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Central Government Departments actively seek to buy all wood and wood products (including furniture) from legal and sustainable sources. From April 2009, departments will be required to procure legal and sustainable timber or timber licensed under the EUs Forest Law Enforcement, Governance, and Trade (FLEGT) initiative.
David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what the average sentence handed down by courts in England and Wales was for people convicted of motoring offences that resulted in a fatality in each of the last five years. 
|Number of persons sentenced( 1) by result and average custodial sentence length( 2) for motoring offences that resulted in a fatality, all courts, England and Wales, 2002 - 06|
|Number of persons and average custodial sentence length (months)|
|Offence description||Absolute discharge||Conditional discharge||Fine||Community sentence||Fully suspended sentence||Immediate custody||Otherwise dealt with||Average custodial sentence length( 2)|
|(1 )These data are on the principal offence basis.|
(2 )Excludes life and indeterminate sentences. Figures are given in months.
(3 )Motoring offences that resulted in a fatality that have been identified include:
Causing death by dangerous driving
Causing death by careless driving when under the influence of drink or drugs
Aggravated taking of a vehicleWhere, owing to the driving of the vehicle, an accident occurs causing the death of any person.
These figures have been drawn from administrative data systems. Although care is taken when processing and analysing the returns, the detail collected is subject to the inaccuracies inherent in any large scale recording system.
OMS Analytical Services
Maria Eagle: The victims surcharge has been levied on fines at a rate of £15 since April 2007. Information about receipts is available by court service regions, which do not correspond exactly to Government office regions. The following table assigns victims surcharge receipts for April 2007 to March 2008, the first year of operation of the surcharge, as closely as possible to Government office regions.
|Victims surcharge receipts 2007-08|
In the year of introduction, victims surcharge receipts were less than the £16 million estimated for a fully operational year. Arrangements were put in place for any shortfall in funding committed to victims services to be made good from elsewhere in the Ministry of Justice vote.
Maria Eagle: During the financial year 2007-08, the Ministry of Justice's custodial property sold £12,132,999 of surplus land and property which included approximately 50 houses. These houses were declared surplus to the operational estate. These properties were identified in the answer given by the Under-Secretary of State for Justice, my hon. Friend the Member for Lewisham, East (Bridget Prentice) to the hon. Member for Twickenham (Dr. Cable) on 7 February 2008, Official Report, columns 1424-27W. 20 of these were marketed post December 2007 and were therefore sold with home information packs.
Mr. Dismore: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many complaints about (a) data protection and (b) freedom of information the Information Commissioner (i) received and (ii) completed investigations on in each of the last three years; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Dismore: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice (1) what estimate he has made of the time taken by the Information Commissioner to (a) acknowledge and (b) investigate a complaint in the latest period for which figures are available; and if he will make a statement; 
(2) what the average time taken was by the Information Commissioner to (a) acknowledge receipt, (b) institute action and (c) complete the investigation of cases referred to him under (i) freedom of information and (ii) data protection legislation (A) in the most recent period for which figures are available and (B) in the last 12 months; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Wills: The Information Commissioners Offices (ICO) policy is to resolve complaints at first examination where appropriate. In these cases, no initial acknowledgment is sent. In all other cases, an acknowledgment letter is sent to the complainant advising what will happen next, and the complaint is referred to the appropriate ICO department.
The most recent period for which figures are available is the 2007-08 financial year. In 2007-08, 35 per cent. of all data protection cases and 54 per cent. of all freedom of information cases were resolved with the first letter
to the complainant. 52 per cent. of all data protection and freedom of information cases were resolved within 14 calendar days of receipt, with 100 per cent. of these cases resolved or referred for investigation in under 40 calendar days.
In 2007-08, it took an average of 69 calendar days from receipt to allocate freedom of information cases to a case officer. In total it took an average of 182 calendar days (including the time taken to allocate each case) to resolve the freedom of information cases closed during the year.
In 2007-08, it took an average of 30 calendar days from receipt to allocate data protection cases to a case officer. In total it took an average of 45 calendar days (including the time taken to allocate each case), to resolve the data protection cases closed during the year.
Mr. Dismore: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what assessment he has made of the adequacy of the resources available to the Information Commissioner to investigate his workload of complaints promptly. 
Mr. Wills: The Government are committed to both freedom of information and data protection. An important part of that commitment is ensuring that the Information Commissioner is adequately funded to fulfil all of his statutory responsibilities. The Ministry of Justice (MOJ) and the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) regularly review the resources available to the Commissioner and as part of that dialogue my Department provides constructive challenge to ensure that the ICO delivers maximum efficiency and secures best value for the public money allocated for those statutory responsibilities.
The ICOs freedom of information work is funded by grant in aid paid through my department. In response to business cases presented by the ICO, in each of the last four financial years my Department has paid the ICO a larger sum in grant in aid than the amount in the original baseline for each year. In addition, my Department is promoting a secondment scheme to assist the ICO in tackling the outstanding backlog of freedom of information cases. Secondees from central Government Departments, paid for by their Departments, will work at the ICO on the outstanding freedom of information cases.
The Commissioners data protection work is funded separately through notification fees paid by data controllers under s.26 of the Data Protection Act 1998, which his office retains with the agreement of HM Treasury. In 2006-07, this was £10,200,000.
As I made clear in my response to the Joint Committee on Human Rights 22nd Report, the Government are currently considering the Commissioners case for increased resources for his data protection work. This includes the recommendation of the House of Commons Justice Committee report Protection of Private Data (January 2008) that a graduated fee scale be introduced to replace the current flat fee that applies to all data controllers.
My Department will continue to ensure that if the ICO is required to undertake additional or new responsibilities then these will be appropriately funded. For example, it was announced in November 2007 that the ICO would carry out spot checks of central Government Departments. The Departments being checked will pay the costs of the spot checks.
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