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Mrs. Villiers: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what obligations his Department and its agencies place on contractors in relation to the audit of personal data and IT equipment. 
Mrs. McGuire: Contracts awarded by the Department include standard terms and conditions which place obligations on contractors in relation to confidentiality of information, security of equipment and auditing requirements. These clauses specify that:
contractors must have prior written consent from the Department before disclosing any confidential information obtained during or arising from the contract; and
the Department and the National Audit Office have unrestricted access to their accounts, files and records; and
the Official Secrets Acts and, when appropriate, the Social Security Administration Act, apply to those contractors.
Mrs. McGuire: Prior to 6 August 2007, all vehicles used by DWP were owned by the Department. Since then the Department has leased all its vehicles. Consequently no vehicles have been purchased since 2006-07 financial year.
Mr. Jeremy Browne: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many overseas visits by officials in his Department took place in each of the last 10 years; which countries were visited; and how much was spent on such visits in each such year. 
Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) how many and what proportion of new claimants on the new employment and support allowance are expected to claim (a) the employment portion and (b) the support portion when the new allowance is introduced; 
Mrs. McGuire: We are projecting a total of 567,000 new claims for 2008-09 as a whole. From October 2008 new customers will claim Employment and Support Allowance. Prior to that date incapacity benefit and income support will be available. These benefits will also be available after October 2008 to those protected by the linking rules.
The most severely disabled people claiming Employment and Support Allowance will be placed in the Support Group and will receive a higher rate of
benefit. Early estimates are that around 10 per cent. of new customers to ESA will be in the Support Group. Over time, as proportionately more people in the work-related activity group leave the benefit, the proportion will rise to around 20 per cent. of the longer term ESA caseload.
We will be laying the main ESA regulations in the coming weeks and they will include the rates of the benefit. Analysis has been undertaken and an appropriate rate for ESA will be set in order to meet our aspirations for welfare reform.
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will place in the Library a copy of each of the guidance notes produced on procurement and race, disability and gender public sector equality duties published respectively by the Commission for Racial Equality, the Disability Rights Commission and the Equal Opportunities Commission. 
The duty to promote race equality: Race Equality and Procurement in Local Government: A guide for (local) authorities and contractors (CRE)
The duty to promote race equality: Public Procurement and Race Equality: Guidelines for local government (CRE)
The duty to promote race equality: Race Equality and Public Procurement: A guide for public authorities and contractors (CRE)
The duty to promote race equality: Public Procurement and Race Equality: Guidelines for public authorities (CRE)
Public procurement and race equality: Briefing for suppliers (CBI and CRE)
Procurement and the Disability Equality Duty: Implications of the Disability Equality Duty for Public Procurement and the Management of Public Sector Contracts (DRC)
Guidance for Great Britain: Procurement: Gender equality duty (EOC)
Paul Rowen: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how much was spent by (a) the Health and Safety Executive and (b) the Health and Safety Commission in each year since 2005-06; and how much is expected to be spent in 2008-09. 
Mrs. McGuire: The following table sets out the amount spent by Health and Safety Commission/Executive for the period requested. The forecast expenditure for 2008-09 will be available once the Health and Safety Commission/Executive agrees its spending review 2007 settlement with the Department for Work and Pensions.
|Financial year||Health and Safety Executive||Health and Safety Commission||Total HSC/E|
|(1) The 2005-06 outturn has been restated to reflect the transfer of responsibility for rail regulation from HSE to the Office of Rail Regulation on 1 April 2006.|
(2) The 2007-08 figures are the latest forecast used to inform the Spring Supplementary Estimate.
|Total discretionary housing payments spend by London local authority|
1. Amounts are rounded to the nearest thousand
2. The total is rounded to the nearest 100 thousand
3. The latest available audited expenditure information for discretionary housing payments is for the financial year 2006-07.
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