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11 Mar 2008 : Column 356W—continued


Resettlement: Iraq

Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what security vetting is given to dependents of Iraqi citizens formerly employed by the Ministry of Defence and resettled in the UK. [189856]

Mr. Byrne: Iraqi citizens who were formerly employed by the Ministry of Defence, and any family members, who are seeking resettlement to the UK are subject to screening by the Border and Immigration Agency. This includes checks to identify and deny entry to any individuals who may present a threat to the UK or whose presence here would be undesirable.

Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many Iraqi citizens formerly employed by the Ministry of Defence have been granted leave to settle in the UK on an exceptional basis outside the immigration rules. [189857]

Mr. Byrne: To date no Iraqi citizens formerly employed by the Ministry of Defence have been granted indefinite leave to enter in the UK on an exceptional basis outside of the immigration rules in accordance with the assistance available to locally engaged Iraqi staff who were serving on or after 8 August 2007.

Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many Iraqi citizens currently employed by the Ministry of Defence have had an application for indefinite leave to enter on an exceptional basis outside the immigration rules rejected. [189859]

Mr. Byrne: As of 25 February no locally engaged staff seeking indefinite leave to enter from Iraq have yet submitted an application for entry clearance to UKvisas.

Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many Iraqi citizens formerly employed by the Ministry of Defence have had an application for indefinite leave to enter on an exceptional basis outside the Immigration Rules rejected. [189860]

Mr. Byrne: As of 25 February no eligible staff have submitted an application for entry clearance to UKvisas although seven have expressed an interest in the scheme.

Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the reception and integration package given to Iraqi citizens formerly employed by the Ministry of Defence when they arrive in the UK for resettlement consists of. [189862]

Mr. Byrne: We will offer a comprehensive resettlement package to those Iraqi citizens and their dependants who meet the eligibility criteria and who are successfully resettled under the scheme of assistance for Locally Engaged staff formerly employed by the Ministry of Defence, when they arrive in the UK. It will consist of an initial reception and orientation process immediately on arrival followed by an integration package which will include assistance with housing, health care, education, casework support and sign posting to the relevant agencies.

Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the cost of assisting the transportation of Iraqi staff and dependants who received leave to enter on an exceptional basis outside the Immigration Rules has been in 2007-08 to date. [189865]

Mr. Byrne: To date no costs for transportation have been incurred.

Security: Liverpool Airport

Stephen Hesford: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how much her Department has spent on security at Liverpool John Lennon Airport since 2002. [191282]

Mr. McNulty: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Transport, as regulator, sets the minimum security requirements that industry must implement. At local level, the security of an airport, and the related costs, are for the airport operator, police and other security stakeholders to decide based on the threats and risks at that particular airport. The Home Office has therefore not directly spent any money on airport security at Liverpool John Lennon Airport since 2002.


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Serious Organised Crime Agency

David Davis: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many prosecutions have been brought following investigations by the e-crime unit in the Serious and Organised Crime Agency. [187275]

Jacqui Smith: Since April 2006, SOCA e-crime has concluded nine operations and passed papers to prosecutors in this country and abroad. To date, these have resulted in the conviction of 15 individuals.

David Davis: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many cases the Serious and Organised Crime Agency has passed to the Assets Recovery Agency since 1 April 2007. [187295]

Jacqui Smith: SOCA has referred two cases to ARA since 1 April 2007.

Mr. Kemp: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent assessment she has made of the effectiveness of the Serious and Organised Crime Agency. [191007]

Mr. Coaker: Home Office Ministers have regular meetings with the chair and the director-general of the Serious Organised Crime Agency.

SOCA's achievements in its first year of operation are set out in its annual report for 2006-07 published on 18 May 2007 and placed in the House Library.

SOCA also appeared before a Home Affairs Select Committee on 29 January 2008 where it answered a number of questions about its effectiveness.

Serious Organised Crime Agency: Finance

David Davis: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how much the Serious and Organised Crime Agency spent in 2006-07 on expanding covert intelligence gathering capabilities. [187281]

Jacqui Smith: SOCA invests in covert intelligence gathering capabilities to sustain its own activity and in support of wider law enforcement. The scale of this investment is sensitive, since it is indicative of SOCA's capabilities and capacity, knowledge of which may offer an advantage to serious organised criminals.

Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005

Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department which (a) statutory instruments, (b) departmental circulars and (c) other documents she issued consequential on the provisions of section 128 of the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005 in each year since the Act came into force; and how many she plans to issue in the next 12 months. [192537]

Mr. Coaker: On 20 March 2007 SI 2007 No. 930 was made by my hon. Friend the Minister of State at the Home Office designating 16 royal, Government and parliamentary sites. A factual inaccuracy in this statutory instrument was amended by SI 2007 No. 1387 which was made on 2 May 2007. Both these statutory instruments came into force on 1 June 2007. On 22 May 2007 a Home Office circular (No. 18/2007) was issued giving advice to police forces on the operation of
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the offence at these 16 sites. No other documents have been issued publicly and it is not currently anticipated that any more will be issued in the next 12 months.

Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if she will make a statement on the operation of section 128 of the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005; what amendments have been made to this section since enactment; whether she has any plans to bring forward amendments to this section in the next 12 months; and what recent representations she has received on this section. [192538]

Mr. Coaker: Section 128 of the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005, together with the associated provisions in sections 129 to 131, created a new offence of criminal trespass on a designated site. It came into force on 1 July 2005. Section 12 of the Terrorism Act 2006 amended the wording of the offence in sections 128 and 129 to trespass on a protected site, which is defined as either a designated site or a licensed nuclear site. These amendments came into force on 13 April 2006. There are currently no plans to amend these sections and no recent representations have been received on these sections.

Sexual Harassment

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many complaints of (a) sexual harassment and (b) sexual discrimination have been made by staff in (i) her Department and (ii) its agencies in the most recent year for which figures are available. [184693]

Mr. Byrne: During the period 1 January 2007 to 31 December 2007, no formal complaints of sexual harassment or sexual discrimination were made by staff within Home Office headquarters.

During the same period 11 formal complaints of sexual harassment and five formal complaints of sexual discrimination were made by staff against their colleagues within Home Office agencies (Border and Immigration Agency, the Identity and Passport Service and the Criminal Records Bureau).

Shoplifting: Cleveland

Ms Dari Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people were arrested for shoplifting in the Cleveland police force area in each of the last two years. [189584]

Mr. Coaker: This information is not available as arrests for shoplifting cannot be separately identified from the main offence group of ‘other theft offences’ of which it is a part.

Shropshire

Daniel Kawczynski: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the value was of each grant provided by her Department, its associated agencies and non-departmental public bodies to (a) Shrewsbury and Atcham Borough Council, (b) Shropshire County Council and (c) Telford and the Wrekin Borough Council in (i) 2006-07 and (ii) 2007-08; and what grants have been planned for 2008-09. [184101]


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Mr. Byrne: The Department’s accounting system shows the following total payments to Shrewsbury and Atcham borough council, Shropshire county council and Telford and the Wrekin borough council.

Total (£)
2006-07 2007-08

Shrewsbury and Atcham

39,761

Shropshire

336,657

286,310

Telford and Wrekin

445,768

391,774


A grant by grant split of 2006-07 and 2007-08 totals and the planned grants for 2008-09 could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Information on grants provided by the Department’s agencies and non-departmental public bodies is held by the bodies themselves. This information is not held centrally.

Telephone Tapping

Damian Green: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the cost to her Department of making telephone intercepts was in (a) 2006 and (b) 2007. [191187]

Mr. McNulty: Individual intercepting agencies are responsible for the costs of interception. It is not in the public interest to provide a breakdown of these costs because they would be misleading and could give an indication of capabilities.

Television

Mr. Maude: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many plasma television screens have been purchased by her Department and its agencies, and at what cost, in the last 24 months. [191096]

Mr. Byrne: Central records on the purchase of plasma screens are not held. However at 2 Marsham street one plasma screen has been purchased in the last 24 months at a cost of £1,045.

Visas: Asia-Pacific Region

Keith Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what meetings she has had with representatives from the south Asian community on the proposed changes to visitor visas. [176828]

Mr. Byrne: We have consulted and worked with a range of stakeholders within Government and industry to formulate the questions posed in the consultation on visitor visas. We will listen to and learn from the views of all those with a stake in this consultation in order to develop a system that is both more secure but that also maintains the UK's position as a destination of choice. I discussed this issue at the Ethnic Minority Citizens Forum at the end of January and during my visit to India in February when I was accompanied by a delegation of community leaders.


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Visas: Overseas Students

Damian Green: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what representations she has received about the impact of the points-based migration system on US university internships in the UK; and if she will make a statement. [191188]

Mr. Byrne: Representations have been received from the Association of American Study Abroad Programmes (UK) and Border and Immigration Agency officials have met with them on a number of occasions to discuss the impact of the points based system on US university internships in the UK. A further meeting is scheduled to take place shortly.

Treasury

China Task Force

Jo Swinson: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) who the members are of the China Task Force; and what his policy is on the publication of information relating to the China Task Force; [193477]

(2) if he will ensure that minutes of meetings of the China Task Force and other documents relating to its activities that could be placed in the public domain are published on his Department’s website in future. [193478]

Angela Eagle: Following the recent change of chairman of the China Task Force, there has been a review of the Task Force and its membership, which was discussed by members on 28 February and is still ongoing. As the Secretariat for the China Task Force sits within the Cabinet Office, information relating to the Task Force will therefore be published on the Cabinet Office website in due course.

The current membership includes: Sir David Brewer (President, China Britain Business Council); Lord Powell; Mervyn Davies (Chairman, Standard Chartered Bank); Professor Sir Colin Campbell (Vice-Chancellor, University of Nottingham); Professor David Norse (Retired Pro-Provost, University College London); right hon. Phil Woolas MP (Minister of State, Climate Change and Environment); Lord Malloch Brown (Minister of State, Africa, Asia and the UN); Neil MacGregor (Director of the British Museum); Sir John Rose (CEO Rolls Royce Plc); Professor K K Cheng (Professor of Epidemiology, Birmingham University); Andrew Cahn (Chief Executive, UK Trade and Investment); Sir Richard Sykes (Rector, Imperial College); Dr. Gary Dirks (Executive President and CEO BP China); and Sebastian Wood (Director Asia Pacific, FCO).

Civil Service Appeal Board

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many and what percentage of appeals by employees of (a) his Department and (b) its agencies were (i) heard and (ii) upheld by the Civil Service Appeal Board in each of the last 10 years; how much was awarded in compensation by the Board to each successful appellant in each year; what the reason was for each compensation award; how many appellants were reinstated by the Board in each year; and what the reason was for each (A) dismissal and (B) reinstatement. [192527]


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Angela Eagle: The Civil Service Appeal Board's annual reports are available at the following link:

Detailed information relating to each of the Chancellor's departments and agencies could be provided only at disproportionate cost.


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