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30 Jun 2008 : Column 691Wcontinued
Stewart Hosie: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how frequently his Department restates the asset values of its building estate. 
Mrs. McGuire: The Department for Work and Pensions, does not include in its balance sheet capital values of the land and buildings that it occupies. Properties are leased, the majority under a Private Finance Initiative contract with Land Securities Trillium.
Further information can be found in the departmental resource accounts at:
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will list the conferences hosted by his Department in each of the last two years; and what the cost was of each conference. 
Mrs. McGuire: The information requested is not available centrally in the format requested and could be collected only at disproportionate cost.
Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what expert groups his Department set up in each year since 1999. 
Mrs. McGuire: Details of formal, standing bodies set up by Government to provide independent, expert advice to Departments and Ministers are published annually by the Cabinet Office. These bodies, known as advisory non-departmental public bodies (NDPBs), are listed in the annual Public Bodies publication. Public Bodies also contains some details on short-term advisory groups and task forces. Copies of Public Bodies dating back to 1999 can be viewed and downloaded from:
Copies are also available in the Library for the reference of Members.
Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what independent inquiries have been commissioned by his Department in the last five years; what the (a) purpose and (b) cost was of each; and what steps were taken following each such inquiry. 
Mrs. McGuire: The Department for Work and Pensions has commissioned one public inquiry in the last five years. On 1 October 2007 the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions announced jointly with the Lord Advocate an inquiry under the Inquires Act 2005 into the explosion and building collapse on the 11 May 2004 at the premises of ICL Plastics Ltd and ICL Tech Ltd in Glasgow which resulted in 9 deaths and 40 serious injuries.
The remit of the inquiry is to:
To inquire into the circumstances leading up to the incident on 11 May 2004 at the premises occupied by the ICL group of companies, Grovepark Mills, Maryhill, Glasgow.
To consider the issues arising from such an inquiry, including the regulation of the activities at Grovepark Mills.
To make recommendations in the light of the lessons identified from the causation and circumstances leading up to the incident.
To report as soon as practicable.
The cost of the inquiry, which is being shared equally between the Department for Work and Pensions and the Scottish Executive is not available because full public hearings have yet to commence.
The Government will consider the steps to be taken following receipt of the Inquirys report.
Stewart Hosie: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many jobs his Department expects to relocate under the policy of civil service job dispersal. 
Mrs. McGuire: The Department for Work and Pensions target, agreed and published as part of the 2004 spending review, was to relocate 4,000 posts from London and the South East by the end of March 2008. As at 31 March 2008, 4,045 posts were relocated out of London and the South East with a further 21 posts awaiting relocation post March.
Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how much his Department and its agencies spent on branding and marketing activity in 2007-08. 
Mrs. McGuire: Final figures on branding and marketing expenditure for 2007-08 are not available this close to the end of the financial year.
Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the average pay per hour worked by (a) permanent and (b) temporary staff in his Department in the last period for which figures are available, broken down by pay band. 
Mrs. McGuire: The information is in the following table:
|Average hourly rates of permanent and temporary staff in DWP by pay bandMarch 2008|
|Hourly r ate|
|(1) Insufficient Staff|
(2) No Staff
1. The figures exclude all staff who are on unpaid leave, on reduced or nil pay through long-term sick absence, and staff on specialist pay scales such as accountants and lawyers.
2. The hourly rate has been calculated by dividing actual basic annual salaries by 52 to obtain the weekly rate, then the by 37 (36 for London staff) hours worked per week to obtain the rate per hour.
3. Basic salaries exclude all allowances and overtime payments.
DWP March 2008 payroll system on 31 March 2008.
Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the average starting salary for a civil servant taking a position in his Department as their first job was in the latest period for which figures are available. 
Mrs. McGuire: We do not record for those recruited to DWP whether or not it is their first job. Therefore it is not possible to accurately establish the average salaries of new civil servants who are joining DWP as their first job.
Sarah Teather: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how much his Department spent on sending mail overseas in each year since 2001, broken down by delivery company. 
Mrs. McGuire: The Department has had a contract with Spring Ltd since May 2003 for the dispatch of mail overseas. Details of expenditure with Spring Ltd are provided in the following table. Information prior to May 2003 is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
|Yearly spend (£)|
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how much sick pay to staff in his Department cost in the last five years for which figures are available. 
Mrs. McGuire: Information available regarding the cost of sick pay to staff in the Department is listed in the following table.
Previously, the information was not collated centrally and therefore could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how much (a) his Department and (b) its agencies spent on training courses for staff in the last (i) 12 months and (ii) five years. 
Mrs. McGuire: The information is not held centrally and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.
Mrs. Villiers: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions when each of his Department's and its agencies' green transport plans were introduced; and if he will place in the Library a copy of each such plan. 
Mr. Plaskitt: The scale and diverse nature of the Department for Work and Pensions' estate makes the viability of a corporate nationwide green transport plan impractical. Therefore, at this time, neither the Department, nor any of its agencies, operates such a plan.
The Department's travel policies do, however, strongly promote sustainable commuting. This includes guidance for local managers to develop site specific plans and encourages them to do so. It allows them the flexibility to address and to fully take into account local issues, which is critical to ensuring practical solutions. Therefore individual site plans exist where specific measures have been identified or if a requirement of planning regulations.
Mr. Moore: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions pursuant to the answer of 20 February 2008, Official Report, column 750W, on the Fair Trade initiative, how much his Department spent on refreshments for official departmental meetings and engagements in each of the last three financial years; and what percentage of this expenditure was on Fair Trade products. 
Mrs. McGuire: In line with Government policy, the Department is committed to Fairtrade and ethical supply routes. This commitment is reflected in our contract with the Department's Estates partner, Land Securities Trillium (LST), who provides catering facilities at many of our sites.
The Department records details of expenditure only on beverages provided for official meetings and engagements. Fair trade tea and coffee has been served as standard for official receptions and meetings since February 2006. Details of related total expenditure and the proportion of this which was spent on Fair Trade products are provided in the following table.
|April to March each year||Total beverage sales (£)||Fair trade beverages sales (£)||Proportion of fair trade ( Percentage )|
Mr. Ellwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what plans he has to review (a) incapacity benefit and (b) disability allowance. 
Mrs. McGuire: From 27 October 2008, employment and support allowance will replace incapacity benefit and income support paid on the grounds of incapacity or disability, for new customers. Existing customers will be migrated to employment and support allowance over time and as resources allow.
Disability living allowance remains under continual review to ensure that it continues to provide help with the extra costs that disabled people face.
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