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Income tax relief on gifts of shares, securities and real property;
Inheritance tax relief on bequests to charities.
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) how many people who continued to be UK taxpayers ceased to be eligible for (a) tax credits and
(b) child benefit as a result of working outside the EU in each year since 2003-04; 
(2) what the cost to the public purse was of paying (a) tax credits and (b) child benefit to those working outside the EU who continue to be UK taxpayers in the latest period for which figures are available. 
Mr. Heald: To ask the Minister of State, Ministry of Justice what estimate her Department has made of the proportion of postal vote identifiers which were checked in the 2007 local elections. 
Bridget Prentice: The Government have asked the Electoral Commission to review and report on the introduction of personal identifiers for absent voting in England and Wales and, in particular, the use of the personal identifiers at the 3 May 2007 elections in England and Wales. We expect to have a clearer picture of the proportion of postal vote personal identifiers which were checked when the Electoral Commission produces its report, which it has been asked to do by 31 July 2007. A copy of the report will be made publicly available when it is produced.
Returning officers were required to check the personal identifiers on at least 20 per cent. of returned postal votes at the local elections on 3 May 2007. From discussions we have had with electoral administrators, we understand that the level of checking at these elections varied across local authorities.
Mr. Sutcliffe: We are not aware of any order made by Mr. Justice Sullivan that requires a review of the oral hearings process to be carried out. He is, however, reviewing the case of a prisoner serving an indeterminate sentence of imprisonment for public protection who has brought a judicial review in respect of his parole board hearing. The case is due to be reviewed on 22 June.
Bridget Prentice: Following approval by both Houses of Parliament, the draft Parliamentary Constituencies (England) Order was submitted to Her Majesty in Council for approval and making. The draft Order appears on the agenda for the meeting of the Privy Council of 13 June 2007.
The terms of the draft Order provide that it comes into force on the fourteenth day after it is made. The new constituencies will be used at the next general election on or after the date on which the Order comes into force, in accordance with section 4(6) of the Parliamentary Constituencies Act 1986.
Jeremy Corbyn: To ask the Minister of State, Ministry of Justice what discussions have been held with the Criminal Cases Review Commission on its judgment of the likely success rate of references to the court of appeal; how many cases were reviewed in each of the last five years; and how many were referred to the Court of Appeal. 
Mr. Sutcliffe: The rate of convictions quashed by the Court of Appeal following referral from the Criminal Cases Review Commission is around 70 per cent. We understand that the Court of Appeal regard this rate as broadly satisfactory and we have noted that position in discussions with the Commission. The answer to the second part of the question is contained in the following table.
|31 March to 1 April each year||Number of cases completed||Number of cases referred|
Mr. Amess: To ask the Minister of State, Ministry of Justice what (a) primary and (b) delegated legislation regulates small claims courts; what changes have been made to each since their enactment; what further amendments are planned; and if she will make a statement. 
Vera Baird: The Civil Procedure Act 1997 and the Civil Procedure Rules (CPR) regulate the small claims procedure, specifically Part 26 of the CPR which deals with the allocation to the small claims track and Part 27 which sets out the procedures. Other parts of the CPR may apply to small claims cases in certain circumstances. The CPR also regulates other types of civil court proceedings. There have been a number of changes made to the CPR since their introduction in April 1999 which can be viewed on http://www.justice.gov.uk/civil/procrules_fin/update.htm.
To ask the Minister of State, Ministry of Justice what the (a) original planned completion date,
(b) original estimated cost, (c) current planned completion date and (d) current estimated cost of all IT projects associated with the eConveyancing Programme is; and if she will make a statement. 
Vera Baird: The original approved Business Case for the Electronic Conveyancing Programme (2005) estimated that full implementation would occur by 2013-14 with whole life costs to that date in the range of £270 to £310 million. Land Registry's latest estimate of completion is 2014-15 with a revised estimated cost of about £227 million.
The introduction of Electronic Conveyancing in England and Wales is one of this Government's priority programmes of work that will make the conveyancing process simpler and more transparent for both conveyancers and their clients. The Programme's implementation plan is constantly reviewed and updated by Land Registry to ensure that each new service and product is fully tested and that customer feedback is taken on board. This has led to some slippage in the overall programme with a consequent reduction in the running costs contained in the original costing.
An early prototype of the Chain Matrix (TM) has already been launched and is being tested by a number of conveyancers in the Southwest of England. A pilot of electronic conveyancing will follow once the necessary legislation is in place.
Mr. Heald: To ask the Minister of State, Ministry of Justice whether any manual counts have taken place in local election pilot areas which used electronic counting (a) in 2007 and (b) in previous pilots to verify the accuracy of the counting machines. 
Bridget Prentice: Since 2000, no manual counts have taken place in electoral pilot schemes to verify the accuracy of electronic counting machines. However, pre-election quality assurance audit and acceptance tests have been conducted to verify the accuracy of machinery and software before the systems are used to count in an electoral pilot scheme.
Mr. Spellar: To ask the Minister of State, Ministry of Justice what estimate her Department has made of the cost implications of linking the electoral registration process to the National Identity Register. 
Following the allegations against Group4Securicor (G4S) in the BBC Programme Inside Out in March 2007, the National Offender Management Service required G4S to investigate the allegations. G4S
undertook an internal and external audit of its electronic monitoring operations in all three contract areas. The National Offender Management Service undertook its own investigation. Following consideration of both investigations, a rectification notice was issued on the East Midlands Region of G4S at the end of April, requiring the remedy of the defaults within 60 days.
Mr. Bellingham: To ask the Minister of State, Ministry of Justice whether she has received the official report into the so-called Muslim Olympics racist incident at HM Young Offenders Institution Feltham; what action she has taken to address the management issues leading to the incident; if she will place a copy of the report in the Library; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Sutcliffe: The hon. Member is referring to allegations of inappropriate racist behaviour. An investigation took place leading to a disciplinary hearing and the dismissal of two members of staff. No management issues lead to this incident. It is not Prison Service policy to publish investigation reports.
Mr. Sutcliffe: Following the allegations about the electronic monitoring service provided by Group4Securicor (G4S) in the BBC Programme Inside Out in March 2007, the National Offender Management Service fully investigated the matters raised and issued a rectification notice requiring the remedy of the defaults within 60 days. No representations have been received from Members of Parliament or national organisations relating specifically to these allegations. G4S is contracted to provide other services to the Ministry of Justice and Home Office, including contracts to run Parc prison and Oak Hill Secure Training Centre. Such representations have not been received regarding these or other contracts.
Mr. Lidington: To ask the Minister of State, Ministry of Justice on which dates the Joint Ministerial Committee has met in plenary form in the last two years; and if she will make a statement. 
Bridget Prentice: I refer the hon. Member for Aylesbury to my written answer of 7 June 2007, Official Report, column 688W. The Joint Ministerial Committee (JMC) exists in both plenary and functional formats, where the latter focuses on specific areas such as health, poverty, the knowledge economy and Europe. There have been no plenary meetings of the JMC over the last two years, but there have been at least 11 meetings of the JMC in its functional format over this same period.
To ask the Minister of State, Ministry of Justice how many oral hearings are waiting to be considered by the Parole Board; what the (a) average
waiting time is and (b) longest waiting time is; and what the corresponding figures were in May 2006. 
Mr. Sutcliffe: 2,138 oral hearings are currently waiting to be considered by the Parole Board. Figures for the average waiting time and longest waiting time are not recorded centrally. The time taken to arrange hearings depends on the circumstances of the case.
Dr. Starkey: To ask the Minister of State, Ministry of Justice what assessment her Department has made of the reasons for delays in Parole Board hearings; and what steps she is taking to reduce such delays. 
Mr. Sutcliffe: Parole Board hearings to review whether offenders should continue to be held in custody require information to be collected from a variety of sources within the criminal justice system. There are also large numbers of hearings to be conducted any one time. Sometimes, therefore, delays regrettably occur. I am assured by the Parole Board, however, that every effort is continuing to be made to ensure that all hearings are conducted as expeditiously as possible.
Mr. Sutcliffe: On 31 May 2007, the number of people employed in prisons and young offender institutions was 48,822 in England and 1,485 in Wales. It was not possible to provide data in the timescale available for answering this question for the contracted establishments of Bronzefield, Forest Bank and Peterborough.
Mr. Bellingham: To ask the Minister of State, Ministry of Justice what the functions are of the Professional Standards Unit at HM Prison Service in the (a) gathering and (b) evaluation of intelligence about misconduct among (i) staff and (ii) inmates at prison establishments; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Sutcliffe: The Prison Service Professional Standards Unit receives, develops and analyses intelligence on staff misconduct. The gathering and evaluation of this intelligence is carried out by area and local professional standard managers.
Mr. Bellingham: To ask the Minister of State, Ministry of Justice (1) what (a) mechanisms and (b) resources exist within the Professional Standards Unit Investigation Support Section at HM Prison Service to conduct investigations into alleged staff misconduct; and if she will make a statement; 
(2) how many investigations were conducted by the Professional Standards Unit Investigation Support
Section at HM Prison Service into alleged staff misconduct in each of the last five years; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Sutcliffe: The Investigation Support Section is an administrative function set up to register, track and store all formal investigations commissioned in the Prison Service. It also monitors the progress of investigations, maintains a register of trained investigators and provides advice and statistical reports. The section does not conduct investigations. Instead, conducting investigations is the responsibility of the management line.
Mr. Bellingham: To ask the Minister of State, Ministry of Justice (1) how many staff are employed in the Professional Standards Directorate at HM Prison Service; and if she will make a statement; 
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