire: The Department of Work and Pensions has a contract with BT to provide its telephony services. Hold music is provided as part of the standard package provided on all BT switch boards and as such does not incur a discrete identifiable charge to DWP.

Disability Living Allowance

Mrs. Hodgson: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many households in Gateshead and Sunderland include a person with a learning disability who receives the care component of disability living allowance at the (a) highest rate, (b) middle rate and (c) lowest rate. [89837]

Mrs. McGuire: The administration of disability living allowance is a matter for the chief executive of the Disability and Carers Service, Mr. Terry Moran. He will write to the hon. Member with the information requested.

Letter from Vivien Hopkins:

Next Section Index Home Page