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David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how much was spent on overnight accommodation by civil servants within his Departments areas of responsibilities in the last 12 months. 
This expenditure was procured through the contracted service provider. There were additional accommodation costs incurred where staff booked their own accommodation independently to the contracted service and re-claimed the costs as expenses. Identifying these costs would exceed the disproportionate threshold.
There are currently 62 DWP employees paid more than £100,000 per annum,
including base pay and non-consolidated, non- pensionable bonuses. This represents less than 0.1 per cent of the Department's employees.
Mrs. Lait: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the total cost is of all private finance initiative projects for which his Department has responsibility completed since 1997; and what the projected cost is of such projects commissioned or under way. 
PRIME is a 20-year PFI partnership deal, competitively let to Trillium (now Land Securities Trillium) on 1 April 1998 by the then Department of Social Security and expanded in 2003 to cover the former Employment Service estate. The estimated NPV for the original contract was £2.008 billion. The estimated NPV for the expansion was £1.2 billion.
Mrs. McGuire: The main incentive the Department offers is interest-free loans for season tickets for travel to work. Use of public transport is encouraged by departmental policies including limited car parking, flexible working, using public transport during the course of travel and making use of travel websites and information services, such as Transport Direct. Staff are also informed about local transport initiatives and promotions. Where the location or nature of the work makes public transport use impractical for staff, car sharing is encouraged.
David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many complaints of racial abuse relating to staff for which his Department is responsible have been (a) investigated and (b) upheld in the last 12 months. 
As part of its Efficiency Programme, the Department has run a number of staff early release schemes in each year since its formation. All but two early releases under these schemes have been on a voluntary basis. One member of staff was made compulsorily redundant in December 2005; one member of staff was made compulsorily redundant in May 2007.
Mr. Alan Reid: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many employees in each service or agency of his Department were made compulsorily redundant in each year since it was established. 
As part of its Efficiency Programme, the Department has run a number of staff early release schemes in each year since its formation. All but two early releases under these schemes have been on a voluntary basis. One member of staff from Jobcentre Plus was made compulsorily redundant in December 2005; one member of staff from the Child Support Agency was made compulsorily redundant in May 2007.
Mr. Alan Reid: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the headcount target figure is for the number of employees in his Department in Scotland for 2007-08; and how many staff are in post. 
Mrs. McGuire: Based on current plans, the Department for Work and Pensions has an overall headcount target for March 2008 of 103,468 Full Time Equivalents (FTE). There is no specific headcount target for Scotland as a whole but current work force plans indicate that staffing levels in Scotland will be in the region of 11,000 FTE by March 2008.
Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions which sites in Castle Point the Health and Safety Executive considers to be potential hazards due to storage of combustible materials; and when each was last inspected. 
Mrs. McGuire: There are two sites within the area of Castle Point that are covered by the Planning (Hazardous Substances) Act 1990 and the Control of Major Accident Hazards Regulations (COMAH) 1999 by virtue of the quantity and nature of flammable substances stored or processed on the site. These are:
Calor Gas Ltd (last visited May 2007);
Oikos Storage Ltd (last visited March 2007).
Andrew Selous: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many incapacity benefit claimants there were in south west Bedfordshire constituency (a) at the latest date for which figures are available and (b) in each of the last five years. 
|Number of incapacity benefit/severe disablement allowance claimants in south west Bedfordshire parliamentary constituency|
|Quarter ending November each year||Number of claimants|
| Notes: Figures are rounded to the nearest 10. Source: DWP Information Directorate 100 per cent. WPLS|
John Battle: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will bring forward proposals to make public liability insurance a legal requirement for Corgi-registered gas installers. 
Mrs. McGuire: There are no plans to introduce legislation in this area. However, the proposed new regime for domestic gas safety, announced by the Government in March, will include provision for consideration of, and advice to HSE on, the role of public liability insurance for gas installers by the new provider of the gas installer registration scheme.
Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will take steps in response to the shortcomings in the Pension Service identified by the Parliamentary Commissioner for Administration (Ombudsman) in the report of 31 May 2007 (reference PA-3021) into the complaint of John and Jeanne Fawcett; and what steps he is taking to ensure future avoidance of similar errors. 
Mr. Mike O'Brien [holding answer 9 July 2007]: The administration of the Pension Service is a matter for the Chief Executive of the Pension Service, Alexis Cleveland. I have asked her to provide the hon. Member with the information requested.
The Secretary of State has asked me to reply to your question about the steps taken in response to the Ombudsmans Report of 31 May 2007 (reference PA-3021 ) into the complaint of John and Jeanne Fawcett; and what steps he is taking to ensure future avoidance of similar errors. This is something that falls within the responsibilities delegated to me as Chief Executive of The Pension Service.
Mr and Mrs Fawcetts complaint was a difficult and complex case and I regret that it took so long to resolve.
The inaccurate advice was provided in 1994 through a predecessor organisation. When we receive Ombudsman reports they are forwarded to the Pension Centre manager concerned to highlight any errors and ensure the correct training is given to staff to prevent any reoccurrence. The findings of all Ombudsman cases are captured in a Lessons Learned Log issued by The Pension Services Parliamentary Commissioner for Administration/Independent Case Examiner Focal Point. The shortcomings identified in this particular case feature in the Log and have been sent to all nominated customer service staff within our Pension Centres for cascading to staff to avoid similar errors occurring in future.
A wide range of action has been taken to ensure staff are fully equipped to be able to provide customers with the information they need on deferring State Pension. We have also provided detailed deferral information to customers on The Pension Service website as well as in the form of posters in GPs surgeries, Post Offices and Libraries.
The Pension Service operates a robust three-tier process for handling complaints:
Resolution at front line point of contact
Resolution by Business Unit Manager
Resolution by Chief Executive
If the customer remains unsatisfied, from April 2007 we have introduced an Independent Case Examiner who can look at their complaint. The customer can also go to their MP, who may refer their case to the Parliamentary Commissioner for Administration (Ombudsman).
Complaints are recorded on a database to assist complaint management and provide Management Information on performance and causes of complaints. Staff are encouraged to take ownership of complaints and resolve them at the point of contact wherever possible and there are good examples of using complaint data to improve services in The Pension Service.
I hope this is helpful.
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what the (a) start and (b) end date was of the Prime Minister's delivery unit's review of the Building Schools for the Future programme; and on what date a final report was produced. 
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families if he will list the parties to whom the Prime Minister's delivery unit's recent review of the Building Schools for the Future programme made recommendations. 
The reports and other associated documentation following joint PMDU reviews are confidential advice to Ministers and are not put into the public domain. This includes all documentation connected with the substance of the review.
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what the (a) total value and (b) estimated cost is to the public purse in each financial year until 2050 of private finance initiative contracts signed under the Building Schools for the Future programme. 
Jim Knight: Information on schools private finance initiative contracts, including balance sheet treatment and unitary charges, is included in HM Treasury's PFI Signed Projects List, which is available through
This is a working document containing information on current signed PFI projects. It is updated on a six-monthly basis to reflect the updates HM Treasury receives from Departments at Budget and pre-Budget report.
Jim Knight: Building Schools for the Future (BSF) is a hugely ambitious programme. Just three years into the programme, 49 local authorities, one third of all authorities in England, are now firmly engaged with BSF. Eight local authorities have now reached financial close, covering 65 schools and £1.1 billion worth of capital investment. There are currently 51 schools in construction, and it is anticipated that by the end of the year, a further 70 will be under way. Beyond 2010-11, we expect that around 200 new or remodelled schools will open each year.
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families pursuant to the answer of 25 June 2007, Official Report, column 537W, on the Building Schools for the Future programme: how much his Department has allocated in private finance initiative credits to each Building Schools for the Future project that has been agreed; and how much the local authority contributed towards the cost of each project. 
|Local authority||PFI (£ million)|
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