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8 May 2007 : Column 131W—continued

Departments: Disciplinary Proceedings

David Simpson: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs how many grievance procedures have been initiated in her Department in the last 12 months. [135168]

Vera Baird: There are no figures available for the number of grievances initiated in my Department, save for the numbers of grievances involving equality and diversity issues. There were 19 grievances initiated involving equality and diversity issues.

Departments: ICT

Chris Huhne: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what the (a) originally estimated, (b) most recently estimated and (c) outturn cost was of each of the five largest information technology contracts agreed by her Department with outside suppliers in the last five years, as referred to in the answer of 24 May 2006, Official Report, column 1837W, on information technology. [135612]

Vera Baird: For my Department, the five relevant IT contracts are with Atos Origin, LogicaCMG, Fujitsu Services; STL and Accenture.

(a) The originally estimated costs of these contracts are:

(b) and (c) All these contracts are ongoing and some will be subject to value for money contract re-negotiation. Therefore outturn costs do not apply. The current values of each of the contracts are as follows:

Departments: India

Mr. Heald: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs which Ministers in her Department have visited India in the last 12 months; on how many occasions each Minister visited India; and what the length was of each visit. [135542]

Vera Baird: This Government publishes an annual list of Cabinet Ministers’ travel overseas costing over £500 along with the total cost of all ministerial travel. Information for 2005-06 was published on 24 July 2006
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and is available in the Library of the House. Information for 2006-07 will be published as soon as it is ready.

All travel is in accordance with the Ministerial Code and Travel by Ministers.

Baroness Ashton, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs, visited India from 26 April to 5 May 2007.

Departments: Oral Questions

Bob Russell: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs how many oral questions tabled by hon. and right hon. Members to her Department have been transferred to other Departments since May 2005. [133808]

Vera Baird: My Department has transferred six oral questions to other Departments since May 2005.

Departments: Publications

David Davis: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs if she will list the reports produced by consultants to her Department in each of the last five years. [136230]

Vera Baird: My Department has used consultants for expert professional advice on various projects to support our objectives and deliver our fast-paced programme of modernisation and reform. However, information on whether a report was produced at the end of individual consultancy assignments over the past five years is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Departments: Renewable Energy

Lynne Jones: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs how much energy in kilowatt hours was purchased by her Department from renewable sources in the most recent year for which figures are available. [134994]

Vera Baird: The amount of energy that DCA purchased from renewable sources that was climate change levy exempt during 2005-06 was 14,127,483 kwh.

Departments: Sexual Harassment

David Simpson: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs how many complaints of sexual harassment have been investigated in her Department in the last 12 months; and how many complaints have been upheld. [135366]

Vera Baird: During the last 12 months (for the period April 2006 to March 2007) the Department for Constitutional Affairs has investigated no official complaints about sexual harassment.

Departments: Sick Leave

David Simpson: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs how many people took sick leave for stress in her Department in
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the last 12 months; and what percentage of the total staff number this represents. [135478]

Vera Baird: For the period 1 April 2006 to 31 March 2007 the total number of staff, where stress was given as the reason for absence was 768, 2.6 per cent. of the total headcount for the whole of DCA.

The total number of sick days due to stress for the period 1 April 2006 to 31 March 2007 was 29,389, 12.5 per cent. of the total number of sick days.

The Department is committed to ensuring that the factors leading to harmful stress levels are minimised as far as possible. The current DCA stress policy and stress toolkit is under review for relaunch early summer 2007. These documents provide advice and guidance to help staff identify and take appropriate steps to prevent or manage stress at work. There is also training for individuals and managers, stress risk assessments, focused support from HR and work place support teams and a stress helpline.

HM Revenue and Customs: Great Yarmouth

Mr. Anthony Wright: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what assessment she has made of the effect on local court services of the withdrawal of debt management and banking staff from the HM Revenue and Customs office in Great Yarmouth. [134309]

John Healey: I have been asked to reply.

The review of the cluster of HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) offices comprising Great Yarmouth, Norwich and East Dereham is planned to take place later this year. No decisions on the future of any of these offices will be made until the review process is completed.

However, where HMRC provides a local service in support of customers or another Government Department this will continue to be the case irrespective of the outcome of the review.

Judiciary

Mr. Garnier: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs on what dates (a) the Lord Chancellor and (b) departmental officials have had meetings with representatives of the judiciary of England and Wales to discuss the setting up and responsibilities of the Ministry of Justice; and what the (i) names and (ii) positions were of those attending each meeting. [135128]

Vera Baird: The Lord Chancellor has regular meetings with senior members of the judiciary to discuss various subjects including the Ministry of Justice. A working group of senior officials and members of the judiciary was set up to discuss these issues. They have met eight times so far. Information relating to the meetings and the detailed membership is not disclosed as to do so could harm the frankness and candour of discussion.

Ministry of Justice: Manpower

Keith Vaz: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs whether Home Office civil
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servants are expected to be directly transferred to the Ministry of Justice; and if she will make a statement. [134346]

Vera Baird: Staff working in an area affected by these changes are expected to move with the work, although exceptional circumstances will be considered. The Home Office will ensure that people and other relevant resources are available from 9 May to support transition until substantive arrangements are agreed.

Ministry of Justice: Scotland Office

Keith Vaz: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what discussions have taken place with the Scotland Office on the implications of the creation of a new Ministry of Justice. [134351]

Vera Baird: As part of the arrangements for transition, responsibility for the Scotland Office will move from the Department for Constitutional Affairs to the new Ministry of Justice. This change does not affect the accountability of the Office to the Secretary of State for Scotland.

The permanent secretary of the Department for Constitutional Affairs wrote to staff (including Scotland Office staff) on 29 March 2007 to explain the change. As a key stakeholder, the Scotland Office is regularly updated on progress.

Supreme Court: Buildings

Keith Vaz: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs how many private contractors were engaged by the Department with a view to costing a new building for the Supreme Court. [134348]

Vera Baird: The DCA took advice on a ‘new build’ from one reputable estate agent during the site selection process for the UK Supreme Court.

Keith Vaz: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs which buildings were considered as a potential site for the Supreme Court. [134350]

Vera Baird: In 2004 a statement of requirements for the building to house the UK Supreme Court was agreed in conjunction with the Lords of Appeal in Ordinary. This search generated a long-list of 48 properties but only eight of which, after closer scrutiny against a number of criteria (size, operational efficiency, adaptability, suitability), merited further consideration.


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The long list has never been made public as it includes several properties where no formal contact was made with regards to the search.

Health

Academy of Medical Royal Colleges

Sandra Gidley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much public funding has been provided to the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges to support the development of revalidation. [133574]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The Government have provided funding totalling £1.5 million to the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges to support the development of revalidation processes for specialist recertification.

Autism

Dr. Kumar: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many people in (a) England, (b) the North East and (c) the area corresponding as closely as possible to Middlesbrough and South East Cleveland were diagnosed with autism in the last seven years. [134870]

Mr. Anthony Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many people in (a) England and (b) Great Yarmouth were diagnosed with autism in each of the last 30 years for which figures are available. [135200]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: Information on the number of people diagnosed with autism is not collected.

Bereavement Counselling

Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment she has made of the impact of the change in NHS resources for bereavement counselling and end-of-life services on surviving children and family members. [133634]

Ms Rosie Winterton: None.

It is for national health service trusts to determine the provision of appropriate support and advice to families at the time of bereavement locally, in line with local needs and circumstances.

Bevacizumab

Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate she has made of the total costs to a patient who is prescribed and buys avastin for the treatment of cancer over a period of six months; and if she will make a statement. [134159]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The cost to a patient who is prescribed and buys Avastin will vary in individual cases due to factors such as body weight, dose of Avastin received and length of treatment.

However, in its appraisal of Avastin for advanced colorectal cancer, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence estimated the average total cost of
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drug acquisition to be £17,665.65 per patient. Costs may vary in different settings because of negotiated procurement discounts.

Breast Cancer

Mr. Baron: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans her Department has in place for (a) the training of staff and (b) the development of capacity to meet the Government’s commitment that all women with breast problems referred to a breast specialist by their GP will be seen within two weeks by 2008. [134380]

Ms Rosie Winterton [holding answer 27 April 2007]: The Government set out their commitment to go further on cancer waits in their 2005 election manifesto. Proposals for going further on cancer waits, including seeing all patients with breast symptoms within two weeks, will be taken forward as part of the Cancer Reform Strategy currently being developed by the National Cancer Director.

Last year the Department commissioned Skills for Health, which is the Sector Skills Council for Health, to develop competencies in breast assessment, which can be used to develop training programmes to increase capacity in qualified breast assessment staff.


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