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6 Feb 2007 : Column 860Wcontinued
Mr. Boris Johnson:
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many (a) part-time and (b) full-time students undertook higher education
programmes funded by (i) the Higher Education Funding Council for England and (ii) the Learning and Skills Council in further education colleges in each academic year between 1996-97 and 2006-07. 
Bill Rammell: The latest available information is given in the table. Comparable figures for earlier years are not available.
|Higher education students enrolled at further education colleges in England( 1,2,3)|
|(1) All student numbers are headcounts and include some students who were forecast not to complete their studies. The figures include both directly funded and indirectly funded students. Indirectly funded students are those who are: registered at member colleges of HEFCE-recognised funding consortia; franchised from an FE colleges to another FE college, as well as those franchised from an HEI to an FE college; and partially franchised to an FE college. Comparable figures for indirectly funded students are not available prior to 2000/01. (2) Full-time includes students on a sandwich year out. (3) The figures have not been adjusted for colleges that transferred during this period from the FE to the HE sector, or for those which merged with HE institutions, and which therefore account for some of the year-on-year reductions. (4) The figures cover students undertaking courses at level 4 or above at further education colleges only. Students on work-based learning courses cannot be disaggregated by mode of study and have therefore been excluded from the figures. Comparable figures for earlier years broken down by full-time/part-time are not available. Source: Higher Education Funding Council for England, and Learning and Skills Council.|
Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions over what time period the new arrangements for payments of child maintenance will be phased in; and what changes (a) have and (b) are planned to be made in the operational improvement plan for the Child Support Agency in the transition to a child maintenance and enforcement commission. 
I refer the hon. Gentleman to box 3.1 on page 54 of the Child Maintenance White Paper A
new system of child maintenance which sets out the expected timetable for transition to the new system.
The CSA is fully committed to securing the benefits of the operational improvement plan and has no plans to alter its content in view of the impending creation of C-MEC. Indeed, successful delivery of the operational improvement plan is needed to provide C-MEC with a strong foundation on which to build. On current plans, C-MEC will be established before the operational improvement plan is fully completed and at that point it will be for C-MEC to decide whether any changes should be introduced to the final phase of the operational improvement plan.
Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how much his Department spent on debt management consultants in each quarter since the first quarter of 2006; and how much it spent on staff training relating to debt management in the same period. 
Mr. Plaskitt: The following table provides details of the costs of consultants working for debt management, and identifiable costs of training debt management staff.
|Period 2006||Consultants||Staff training|
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will make a statement on the progress of his Department's programme of manpower reduction and reorganisation. 
Mrs. McGuire: The Department continues to make progress on implementing its modernisation programme and, at the end of December 2006, had reduced staffing by 21,399 full-time equivalents since March 2004.
The Department is now over two thirds of the way to meeting the target reduction of 30,000 as set out in the Gershon Review.
Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will list the ICT projects in his Department that (a) have been cancelled since 1997 and (b) which remain under review; what the total expenditure was on each project; and which contractors were involved. 
The Department for Work and Pensions was created in June 2001. The Department undertakes a large number of projects which deliver
business change and policy initiatives. IT changes are an enabling component of many projects. The number of projects in train at any one time will vary and the duration of the project lifecycle is often more than one calendar year. The following table includes only those projects that have been formally closed where the IT element is such that non-delivery of the IT would significantly damage the projects ability to deliver its intended results and the investment in the project has exceeded £1 million.
|Project name||Contractors involved||Investment expenditure (£ million)|
IBM: solution design services. PA Consulting: client side programme management and implementation support.
|(1 )Including future commitments|
A significant amount of the investment in BPRP is of future value to the Department. At this point our best estimate of this sum is £73 million.
The Department has a comprehensive monitoring system in place to ensure that projects and programmes continue to deliver value for money, make effective use of departmental resources and continue to meet departmental objectives throughout their development. As such all projects and programmes are subject to periodic comprehensive reviews.
Mr. Hollobone: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will make a statement on the progress of the Financial Assistance Scheme. 
James Purnell: As at 26 January 2007 the Financial Assistance Scheme had paid out a total of £3,028,553 gross (£2,350,217 net) to 871 qualifying members.
A further 91 members will be paid as soon as they have confirmed their personal details, and an additional 196 members have been assessed and will be eligible for FAS when they are 65.
To help ensure that FAS is delivered as effectively and efficiently as possible we have completed, with the assistance of representatives from the pensions industry, a review of the administration of the FAS scheme.
This incorporated the examination of a number of options to increase the speed at which eligible members receive payments.
Good progress is being made towards implementing the proposals from that review, which include measures to inject skills from the private sector to enhance the data gathering processes and thus speed up payments.
Mr. Ruffley: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) how many people received incapacity benefit in (a) each London borough and (b) the UK on the grounds of dependency on (i) drugs and (ii) alcohol in each year since 1997; 
(2) how many people received incapacity benefit in (a) each London borough and (b) the UK in each year since 1991, broken down by qualifying medical condition of recipient; 
(3) how many incapacity benefit recipients experienced (a) mental and (b) behavioural disorder in each borough of London in each year since 1992, broken down by the type of disorder. 
Mrs. McGuire: The available information has been placed in the Library.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the estimated (a) total cost and (b) net present value is of the average award of incapacity benefit; and if he will make a statement. 
Mrs. McGuire: The estimated outturn for incapacity benefit for 2005-06 is £6,647 million (nominal terms).
The average weekly award of incapacity benefit, from the latest available data, is £88.29.
Mr. Waterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what recent assessment he has made of performance levels of Jobcentre Plus offices in (a) Eastbourne and (b) East Sussex. 
Mr. Jim Murphy: The administration of Jobcentre Plus is a matter for the chief executive of Jobcentre Plus, Lesley Strathie. I have asked her to provide the hon. Gentleman with the information requested.
Letter from Lesley Strathie, dated 5 February 2007:
The Secretary of State has asked me to reply to your question asking what recent assessment he has made of the performance levels of Jobcentre Plus offices in (a) Eastbourne and (b) East Sussex. This falls within responsibilities delegated to me as Chief Executive of Jobcentre Plus.
The Jobcentre Plus offices in Eastbourne and East Sussex fall within the Surrey and Sussex district. The latest year to date information, from 1 April 2007, for Eastbourne and East Sussex is in the Annex. Performance against the Job Outcome Target and the Employer Outcome Target is recorded at district level, not for individual offices.
The Annex also shows performance for the Benefit Delivery Centre (BDC) in Hastings where the benefit processing work for Eastbourne and East Sussex is carried out.
|Performance against national targets for Eastbourne and East Sussex Jobcentres|
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