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Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many staff employed by his Department had the primary role of reducing (a) benefit fraud and (b) benefit error in each year since the Department was created. 
Every person employed in the DWP has a role in enforcing the requirements of the benefits system which includes the reduction of fraud and error. All claims are subject to verification and all statements made by our customers are open to challenge where it appears that they may be incorrect. The Department is committed to further reducing fraud and error in the benefit system.
Mrs. McGuire: The Department has no formal contracts with DHL but have used their services on an ad-hoc basis. The following shows spend with DHL in each year from 2002-03 to present. No data is available for previous years.
|DWP spend with DHL|
Mark Lazarowicz: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the average level of Fuel Direct payments for (a) gas and (b) electricity made to each supplier in (i) each region of England, (ii) Scotland and (iii) Wales was in the last full year for which figures are available. 
John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the cost per pound to his Department of recovering an overpayment for each of the private sector companies involved with the Enforcement initiative. 
All suppliers are paid on a commission only (no win, no fee) basis, commission being determined by the amount the supplier has recovered and the rate of commission which applies to the particular type of debt. Commission rates vary across
all four contracts based on such criteria as the age or particular type of debt or whether action to trace the debtor is required.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how much was allocated (a) to each London local authority and (b) in each region of the UK under the discretionary housing payment scheme in each of the last five years; and what proportion was used in each case. 
|Discretionary housing payment allocation for London local authorities|
|Annual government allocation for discretionary housing payments (£000)||Percentage of allocation used|
1. Amounts are rounded to the nearest thousand pounds.
2. A dash represents no information available or no claim form was submitted by the local authority.
3. The latest available audited expenditure information for discretionary housing payments is for the financial year 2004-05.
4. The discretionary housing payment scheme was introduced on 2 July 2001, therefore the information for 2001-02 reflects part of that year.
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