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Anne Main: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions on how many occasions special advisers have been consulted in replying to Freedom of Information requests to his Department; and what his Departments policy is on the role of special advisers in the answering of Freedom of Information requests. 
Responses to Freedom of Information requests are the responsibility of the official who has direct access to the information sought or who deals with the policy in question. In a small proportion of cases, Ministers may be consulted on departmental responses and special advisers will be copied in to those submissions.
Mrs. McGuire: My Department has assessed its functions and policies for their impact on gender equality. Each business in the Department has published a gender equality scheme, committing to objectives and action plans for addressing any areas of concern and for ensuring that we meet the requirements of the gender equality duty. Our gender equality schemes were published in December 2006.
In preparation for the duty, all staff are receiving equality training on this and all other equality requirements, and there has been widespread communication about the new duty. There will be further communication about the new duty as it comes into force in April.
Mrs. McGuire: The rules for civil servants, including special advisers, who wish to take up other employment in addition to their civil service duties are set out in Section 4.3 of the Civil Service Management Code. Such information is not normally made public. There are no plans to create a public register of interests for special advisers.
Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the total amount in disability premiums underpaid to income support claimants in each of the last five years. 
This Department has responsibility for disability discrimination policy. Under the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA), a disabled person may be able to take legal action if they are unable to access goods or services because of their impairment. DWP has taken action to raise awareness of the DDA, most recently through the Adjusting for Better Business campaign, which ran from December 2005 to November 2006.
DWP is also the sponsoring body for the Disability Rights Commission (DRC). The DRC published the
findings of its formal investigation into the issues that disabled people face when using websites in 2004. In March 2006, the Minister for Disabled People spoke at the launch of PAS (Publicly Available Specification) 78, developed by the British Standards Institution (BSI) and the DRC. PAS78 is a set of guidelines on how to make websites more user-friendly for disabled people.
DWP is committed to improving the accessibility of its own websites. All its sites are working towards complying with the World Wide Web Consortiums Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (W3C WCAG) at level AA, in line with Cabinet Office guidance. Guidelines have been developed for site managers, and a testing and improvement programme is now in place. In a recent audit, 45 per cent. of DWPs information sites passed automated checks for level AA.
All of DWPs information for disabled people is now published through Directgovs Disabled People section, which helps to ensure that disabled people with a wide variety of impairments are able to find and access
information easily. This section of the site is promoted through a variety of means, including search-engine marketing activities, links with many other disability-related organisations and attendance at relevant events and exhibitions. Directgov complies with WAI level AA.
The data are not robust enough to split such a relatively small sub-group of individuals into income deciles. However, we are able to provide information by income quintile and this is shown in the following table.
|Parents with disabled children in each income quintile in 2004-05, Great Britain|
|Bottom quintile||Second quintile||Middle quintile||Fourth quintile||Top quintile||Total|
Totals may not sum due to rounding.
Family Resources Survey 2004-05.
Mrs. McGuire: The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) will need to reduce the number of posts by 250-350 by 31 March 2008 to keep within current financial budgets. The exact number will depend upon the rate and grade of staff who leave HSE over this period.
Mrs. McGuire: The Health, Work and Wellbeing strategy has been gaining momentum. The main focus to date has been on engaging stakeholders and spreading the strategy's key messages; developing partnership work between Government Departments; and co-ordinating work taking place across government.
Notable achievements in the past year include the appointment of Professor Dame Carol Black as the first National Director for Health and Work; the formation of a National Stakeholder Council, to advise and guide Ministers on appropriate action to deliver this agenda; and the publication of an evidence review, tasked with answering the question: Is work good for your health and well-being? (Waddell and Burton, 2006).
Examples of initiatives being taken forward as part of the strategy are Improving Access to Psychological Therapies which aims to respond to patients preferences for talking therapies and Workplace Health Connect which is a free and confidential occupational health service for smaller businesses.
Ben Chapman: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will take steps to reduce the (a) time spent and (b) cost of making a personal capability assessment to determine continuing entitlement to incapacity benefit. 
Mrs. McGuire: Doctors spend as long as is required to carry out an appropriate personal capability assessment. Some types of disabling conditions will take longer than others to assess depending on the nature of the individuals physical and/or mental disabilities.
Medical services, including personal capability reports, are provided under contract to the DWP. This contract was awarded following a competitive tendering exercise and the Department is satisfied that the costs agreed under this contract continue to represent best value for money.
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what recent assessment his Department has made of the efficiency of process for
conducting a personal capability assessment to determine continuing entitlement to incapacity benefit. 
Mrs. McGuire: The timing of a personal capability assessment (PCA) to review a customers entitlement to incapacity benefit is decided on the basis of medical advice. The PCA would be held at a time when it would be reasonable to expect that a customers condition may have changed.
Mr. Spring: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people in Suffolk were charged with offences under health and safety legislation enforced by the Health and Safety Executive in each of the last five years. 
|Prosecution cases||Offences prosecuted (individual breaches)||Offences convicted|
1. The annual basis is the planning year from 1 April to 31 March, and based on date of hearing.
2. The number of cases refers to a prosecution against a single defendant. Cases may include a number of offences prosecuted, which are individual breaches of health and safety legislation laid before the court.
3. Figures cover Suffolk incorporating the following local authorities: Babergh, Forest Heath, Ipswich (borough of), Mid Suffolk, St. Edmundsbury, Suffolk Coastal and Waveney.
Kerry McCarthy: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what percentage of the resident working-age population in each ward in Bristol East constituency is in receipt of jobseeker's allowance. 
|Jobseeker's Allowance claimants in the Bristol East parliamentary constituency, by ward: May 2006|
|Ward name||Total claimants|
|(1) Knowle ward does not fall wholly within the Bristol East parliamentary constituency. Notes: 1. Figures supplied have been rounded to the nearest five to protect the confidentiality of claimants. 2 Figures exclude a very small number of cases that are held clerically. 3 2003 ward boundaries are used. Source: 100 per cent DWP Work and Pensions Longitudinal Study (WPLS)|
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the number of national insurance numbers which were used for fraudulent purposes in each of the last five years. 
Where a national insurance number has been identified as having been used for fraudulent purposes, a mark is put on the national insurance number account. If any activity occurs on the account, a report is issued to the National Identity Fraud Unit (NIFU) within three days advising what activity has taken place.
If NIFU are advised of a NINO being used by another person, the account is classed as vulnerable and is flagged as having a NIFU interest. If there is any benefit activity on that account, NIFU receive a report within three days of the activity. A report of suspected fraud is completed and this is sent to the Fraud Investigation Service Operational Intelligence Unit pertinent to the area within the UK. A decision will then be taken as to the appropriate type of investigation to be carried out. This can potentially lead to prosecution of the individual involved.
|Number of marked accounts|
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