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15 Mar 2007 : Column 516W—continued


15 Mar 2007 : Column 517W

Sir Gerald Kaufman: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how much has been spent on the New Deal since 2 May 1997; and how many jobs have been created by the scheme. [106387]

Mr. Jim Murphy: Up to March 2006, £4.815 billion had been spent on the new deal programme since the programme started in January 1998.

Up until May 2006, 1,673,030 people had been helped into work through new deal.

Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the total expenditure on providing for participants to attend a certified vocational training course when taking part in the Employment Option of the New Deal for Young People was in each year since 1998. [124054]

Mr. Jim Murphy [holding answer 28 February2007]: The information is not available.

Pensions: Insolvency

Mr. Garnier: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate his Department has made of the cost of meeting the judgment of the Ombudsman’s report on the matter of the employee pensions failure (a) over the next 60 years and (b) on an annual basis. [126334]

James Purnell: The High Court directed the Secretary of State to reconsider the first recommendation in the ombudsman’s report “Trusting in the Pension’s Promise”. The court did not require the Department to make any payment. An estimate of the cost of implementing all of the ombudsman’s proposals is given in the annex to the Government’s Response to the Report by the Parliamentary Ombudsman published in June 2006.

Pensions: Uprating

Mr. Waterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people received someone else's personal details with their recent pensions uprating notification; and if he will make a statement. [125542]

James Purnell: In all, approximately 26,000 customers received uprating notifications intended for someone else. Of that number, approximately 24,500 were state pension customers and the remaining 1,500 were Jobcentre Plus customers in receipt of either bereavement benefit or widows benefit.

The process involved in distributing uprating notifications, including quality control processes, have been examined and enhanced to prevent this happening again. The volume of existing checks has also been increased to help provide further assurance.

Procurement Projects

Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the 20 largest procurement projects initiated by his Department since May 1997 were; what
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the (a) original budget, (b) cost to date and (c) consultancy fees were; and what the final cost was of each project which has been completed. [106581]

Mrs. McGuire: The Department for Work and Pensions conducts most of its procurements under competitively let framework agreements for common goods and services. Information on the few cases where procurements were conducted as projects since the Department was formed in 2001 is provided as follows. The Department has conducted a large number of other projects to achieve business change and modernise our systems. Many of these included procurement exercises that were not conducted as projects in their own right and it is not possible to isolate the related costs of these without incurring disproportionate cost.

£ million
Project to procure: Estimated contract value Cost to date Consultancy

Estates Services (PRIME)

11,220

3,960

7

Post Office Card Account

1,000

625

0

Medical Services (to 2015)

666

80

0

Medical Services (to 2005)

534

n/a

0

Office Services(1)

331

n/a

0.9

Banking services

70

9

0

Record Storage

69

9

0.015

Post services

60

1

0

n/a = not applicable
(1) This Office Service contract expired in 2007 and the new contract begins on 1 March 2007.

Stakeholder Pensions

Tony Baldry: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the (a) one-off and (b) recurring cost of implementing the Stakeholder Pension Schemes Regulations 2000 and 2005 to (i) businesses and (ii) the regulators. [125612]

James Purnell: The Stakeholder Pensions Regulations 2000, and the Stakeholder Pensions (Amendment) Regulations 2005 were accompanied by regulatory impact assessments (RIAs), copies of which are available in the Library. These included an assessment of the impact of the regulations on business.

The cost to the Occupational Pensions Regulatory Authority (Opra) of implementing the regulations, if any, is not separately identifiable.

State Retirement Pensions

Julie Morgan: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) what proportion of retired persons reaching retirement age in the relevant year with a deficiency in National Insurance contributions qualifying for a full Category A state pension and being entitled to a Category B state pension by virtue of the National Insurance contributions of a spouse were women, in each year since 1979; [125507]

(2) what proportion of divorced retired persons reaching retirement age in the relevant year with a deficiency in National Insurance contributions
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qualifying for a full Category A state pension and needing to rely upon the National Insurance contributions of a former spouse under section 48 of the Social Security (Contributions and Benefits) Act 1992 or its precursor were women, in each year since 1979. [125506]

James Purnell: The information requested is not available.

Constitutional Affairs

Children: Maintenance

Mr. Kidney: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what progress she has made in helping Jane-Louise Green, a constituent of the hon. Member for Stafford, to secure child support through the courts for her daughter from the estate of the deceased father. [127364]

Ms Harman: My Department have pressed the Trinidadian authorities for an update as to the progress of Ms Green’s case. The Reciprocal Enforcement of Maintenance Orders Section (REMO) has discharged all its responsibilities in lodging the application and in pressing the Trinidadian authorities for updates in this matter. On 21 February 2007 officials sent a letter to the Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Trinidad lodging a formal complaint concerning the lack of response to the previous correspondence and to the discourtesy shown to Ms Green regarding her case. A request was also made for the outcome of the appeal process. To date no response has been forthcoming from Trinidad but officials will continue to press until the information sought is forthcoming and are now in contact with the High Commission in Trinidad to ascertain what assistance they can provide.

Divorce

Julie Morgan: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs how many decrees of judicial separation were granted in England and Wales in each year since 1979. [125505]

Ms Harman: Decrees of judicial separation granted in England and Wales since 1979 are tabled as follows. Figures for 2006 are not yet available.


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Petitions filed Decrees of Judicial separation granted

1979

3,650

1,640

1980

5,423

2,560

1981

6,036

3,334

1982

7,480

4,026

1983

7,430

4,852

1984

6,098

4,445

1985

3,479

2,344

1986

3,428

1,768

1987

3,199

1,659

1988

2,925

1,917

1990

2,990

1,794

1991

2,588

1,747

1992

2,434

1,452

1993

2,251

1,413

1994

4,358

1,350

1995

3,349

1,543

1996

2,795

1,199

1997

1,078

589

1998

916

519

1999

882

696

2000

650

540

2001

535

925

2002

1,001

560

2003

826

467

2004

742

419

2005

692

387


Freedom of Information: Members’ Constituency Work

Mr. Gale: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs if she will bring forward measures to prevent correspondence between hon. Members and (a) health authorities and (b) hospital trusts relating to constituents’ case work from being released under Freedom of Information requests. [127688]

Bridget Prentice: The Freedom of Information Act already contains a number of exemptions that protect information held by public authorities where appropriate. This may include information contained in hon. Members’ correspondence. The hon. Gentleman may be aware that the right hon. Member for Penrith and The Border has tabled a Private Member’s Bill which would amend the Freedom of Information Act to create a single exemption to cover hon. Members’ correspondence.

Lords Lieutenant

Keith Vaz: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs which Deputy Lords Lieutenant have been appointed since 1997; and how many of those are (a) female, (b) black and (c) Asian; [127239]

Ms Harman: I refer my right hon. Friend to my answer of 7 March 2007, Official Report, column 2042W. This list of Deputy Lieutenants will also include up-to-date ethnic and gender monitoring statistics. The information will be sent to my right hon. Friend and copies of these documents will be placed in the Library of the House.

Communities and Local Government

Departments: Silverfish Productions

Mr. David Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what contracts her Department awarded to Silverfish Productions Limited in each of the last three years; and at what cost. [127820]


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Angela E. Smith: The Department has not awarded any contracts to Silverfish Productions Ltd. in the last three years.


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