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24 Oct 2007 : Column 346W—continued

Human Trafficking

Gordon Banks: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what involvement Tayside and Central Scotland police will have in Operation Pentameter2. [159185]

Mr. Coaker: The Home Department can not answer questions on devolved matters. I suggest that my hon. Friend write to the Scottish Executive who have responsibility for issues relating to Scottish policing.

Human Trafficking: Departmental Coordination

Gordon Banks: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when she expects the next meeting of the Inter-departmental Ministerial Group on Human Trafficking to be held. [160132]

Mr. Coaker: The next Inter-departmental Ministerial Meeting on Human Trafficking will be held in November subject to Ministers’ diary commitments.

Identity Cards: Costs

Julia Goldsworthy: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what the costs were of the identity card scheme in each year since 2003-04; what proportion of the set-up costs has been met from existing departmental expenditure limits; and if she will make a statement; [154771]

(2) what estimate she has made of the likely costs of the identity card scheme in each year up to 2012-13; what proportion of the set-up costs she expects to be met from existing departmental expenditure limits; and if she will make a statement. [154772]

Meg Hillier: Between the financial years 2003-04 and 2005-06, £41.1 million was spent by the identity cards programme in total.

Since the merger of the Home Office identity cards programme and the UK Passport Service to create the Identity and Passport Service on 1 April 2006, projects to deliver passports including facial images and fingerprints, identity cards and other improvements have been necessarily combined. As much of the technology and operational processes needed to implement identity cards is also required for the implementation of these new passports, this is the most cost-effective way to deliver these initiatives.

Much of the work conducted by Identity and Passport Service cannot be categorised, both financially and operationally, as contributing towards either the
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introduction of passports with facial images and fingerprints or identity cards alone. The work is accounted for as future development projects which in the 2006-07 financial year amounted to £30.9 million.

Section 37 of the Identity Cards Act 2006 requires the Secretary of State to lay a report before Parliament every six months which details an updated figure for the cost of the national identity scheme over the following 10 years. The latest cost report was laid before Parliament on 10 May 2007, Official Report, column 24WS and can be found at:

I would refer the hon. Member to that report. The next cost report will be laid in November 2007.

The costs of issuing passports and identity cards to British Nationals will be predominantly covered by fee income. The final fee schedule for these products has yet to be finalised.

Illegal Immigrants: Prisoners

Damian Green: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many foreign former prisoners were housed in immigration removal centres on 20 July 2007. [154025]

Mr. Byrne: Lin Homer, the chief executive of the Border and Immigration Agency wrote to the Home Affairs Committee on 19 February in which she set out the position of foreign national prisoners in the immigration detention estate. She will continue to update the Home Affairs Committee.

Immigration Controls

Mr. Spellar: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department which companies are being evaluated as potential service providers for the e-borders programme. [160123]

Mr. Byrne: The e-Borders Programme is in the final and sensitive stages of the procurement process.

The final two bidding consortia are BT Emblem, with its prime sub contractor being BT, and other main subcontractors including Lockheed Martin, Logica CMG, Hewlett Packard, ARINC and Anite. The
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second consortium is Trusted Borders, with its prime sub contractor being Raytheon, and other main sub contractors including Accenture, Detica, Serco, QinetiQ, Steria and Cap Gemini.

Philip Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when she expects the e-Borders contract to be awarded. [160133]

Mr. Byrne: The e-Borders programme remains in the final period of negotiation ahead of contract award.

Immigration Controls: Marriage

Mr. Chope: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many applications for certificates of approval for marriage in the UK were received in each of the last six months; how many applications have been (a) approved and (b) rejected in each of the last six months; and how many applications are outstanding. [157710]

Mr. Byrne [holding answer 15 October 2007]: The number of applications for certificate of approval for marriage received in each of the last six months is shown in Table 1.

The number of applications for certificate of approval that were (a) approved and (b) rejected in the last six months is shown in Table 2.

There are currently 1,389 certificate of approval applications awaiting consideration.

This information has not been quality assured and is not a National Statistic. It should be treated as provisional management information only.

Table 1: The number of applications for certificate of approval for marriage received in each of the last six months—2007
Number

April

1,723

May

1,695

June

1,496

July

1,373

August

1,298

September

1,311

Total

8,896


Table 2: The number of applications for certificate of approval that were (a) approved and (b) rejected in the last six months—2007
April May June July August September Total

Approved

1,199

1,014

1,676

1,250

1,052

1,273

7,464

Reject/Refused

360

357

197

149

122

125

1,310

Void/Withdrawn

60

74

118

51

46

46

401

Total

1,619

1,445

1,991

1,456

1,220

1,444

9,175


Mr. Chope: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when the application by Chervonne Cole (reference: CA2768005762/001) for a certificate of approval to be married in the UK will be determined. [157712]

Meg Hillier [holding answer 15 October 2007]: I wrote to the hon. Member on 24 October advising him that a certificate of approval was sent to Miss Cole on 22 October.

Immigration: Employment

Mr. Spellar: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what means are provided to employers by her Department to enable the checking of the immigration status of prospective employees; and if she will make a statement. [159525]

Mr. Byrne: The Border and Immigration Agency provides printed and online information, a telephone helpline and a checking service to support employers in establishing the immigration status of prospective
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employees. Employers are advised to comply with current legislation by checking and copying specified documents.

The Border and Immigration Agency employers’ helpline offers general advice on preventing illegal working and also acts as a first point of contact for employers concerned about false or forged documents. The Employer Checking Service enables employers to check the work status of individuals whose documents indicate a number of immigration application categories. We continue to review the service and assess how it can be expanded.

The Border and Immigration Agency also conducts a limited number of presentations to employers at their premises on how they can avoid employing illegal migrant workers. All guidance for employers will be revised and published in advance of the new law on preventing illegal migrant working, provided by the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006, coming into force.

Mikhail Cherney

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department on what basis Mikhail Cherney was banned from entering the UK after May 1995; and what factors led to that decision being subsequently reversed. [160567]

Mr. Byrne: It is not Home Office policy to comment or give details of individual cases.

Money Laundering

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if she will place a copy of the special National Criminal Intelligence Service report on money-laundering in the Library. [160385]

Mr. Coaker [holding answer 23 October 2007]: The National Criminal Intelligence Service (NCIS) was subsumed by the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA), when it came into being on 1 April 2006. SOCA’s first annual report has been published. NCIS did produce material on money laundering but it was classified and thus was not placed in the House of Commons Library.

National Asylum Support Services: Leeds

John Battle: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many private landlord properties in (a) Leeds and (b) Leeds, West were used by the National Asylum Support Service in the last 12 months; and if she will make a statement. [159857]

Mr. Byrne: The Border and Immigration Agency have contracts with three private sector companies operating in Leeds. We do not capture the number of properties used throughout a whole year but as of 18 October the three companies were responsible for providing 552 properties in Leeds of which 11 were situated in Leeds, West.


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Offenders: Deportation

Mr. Malins: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many judicial recommendations for deportation of convicted criminals were (a) made and (b) carried out in each of the last two years. [160192]

Mr. Byrne: The information requested could be obtained by a detailed examination of individual case records only at disproportionate cost.

On 14 June the Director General of the Immigration and Nationality Directorate wrote to the Home Affairs Committee to provide the most recent information available on the deportation of foreign national prisoners. In this letter the Director reported that 2,784 foreign national prisoners were deported or removed in the financial year 2006-07. A copy of this letter is available from the Library of the House.

Mr. Lancaster: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment she has made of the practicality of deporting foreign nationals convicted of drugs and gun offences. [160193]

Mr. Byrne: Existing legislation allows the Border and Immigration Agency to deport foreign nationals convicted of firearms and serious drug offences. Our ability to deport foreign criminals will be strengthened further by the automatic deportation provisions in the UK Borders Bill which will create a closer link between criminality and deportation.

Offensive Weapons: Greater London

Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many incidents of crime involving knives were reported in each London constituency in each month since April. [158836]

Mr. Coaker: The requested information is not yet available. Data on knife-enabled grievous bodily harm and robbery offences have been collected centrally since April 2007. Figures for 2007-08 will be published in July 2008 in the next annual ‘Crime in England and Wales’ volume. It will not, however, be possible to provide breakdowns by constituency as data are only collected at force level.

Passports

Damian Green: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department which countries she expects to be issuing passports which are not capable of being read by electronic or automated or electronic passport readers when the e-borders system is fully operational. [160171]

Meg Hillier: The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) requires all of its (183) contracting states to begin issuing machine readable passports (MRP) by April 2010. Such passports will be capable of being read by electronic passport readers. Consequently it is anticipated that there will be few, if any, countries not issuing machine readable passports by the time e-borders is fully operational.


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Damian Green: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what estimate her Department has made of the number of passports issued by other countries which are not capable of being read by automated or electronic passport readers. [160172]

Meg Hillier: The number of countries issuing passports that are not capable of being read by automated or electronic readers is relatively small in comparison to the total number of machine readable passports issued worldwide in accordance with the specifications set by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).


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