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Alistair Burt: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment has been made of the value for money of the Aspire contract in relation to services provided to the Valuation Office Agency. 
Jane Kennedy: The Aspire contract is output based and the value for money of this type of contract was assessed under the original competition. To ensure value for money is maintained there is a rolling benchmark programme to measure Aspire charges against the market.
Alistair Burt: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Brentwood and Ongar (Mr. Pickles) of 25 June 2007, Official Report, column 400W, on VAT: home information packs, if he will list each (a) authorised and (b) required item of a home information pack that is liable for VAT if included. 
Jane Kennedy: The normal VAT liability rules will apply when the constituent parts of a Home Information Pack (HIP) are purchased from a VAT registered business. VAT will usually be chargeable, although local authority and Land Registry search fees are normally VAT free.
VAT will also be due on any fee charged by a VAT registered agent in connection with the compilation of a HIP.
Mike Wood: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the proportion of the cost of administering the (a) working and (b) child tax credit systems that relates directly to the updating of claims. 
Mr. Straw: The choice of participants is dependent on the objectives for the jury and the subject matter. This might require a representative sample of the population, a random sample or perhaps particular groups as in the DCSFs recent citizens' juries which involved young people, parents, teachers and local community stakeholders.
(a) The Department or organisation running the citizens' jury or other engagement process will retain responsibility for the process, even when a third party may have been engaged to deliver such a process.
(b) Each citizens' jury or other engagement process should make clear to the participants where the final decision will be taken.
Where the Government are consulting with the public it will comply with the Code of
Practice. However, where citizens' juries are used to explore ideas and initial policy thinking rather than gain feedback on specific proposals the question of compliance or otherwise with the code may not arise. Any engagement has to be serious and help to strengthen the relationship between government and the public. This will mean adherence to good engagement principles.
Mr. Straw: The Government expect that the conclusions of citizens' juries will be made available. However decisions on whether this should be in the form of transcripts and reports is a matter for the individual Department with policy lead.
DCSF, 6 September, considered issues affecting children.
Home Office, 12 September, considered crime and community.
Department of Health, 18 September, on the NHS supporting the work of the Darzi review.
Mr. Hanson: Probation service national standards require that the first work session is undertaken within 10 days of sentence. Data are collected nationally about the first appointment only where it is designated as a pre-placement work session, that is, an induction and briefing session. For those probation areas where it is available, the average number of days in the period January to June, between this session and joining the unpaid work groups is set out in the following table.
Mr. Hanson: Across all probation areas a total of 29,852 work appointments were cancelled between 1 January 2007 and 30 June 2007. This compares with 644,697 appointments which were kept, which is a cancellation rate of 4.6 per cent. The number of unpaid work appointments cancelled in each probation area is set out in the following table.
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