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28 Feb 2008 : Column 1778Wcontinued
Mr. Rooney: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) what percentage of internal reviews of community care grant decisions were successful (a) at each benefit delivery centre and (b) nationally in the latest period for which figures are available; 
(2) what the average time taken to determine an internal review request on a community care grant decision was (a) at each benefit delivery centre and (b) nationally in the latest period for which figures are available; 
(3) how many outstanding internal review requests there were on community care grant decisions at each benefit delivery centre in each month between March and August 2007. 
Mr. Plaskitt [holding answer 18 December 2007]: The administration of Jobcentre Plus is a matter for the Chief Executive of Jobcentre Plus, Lesley Strathie. I have asked her to provide my hon. Friend with the information requested.
Letter from Lesley Strathie, dated 14 January 2008:
The Secretary of State has asked me to reply to your questions asking what percentage of internal reviews of Community Care Grant decisions were successful at each Benefit Delivery Centre and nationally in the latest period for which figures are available; what the average time taken to determine an internal review request on a Community Care Grant decision was at each Benefit Delivery Centre and nationally in the latest period for which figures are available and how many outstanding internal review requests there were on Community Care Grant decisions at each Benefit Delivery Centre in each month between March and August 2007. This is something which falls within the responsibilities delegated to me as Chief Executive of Jobcentre Plus.
Over the course of 2007 there has been a very large increase in Crisis Loan applications. Extra resources have been provided and we have now nearly doubled our staffing to meet this rising demand. We have had to temporarily divert staff from review activity until these extra resources were in place. Crisis Loan delivery is a priority and unfortunately this has led to backlogs of reviews occurring in some locations. We are working hard to eradicate these backlogs where they have occurred and have instigated activity to prioritise urgent cases.
An internal review has been interpreted as a review at Jobcentre Plus requested by an applicant, i.e. a first review.
The percentage of first reviews of Community Care Grant decisions which were successful at each Benefit Delivery Centre and nationally for October 2007 is given in table 1. A first review is defined as successful if the award is increased on review (where the initial decision was either a partial award or a refusal).
The average time taken to determine a first review request on a Community Care Grant decision at each Benefit Delivery Centre and nationally for October 2007 is given in table 2.
The time to determine an individual first review request is measured in whole working days from the date of receipt of the request to the date of the decision, inclusive. The minimum time recorded to determine an individual first review request is one day, even if the request is determined immediately.
The number of outstanding first review requests on Community Care Grant decisions at each Benefit Delivery Centre at the end of each month from March to August 2007 is given in table 3.
Copies of the tables have been placed in the House of Commons Library.
I hope that this is helpful.
Julia Goldsworthy: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions pursuant to the answer of 27 November 2007, Official Report, column 329W, on consolatory payments, what the total value of consolatory payments made by the Child Support Agency was in each year since 1992; and what the value was of the single largest such payment. 
Mr. Plaskitt [holding answer 18 December 2007]: The administration of the Child Support Agency is a matter for the chief executive. He will write to the hon. Member with the information requested.
Letter from Stephen Geraghty, dated 11 January 2008:
In reply to your recent Parliamentary Question about the Child Support Agency, the Secretary of State promised a substantive reply from the Chief Executive.
You asked the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the answer of 27 November 2007, Official Report, column 329W on consolatory payments what the total value of consolatory payments made by the Child Support Agency was in each year since 1992; and what the value was of the single largest such payment.
Such information as is available is included in the following table. Information prior to 1 December 2001 is not available.
|Consolatory payments (£ million)|
The largest single consolatory payment made by the Agency is £1,550.00.
I hope you find this answer helpful.
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how much the Government transferred each year to the Scottish Executive for the payment of council tax benefit in Scotland in each of the last five years. 
Mr. Plaskitt: No payments are made by the UK Government to the Scottish Executive for the payment of council tax benefit (CTB) in Scotland.
However, local authorities in Scotland claim subsidy directly from DWP for CTB they pay. The amounts of subsidy paid since 2002-03 are as follows:
|Council tax benefit subsidy paid to Scottish local authorities|
All information is from audited subsidy claims with the exception of that for 2006/07 which is from unaudited claims.
The annual housing benefit/council tax benefit subsidy claims made by local authorities.
Danny Alexander: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what (a) buildings and (b) land of (i) his Department and (ii) the (A) non-departmental public bodies, (B) agencies and (C) independent statutory bodies for which his Department is responsible have been sold since 7 May 1997; what the sale price of each (1) was at the time of sale and (2) is at current prices; and whether the money received was (x) retained by his Department or (y) claimed by the Treasury in each case. 
The entire DWP estate was sold (freehold, feuhold and long leasehold interests) or transferred (short leasehold interests) through its PRIME PFI contract to Land Securities Trillium (LST), in April 1998 for the original DSS estate (comprising 972 buildings) and further in December 2003 when PRIME was expanded to include the former Employment Service (ES) estate (comprising 1108 buildings). The proceeds of £250 million for the DSS Estate in April 1998 were released to HM Treasury. In 2003, the Department and LST agreed a vacant possession value of £140 million for the properties covered by the expanded PRIME contract. The Department decided to receive this amount split into an up-front payment of £100 million, which was released to HM
Treasury, and a reduction in the annual unitary charge over the life of the contract, equivalent to the £40 million balance.
Following the expanded PRIME contract in 2003, DWP retained two properties (Ranmoor Hall, Sheffield and Storey Street, Hull) which were subsequently sold in 2005 and 2006 respectively for a total of £5.075 million and the funds transferred to DWP.
We are unable to provide current prices for the full 2080 buildings due to the commercially sensitive nature of the information for the PFI provider.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE), at the end of 2004-05, and, as part of a PFI contract, handed over all of the land and buildings at the Sheffield site to ICB Ltd. A prepayment for their fair value of £4.6 million, as determined by the contract, is recognised in the accounts and amortised evenly over the life of the PFI contract. No cash was received for this transaction.
As part of the same deal, HSE received an additional cash payment of £600,000 in 2004-05 (£650,000 at current prices) which was retained by HSE as a profit on disposal and sold the Royal Exchange Building (Sheffield) for £530,000 in 2005-06 (£562,000 at current prices). There was no profit or loss on this sale and HSE retained the cash.
Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many and what proportion of his Departments staff are employed within each salary band; what the title and role of each position within each salary band is; and for each salary band what the (a) bonus structure, (b) retirement provision, (c) expenses provision, (d) total expenses incurred in each of the last 10 years, (e) average age of employee, (f) number of (i) women and (ii) men and (g) ethnic composition is. 
Mrs. McGuire: The information is as follows:
1. Number and proportion of Department for Work and Pension (DWP) staff e mployed within each salary band
The following table shows the number of staff employed by DWP at September 2007.
|Civil service grade||Total staff||Percentage of staff by grade|
1. The numbers shown are whole time equivalent (WTE).
2. The data do not include the Rent Service or the Health and Safety Executive.
3. Temporary staff are not included
2. The title and role of each p osition within each salary band
The Departments HR data are compiled using definitions and standards provided by the Office for National Statistics from their Annual Civil Service Employment Survey September 2007.
Each role within every salary band/grade in the Department can be categorised in accordance with the Professional Skills for Government (PSG) career groupings as follows:
|PSG career grouping||Profession|
It would be disproportionately costly to collate information about the specific title and role of every position in DWP.
3. The bonus structure for each salary band
DWP employees in pay bands below SCS are eligible for an annual individual performance bonus if they attain a top, higher or majority rating under the annual performance and development system (PDS). There is a guided distribution for performance ratings awarded through PDS which is top 15-20 per cent., higher 30-35 per cent., majority 40-45 per cent. and lower 3-8 per cent. The amount of bonus awarded is differentiated on the basis of the employees pay band and the performance level achieved.
The structure for bonuses for the SCS pay bands 1, 2 and 3 is set out in the recommendations from the Senior Salaries Review Body (SSRB) and the Governments response to those recommendations.
Pay band 1 and 2 (excluding Executive team) individual bonuses are awarded by the DWP SCS Pay Committee on the recommendation of line managers, based on the level of success with which an SCS member has met their in-year objectives, and relative to all others in their pay band.
Executive team bonuses are awarded by the DWP Remuneration Committee and currently comprise two elements; 80 per cent. of the overall bonus cost envelope for individual bonus (on the same basis as SCS PB1 and 2), and 20 per cent. dependent on the assessment of DWP performance overall.
4. The retirement provision for each salary band
DWP has no mandatory retirement age for grades below SCS and subject to satisfactory performance and a requirement for their services, allows employees to choose how long they want to remain in work. For the SCS, the mandatory retirement age is 65.
DWP offers all employees, regardless of grade, an occupational pension scheme when they join the Department. Employees have the choice of a career earnings scheme or a partnership scheme that provides pension benefits based on contributions made.
5. The expenses provision for each salary band
Where extra costs are incurred by individuals in connection with their work for the Department expenses are paid against the following categories:
Travel including public transport costs, private mileage for use of own car where appropriate.
Subsistence to covering meals and potential extra costs for being away from normal place of workincluding day and overnight rates and hotel costs.
Miscellaneous expenses such as those incurred in connection with permanent transfers and selection interviews.
6. Total expenses incurred in each of the last 10 years for each salary band
Total expenses incurred in each of the past two years is as follows:
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