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18 Dec 2006 : Column 1576W—continued

Departmental Staff

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. [105814]

Mr. Plaskitt: The information is not available in the format requested.

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.

DHL

Anne Milton: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how much his Department paid to DHL in each financial year between 1997-98 and 2005-06. [104169]

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
£

2002-03

7,318

2003-04

3,063

2004-05

890

2005-06

7,947

YTD 2006-07

8,382


Energy Suppliers

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. [101904]


18 Dec 2006 : Column 1577W

Mr. Plaskitt: I refer the hon. Member to the written answer I gave him on 14 July 2006, Official Report, column 2126.

Enforcement Initiative

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. [109694]

Mr. Plaskitt: 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
18 Dec 2006 : Column 1578W
all four contracts based on such criteria as the age or particular type of debt or whether action to trace the debtor is required.

Commission rates are commercially sensitive information and as such individual rates cannot be disclosed.

Housing

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. [102064]

Mr. Plaskitt: The available information for London local authorities is in the following table.

Discretionary housing payment allocation for London local authorities
Annual government allocation for discretionary housing payments (£000) Percentage of allocation used
2001-02 2002-03 2003-04 2004-05 2001-02 2002-03 2003-04 2004-05

Barking

33

40

40

40

7

24

48

100

Barnet

177

219

219

221

46

75

89

81

Bexley

45

56

56

55

37

66

54

92

Brent

116

143

143

230

73

100

100

100

Bromley

86

107

107

67

1

5

34

94

Camden

138

170

170

216

29

100

86

57

City of London

4

5

5

3

Croydon

125

154

154

160

56

72

100

98

Ealing

148

218

218

241

42

96

85

85

Enfield

149

184

184

146

12

24

69

89

Greenwich

138

185

185

228

58

100

100

100

Hackney

98

121

121

116

7

34

29

100

Hammersmith

89

117

117

127

32

85

100

87

Haringey

153

189

189

173

22

33

64

100

Harrow

85

105

105

98

35

56

64

100

Havering

48

63

63

74

41

100

69

58

Hillingdon

96

119

119

121

49

78

92

100

Hounslow

59

72

72

93

56

100

100

49

Islington

86

106

106

87

9

27

21

66

Kensington and Chelsea

121

150

150

124

25

42

54

100

Kingston-Upon-Thames

42

61

61

51

39

40

62

100

Lambeth

93

124

124

123

22

56

100

100

Lewisham

147

182

182

182

47

63

75

76

Merton

72

106

106

91

77

53

73

100

Newham

91

113

113

232

72

100

100

Redbridge

108

149

149

172

64

96

82

48

Richmond-Upon-Thames

94

138

138

124

62

67

65

75

Southwark

89

131

131

153

34

94

92

87

Sutton

71

92

92

71

66

37

34

99

Tower Hamlets

96

141

141

150

57

79

80

94

Waltham Forest

89

109

109

189

100

100

79

75

Wandsworth

69

102

102

114

64

87

74

76

Westminster

131

165

165

187

38

97

93

92

Notes:
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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