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Mr. Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to the answer of 25 March 2008, Official Report, columns 120-21W, on departmental data protection, if he will include information assurance data on data loss incidents in previous years in his Department's next annual report. 
Jonathan Shaw: I refer the hon. Member to the statement made by my right hon. Friend, the Prime Minister on 21 November 2007, Official Report, column 1179 and the written ministerial statement made my right hon. Friend the Minister for the Cabinet Office on 17 December 2007, Official Report, column 98WS. The review by the Cabinet Secretary and security experts is looking at procedures within Departments and agencies for the storage and use of data.
The interim report of 17 December 2007 committed to put in place a programme to examine and improve data handling procedures. An update on this commitment will be included in the final report, expected in spring 2008, and this report will detail the information to be included by Departments on data loss in their annual reports.
David T.C. Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many freedom of information requests made to his Department were (a) answered (i) within 20 days, (ii) within 40 days, (iii) within 60 days, (iv) after 60 days, (b) not answered and (c) answered citing an exemption in the Freedom of Information Act 2000 as a reason not to provide the requested information in each year since the Act came into force. 
Jonathan Shaw: The Ministry of Justice (MOJ) has published two annual reports containing statistical information on freedom of information requests received by monitored bodies (including central Government Departments) in 2005 and 2006. These reports can be found at the following address:
The 2007 annual report is currently being drafted for publication in June 2008. However, statistics on requests received in each quarter of 2007 have been published and can be found via the MOJ website:
The Freedom of Information Act 2000 requires public bodies to respond to written requests within 20 working days of receipt, but allows additional time for the consideration of the public interest in disclosing the requested information.
The published reports provide statistics on the number of non-routine requests received during each period where: an initial response was provided within 20 working days; an initial response was given outside this time but a public interest test extension had been applied; an initial response was given outside this time and no public interest test extension was applied, and where no initial response had been given at the time the statistics were collected.
The 2006 annual report provides statistics on the duration of the public interest test extensions in that year. Corresponding statistics for 2007 will be available when the 2007 annual report is published.
Information requests where deadlines were extended beyond 40 days is not collected in the form requested; however the proportion of resolvable requests the Department answered in time (ie meeting the deadline or with a permitted extension) in 2007 was 87 per cent.
For 2005 and 2006, the reports show the number of requests received by the Department which were withheld, either in full or in part, where an FOI exemption or EIR exception was applied. For 2007, the number of such requests was 77, based on aggregated quarterly statistics from 2007. Requests withheld solely under the exemption applicable to information available by other means are not included; statistics on these are not collected centrally because they are dealt with as routine business.
Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Northavon of 28 February 2008, Official Report, column 1855W, on departmental ICT, what estimate his Department has made of (a) the projected cost of installing and implementing and (b) the likely annual saving in energy costs from (i) VISTA's in-built group policy options to enforce a default switch to the VISTA sleep mode after a pre-set elapsed time of inactivity and (ii) the Nightwatchman technology. 
[holding answer 21 April 2008]: Further to our response to the hon. Member for
Northavon (Steve Webb) of 28 February 2008, detailed in Official Report, column 1855W, on departmental ICT, we are now engaged in preparations to roll-out laptop VISTA devices with global pre-set power management settings.
The installation and implementation of VISTA's power management tools are covered within the IT refresh that is currently being undertaken by IBM. Expenditure for the refresh is covered within the annual service charge paid to IBM, DEFRAs strategic IT partner. As such VISTAs power management tools are freely available for us to use and no significant extra expense has been incurred in using them to set up power management regimes across the Department.
The power management settings will switch the laptops to hibernate after a pre-defined period, in which mode the current desktop is copied to disk and deleted from memory. This mode draws no current, effectively switching off the PC, compared with sleep mode that draws current to maintain the in-use desktop in memory.
We are also ensuring in the same VISTA settings that monitors are similarly switched back to their standby power saving mode. In parallel we are increasing ad hoc inspections by our security guards who will be labelling devices found left switched on.
A recent security guard survey indicated some 600 devices were left switched on across the main buildings on the London estate. Assuming these would all be desktops with flat screen monitors in idle mode (we do not allow active screensavers) with a combined power consumption of 53w (determined from recent power monitoring exercise) and that these devices were all left on every night and every weekend throughout the year, we are wasting some 200MwH per annum. Assuming 0.09p per KwH equates to a potential saving of nearly £20,000.
As stated in the previous response, we are taking no further action in the implementation of Nightwatchman or any other power management software until we have assessed the outcome of our VISTA rollout and the savings that the power management settings bring on energy consumed by the Departments main offices.
Dan Rogerson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the cost of (a) salaries for permanent Civil Service posts, (b) salaries for permanent non-Civil Service posts and (c) payments to temporary or agency workers in his Department was in each month since May 2005. 
Jonathan Shaw: I can provide the following analysis of the costs of salaries for permanent civil servants and payments to temporary or agency workers within the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs from May 2005. The Department does not maintain permanent non-civil service posts.
|Salaries of permanent civil servant posts and payments to temporary and agency workers, within Defra|
|Salaries of permanent civil servant posts||Payments to temporary or agency workers||Salaries of permanent civil servant posts||Payments to temporary or agency workers||Salaries of permanent civil servant posts||Payments to temporary or agency workers|
Mr. Roger Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many people were made redundant in his Department in each of the last three years; and how much was paid in redundancy compensation in each such year. 
Jonathan Shaw: This Department's 2007-08 voluntary early departure scheme is not a multi-annual scheme but was open for applications between September 2007 and January 2008 with provision set aside in this financial year for any payments to retirees, consequent on their departure under this scheme, which might fall in future years. It immediately followed a previous voluntary early departure scheme which ran from December 2006 to July 2007. We do have some records for 2005-06, however these are not as detailed as those for the last two years, so it is not possible to provide precise figures for this period.
During financial years 2006-07 and 2007-08 a total of 751 people took up the option of voluntary early retirement or severance (133 in 2006-07 and 618 in 2007-08). The estimated cost to the Department for these two periods has been £14.8 million and £49 million, respectively, on the funding of voluntary early departures under either scheme. There are currently no plans to launch further voluntary early departure schemes.
In RPA the estimated costs during the financial year 2006-07 was a credit of £74,000, which was due to a reduction in the provision for exit costs and was made up of five people. This was as a result of some staff from 2005-06 withdrawing from their arrangements. In 2007-08 14 staff left on the early departures scheme, with an estimated cost of £1,062,000.
Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many staff in his Department and its agencies have attended the (a) Influencing with Integrity, (b) Emotional Intelligence, (c) Counselling Skills for the Workplace, (d) Managing your Confidence, (e) Balancing Work/Life Realities and (f) Working Assertively training course run by the National School of Government in the last 12 months for which information is available; and at what cost. 
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Mr. Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether mechanisms are in place to monitor the extent to which his Department's (a) internal and (b) external (i) correspondence and (ii) distribution of publications is carried out electronically. 
Jonathan Shaw: The Department does not monitor the format used for internal correspondence but virtually all of it now takes place by email. The Department's Customer Contact Unit (CCU) manages and monitors incoming correspondence. For the last six months, statistics show that around 40 per cent. of this was received and answered through the email channel.
The large majority of the Department's publications are, where practicable, made available electronically via the Department's website and/or from our distribution centre but this is not specifically monitored.
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