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30 Oct 2007 : Column 1296Wcontinued
Mrs. Villiers: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what discussions she and representatives of her Department have had with the Home Department and others on sharing data and identity management; and what the conclusions were of these discussions. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: The Secretary of State and representatives of her Department are involved in various discussions with the Home Office on matters including data and identity management issues where we have a common interest. Most of these discussions are around road safety and the related matter of road and traffic law enforcement, where the provision of relevant information by the Department to the police is a key mechanism for police effectiveness.
We also contribute to discussions with the Home Office and its agencies on identity management to protect against identity fraud. These discussions are led by the Home Office, who are responsible for monitoring and reporting on progress.
The Department has been involved in a number of wider collective and bilateral Ministerial and official meetings with Home Office and other Departments, including the former Ministerial Committee on Data Sharing (MISC31) and the Identity Management Strategy Group chaired by the Home Office.
Sharing data to deliver Government objectives needs to be balanced with protecting privacy and maintaining public confidence that their personal data are adequately protected against misuse. Government take issues surrounding privacy very seriously. This is aligned with the publicly stated HM Government, Information Sharing Vision Statement, September 2006.
Mrs. Villiers: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport who the Ministerial Design Champion is; and what his or her role entails. 
Mr. Tom Harris: I am the Departments Ministerial Design Champion. The role is one dedicated to achieving good urban design and I am supported by the chief executive of the Highways Agency who has responsibility for the design of road structures. Specific work related to the aesthetics of bridge design is undertaken and heritage issues are considered where appropriate.
In support of this role the Department liaises with the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE).
Danny Alexander: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport which buildings occupied by her Department (a) are and (b) are not fully accessible to disabled people; and if she will make a statement. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: The Department for Transport is a federated organisation comprising DfT (Central), the headquarters functions responsible mainly for policy issues, and seven executive agencies responsible for the delivery of various services.
The following DfT(Central) buildings are fully accessible to disabled people:
Great Minster House (London),
Ashdown House (London),
Ashdown House (Hastings),
Temple Quay House (Bristol),
Air Accidents Investigation Branch (Farnborough),
Rail Accident Investigation Branch (Derby and Woking)
The Marine Accident Investigation Branchs leased office accommodation, in Southampton (Carlton House) is not fully accessible to some categories of disabled people. The first floor is inaccessible to wheelchair users but some adjustments have been made to the ground floor.
No central data is held of the number of buildings occupied by our executive agencies which are or are not considered to be fully accessible to disabled people and this information could be provided only at disproportionate costs.
Where there are access difficulties for disabled people, the Department makes appropriate reasonable adjustments to its arrangements for the recruitment and employment of staff, and the services and functions it delivers to its users, in accordance with the requirements of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (as amended).
Mrs. Villiers: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much has been spent by her Department on (a) website creation and (b) website management in the last 10 years; which of her Departments websites are due to close; how many will be closed in each year until 2011; how her Department plans to ensure that the public are made aware of these website closures; and whether all the information held on the websites due to close will be moved to Directgov. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: No central list of website creation and running costs is available for the last 10 years and could be provided only at disproportionate cost. Estimated running costs for departmental sites, where available, were previously provided to the right hon. Member for Maidenhead (Mrs. May) on 15 May 2007, Official Report, columns 648-49W.
The Department is currently undertaking a programme of website rationalisation under the Transformational Government Agenda.
Information will be categorised into two main audience groups, citizens and business. Rationalising the number of websites across Government will help to make it easier for people to find the information they are looking for. Information for citizens will converge to Directgov (direct.gov.uk), information for businesses to Businesslink (businesslink.gov.uk) and corporate information to the DFT corporate site (dft.gov.uk). A list of sites identified for closure across central Government Departments was published in January this year in the Transformational Government Annual Report 2006 as part of the departmental website review:
Updated figures were subsequently reported in the National Audit Office Government on the Internet Report published in July 2007.
There are currently 74 websites across the Department for Transport, its Executive agencies, non-departmental public bodies and associated organisations which have been identified for closure. Information on these sites will converge to one or other of Directgov, Businesslink or the DFT corporate site.
Discussions are ongoing between the Department, Directgov and Businesslink to finalise convergence plans for departmental sites and identify which will close in each year to 2011. The public will be made aware of site closure in a number of ways. Web addresses will be retained for an agreed period to point users to the new location for the information on either Directgov, Businesslink or the DFT corporate site. It may be appropriate for some content from a closed site to converge to more than one site depending on the intended audience. In such cases web address redirections and appropriate signposts will be put in place.
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the name is of each special adviser in her Department. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: The Cabinet Office annual list of special adviser names will be published shortly.
Special advisers to the Secretary of State for Transport are David Learn and Julie Crowley.
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether any of her Departments special advisers have declared a conflict of interest. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: Special advisers are appointed under terms and conditions set out in the Model Contract for Special Advisers. Copies of the Model Contract are available in the Libraries of the House.
David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much was spent by her Department on official hospitality in the last 12 months. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: The Department for Transport spent £715,913.70 on hospitality from October 2006 to September 2007. This spend includes costs for refreshments provided at meetings and working lunches.
The Highways Agency was not able to provide the information requested without incurring disproportionate cost.
Andrew Selous: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many employees in (a) her Department and (b) each (i) executive agency and (ii) non-departmental public body funded by her Department applied to continue to work beyond state retirement age in the latest year or part thereof for which figures are available; and how many of those applications were successful. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: The information requested for the last calendar year is in the following table.
|Number of staff employed 65 or over||Total number of applications received to continue working over the age of 65||Total number of successful applications to continue working over the age of 65|
|(1) The DVLA Agency do not keep records of the number of employees who apply to continue to work beyond state retirement age, as these are individual requests made through the line management structure and can be based on business needs. (2) The DSA figure excludes "fee paid" driving examiners used on an ad-hoc basis.|
The information requested is not available for non-departmental public bodies.
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport in which financial years since 2001 her Departments outturn for its capital budget at the end of the year was less than planned at the beginning of the year; and what the (a) value and (b) reason for the underspend was in each case. 
The National Audit Office measures spending performance against plans by comparing outturns against final provision following supplementary estimatesrather than against plans at the start of the yearas plans can change during the year for a number of reasons, such as machinery of
Government and classification changes. The definitive figures for final provision and provisional outturn are published each year in the Public Expenditure Outturns White Paper. Changes to plans arising in-year are published in Public Expenditure Statistical Analyses, as are differences between provisional and final outturns.
The Department for Transport was created in 2002 and since then, for all years, differences between outturns and plans were due to net underspends across a range of programmes. In 2003-04 provisional outturn was £303 million less than final provision, largely due to the Highways Agency improved methods of making provision for future land and property liabilities, and in 2006-07 £183 million less, mainly due to lower than projected capital expenditure by London and Continental Railways.
Mrs. Dunwoody: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what her criteria are for replying to questions for written answer tabled by hon. Members by making reference to internet websites within the powers of her Department; and if she will make a statement. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: Current guidance to departmental staff is that where the information requested in parliamentary questions is easily available, such as in the House Libraries or on websites, hon. Members are advised accordingly.
The Department is presently reviewing this guidance and revised instructions will be issued to staff following the completion of this review.
Mrs. Villiers: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many penalty charge notices have been issued by each council in the last five years. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: This information is not available in the form requested.
Mrs. Villiers: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much revenue has been collected through penalty charge notices by each council in the last five years. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: The data from Communities and Local Government Revenue Outturn returns from local authorities in 2005-06 has been placed in the Libraries of the House. This was the first year in which specific information about income from penalty charges was collected from local authorities.
Mrs. Villiers: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many recorded challenges against penalty charge notices there were in each of the last five years; and how many of these were successful. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: This information is not available in the form requested.
David T.C. Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many practical driving tests were conducted with an interpreter in the car in each of the last three years. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: The number of practical car tests conducted with an interpreter accompanying the candidate in each of the last three financial years is as follows:
|Category B||Category B1||Category B+E||Total|
| Notes: 1. Category B = Cars 2. Category B1 = Motor tricycles and quadricycles, three or four wheeled vehicles with an unladen weight not exceeding 550kg. 3. Category B+E = Combinations of a Category b vehicle and a trailer over 750kg.|
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