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Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions pursuant to the Answer of 14 May 2008, Official Report, column 1613W, on departmental voluntary work, for which organisations members of his Department have volunteered through the Community 5000 scheme in the last 12 months. 
Mrs. McGuire: DWP staff have volunteered to support in excess of 300 Voluntary Organisations through the Community 5000 scheme in the last 12 months (ending June 2008). A full list of the organisations has been placed, for reference purposes, in the House of Commons Library.
Mr. Timms: The process of consultation with suppliers is a continuous process bound by the contractual arrangements currently in place for Directgov and new services as required. Since the transition to DWP in April 2008, consultations have included invitations to tender for various goods and services including procurement of a new managed service for Directgovs mobile and TC platform. In addition, as part of the development of Directgov, other Departments have been fully consulted and their requirements discussed with suppliers as necessary.
Mr. Timms: DWP recognises that by inviting small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to compete for contracts the Department encourages competition by helping to build up a sound supply base. This also accords with the aim of achieving best value for money as SMEs may be able to provide solutions while having fewer overheads to pass on.
In advertising and selecting potential suppliers, care is taken to ensure that no undue emphasis is placed on company size. DWP also seeks where it can to increase the scope for using SMEs via framework agreements, and encouraging main contractors to engage SMEs as subcontractors.
DWP competitive processes are governed by EU law and UK legislation. DWP is committed to public sector best practice and acts in accordance with OGC standards. Where contract opportunities are to be competed they are appropriately advertised to the market and fair competition is used to select the most suitable solution and value for money obtained for the taxpayer.
Mr. Andrew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what assessment his Department has made of the value for money obtained from expenditure from the public purse on Directgov. 
Mr. Timms: The Department for Work and Pension took responsibility for Directgov in April 2008 and has put in place comprehensive leadership and management arrangements to deliver the expected business performance, this includes value for money. As part of Sir David Varney's review (December 2006), it was recommended that Directgov become the single digital channel for Government to provide information to the citizen from the whole of Government. The case is based on benefits to the public of joined up public services on line and savings to Departments through the reduction of websites across government and related economies of scale. This recommendation was accepted by all Departments and central funding provided by the Treasury for the SR07 period to enable the rationalisation and convergence of Government websites. The resultant programme for website rationalisation covers the CSR07 period and benefits will be monitored and assessed over this period.
Mr. Timms: DWP already delivers significant amounts of its online content on Directgov, including all of its content aimed at disabled people and carers, and much information aimed at those over the age of 50.
All of the Department's transactional services can already be accessed via Directgov as well as through existing departmental sitesincluding the Jobs and Skills job search, a new benefits advisor service and a number of online claims.
We are planning the convergence of all our citizen-facing content and services on to Directgov over the next two financial years and the closure of our citizen-facing sites, in line with the recommendations in the Varney report and the Service Transformation Delivery Agreement.
Mr. Andrew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what risk assessment his Department has made in respect of the transfer of delivery of online public services via the Directgov portal; and whether he has commissioned any independent reviews. 
Mr. Timms: The Department for Work and Pensions took responsibility for Directgov in April 2008. Since then Directgov has become an integral part of the Department's risk and audit process and as such is subject to the same risk and audit procedures as the rest of the Department. In practice this means that Directgov will be assessed throughout each year of the SR07 period as deemed necessary for the risks it faces. DWP also provisioned for independent reviews as part of the arrangements in place for Directgov and intends to carry out independent reviews of Directgov over the period of the SR07. This is in line with the Public Accounts Committee recommendations in Report 16 Government on the Internet: Progress in delivering information and services on 29 April 2008.
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many staff in (a) his Department and (b) its agencies (i) are classified as Government communicators and (ii) have access to the Government Communication Network. 
Mrs. McGuire: In the Department for Work and Pensions we currently employ 365 staff who are classified as Government Communicators. Included in this figure is 104 staff who are employed by our agencies.
|Organisation||Number of GCN staff|
The Government Communications Network is open to all civil servants who mainly work in a communication role. These individuals have exclusive access to networks, events and community tools (including forums and document sharing) on the GCN website.
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many and what proportion of incapacity benefit claimants had dependants under the
age of 16 years in each year since 1997, broken down by sex of claimant; and if he will make a statement. 
|Number and proportions of incapacity benefit claimants with one or more children: by gender|
|Incapacity benefit claimants with dependent children aged 0-15||Estimated proportion of incapacity benefit claimants with children aged 0-15 (%)|
1. Figures may not sum due to rounding.
2. Gender breakdown of incapacity benefit claimants with children is not available prior to 2005.
3. Information on child dependents is not reliably completed on the benefit computer system. Therefore the number of incapacity benefit claimants with children has been estimated by merging child benefit records onto benefit claims as at April each year with permission from HMRC.
4. Total number of incapacity benefit claimants is taken from the Work and Pensions Longitudinal Study at May each year.
5. Proportions are indicative only as the components are based on different sources taken at different months
DWP Information Directorate.
Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what proportion of the working age population in Peterborough was in receipt of incapacity benefit in each year since 2001, broken down by electoral ward; and if he will make a statement. 
|Working age incapacity benefit or severe disablement allowance claimants as a proportion of the working age population in Peterborough city council area, by ward; as at November each year|
1. Proportions are rounded to one decimal place.
2. Population figures are ONS experimental ward mid-year population estimates. The methodology used to produce these ward estimates is subject to further review, hence the estimates have been published as experimental statistics and are under evaluation. Percentages derived from them should be treated as indicative only.
3. Working age population figures are defined as males aged 15-64 and females aged 15-59. Working age benefit claimant figures are defined as males aged 16-64 and females aged 16-59.
4. Census Area Statistics (CAS) wards are used for 2001 Census outputs, they are based on administrative ward boundaries legally in force at the end of 2002, which includes ward boundaries that became operative in a number of local authorities in May 2003, and some others that become operative in May 2004. CAS wards are identical to the 2003 Statistical wards except that 18 of the smallest wards (all in England) have been merged into other wards to avoid the confidentiality risks of releasing data for very small areas. This has occurred to those wards with fewer than 100 residents or 40 households (as at the 2001 Census). Unlike statistical wards, CAS wards are not subject to boundary change over time. There are 7,969 CAS wards in England and 881 in Wales, a total of 8,850.
1. DWP IFD 100 per cent. WPLS.
2. ONS mid-year population estimates.
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