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10 Mar 2008 : Column 153W—continued


Departmental Planning

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how the new planning management system in his Department will ensure efficient use of available resources. [188048]

Mr. Hanson: There are no plans to introduce a new planning management system into prisons or probation areas.

Announced on 8 January 2008, the newly revised and deliverable NOMIS Programme will, whilst continuing the successful roll-out of Prison NOMIS into all public prisons, ensure the urgent replacement of at-risk probation case management systems, and through the “Data Share” project allow staff involved in offender management access to core information held within custody and the community via a simple read-only data sharing mechanism. In addition, the programme will
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also improve the current separate prison and probation risk assessment systems, and re-develop them as a single national system.

This agreed direction will enable improved business continuity by replacing ailing legacy case and risk assessment management systems. The programme will also enable more efficient and effective operational management of offenders in support of offender management, reducing re-offending and enhancing public protection. Both supplier neutral information to support commissioners and improved management information to enable improved performance will be more readily available as a result of the work being undertaken by the programme.

Departmental Reorganisation

John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how much he expects to be saved as a result of the reorganisation of his Department as announced on 29 January; and how the savings will be used. [191907]

Mr. Hanson: The Ministry of Justice is committed to deliver 5 per cent. real reductions per annum in administration budgets under the 2007 comprehensive spending review. The reorganisation will help the Department to deliver this challenge by removing duplication of functions and focusing the Department on its four key policy and delivery areas: Democracy, Constitution and Law; Access to Justice; NOMS delivery; and Criminal Justice and Offender Management Strategy. Further details are in the Department’s Value for Money Delivery Agreement which was published on 18 February 2008.

John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what steps are being taken through the reorganisation of his Department to remove duplication of responsibilities. [191917]

Mr. Hanson: In the written ministerial statement of 29 January 2008, Official Report, column 8WS, my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Justice and Lord Chancellor announced changes to the high level structure for the Department, which would allow a more joined up approach to issues of justice and constitutional reform and with a clearer focus on efficiency through the removal of duplication and overlapping responsibilities. Departmental officials are currently working on the detail of these changes before the top structure comes into effect on 1 April.

John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what consultations were held with trades unions and other stakeholders prior to the announcement on 29 January of the reorganisation of his Department. [191918]

Mr. Straw: Ministers and officials maintain a regular dialogue with trade unions and a wide range of stakeholders. The re-organisation of the Department was announced first to Parliament, but officials met members of NAPO and the Prison Officers’ Association during the progress of the review to update them on general progress, and discussions also took place on a number of occasions with the senior judiciary.


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Elections: Fraud

Robert Neill: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what plans his Department has to issue to a formal response to the opinion of the Committee on the Honouring of Obligations and Commitments by Member States of the Council of Europe on the application to initiate a monitoring procedure to investigate electoral fraud in the United Kingdom; and what response he has made to its recommendations on (a) introducing individual electoral registration and (b) checking 100 per cent. of personal identifiers on returned postal ballots. [192192]

Bridget Prentice: The Government have noted the Committee’s findings, and that it has not recommended opening a monitoring procedure with respect to the United Kingdom. I understand that the opinion will now be considered by the Bureau of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, and the Government will await the outcome of the Bureau’s consideration of the opinion before deciding whether it would be appropriate to issue a formal response to the opinion.

The Government’s position on the particular issues highlighted by the hon. Member is as follows:

Employment Tribunals

Jim Dowd: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what consideration he has given to making the decisions of employment tribunals available free-of-charge on the internet. [186815]

Bridget Prentice: The Tribunals Service has decided to delay providing Employment Tribunal (ET) judgments on the internet until Caseflow (the computerised ET case management system) is developed and rolled out across the regional ET offices. Once installed, Caseflow will make it easier and more resource efficient to upload judgements automatically to the ET website. Caseflow will be piloted this autumn and national rollout will depend on the results of the pilot.

Financial Reporting Orders

David Davis: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many financial reporting orders have been issued by courts. [187293]

Mr. Straw: According to the statistical records reported by courts to the Ministry of Justice, there have been no financial reporting orders given as a primary disposal since they were introduced in the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act (2005).


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Licensed Premises: Closures

Mr. Ellwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many closure notices were issued by police or licensing authorities when alcohol was found to have been sold other than under the condition of the licence in each of the years since the coming into force of section 19 of the Criminal Justice and Police Act 2001. [191311]

Mr. Sutcliffe: I have been asked to reply.

This information is not held centrally.

National Identity

Nick Herbert: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice (1) what the cost has been to date of the consultation on the process of public engagement to develop a British statement of values; [192603]

(2) what external consultancy costs have been incurred to date in developing the process of public engagement to develop a British statement of values. [192604]

Mr. Straw: No additional costs have been incurred for consultation on the process of public engagement.

We have been working with consultants to support development of the process for public engagement on a British statement of values. This has been provided at a cost of £5,000.

Nick Herbert: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how much his Department has budgeted for the proposed Citizens’ Summit on a British statement of values; and when this summit will take place. [192605]

Mr. Straw: We are currently working in partnership with the Central Office of Information (COI) on the tender process for the Citizens’ Summit, which will determine the budget. We expect the summit to take place by early 2009.

National Offender Management Service: Manpower

John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice (1) how many staff will be redeployed from the (a) National Offender Management Service and (b) Prison Service headquarters as a result of the changes announced on 29 January 2008 on his Department's reorganisation; [191913]

(2) how many staff will be employed in the merged HM Prison Service and the National Offender Management Service headquarters from 1 April 2008; and what the projected number is for 1 April 2009. [191954]

Mr. Hanson: Staffing projections for 1 April 2008 to April 2009 are currently under way to produce more accurate projections that take into account the structural changes to the Department. We are currently planning how many staff will need to be redeployed in the new National Offender Management Service organisation, but any such activity will be consistent with the recommendations of Lord Carter of Coles' review of prisons in December 2007. Only top level management
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changes will come into effect on 1 April 2008, with more general staffing reorganisation expected some months from now.

John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many people were employed in the headquarters of (a) the National Offender Management Service and (b) HM Prison Service at the latest date for which information is available. [191953]

Maria Eagle: The requested information is in the following table:

Full-time equivalents
Number of people employed as at February 2008

National Offender Management Service

1,623

HM Prison Service(1)

1,293

(1) Excludes area offices and the National Shared Service Centre.

Police Custody

Mr. Garnier: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how much has been spent on (a) Operation Safeguard and (b) the use of court cells by prisoners since May 1997. [178762]

Mr. Straw: Police cells were used to hold prisoners regularly from 1982 until 1993 and from 1994 to 1995, and use peaked when more than 1,000 prisoners a night were being regularly held in police cells in 1988 and in 1990 to 1992 (based on end of month data).

Since 1997, Operation Safeguard was used between July and December 2002, when an average of 83 prisoners a night were held in police cells, at a cost of £10.4 million. It was used again between 12 October 2006 and 22 December 2006 (an average of 22 prisoners a night in police cells) and from 16 January 2007 to date (the average for 2007 was 181 prisoners a night in police cells). Since October 2006 payments of £35.6 million have so far been made in respect of Operation Safeguard.

Court cells were used between January and June 2007 and were used again in February this year to accommodate prisoners overnight. Invoices to the value of £1.73 million have been paid to date.

Lady Hermon: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what the average cost per night of housing a prisoner in a police station is. [189750]

Mr. Straw: Police forces provide cells through Operation Safeguard and charge NOMS for doing so. The average estimated cost of holding a prisoner in a police cell under Operation Safeguard is currently in the region of £385 per night.

Powers of Entry: Debt Collection

Robert Neill: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what the timetable is for the commencement of the provisions of the Tribunals Courts and Enforcement Act 2007 that relate to the powers of bailiffs to enter homes. [192188]


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Maria Eagle: My Department remains committed to implementing the provisions relating to the power of bailiffs to enter homes contained in the Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007.

A scoping exercise has now commenced to determine the development of these, and the results will inform the timetable for consultation and implementation. We expect this timetable to be written by May 2008.

Prison Accommodation

Nick Herbert: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many prisoners were accommodated on 22 February in (a) police cells, (b) court cells, (c) ClearSprings accommodation, (d) cells with a certified normal capacity of (i) one and (ii) two fewer than the number of people they were holding, (e) cells which do not form part of the prison's normal accommodation and (f) any other form of temporary or emergency accommodation. [189815]

Mr. Straw: On the night of 21-22 February there were 289 prisoners in police cells and 69 in court cells.

ClearSprings accommodation is not for prisoners and no prisoners are held in it. Rather, it is for defendants who have been granted bail by the courts and who, but for that accommodation, would be remanded in custody. It is also for offenders nearing the end of their sentence released on home detention curfew and who also, but for that accommodation, would still be in prison. Prison Governors decide whether a prisoner who is eligible for HDC can be released.

Information on the number of prisoners doubled in cells intended for one or trebled in cells intended for two on 22 February is not yet available. The most recent figures available are from the end of January when 20,055 prisoners were held in such cells. Data are provisional and final figures are published following the year end. Our records show that no prisoners are currently trebled in cells intended for one.

An establishment's certified normal accommodation (CNA) does not normally include cells in punishment or segregation units. Nor does the CNA of training prisons and young offender institutions normally include health care cells or rooms that are not routinely used to accommodate long stay patients. The information regarding prisoners held in these types of accommodation is not recorded centrally.

No prison is expected to operate at a level of crowding beyond that which the Prison Service area manager (or regional offender manager in the case of a contracted prison) considers safe.

There are no other forms of temporary or emergency accommodation used for prisoners.

Prisoners: Rehabilitation

Mr. Heath: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what provision is made by each contracted-out prison for (a) prisoner education, (b) work placements, (c) work in the community and (d) programmes designed to provide prisoners with employment upon release from prison. [188249]


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Maria Eagle: Information on prisoner education, work placements, work in the community and programmes designed to provide prisoners with employment upon release in each contracted prison is provided in the tables as follows.

Prisoner education
Educational courses provided for prisoners

Altcourse

Prisoners have access to 15 hours of education per week plus 2 evening classes. This includes a range of activities that can lead to qualifications that support them upon release. This includes ESOL, IT, Literacy and Numeracy.

Ashfield

All prisoners have 24 hours of taught education per week and 1 hour informed education across a variety of areas. Classes include Art, IT, Life and Social Skills, Literacy, Music, Numeracy, PE.

Bronzefield

Six hours a day Education provision focusing primarily on Art, Basic Skills, ESOL, IT, Literacy, Numeracy.

Doncaster

Business Admin, ESOL, Industrial Cleaning, IT, Islamic Studies, Key Skills, Literacy, Numeracy, Pottery, Social Skills, Various sports programmes including BAWLA and Star Awards.

Dovegate

Business Studies, Ceramics, Circuit Training, ECDL, ESOL, Essential Skills, Family and Relationships, Get Fit for Life, IT, ITQ, Key Skills, Literacy, Numeracy, Open University, Social Life Skills

Forest Bank

Adult Basic Skills, Art, Budget and Money Management, Business Studies, Citizenship, Conflict Management, ESOL, Family Relations, Healthy Living, IT OCR, IT CLAIT, Literacy, Numeracy, Physical and Recreational Training Course, Skills for Life.

Lowdham Grange

Arabic, Community Sports Leader Award, Creative Writing, Diversity, Distance Learning, Drug Awareness ESOL, French, German, Interpersonal Skills, IT courses, Key Skills, Learning Support Assistant Training, Literacy, Numeracy, Older People in Sports, Open University, Spanish, Social and Life Skills, Sport and Recreation, Turkish, YMCA Fitness.

Parc

Art—Pottery /Painting and Drawing, Basic PC Course, Certificate in Peer Partnership, ICT—Clait, Clait+, Design and Creative Studies, Fine Art, Numeracy, YMCA Gym Course, Numeracy

Qualifications offered exclusively on the Young Persons Unit: British Sign Language, Music.

Peterborough

ESOL, Literacy, Numeracy, Paper Craft, Physical Well Being, Reflexology

Rye Hill

Art, Basic skills in Numeracy and Literacy, Business Studies, Cookery, Drama, Distance Learning course, English, ESOL, Healthy Lifestyles, IT, Maths, Open University course.

Wolds

Accounts, Agility and Fitness, Art/Ceramics, Business Studies, Boxercise, BWLA Leaders, Citizenship, COSHH, CSLA, FA Football Coaching, FA Football Refereeing, Focus Fitness Instructor, Foundation in Speed, Foundation in Exercise and Fitness, Geography, Heartstart, History, IT ECDL, IT ECDL Advanced, IT CLAIT 2006, IT CLAIT Plus, IT Courses, Introduction to British Animals/Birds/Insects, Key Skills, Literacy, Numeracy, National Safety Passport, Open University, Parenting, Peer Tutoring, Social and Life Skills, Spanish, University Foundation Award Sociology (Hull University), University Foundation Award Psychology (Hull University)


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