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Dr. Ladyman: Speed awareness courses are regulated and operated by police forces, The Department for Transport is one of the members of a national steering group advising the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) on the provision of these courses. The ACPO group is currently issuing guidance on how a national speed awareness course should be developed based on research commissioned by the Department and published in March 2006.
The current provision of speed awareness courses is confined to a few police force areas only. No assessment of the effectiveness of the courses can be made until course provision is more widespread and more consistent. The timing of any effectiveness study depends on progress made by ACPO in developing and rolling out a national course.
In expectation of the speed awareness course provision becoming national in the near future, the Department is in the process of commissioning a study collecting baseline data to be used in a future effectiveness study.
Mr. Holloway: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what contact has been made with the users of the Dart-Tag system as part of the consultation process on the proposed changes to the Dartford river crossing. 
Mrs. Dunwoody: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the reasons are for the delay in centralising licensing work to the Leeds Traffic Area Office; and if he will make a statement. 
Mrs. Dunwoody: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the effects on the work of the Leeds Traffic Area Office of the delay in centralising licensing work; and if he will make a statement. 
Gillian Merron [holding answer 31 January 2007]: The Sustainable Travel Demonstration Towns project started in 2004 and we have had the first two years' results of this five-year project. The interim results so far seem encouraging with overall increases in walking, cycling and use of public transport and a fall in car use. We will look closely at whether these results are maintained before any decision is made to extend it.
Kerry McCarthy: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what discussions he had had with (a) Deloitte and Touche and (b) stakeholder groups on the possible outsourcing of work carried out by the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency; and what the outcome has been of those discussions. 
Dr. Ladyman: The Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) are currently undertaking discussions with (a) Deloitte and Touche and (b) stakeholder groups on the possible outsourcing of elements of its work. The outcome of these discussions will be presented to Ministers in spring/summer 2007.
Mr. Newmark: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what the expenditure by his Department on buying, operating and supporting (a) all commercial software products and (b) software products produced by Microsoft was in each of the last three years. 
Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport on delivering the benefits of the Olympic Games to the whole of the UK with particular reference to the creation of manufacturing jobs for the production of sustainable materials in (a) Blaenau Gwent and (b) Wales. 
Mr. Hain: Wales has an important contribution to make to the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, and I meet periodically with the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport to review progress towards maximising the benefits to Wales.
Companies, large and small, in a range of sectors from construction to manufacturing, will be needed to deliver the Games, creating valuable procurement opportunities. The Assembly Government is setting up a Wales 2012 Innovation, Science and Technology group to identify the best of Welsh scientific and technical innovation with potential commercial applications that can be applied to the Games.
Mr. Iain Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions whether his Department plans to assist those people with a disability who require the setting of high temperatures in their homes to fund domestic heating costs. 
James Purnell: Disability living allowance, together with the disability premiums in the income-related benefits and the disability-related additions in tax credits, already provide a contribution towards the extra costs, including heating, faced by disabled people. Disabled people who receive a disability premium also receive cold weather payments in periods of very cold weather. Winter fuel payments provide further help to eligible disabled people aged 60 or over. We have no plans to alter or extend these arrangements.
Sir Peter Soulsby: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what meetings he has had with Commissioners of the Health and Safety Commission to discuss the frequency of inspections of places of higher education in each of the last five years. 
Mrs. McGuire: No DWP Ministers have had meetings with members of the Health and Safety Commission (HSC) to discuss these matters during the last five years. Ministers do however meet regularly with the Chair of HSC to discuss workplace health and safety issues.
1. In marshalling HSEs inspection resource, HSE seeks to target poor performers. The key criteria in establishing the frequency of inspections are the risks presented by particular duty holders, premises or industries and the ability and willingness of duty holders to manage those risks. Where the risk is low and duty holders ability high, visits are less frequent than where the risk is high and duty holders are failing to manage those risks. In targeting the inspection resource in this way, HSE believes it has the greatest impact on reducing work-related deaths, injuries and ill health.
2. In 2003, HSE ceased to set targets for the number of inspection contacts. Such targets encouraged short visits to low risk places, whereas the Health and Safety Commissions strategy for workplace health and safety 2010 sought a sharper focus on injury and ill health priorities, and more substantial contacts with a carefully selected range of duty holders. Over the last five years or so, the actual time HSE inspectors have spent interacting with and encouraging duty holders has increased by 23 per cent.
3. Important as inspection is, the frequency of inspections is not a particularly useful metric. The Health and Safety Commissions strategy fully recognises the importance of inspection, and the threat of enforcement, as a powerful motivator for improved standards. But to be most effective, they need to sit alongside other interventions, such as encouraging partnership working, communications, and so on.
1. HSE sees higher education as a mature sector. The risks are for the most part well known (including those associated with laboratory work with hazardous chemicals), well understood, well managed and there are well-established networks and institutions for their management. In line with the approach set out in the aforementioned paragraphs 1-3, HSE has therefore no general proactive inspection programme.
4. However, this year, some proactive inspection will take place examining higher education institutions management of work-related stressHSE inspectors will visit about 120 universities. Work-related stress is one of the priority topics identified in the Commissions strategy for workplace health and safety 2010.
5. This inspection activity follows a series of seminars in the autumn of 2006, to which all higher education institutions were invitedand which nearly 50 per cent. of all institutions attendeddesigned to equip institutions with knowledge and skills to tackle work-related stress through the use of HSEs Stress Management Standards. This programme of inspection will look at whether the Management Standards (or any equivalent approach) is being used, or if it is, assist in ensuring action is maintained.
6. A second programme of inspection activity will look at the management of slipping and tripping hazardsa hazard the sector recognises as a particular issueanother of the Commissions priority topics. These inspections will follow a series of nationwide seminars run by HSE, in partnership with the sector, which will equip attendees with the knowledge and skills to manage slips and trips.
Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how the figure of increased cost to employers of around 0.7 per cent. of labour costs on average set out on page 36 of the White Paper, Personal Accounts: a new way to save was reached. 
These figures were estimated using the Employers Pension Provision Survey 2005, Small and Medium-sized Enterprise Statistics 2005 and Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings 2005, as set out in paragraph 4.96 of the regulatory impact assessment.
Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how the estimate that seven million people are under-saving referred to on page 18 of the White Paper, Personal Accounts: a new way to save, was reached; and what account was taken of the estimates made by the Pensions Commission in making that estimate. 
James Purnell: Details on how the DWPs estimate of seven million undersavers was derived were published in annex A to the White Paper, Security in retirement: towards a new pension system, in May 2006. The DWP estimates are based on a new data source, the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA), which was not available to the Pensions Commission, but the same benchmark replacement rates. ELSA collects information on pension wealth accrued to date, and is the best data source available at present.
The annex also outlines two major reasons for differences between the two estimates. The DWP estimate is based on household level data, while the Pensions Commissions figures are based on individual level data. (This means that an individual with a low pension themselves but whose spouse has enough for both would be counted by the Pensions Commission as an undersaver but not in the DWPs estimates.) The Pensions Commission looked just at pension wealth,
while the DWP estimates include other financial assets, non-owner occupied housing wealth and business assets.
Estimates of the current level of undersaving for retirement are difficult to construct due to: difficulties identifying appropriate saving targets; uncertainties about which kinds of wealth and asset to take into account; difficulties projecting individuals future saving and working patterns, particularly around choice of retirement age; and reliance on a range of other uncertain assumptions, including the impact of future macro-economic developments. Consequently such estimates should be treated cautiously.
Mr. Newmark: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs how much was spent by her Department on buying, operating and supporting (a) all commercial software products and (b) software products produced by Microsoft was in each of the last three years. 
Vera Baird: IT services within my Department are outsourced to external suppliers and commercial software products are provided as part of these services. The cost of software products is included within the service charges and cannot be identified separately. The Department does have an Enterprise Agreement Licence with Oracle and the costs over the last three years have been:
|Costs over the last three years|
Prior to 2006-07, Microsoft products were licensed under the outsourced agreements and costs cannot be identified separately. However, the Department has now joined an Enterprise Licence Agreement under the over arching Home Office Microsoft Agreement (HOMA). The annual cost for 2006-07 is £2.691 million.
Jo Swinson: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what estimate she has made of the potential liability arising from legal action taken by prisoners not allowed to vote in the Scottish Parliament elections in May 2007. 
However, no damages have previously been awarded to any prisoner on the basis that they are unable to vote in UK elections, and the recent judgment of the Scottish courts does not affect the Government's position on this issue, following the decision in October 2005 of the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights in the Hirst case.
Mr. Heald: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs how many different performance indicators the Electoral Commission will require local authorities to provide each year; and whether these are to be integrated into the Best Value Performance Indicator regime. 
The Commission informs me that it is currently developing performance indicators relating to electoral administration and registration. The number of performance indicators will not be finalised until the Commission has undertaken rigorous consultation and piloting. The Commission is in discussion with the Department for Communities and Local Government and the Audit Commission about the integration of performance standards into the Best Value Performance Indicator regime.
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