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7 Oct 2008 : Column 544Wcontinued
Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many full-time equivalent members of staff of (a) his Department and (b) its associated public bodies are working on projects relating to the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games; how many of them are working on (i) project management, (ii) legacy planning, (iii) project oversight and (iv) financial oversight; and what plans he has for future staffing levels. 
James Purnell: The information is in the following table.
Our current work force plans extend to 2010. Over this period we anticipate recruiting one additional person to work across project oversight and legacy planning.
Jon Trickett: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the average income for households where all occupants are of pensionable age is in (a) England, (b) Wakefield district and (c) Hemsworth constituency. 
James Purnell: The information that is available is shown in the following table. Information cannot be provided at a lower level than Government office region, averaged over three years. Figures are based on survey data and as such subject to a degree of sampling and non-sampling error. Figures are based on the average of three years' data as single year estimates do not provide a robust guide to year-on-year changes.
|Average gross income of pensioner units where all members are state pension age or over, 2004-05 to 2006-07|
|£ per week, (2006-07 prices)|
1. Gross income is income from all sources received by the pensioner unit including income from social security benefits, earnings from employment, any private pension, and tax credits.
2. Based on survey data and as such subject to a degree of sampling and non-sampling error. Figures are based on the average of three years' data as single year estimates do not provide a robust guide to year-on-year changes. Further information for single years at a national level are available in the publication Pensioners' Income Series 2006-07.
3. Figures have been rounded to the nearest £.
4. Figures are based on the average incomes of pensioner units (couples or singles) where all members are state pension age or over.
Pensioners' Income Series 2006-07
Jon Trickett: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the average income for households which include at least one person in receipt of a miner's pension is in (a) England, (b) Wakefield district and (c) Hemsworth constituency. 
James Purnell: The information is not available.
Jon Trickett: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the average pension payable to former miners is in (a) England, (b) Wakefield district and (c) Hemsworth constituency. 
James Purnell: The information is not available.
Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what qualitative evaluation he has made of the customer experience of work-focussed interviews; and if he will make a statement. 
James Purnell [holding answer 10 September 2008]: The Department for Work and Pensions conducts a wide range of research to inform the strategic development and operational delivery of its policies. This includes formal evaluations of employment programmes and pilots, as well as more strategic research on work-related and service delivery issues. Other research considers, more broadly, customer satisfaction with various aspects of Jobcentre Plus provision.
Work-focused Interviews are one of the main ways through which Jobcentre Plus services are made available to its customers. Large bodies of evaluation evidence exist on work-focused Interviews, including qualitative studies of customers experiences, large scale quantitative surveys of clients journeys through Jobcentre Plus services and case studies of the delivery of client based services.
Comprehensive programmes of evaluation have taken place. All research reports are available in the House of Commons Library and are also available on the DWP website.
A list of relevant recently published research has been placed in the Library.
James Duddridge: To ask the Minister for Women and Equality pursuant to the answer to the right hon. Member for Horsham (Mr. Maude) of 19 June 2008, Official Report, column 1187W, on Dorneywood: official hospitality, what use the Government Equalities Office has made of Dorneywood for official engagements since its establishment. 
James Purnell: The Government Equalities Office was established on 12 October 2007. Since then, it has not made use of Dorneywood for official engagements.
Norman Baker: To ask the honourable Member for Gosport, representing the Speaker's Committee on the Electoral Commission, what procedures there are for regulated (a) donees and (b) donors to appeal against sanctions imposed on them by the Commission. 
Sir Peter Viggers: The Electoral Commission informs me that it has no power to impose unilaterally any sanction on regulated donees or donors. Where the Commission establishes that a regulated donee has accepted a donation from an impermissible source, it may apply for a forfeiture order through a magistrates court.
Cases of suspected criminal offences committed by donees and donors under the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 (PPERA) are referred by the Commission to the police, or in the case of Scotland, to the Procurator Fiscal, where the Commission believes there is sufficient evidence and it is in the public interest to do so. The appeal procedure in each case is through the judicial system.
Norman Baker: To ask the honourable Member for Gosport, representing the Speaker's Committee on the Electoral Commission, what factors the Electoral Commission takes into account when deciding whether it is in the public interest to refer to the police a case of a regulated donee notifying it late of a political donation; and who in the Commission takes such decisions. 
Sir Peter Viggers:
The Electoral Commission informs me that it takes a variety of factors into account when deciding whether it is in the public interest to refer such cases to the police. These include the nature and gravity of the offence, the motive, mitigating circumstances, the effect of a prosecution on the accused, the risk of
further offences, the availability of a more appropriate civil or other remedy, the powers of the court, and the public concern. Decisions regarding such referrals are taken by the Electoral Commissioners.
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the honourable Member for Gosport, representing the Speaker's Committee on the Electoral Commission, with reference to the Electoral Commission's consultation paper on Standardising Statements of Accounts for Parties and Accounting Units, what the evidential basis is for the need for standardisation; what advice the Commission has obtained on the matter from (a) accountants and (b) auditors in public practice and from their professional bodies; and what research has been undertaken or commissioned by the Commission on the matter. 
Sir Peter Viggers: The Electoral Commission informs me that evidence of the need for greater transparency in the accounts of registered parties and their accounting units has been set out in a number of reports, including the first report of Session 2006-07 of the then Constitutional Affairs Committee of the House of Commons (HC 163-1). Paragraph 39 of that report recommended that:
Despite the introduction of a duty to produce accounts under PPERA, a lack of common accounting practices makes it difficult to compile a comprehensive account of the income profiles of the political parties. The Government should ensure that the Electoral Commission produce more digestible, thorough and transparent figures of both the private and public sources of party income.
The Commission launched its public consultation on the standardisation of statements of accounts in July 2008 and invited the major accountancy bodies to respond to the consultation. The Commission informs me that in April 2008 it engaged an experienced public sector auditor to assist with developing the consultation and an audit strategy, and that a contract for professional accountancy advice and support on producing a guidance manual and delivering a training package for party and accounting unit treasurers is likely to be finalised shortly. The Commission has not undertaken or commissioned other research on this subject.
John Bercow: To ask the honourable Member for Gosport, representing the Speaker's Committee on the Electoral Commission, whether the Electoral Commission has made representations to the Government on proposals for extending its investigative and punitive powers. 
Sir Peter Viggers: The Electoral Commission informs me that it made representations supporting more proportionate and flexible penalties and the ability to apply a range of sanctions in 2003, when it published its review, Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act: Recommendations for change, which it submitted to the Government.
The Commission further informs me that in 2006 it called for wider sanctions during evidence provided to the eleventh enquiry of the Committee on Standards in Public Life.
In July 2008, the Commission reiterated its support for a widened range of sanctions and investigatory powers in its response to the Government's White Paper Party finance and expenditure in the United Kingdom.
In the Commissions most recent briefing paper responding to the Political Parties and Elections Bill, it again welcomed and reiterated its strong support for the provisions in the Bill to widen its sanctioning and investigation powers. Copies of this briefing paper have been placed in the House of Commons Library.
Mr. Burns: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills for what reasons his Department's funding for Adult Learning Support at Chelmsford college fell by 6.4 per cent. in 2008-09; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Lammy [holding answer 6 October 2008]: Overall investment in the post-16 further education sector has increased significantlyby 53 per cent. in real terms between 1997 and 2008. Chelmsford colleges overall LSC funding has increased by 3.7 per cent. compared with the previous year.
Following a consultation in January 2007 and subsequent work through LSC advisory groups, changes were made to the way additional learning support was calculated for 2008/09. These changes were introduced to ensure that the funding was better focused on need rather than purely on an historical basis.
ALS now has a funding formula that has two levels, low cost and high cost. For learners aged 16-18, low cost claimsthat is, those under £5,500will be allocated using the learners' GCSE English and Maths points profile from the colleges previous years cohort.
For learners over the age of 19, low level claims are based on the level of qualification being studied.
To allow for transitional arrangements for ALS, and to minimise the impact on colleges budgets, 60 per cent. of the low cost ALS has been distributed using the formula approach in 2008/09. The remaining 40 per cent. has been allocated on the basis of the historical proportion of the budget. The intention is to move to 75 per cent. (formula)/ 25 per cent. (allocation) in 2009/10.
Mr. Burns: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how much the Learning and Skills Council allocated to Adult Learning Support at (a) higher education colleges in Essex and (b) at Chelmsford college in (i) 2007-08 and (ii) 2008-09. 
Mr. Lammy [holding answer 6 October 2008]: Until the academic year 2007-08, Additional Learning Support (ALS) was allocated as a lump sum to Further Education (FE) Colleges based on historical spend. From 2008-09 ALS allocations have, for the first time, been differentiated by age group and have used a formula based approach to more accurately reflect need.
The LSC has responsibility for the funding of post-16 further education and training (other than higher education). As a result, table 1 below shows the ALS allocated for FE colleges in the Essex area with information on Chelmsford college in the table that follows.
|ALS Allocations FE colleges in Essex|
|Essex ALS (FE)||Allocation (£)||Difference (£)||Percentage difference|
|FE ALS allocationsChelmsford college|
|Chelmsford college||Allocation (£)||Difference (£)||Percentage difference|
James Duddridge: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what use (a) his Department and (b) its agencies make of (i) MOSAIC data and (ii) ACORN data. 
Mr. Lammy: DIUS itself has not made any direct recent use of either MOSAIC or ACORN. The following is a summary of known examples of use and general extent of use in agencies and their contractors. There may be some use where MOSAIC or ACORN are used indirectly by external contractors which we have not been able to identify in collating the information for this reply.
Some regional Learning and Skills Councils (LSC) use MOSAIC to a limited extent. Contractors working on behalf of LSC may recommend it for projects where the aim is to analyse the population in certain areas, or understand which particular groups are accessing/not accessing learning. For example the LSC South East project uses MOSAIC neighbourhood types to identify and map NEET (Not in Education Training or Employment) hotspots in the South East.
The Student Loans Company hires a modelling tool from Experian which relies on some MOSAIC data and which predicts the likelihood to repay of student loans mortgage style accounts.
ACORN is to be used for the LSC Free Childcare for Training and Learning for Work project (activity to be undertaken November/December 2008)profiling the population of England against the target audience (struggling families) to help plan where door drop activity should take place. It is also used to target media activity for the Skills for Life campaign.
Ufi (University for Industry) uses ACORN data in its marketing campaigns to promote learndirect learning.
No other use of MOSAIC or ACORN has been reported by DIUS or any of its agencies.
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