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29 Oct 2007 : Column 799W—continued


Departments: Correspondence

Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what guidance his Department follows on the maximum time taken to respond to hon. Members' correspondence; and what performance against that target was in the most recent period for which figures are available. [158590]

Bridget Prentice: My Department has issued guidance to all staff about how to draft answers to letters from hon. Members. The guidance also provides for a target to reply of 20 working days from receipt. From 1 January to 30 September my Department replied to 90 per cent. of letters from hon. Members within target.


29 Oct 2007 : Column 800W

A copy of the guidance will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

Departments: Cost Effectiveness

Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice if he will place in the Library a breakdown of his Department’s efficiency savings in relation to its Spending Review 2004 (SR04) targets, including (a) the efficiency projects in the Department, (b) the date on which they were initiated and (c) how much each was predicted to contribute to the SR04 target. [160545]

Maria Eagle: The breakdown of the former DCA’s SR04 efficiency targets and specific projects can be found in the Departmental Annual Report 2006-07. The Ministry of Justice Autumn Performance Report to be published in December 2007 will have the latest performance update against these targets including those relating to ex-Home Office areas (National Offender Management Service and Office for Criminal Justice Reform).

Full detail on the specific initiatives can be found in the DCA Efficiency Technical Note published in December 2005, a copy of which is available in the Libraries of the House.

Departments: Internet

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many websites his Department currently operates; how many it operated at 1 January 2005; and what the estimated annual cost has been of running his Department’s websites in the last five years. [157770]

Maria Eagle: I refer the hon. Member to the reply given to the right hon. Member for Maidenhead (Mrs. May) on 14 May 2007, Official Report, columns 539-40W. With the addition of the new Ministry of Justice website, www.justice.com this Department operates a total of 59 sites.

At 1 January 2005 the former Department for Constitutional Affairs operated 33 websites.

The approximate annual cost of running the websites of the former Department for Constitutional Affairs for the last five years is as follows:

Amount (£)

2002-03

1,037,066

2003-04

(1)1,440,777

2004-05

2,067,202

2005-06

2,477,497

2006-07

2,802,491

(1) Figure for 2003-04 not held centrally, and cannot be provided without incurring disproportionate cost: estimate based on increase in costs and in the number of websites between 2002-03 and 2004-05.

Departments: Legislation

Mr. Garnier: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice whether he has assessed the necessity of bringing forward amendments to Schedule 1 of the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007 to delete references to the Department for Constitutional Affairs and include references to the Ministry of Justice. [160841]


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Maria Eagle: We are aware of the need to make a small number of changes to Schedule 1 of the 2007 Act to reflect changes in the machinery of Government that have taken place after that part of the legislation was settled in Parliament. These include the deletion of the reference to the Department for Constitutional Affairs and inclusion of a reference to the Ministry of Justice. We are planning to bring forward secondary legislation under the 2007 Act to make the necessary changes before the planned commencement of the majority of the Act next April.

Departments: Manpower

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many people were employed by his Department and its predecessor on 1 January in each of the last five years; and how many of these staff were (a) permanent employees, (b) temporary staff and (c) contractors. [158325]

Maria Eagle: The Ministry of Justice was created on 9 May 2007, bringing together the Department for Constitutional Affairs, the National Offender Management Service, the Prison and Probation Services, and the Office for Criminal Justice Reform. The figures in the following table reflects the position prior to this machinery of government change and provides data for the Ministry of Justice’s constituent organisations at the nearest dates available to those
29 Oct 2007 : Column 802W
requested. However the NOMS, HMPS and OCJR figures are included as part of the response to the same question from the Home Office.

The breakdown of permanent and temporary/casual employees has been published as part of the First Release since Quarter 1 (March) 2007. This is the key official source of work force numbers for the civil service and provides a breakdown of permanent and temporary/casual employees by Department. The number of permanent and fixed term appointments in each year that records are available is set out in the following table.

My Department has a national contract with Kelly Services Ltd. for the provision of agency staff. Information regarding the average number of staff employed through this agency appears in the following table. Information relating to workers employed through other employment agencies is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost. Information related to agencies of DCA is also included in the following table showing the average number of staff employed through employment agencies by each of the DCA’s agencies. HM Land Registry does not hold such information centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost. Statistics on the number of contractors employed by Departments are not published.

The civil service statistics represent those employees paid directly from the Department’s payroll. Any contractors employed via agencies and so not paid directly by the Department are not included.


29 Oct 2007 : Column 803W

29 Oct 2007 : Column 804W
Department and public body Total permanent staff (headcount) Total fixed term staff (headcount) Total agency workers (headcount) Total staff (civil service and agency)

1 April 2003 (FTA figure)

(DCA) LCD/Court Service

12,230

470

283

12,983

Public Guardianship Office

310

0

100

410

1 April 2003 to 31 March 2004 (Agency figure)

HM Land Registry

8,940

110

n/a

9,050

National Archives

530

30

199

759

1 April 2004 (FTA figure)

(DCA) Court Service/Wales Office

12,460

500

395

13,355

Public Guardianship Office

290

0

80

370

1 April 2004 to 31 March 2005 (Agency figure)

HM Land Registry

8,680

40

n/a

8,720

National Archives

530

40

121

691

1 April 2005 (FTA figure)

(DCA)/HM Court Service/Wales office/Scotland Office (including Office of the Advocate-General)

13,260

570

722

14,552

Public Guardianship Office

350

0

74

424

1 April 2005 to 31 March 2006 (Agency figure)

HM Land Registry

8,580

30

n/a

8,610

National Archives

560

50

167

777

As at 30 September 2006 (Agency figure)

DCA (excluding agencies)/HMCS Court Service/Tribunals/Wales Office/Scotland Office

27,300

660

n/a

27,960

Public Guardianship Office

340

10

n/a

350

HM Land Registry

8,270

30

n/a

8,300

National Archives

560

30

n/a

590

1 March 2007 (FTA figure)

DCA (excluding agencies)/HMCS Court Service/Tribunals/Wales Office/Scotland Office/HM Land Registry/National Archives/Public Guardianship Office

36,090

800

360

37,250

1 April 2006 to 31 March 2007 (Agency figure)

n/a = Not available.
Note:
Figures excludes data for NOMS, OCJR and HM Prison Service—these are included in the Home Office response for the same question.

Departments: Official Hospitality

David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how much was spent by his Department, and its predecessor, on official hospitality in the last 12 months. [158897]

Maria Eagle: The amount of hospitality expenditure incurred by the former Department for Constitutional Affairs, which covers costs for Her Majesty’s Courts Service, Tribunals Service, Public Guardianship Office and DCA Headquarters, for 2006-07 was £46,002. These figures are from the published Resource Accounts for 2006-07.

Home Office have confirmed that they have also given resource accounts figures for the last financial year, which includes ex-Home Office areas now within MoJ.

All hospitality expenditure incurred by the Department is made in accordance with published departmental guidance on financial procedures and propriety, which is based on the principles set out in Government Accounting and the Treasury handbook on Regularity and Propriety.

Departments: Written Questions

Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many and what percentage of questions tabled to his Department for answer on a named day to his Department and its predecessor received a substantive reply on the day named in the last 12 months for which figures are available. [161351]

Bridget Prentice: 436 named day questions were tabled to my Department between 15 November 2006 and 25 October 2007. 338 questions received a substantive reply on the day named giving a percentage of 77.52 per cent.

Family Courts

Mr. Burrowes: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice when the Government expects to publish its response to Confidence and Confidentiality: Openness in family courts. [160968]

Bridget Prentice: Our recent consultation about improving the openness of family courts closed on 1 October 2007. We received over 100 responses and are now considering them carefully. This is a complex and difficult area, and we will publish our response once we have had an opportunity to reflect fully on what people have said.

Foster Care

Mr. Burrowes: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what estimate he has made of the number of fostering orders which are likely to be made in each year following the enactment of the Criminal Justice and Immigration Bill. [160966]

Mr. Hanson: We have not made an estimate of the number of young people who may be subject to the fostering requirement following the enactment of the Criminal Justice and Immigration Bill.

The Youth Justice Board are currently piloting ‘Intensive Fostering’ in three areas. There is funding available for thirteen places across the three pilot sites. So far thirty six young people have been on the programme. We are working closely with the Youth Justice Board to monitor the progress of these pilots and they are being evaluated by York university. The evaluation report is due in 2008 and this will help to inform future roll out of the programme.

Indicative results show that intensive fostering is benefiting the young people who are subject to the programme. However, in practice, because of the intensive nature of the fostering, both for the young person and the family, very few young people will be assessed as being suitable for the programme.


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