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Police: Vehicles

Mr. Ruffley: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what guidelines her Department provides to chief constables on the purchasing of (a) police vehicles and (b) environmentally-friendly police vehicles. [198458]

Mr. McNulty: The Efficiency and Productivity Strategy for the Police Service 2008-11, which has been agreed jointly with the Association of Chief Police Officers and the Association of Police Authorities, recognises that the police service could obtain better value from expenditure on goods and services, for example through increased collaborative procurement.

The National Policing Improvement Agency has worked with the police service to develop national frameworks for the purchase of vehicles under which forces are offered significant discounts on manufacturers' prices. These have been in place since 1992 and are regularly re-tendered. The arrangements are strongly encouraged by the Association of Chief Police Officers and HM Inspectorate of Constabulary. The most recent version (spring 2005) was designed to assist forces in rationalising the variety of models in use, to encourage standardisation and deliver further increases in value for money.

Police forces continue to evaluate the use of alternative fuels and indeed the National Association of Police Fleet Managers (NAPFM) is taking environmental issues increasingly into account in vehicle procurement on a national scale.

Mr. Ruffley: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many police authorities have converted their fleets, in whole or in part, to run on compressed natural gas, liquid petroleum gas or electricity. [198510]

Mr. McNulty: Police forces continue to evaluate the use of alternative fuels and indeed the National Association of Police Fleet Managers is applying environmental issues increasingly to future vehicle procurement on a national scale. The general trend is to move away from high carbon emission engines, including high performance vehicles. Currently, there are selective uses where non-fossil fuel vehicles can be used but these are very limited at present and are dependent on individual police force operational activities.

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Mr. Ruffley: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what guidance she gives to police (a) forces and (b) authorities on the (i) purchase and (ii) lease of vehicles manufactured in the United Kingdom. [198594]

Mr. McNulty: The police service procures vehicles using framework arrangements managed by National Policing Improvement Agency and the National Association of Police Fleet Managers. It is a legal requirement that such frameworks are procured in accordance with European Union procurement directives and United Kingdom public procurement regulations that prevent discrimination on national grounds. These framework arrangements enable police fleet managers to order vehicles and parts efficiently, thus delivering best value for money to the taxpayer. Since the safety of police officers and the public is paramount, all vehicles procured in this manner must meet demanding police specifications and are subjected to rigorous testing, including EuroNCAP safety ratings.

Proceeds of Crime

Mr. Ruffley: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how much was recovered under the Confiscation of Criminal Assets Act 2003 (a) in total and (b) in each police authority area in descending order of amount recovered in each year since its introduction; and how much is in the process of being recovered. [200482]

Mr. Coaker: I would refer the hon. Member to my reply of 8 January 2008, Official Report, column 460W. The total amount of confiscation orders and cash forfeiture orders obtained by all agencies in April-December 2007 is £183.9 million. Data for 2007-08 is currently being finalised and validated. It should be available in May.


Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if she will remove the proscription of Hamas under terrorism legislation to enable discussions between the Government and Hamas representatives on the political situation in the Middle East to take place. [192521]

Mr. McNulty: The military wing of Hamas (the Izz al-Din al-Qassem Brigades) was proscribed in 2001 due to its concern in terrorism. Other parts of Hamas, such as those which deal with its political and social and humanitarian activities, are not proscribed. The proscription of the Hamas Izz al-Din al-Qassem Brigades would not therefore preclude discussions with the political leadership of Hamas should circumstances favour such contact.

Duchy of Lancaster

Office of the Third Sector: Expenditure

Greg Clark: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if he will provide a breakdown by main budget heading of the expenditure of the Office of the Third Sector in 2006-07. [201828]

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Phil Hope: The expenditure of the Office of the Third Sector in 2006-07 is set out in the Cabinet Office Annual Report and Resource Accounts 2006-07. This is available at:

Copies are also available in the Library of the House.

Voluntary Organisations: Finance

Greg Clark: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if he will provide a breakdown by main budget heading of the £515 million funding announced as part of the publication of the conclusions of the Third Sector review. [201825]

Phil Hope: The £515 million funding announced in the final report of the third sector review includes:

The remaining funding will be used for a number of other third sector programmes, set out in the third sector review, including the strategic partners programme, work to promote social enterprise and work to enable the transformation of public services by third sector organisations.

Written Questions: Government Responses

David Taylor: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster when he plans to provide a substantive answer to Question 187174, on correspondence in relation to freedom of information requests to Government departments, tabled on 15 February 2008. [201883]

Edward Miliband: The Cabinet Secretary replied today and a copy of his response has been placed in the Libraries of the House.

Work and Pensions

Council Tax Benefit: Standards

Danny Alexander: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many and what proportion of claimants were underpaid council tax benefit in 2006-07. [200840]

Mr. Plaskitt: The information is not available.

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Departmental Data Protection

Mr. Redwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what (a) linkages and (b) cross checks (i) exist and (ii) are planned between the data records of individuals whose data is stored on databases maintained by (A) his Department and (B) other departments. [200101]

Mr. Timms: The Department carries out many large and small scale data cross-checks and matches between its own various systems and between its systems and those of other Government Departments, as the law
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allows. This is in order to deliver effective services to many different types of customers.

However, detail of the individual linkages and checks is not held centrally and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

Departmental ICT

Mr. Redwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how much his Department has spent on IT projects since 2005; and what estimate he has made of its total expenditure on IT projects between 2005 and 2010. [200070]

Mr. Timms: The information requested is as follows.

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Project Purpose Actual expenditure since 2005 (April 2005 to March 2008) (£ million) Estimate of total expenditure 2005-10 (April 2005 to March 2010) (£ million)

Pensions transformation project

The programme will transform the Pension Service, bringing together business and IT change in ways that improve customer service and deliver efficiencies.



Customer information system

This project will deliver a database of key citizen information to be shared across DWP. The database will complement information currently available in the Department's key customer information systems, i.e. Personal Details Computer System and Departmental Central Index, and become their replacement. Consideration is being given for wider use of CIS by Other Government Departments.



Document repository service

This project seeks to support the Department's modernisation programmes through the provision of a document repository to store digitised images of documents received from customers (letters, faxes, e-mails etc.), cutting down paper in the organisation.



Central payments system (formerly part of payment modernisation)

A modern integrated central payment engine and accounts payable system to improve accounting for benefit/pension payments, reduce risks of service failure, increased speed and efficiency, and information for improved customer service and reduced fraud and error.



Customer management system (previously known as working age services modernisation project (WASMP)

CMS system is a front-end data gathering system for primary Jobcentre Plus benefit processing systems, including auto-transfer of data. Subsequent releases of the system have updated and improved efficiency.



Employment and support allowance

The project delivers the system and processes to implement the new ESA allowance.



HR IS/IT programme

Following the merger of the Employment Service and the Benefits Agency human resources functions in the DWP, HR organisation underwent modernisation. Moving from a centralised, old-style personnel function to a new outward facing HR Group. This included changing how DWP delivers policies and services. The HR IS/IT Programme contributed to the delivery of these improvements ensuring its operation is efficient and effective and supports Departments learning and leadership objectives.



On time solution

Provide a range of improved information services to DWP businesses, including improved quicker management information, fraud and error intervention and analysis.



Operational improvement plan(1)

Operational and organisational restructuring of the Child Support Agency to deliver more money to more children.



Provider referrals and payment project

Deploy an IT system to automate and e-enable transactions between Jobcentreplus and external training providers.



Web enabled local service system

Provide a solution to replace the existing standalone IT used by Local Services (LS) providing LS flexibility



Pension reform delivery programme

To co-ordinate, manage and deliver a range of measures and consequential impacts which will establish a new structure for the UK pension system long term.



Fraud referral and intervention management system

This project develops and delivers a core IT platform that provides a lasting foundation for modern flexible IT support of business priorities, by introducing a new system to provide the Programme Protection Community with a single national data store of all fraud, compliance and risk cases.



DWP change programme

This programme brigades a number of complementary initiatives to deliver the DWP business vision. Including major projects to bring in continuous improvement using Lean techniques which should allow greater customer focus and efficiency in our process and business change projects to allow greater access to information.



Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission(2)

To establish a new child maintenance system that delivers more money to more children and better value for money to the taxpayer.



Real time pensions forecasts (RTPF)—strategic alignment

To strategically align the RPTF e-service by utilising the Retirement Planner Project (RPP) solution (with RTPF service ‘ring-fenced’) and moving to the Corporate Integration Backbone (GIB) and Distributed Known Facts model.



State pension deferral project

To identify, co-ordinate, assure, communicate and deliver changes to business systems and process, within timescales, to secure the introduction of changes to state pension deferral rules.



Resource management

This programme provided modernised HR, financial and procurement functions for DWP staff. It introduced significant business process change, enabling departmental resources to be managed more effectively.



Benefits processing replacement programme (BPRP)

The Benefits Processing Replacement Programme (BPRP) was formally launched in November 2004 to consider a replacement for existing IT legacy systems to calculate benefit payments in Jobcentre Plus (JCP) and the Disability and Carers Service (DCS). The Programmes' delivery activities were suspended in May 2006, and work commenced to bring the programme to an early closure and to consider re-alignment of the IS/IT Strategy.



Debt management

To bring increased focus to the management, recovery and accounting of benefit debt owed to the department.



(1) The Child Support Agency Operational Improvement Plan is a business recovery programme and is not a business change project in the normal sense. The focus of the programme is the organisational and operational restructuring of the agency to deliver significant performance improvements, getting more money to parents. It specifically aims to tackle the key area of debt, compliance and enforcement. Over a three year period the programme will design, develop and implement process and organisational change underpinned by continuing remediation of existing computer systems and the introduction of further IT enhancements in preparation for the new CMEC organisation.
(2) At this stage, with the Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission yet to be established, these costs are best viewed as planning assumptions. They will depend ultimately on how C-MEC will configure its services; the details and timing of the transitional arrangements to the new scheme; and the choices that parents will make. All of these factors are subject to significant uncertainties. It should also be noted that estimated IT costs account for less than 20 per cent of the overall costs.
1. These costs represent the investment costs of implementing the particular project and programme. Costs of running the solutions implemented by the projects and programmes are not included above as in the vast majority of cases they are more than compensated for by the financial and non financial benefits they generate. These savings are demonstrated in the NAO report ‘The Efficiency programme: A Second Review of Progress’.
2. Initiatives that are associated with ongoing system improvements or enhancements as part of business as usual have not been included.

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