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16 Apr 2007 : Column 228Wcontinued
Mrs. Iris Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what steps have been taken to ensure that voluntary organisations providing services for publicly funded health bodies in Northern Ireland receive full recovery of costs. 
Paul Goggins: The Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety recognises the vital role played by the voluntary and community sector in the delivery of health care services across Northern Ireland. The Government also acknowledge, as indicated in their response to Investing Together Positive Stepsthat voluntary organisations must be able to recover full overhead costs for delivering a contracted service. The Department is working in partnership with the Department of Finance and Personnel and the Department for Social Development to develop this approach.
Mrs. Iris Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland when the Ballyhalbert waste and water treatment works contract will start; and if he will make a statement. 
David Cairns: The Chief Executive of Water Service (Mrs. Katharine Bryan) has been asked to write to the hon. Lady in response to this question.
Letter from Katharine Bryan, dated 31 March 2007:
You recently asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland a Parliamentary Question about when the Ballyhalbert waste and water treatment works contract will start; and if he will make a statement (130876). I have been asked to reply as this issue falls within my responsibility as Chief Executive of Water Service.
Water Service recently completed an appraisal study of the treatment needs for the Ards Peninsula and a project to improve the wastewater treatment facilities in Ballyhalbert is currently included in its Capital Works Programme with a commencement date in 2012. However, an interim solution with a commencement date towards the end of 2007 is currently being considered.
David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what recommendation the District Commander of Armagh District Command Unit of the Police Service of Northern Ireland made to the Northern Ireland Office on the application for a personal protection weapon made by Mr. William Frazer of Families Acting for Innocent Victims. 
Paul Goggins: Responsibility for the issue of personal protection weapons rests with the Chief Constable of the Police Service of Northern Ireland. In the event of an appeal, the matter is considered by the Secretary of State. While it is not appropriate to disclose information on individual cases, if the hon. Member wishes to write to me on behalf of Mr. Frazer I would be happy to consider his inquiry.
Lady Hermon: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will make a statement on the outcome of the inquiry into the escape from Woodlands Juvenile Justice Centre on 22 February 2007; and what action has been taken to prevent further escapes. 
Mr. Hanson: An investigation into the escape, conducted by the centre director, concluded that a security weakness in the design of a vehicle access gate at the rear of the centre, which enabled it to be scaled by the young person, was to blame. This has since been rectified.
Furthermore, the centre director has completed a security survey of all external and internal areas of the centre.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland when he expects to answer question 108009, tabled on 5 December 2006 by the hon. Member for Portsmouth South. 
Paul Goggins: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given on 21 February 2007, Official Report, column 785W.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland when he will answer question 113811, on public sector pensions, tabled on 5 January 2007 by the hon. Member for Yeovil. 
Mr. Hain: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 23 February 2007, Official Report, column 984W.
Mr. Heald: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions pursuant to the answer of 20 February 2007, Official Report, column 625W, on advertising, if he will place in the Library a copy of the contract between his Department and the newspaper in relation to the Guardian supplement on Extending Boundaries. 
Mrs. McGuire: Buying newspaper advertising space is carried out for my Department by the Central Office of Information through a commercial supplier as part of wider media buying activities. There was no specific contract between the Department and the Guardian newspaper for this piece of work, only between the Department and COI, as part of a larger project.
Mr. Ruffley: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what proportion of calls made to the benefit fraud hotline led to (a) investigation and (b) conviction of individuals named by callers in each year since 1997. 
Mr. Plaskitt: The National Benefit Fraud Hotline is very cost effectivelast year it cost nearly £1 million to run but identified £21.4 million in recoverable overpayments. Between April 1999 and March 2006, 4,233 people have been convicted as a result of calls made to the National Benefit Fraud Hotline. A proportion of the 110,485 people who have received a penalty or caution over! the same period will also have been initially reported via the Benefit Fraud Hotline but this information has not been collected.
Information regarding calls made, and the proportion of such calls that led to investigation and conviction is only available from April 2004. Available information regarding the number of calls actually answered from 1997 is in the following table.
|Calls answered||Referrals for investigation as a proportion of calls answered (percentage)||Convictions as a proportion of calls answered (percentage)|
|(1) Not recorded|
National Benefit Fraud Hotline and Fraud Information by Sector system.
Mrs. Maria Miller:
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what progress has been made in meeting the targets for the Child Support Agency set
out in the Child Support Agency Business Plan 2006-07; which targets he expects will be (a) met and (b) not met; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Plaskitt [holding answer 21 March 2007]: The administration of the Child Support Agency is a matter for the Chief Executive. He will write to the hon. Member with the information requested.
Letter from Stephen Geraghty, dated 16 April 2007:
In reply to your recent Parliamentary Questions about the Child Support Agency, the Secretary of State promised a substantive reply from the Chief Executive.
You asked the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what progress has been made in meeting the targets for the Child Support Agency set out in the Child Support Agency Business Plan 2006-07; which targets he expects will be (a) met and (b) not met; and if he will make a statement.
The Child Support Agency has six targets set by the Secretary of State for 2006-07, which were published in the Agencys Business Plan, a copy of which is available in the House of Commons Library, or on the internet via the following link: www.csa.gov.uk/pdf/english/reports/plan0607.pdf.
The Agencys current performance against these targets is published every three months in tables 2.1, 3, 7.2, 8.1,12, and 17 of the Child Support Agency Quarterly Summary Statistics.
Latest performance to December 2006 is currently available on the Internet via the following link: www.dwp.gov.uk/asd/asd1/child_support/csa_quarterly_dec06.asp and a hard copy is in the House of Commons Library.
The final assessment of how the Agency has performed against these targets, including achievements from January to March, will be published in the March 2007 Child Support Agency Quarterly Summary Statistics.
I hope you find this answer helpful.
Mrs. Maria Miller: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many (a) old scheme and (b) new scheme Child Support Agency cases were cleared in each month of the last two years for which figures are available. 
Mr. Plaskitt [ h olding a nswer 23 February 2007]: The administration of the Child Support Agency is a matter for the Chief Executive. He will write to the hon. Member with the information requested.
Letter from Stephen Geraghty, dated 3 April 2007:
In reply to your recent Parliamentary Question about the Child Support Agency, the Secretary of State promised a substantive reply from the Chief Executive.
You asked the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many (a) old scheme and (b) new scheme Child Support Agency cases were cleared in each month of the last two years for which figures are available.
The information requested is presented in the attached table.
The clearance process includes all work undertaken on applications for child maintenance until one of the following conditions is met: a parent with care has been identified as claiming Good Cause or is subject to a Reduced Benefit Decision; the application is identified as being a change of circumstances on an existing case; the application has been closed; or for old scheme cases a maintenance assessment has been carried out and for new scheme cases, a payment arrangement between the parent with care and the non-resident parent is in place.
The Agency holds only a negligible number of completely unprocessed applications. The amount of work required to achieve clearance, and the length of time involved, varies considerably depending on, amongst other things, the circumstances of the parents and how readily they cooperate with the Agency. The work undertaken by the Agencys New Client Teams extends far beyond simply clearing new applications through the computer system. A significant proportion of the work undertaken by the Agencys New Client Teams consists of setting up the first maintenance payments to the parent with care, and retaining responsibility for this growing caseload until the first fully compliant, on time payment is made by the non-resident parent.
In addition, under the Operational Improvement Plan, the Agency is committed to reducing the number of uncleared applications. The number of uncleared applications fell by 13 per cent. in the 12 months prior to December 2006, as the Agency made progress in clearing significant numbers of older, more complex cases. These cased often require a great deal more work than other applications and this is reflected in the increasing average age of cleared cases.
For future reference, information on the number of new scheme clearances is publicly available in the Child Support Agency Quarterly Summary of Statistics (QSS), a copy of which is available in the House of Commons Library, or on the internet via the following link: http//www.dwp.gov.uk/asd/asd1/child_support/csa_quarterly_dec06.asp.
I hope you find this answer helpful.
|The number of clearances each month between January 2005 and December 2006|
|Month ending||New scheme||Old scheme||Total|
| Notes to table:|
1. Numbers are rounded to the nearest hundred.
2. The increase in the number of old scheme clearances in September and October 2006 was as a result of work being carried out to clear a number of cases that had previously not been on the system.
3. The definition of a clearance is not the same on the old and new schemes. A clearance on the old scheme occurs when an assessment has been carried out, a case is closed, the parent with care (PWC) is identified as claiming Good Cause or the PWC is subject to a Reduced Benefit Decision. For a new scheme case to be cleared it must also have a maintenance collection schedule set up following a calculation.
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