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Geraldine Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many asylum cases from Morecambe and Lunesdale constituency were processed by the Immigration and Nationality Directorate in the last 12 months. 
Mr. Byrne: Information on numbers of asylum applications relating to particular areas of the UK are unavailable. Statistics on the location of asylum seekers in the UK are linked to the available information on the support that the asylum seeker receives.
The numbers of asylum seekers in receipt of support from IND, broken down by Government Office region and local authority, are published on a quarterly and annual basis, as are asylum decisions in the UK as a whole. The latest publication covering the third quarter
of 2006 is available on the Home Office Research, Development and Statistics website at http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/immigration1.html. Further breakdowns, of those in receipt of support from IND, by parliamentary constituency are also available from the Library of the House.
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department which external consultants were used by (a) his Department and (b) each of its agencies in relation to private finance initiatives in 2005-06; and what the nature and cost of the work was in each case. 
Mr. Byrne: The external consultants used by (a) the Department and (b) its Executive agencies in relation to private finance initiatives in 2005-06; and the nature and cost of the work in each case is shown in the table:
|Consultancy||Nature of work||Cost (£)|
Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many letters to his Department sent from hon. Members during Session 2005-06 remain unanswered, broken down by those which are (a) one, (b) two, (c) three, (d) four and (e) over six months old. 
Mr. Byrne: On 23 January 2007 there were 287 items of unanswered MP's correspondence received during the 2005-06 session. Of these 264 were with IND, 19 with the central Home Office and four with HM Prison Service.
The Cabinet Office, on an annual basis, publishes a report to Parliament on the performance of departments in replying to Members'/Peers' correspondence. The Report for 2005 was published on 30 March 2006, Official Report, columns 75-78WS. Information relating to 2006 is currently being collated and will be published as soon as it is ready.
Mr. Newmark: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how much his Department spent on buying, operating and supporting (a) all commercial software products and (b) software products produced by Microsoft in each of the last three years. 
Mr. Byrne: The choice of software to meet the business needs of the Home Office now largely rests with its strategic IST suppliers who are contracted, largely under the Private Finance Initiative (and PPP arrangements), to meet business requirements and provide value for money solutions. In the main, the Home Office no longer chooses specific software. This factor, combined with the large number of computer systems operated by the Department prevent us from providing total expenditure figures for commercial software products.
Within our business requirements the Home Office ensures that any technical choices should meet relevant government software standards and provide for interoperability with our public and business partners.
Mr. Hurd: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what estimate he has made of expenditure by his Department in each Government Office region in the most recent year for which figures are available. 
Mr. Byrne: Expenditure of the department and its executive agencies benefits all areas of Great Britain. The department does not hold data on this expenditure at the level of Government Office regions. To provide such a level of detail could be done only at disproportionate cost.
A regional breakdown of Home Office expenditure is available in the Public Expenditure Statistical Analysis 2006 (CM 6811), chapter sevenAnalysis of public expenditure by country and region. The breakdown is based on Treasury and Office of National Statistics country and regional areas.
The steps being taken are the same in both Lancashire and nationally, and I refer to the answer I gave to my right hon. Friend the Member for Warley (Mr. Spellar) on 22 November 2006, Official Report, columns 93-94W.
Mr. Coaker: Data on offences of robbery recorded by the police are available from the recorded crime statistics. However, it is not possible to determine those that are drug-related as no information is collected on the circumstances surrounding the offences.
Mr. Hurd: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how much was spent by each of his Departments executive agencies in each Government Office region in the most recent year for which figures are available. 
Mr. Byrne: Expenditure of the Department and its executive agencies benefits all areas of Great Britain. The Department does not hold data on this expenditure at the level of Government Office regions. To provide such a level of detail could be done only at disproportionate cost.
A regional breakdown of Home Office expenditure is available in the Public Expenditure Statistical Analysis 2006 (CM 6811), chapter sevenAnalysis of public expenditure by country and region. The breakdown is based on Treasury and Office for National Statistics country and regional areas.
Peter Viggers: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many police man-hours were involved in the most recent Hampshire constabulary investigation into alleged unlawful killings at Gosport War Memorial hospital; and at what cost. 
Mr. Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department where his Department publishes information about Government auctions which it arranges or to which it contributes in (a) Blackpool, (b) Lancashire and (c) the North West; and when the next such auction will take place in each area. 
All disposals of plant and machinery are normally sold by public auction or tender in accordance with Government Accounting Instructions. Details of the Departments auctions are published in local newspapers and trade press as recommended on a
case-by-case basis by the selling agents. There are currently no auctions planned for disposal of plant and machinery.
Surplus land and buildings should be disposed within three years of being identified as surplus, and surplus residential properties should usually be sold within six months of becoming empty. If by then, no sale is in progress, such properties should be auctioned.
The HMPS Custodial Estates have participated in five auctions during the current financial year of which two were in Manchester. They have one further auction planned this financial year in London in March 2007. These are all ordinary public auctions for residential property sales.
Our estates department have informed us that there will be an auction of a property in Rawtenstall, Lancashire which is planned for the 22 May 2007. It is expected that the local press or trade press will be used to publish information about the auction.
Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps he plans to take in response to the Immigration and Nationality Directorate (IND) Complaints Audit Committees assessment of IND complaints handling; and what assessment he has made of the reasons why IND decisions were found to be indefensible, with particular reference to asylum seekers liable for deportation. 
Mr. Byrne: INDs complaints handling system is being completely overhauled through the Complaints Change Programme. This will ensure that complaints processes are in line with Cabinet Office guidance and the recommendations of the Complaints Audit Committee (CAC). The necessary changes will happen over the next 12-15 months
The recommendations made by CAC with regard to investigations are a high priority for IND. Revised investigation standards are being drafted. The associated training which is vital to ensure these standards are understood and adhered to will also be developed within the Complaints Change Programme.
New complaints procedures have already been introduced within the detention estate supported by guidance and training for contracted and Immigration Service (UKIS) staff. A separate unit managed by UKIS oversees the complaint process and investigates all complaints referred confidentially by detainees. In addition the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman will provide an independent tier to the complaints process, and cases will continue to be audited by the CAC and their recommendations considered.
The CAC recommend that as soon as the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) has assumed jurisdiction over IS Enforcement and Removals, all allegations of death, serious injury and breaches of Articles two and three of the ECHR should be referred to the police as set down. We have accepted this. Regulations and procedures are being developed with the CAC and IPCC as part of the Developing Enforcement Capability programme (DEC).
Mr. Byrne: The purpose of an operational visit is to detain immigration offenders. The statutory powers to detain are found under paragraph 16(2) of Schedule two to the Immigration Act 1971 if there are reasonable grounds to suspect that directions may be given to remove them from the UK pending the decision to give such directions and/or pending his removal. Such a person or family member may be arrested without warrant under paragraph 17 of schedule two to that Act. A warrant may be granted, authorising any immigration officer or constable to enter, if need be by reasonable force, the premises named in the warrant for the purpose of searching for and arresting the person.
Mr. Mudie: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to the answer of 29 November 2006, Official Report, column 777W, on leave to remain, what the date of application was in respect of the last case of a claim for extension of discretionary leave to remain decided upon by the Immigration and Nationality Directorate in each week from the week commencing 30 October 2006. 
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