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Sarah Teather: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he will answer question 30942, tabled by the hon. Member for Brent, East on 17 November 2005 on the European Community Association Agreement. 
In a written ministerial statement of 23 May 2006, Official Report, column 78WS, my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary set out the eight priority areas to be addressed by the enforcement and criminal agencies involved in the deportation of foreign national prisoners. Points one and two of this plan tackle the absence of a unique personal identifier for individuals who come into contact with the criminal justice, immigration and asylum systems and that there is no legal requirement to provide evidence of nationality when in contact with the criminal justice system. My
hon. Friend the Minister for Immigration, Citizenship and Nationality set out the progress we are making against these areas in a written ministerial statement on 19 July 2006, Official Report, column 29WS and will continue to update Parliament on progress.
Mr. Byrne: The information is not available in the format requested. My right hon. Friend the Home Secretary set out in his statement to the House on 9 October 2006 that the Director General of the Immigration Nationality Directorate had written to the Home Affairs Committee on the same day. A copy of this letter has been placed in the Library and it highlights deportation consideration and deportation action taken since April this year.
Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the policy of his Department is in relation to the issue of work permits for foreign nationals; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Byrne: The work permit arrangements are a key part of the Governments managed migration strategy, which seeks to offer legal routes for the admission of foreign nationals who possess skills and qualifications that are in short supply here and who will contribute to the economy. We also wish to encourage and support inward investment. Work permit policy is designed to strike the right balance between enabling UK based employers to recruit or transfer skilled people from abroad and protecting job opportunities for resident workers.
As part of our Five year Strategy for Asylum and Immigration, Controlling our Borders: Making Migration work for Britain announced in 2005, we will be replacing the current routes for employment-related migration by a simpler, single points-based system. This was outlined in the Command paper A Points Based System: Making Migration Work for Britain published on seven March 2006.
Joan Ryan: The implementation of the National Identity Scheme will include the introduction of measures to ensure that errors in an individuals record are avoided on application and thereafter, any error can be easily noted and quickly corrected.
(1) checks conducted on applicant information against information held on other databases which should enable errors to be highlighted. This is known as the biographical footprint check;
(2) an examination of relevant supporting documentation in advance or at the enrolment centre to ensure that it is valid and corresponds with information provided on the application form and the results from biographical footprint check;
(3) attendance in person to allow information to be clarified and checked with the applicant.
Once an individual is enrolled on the National Identity Register, there will be a number of methods for the individual to review what information is held on their record. An individual will continue to be entitled to request a subject access request under the Data Protection Act to review their record; in addition, the Government have indicated that they intend to introduce an online facility where, subject to secure remote authentication, an individual will be able to review their record and thus, ensure that it is accurate. Should an individual notice an error on their record, they will be able to contact the Identity and Passport Service through a number of different channels to rectify the error, subject to secure remote authentication. At present, the channels being considered include post, telephone and internet.
Joan Ryan: The Identity Cards Act 2006 provides for civil financial penalties, rather than fines, in the following areas: failure to comply with a requirement relating to compulsory registration (section 7), failure to notify changes affecting the accuracy of an entry in the Register (section 10) and failure to surrender an invalid ID card (section 11). Penalties relating to compulsory registration may only come into force after further primary legislation.
A fineas well as a custodial sentencemay be imposed by a criminal court for criminal offences set out in sections 25 to 30 of the Act. These offences are related to the possession of false identity documents or are targeted at criminal activities which may be undertaken by people involved in administering the scheme. Offences in this latter category include unauthorised disclosure of information from the Register and tampering with the Register.
Kate Hoey: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the targets are for the immigration and nationality directorates response time to letters from hon. Members; and what percentage of responses met the target response time in the latest period for which figures are available. 
Mr. Byrne: The published target is to answer 95 per cent. of Members letters on immigration and nationality directoraterelated matters within 20 working days. Although we still have some way to go to achieve that standard, performance has none the less already improved significantly from 34 per cent. in 2004 to 76 per cent. for the period September 2005 to August 2006, the latest period for which figures are available.
Helen Goodman: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps he has taken to inform the public which internet service providers block access to sites containing child pornography. 
Mr. Coaker: We have not made public which internet service providers (ISPs) block access to sites containing child abuse images. However, transparency and confidence are vital components of effective self-regulation. The majority of ISPs are prepared individually to say whether they are blocking or not. We are working with them to put in place arrangements to publish and maintain the full list of ISPs blocking these websites.
Helen Goodman: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what estimate he has made of the costs to internet service providers of blocking access to child pornography sites; and what discussions he has had with colleagues at the Department of Trade and Industry on this matter. 
Mr. Coaker: This is new technology and different internet service providers (ISPs) are developing different solutions that are effective on their specific infrastructures. We recognise there are genuine cost issues for ISPs, particularly smaller ones, not just in developing the solution, but in administering it and in subscribing to the Internet Watch Foundation list, but take the view that the costs are proportionate to the benefits.
My predecessor, my hon. Friend the Member for Wythenshawe and Sale, East (Paul Goggins) along with the then Department of Trade and Industry Minister my right hon. Friend the Member for Cardiff, South and Penarth (Alun Michael) held meetings with ISPs on 22 and 28 March 2006.
Mr. O'Hara: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many (a) re-appointments and (b) competitions for the appointment of an independent assessor to assess ex-gratia payments from public funds under section 133 of the Criminal Justice Act 1988 of compensation for miscarriages of justice there have been since 1976; 
(2) how the applicants for appointment as Independent Assessor of claims for compensation for miscarriages of justice were assessed; by whom they were assessed; how the competitions for appointment as Independent Assessor were advertised; how many applicants applied in respect of each competition; what procedure exists for unsuccessful applicants to raise concerns about the handling of the selection process; and what further competitions are proposed; 
(3) who has held the appointment of Independent Assessor to assess ex gratia payments from public funds or under section 133 of the Criminal Justice Act 1988 of compensation for miscarriages of justice since 1976; for what period each person held that appointment; on what terms and conditions of engagement each Independent Assessor has been appointed; and what remuneration was payable to each in each year of their appointment; 
(4) what changes in the remuneration of the Independent Assessor have recently been proposed; and what changes will be introduced in respect of his remuneration for assessments of compensation from 19 April 2006. 
Mr. Sutcliffe: Sir Michael Ogden QC was independent Assessor of compensation for miscarriages of justice from February 1978 to July 1989, succeeding Sir Walker Carter, who had discharged these duties since 1957. Sir Michael was formally appointed to the role in November 1985 and was appointed under section 133 of the Criminal Justice Act 1988 in November 1988. Sir David Calcutt QC succeeded Sir Michael Ogden on 27 July 1989, and was re-appointed in July 1994 and July 1999. Lord Brennan assumed the role on 27 July 2001. He remains in post, having been re-appointed by the Home Secretary on 27 July this year for a second five-year term. No further competition for the post is intended until Lord Brennans appointment is due to come to an end.
The only appointment that was subject to formal competition arrangements was Lord Brennans. This was run in accordance with the guidance issued by the Office of the Commissioner for Public Appointments, and in partnership with Capita RAS. It was advertised in The Lawyer, The Law Society Gazette, and Counsel magazine, and on the Top Jobs and Home Office internet sites. The 57 applications were assessed against the requirements of Schedule 12 to the Criminal Justice Act 1988 and the job specification. An initial sift was undertaken by independent assessors appointed by Capita RAS, and the five shortlisted candidates were interviewed by a panel comprising Mr. David Cooke (the then Deputy Director of the Criminal Policy Group in the Home Office, who chaired the panel), Ms Petra Laidlaw (an independent member provided by Capita RAS), and Sir David Calcutt.
The Assessors fees are paid, per case, at Band C of the Cabinet Offices Fees for Judicial Appointment and Appointments to Tribunals, Inquiries and Appeal Boards. At the request of Sir David Calcutt, an additional, special daily fee rate was introduced on 1 August 1992 in respect of more complex cases. A table showing those rates follows. On 27 July 2006 a revised fee structure was implemented, under which Lord Brennan is paid £360 per case for interim assessments and advice cases, £500 per case for straightforward final assessments, and £1,000 per day for complex cases.
|Assessor of compensation for miscarriages of justice special fee rates|
|Higher rate (per day)|
|Financial year||Fee||Fee inclusive of VAT|
Mr. McNulty: Contact management features in HMIC's Baseline Assessment, which complements the statutory performance indicators by providing a qualitative measurement of police performance. In its thematic inspection of police contact management, First Contact published in November 2005, HMIC has developed a best practice framework and assessment matrix that forces can use to self-assess their performance and that HMIC use in the inspection process to grade forces and to identify strengths and areas for improvement.
Mr. Hogg: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what instructions have been given to immigration officers at ports of entry who wish to verify the identity of a person wearing a veil or other garment which has the effect of concealing the face of the person wearing it. 
Where there are sensitive or cultural reasons why it is not possible for a person to remove a veil or other garment at the immigration control, they will be taken to a private area where, in the case of a woman, a female officer will ask them to lift their veil so that their identity can be verified.
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