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(4) what assessment she has made of the (a) extent to which the percentage of contracts handed to small to medium-sized enterprises has changed in the
authorities which have adopted the Small Business Friendly Concordat and (b) impact of the concordat on overall procurement costs; and if she will make a statement; 
Mr. Woolas: The Small Business Friendly Concordat: Good Practice Guidance was launched by the then ODPM, the Local Government Association and the DTIs Small Business Service on 1 March 2005. The concordat is a voluntary, non-statutory code of practice that sets out what small firms and others supplying local Government can expect when tendering for local authority contacts. The concordat also sets out actions that local authorities will take to make their contracts more accessible to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). There are no plans to make the concordat a compulsory agreement.
Records maintained by Communities and Local Government indicate that currently 120 local authorities in England have signed up to the concordat, equating to approximately 31 per cent. of councils. Estimates from research commissioned by the Department suggest that as at January 2006 around 63 per cent. of local authorities had either signed up to the Small Business Friendly Concordat or were planning to do so by the end of 2005-06. We continue through a range of means to encourage authorities to sign up to the concordat, for example, as part of a series of 10 roadshows around the English regions attended by both buyers and suppliers.
The Department's research evaluation of the local Government procurement agenda primarily focuses on monitoring local authorities' achievements against the National Procurement Strategy for Local Government. The next output of our evaluation, expected to be published by early 2008, will assess progress in a number of areas of local Government procurement, including continuing progress with the concordat. Further research is under way through the Regional Centres of Excellence to analyse the external spend of local authorities, which may include an assessment of the proportion spent with SMEs.
Mr. Spellar: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what progress has been made on the appointment of new judges for the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal; and if she will make a statement. 
The Lord Chancellor has made the appointments for the fee-paid competition to fill 210 posts in London and the regions, and results were despatched to applicants on 6 November 2006. Assignment of successful applicants to locations around the country has been delegated to the President
of the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal. Induction training arrangements are in hand for those applicants offered appointment.
Keith Vaz: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs how much was paid in bonuses to civil servants in her Department in (a) 2001-02 and (b) 2002-03; and how many officials received bonuses in each year. 
The total performance bonus paid to staff beneath the grade of senior civil service in (a) the year 2001-02 was £263,700. 879 officials received a non-consolidated £300 bonus in that year. Non-consolidated special bonuses to the amount of £99,346 were paid to 333 officers in that year.
The total performance bonus paid to staff beneath the grade of senior civil servant in (b) the year 2002-03 was £429,450. 1,127 officials received a non-consolidated bonus of £350 in that year. Non-consolidated special bonuses to the amount of £82,701 were paid to 960 officers in that year.
Keith Vaz: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what criteria a civil servant in her Department must fulfil (a) to be considered for a bonus on top of their regular salary and (b) to be awarded a bonus. 
Ms Harman: Members of the senior civil service within the Department receive non-consolidated cash payments known as a bonus in recognition of their performance in relation to achieving their agreed objectives or a short term personal contribution to wider organisational objective.
Under the performance management system they are eligible to receive non-consolidated cash payments known as a performance bonus. Currently this is £400 although in 2001-02 it was £300 and 2002-03 it was £350.
regularly achieved performance well above what was agreed in your performance and development plan
Eligibility is set out in the guidance issued to line managers on performance management. Each year an individual staff member's performance is measured against a set of key responsibilities and job objectives appropriate to their particular grade.
Under the recognition system, staff in these grades are also eligible to be nominated for a non-consolidated special bonus. These awards start at a value of £50 and are awarded in recognition of exceptional performance on specific tasks, i.e. performance above and beyond what could normally
be expected of the individual in fulfilling their normal duties. Staff may be nominated for a special bonus either by their own line manager or by colleagues. Dependant on their terms and conditions, staff in the magistrates courts service who joined the Department by TUPE on the 1 April 2005 may be eligible, on criteria set at the discretion of their local Justices' Clerk or by their local terms and conditions, to receive an honaria.
Mr. Baron: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs which 10 barristers received the highest fees for civil work from the Community Legal Service in the most recent year for which figures are available; and what amount was received in each case. 
Mr. Heald: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs whether the technical specifications of the CORE electoral registration database will allow for data matching with other databases in the future should legislation allow. 
Bridget Prentice: The technical specifications for the CORE information system have not yet been developed. The specifications, when developed, will be based around business requirements that fit within current legislation and policy.
Mr. Heald: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs if she will place in the Library a copy of the procurement exercise notice to find providers for the e-voting pilots in the May 2007 local elections. 
Bridget Prentice: The procurement exercise was conducted according to EU procurement procedures and the notice the hon. Member refers to is a public document. I will be happy to place a copy in the House Library.
Bridget Prentice: The total DCA budget for funding the 2007 pilots is likely to be between £5 million and £10 million, depending on the number and content of pilots approved by the Secretary of State.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs how many Section 50 Decision Notices the Information Commissioner has issued in response to complaints about the citing by the National Archives of Exemption 41 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 in relation to requests for the disclosure of extracts from the 1911 Census records. 
Mr. Heald: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs how many staff from her Department are provided to assist the Lord Chancellor in holding functions at his official residence in Admiralty House. 
Helen Jones: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs how many magistrates serving in Warrington come from (a) Warrington, North, (b) Warrington, South constituency and (c) outside the borough. 
Bridget Prentice: There are 89 magistrates in the Warrington Local Justice Area. 36 magistrates live in (a) Warrington, North. 44 magistrates live in (b) Warrington, South. Nine magistrates live (c) outside the borough.
Advisory Committees on Justices of the Peace follow my right hon. and noble Friend the Secretary of State and Lord Chancellors directions when making recommendations for appointment to the magistracy. This provides guidance that each Local Justice Area should broadly reflect the community it serves including geographical spread.
Mr. Heald: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs (1) when the Government will publish a hard copy version of the Boundary Commissions recommendations on new parliamentary boundaries in England; 
Bridget Prentice: Under the provisions of the Parliamentary Constituencies Act 1986, the formal copy of the Boundary Commissions report must be laid before Parliament at the same time as the draft Order to implement the new boundaries. The printing and publication process has been initiated with the Stationery Office, although I understand that due to the particular process involved in production of the map volumes of the report, it is likely to be February 2007 before we are in a position to lay the report and Order, and make hard copies of the report available.
Mr. Heald: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what estimate her Department has made of the number of electors who registered for postal votes in each years elections since the Representation of the People Act 2000 came into force, excluding elections with all-postal voting. 
Bridget Prentice: I refer the hon. Member to my previous answer on 12 June 2006, Official Report, column 1051W, for information about elections from 2001 to 2005. The Electoral Commission subsequently published on its website the report by Professors Railings and Thrasher from the University of Plymouth on the local elections 2006, which shows that for these elections, based on data from 161 out of 176 authorities, almost 14 per cent. of electors were registered for a postal vote.
Bridget Prentice: Under the Representation of the People Act 2000 my right hon. and noble Friend the Secretary of State for Constitutional Affairs is obliged by law to consider any application from a local authority to pilot innovative voting methods and we will consider them on a case-by-case basis. We have no intention to amend the RPA 2000 in this respect.
24. David Taylor: To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission what recent representations he has received on making the Commons estate a smoke-free environment. 
Nick Harvey: The Administration Committee has recommended that the House should apply the smoke-free regulations by analogy. This would entail all work areas and enclosed spaces becoming smoke-free. The Commission accepts this recommendation in principle, and will decide on the detailed application when the regulations are available.
26. John Mann: To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission how many hon. Members have booked more than three private dining room lunches or dinners in the last 12 months. 
Norman Baker: To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission (1) how much has been spent on external consultants to advise on matters relating to the security of the parliamentary estate in each of the past three years; 
(3) what contracts have been let to undertake work relating to the security of the parliamentary estate; and what the value of each of these contracts has been, for each of the past three years; 
Mr. McFadden: Employer contribution rates for members of the Principal Civil Service Pension Scheme (PSCPS) are assessed for each of four ranges of pay levels and are set at a level, which together with employee contributions, is intended to meet the costs of benefits accruing in the year. This approach is set out in Resource Accounts 2005-06 of Cabinet Office: Civil Superannuation, a copy of which is available in the Library for the reference of members. The current employer contribution rates expressed as a percentage of pensionable pay are shown in the table.
|Salary band||Rate of employer contribution as a percentage of pensionable pay|
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