Previous Section Index Home Page

21 Oct 2008 : Column 270W—continued

The average number of employees is not readily available.


The number of companies which had approved contractor status withdrawn was as follows:








21 Oct 2008 : Column 271W


The number of companies on the SIA Register of Approved Contractors was as follows:


31 December 2006


31 December 2007


15 October 2008


Staffordshire Police: Correspondence

Mr. Winnick: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if she will ask the Chief Constable of Staffordshire Police to provide a substantive reply to the hon. Member for Walsall, North to his letter of 4 September concerning a constituent (reference: NH/JF); and if she will inquire into the reasons for the time taken to reply. [228601]

Mr. Coaker: Neither the Home Office nor its Ministers are able to comment on or intervene in individual matters. The Chief Officer is responsible for the day-to-day operational management of the force, not the Home Secretary. Matters relating to the investigation of a crime and the deployment of resources are the responsibility of the local Chief Officer. It is however understood that the hon. Member received a reply from the Chief Constable of Staffordshire Police on 20 October.


Mr. Hands: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what arrangements her Department has in place to assist officials to overcome the effects of stress experienced in the workplace. [222181]

Mr. Woolas: The Home Office is committed is committed to the well-being of its employees. It has a number of procedures in place to reduce stress at work. This provision includes an industry-standard Employee Assistance Programme which gives staff access to a professional advice and counselling service on any work-related or personal issues. We provide, on demand, critical incident de-briefing interventions for operational staff who have been involved in difficult or dangerous operational situations which may have caused either physical or emotional distress.


Mr. Prisk: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how much was claimed in expenses for taxi travel by officials from (a) her Department and (b) its executive agencies in (i) 2006-07, (ii) 2005-06, (iii) 2004-05, (iv) 2003-04 and (v) 2002-03; and if she will make a statement. [227057]

Mr. Woolas: The Home Office spend on taxis for financial years 2002-03 to 2006-07 is set out in the following table. All travel is undertaken in accordance with the Civil Service Management and Ministerial Codes.

21 Oct 2008 : Column 272W

£ million











These figures include expenditure by the core Home Office and the UK Border Agency. The Identity and Passport Service figures are included from 2004-05 as 2002-03 and 2003-04 can be provided only at disproportionate cost. Figures for Criminal Records Bureau are excluded as these can be provided only at disproportionate cost.

For financial years 2002-03 and 2003-04, the figures also include expenditure by the National Offender Management Service (NOMS) and the Office for Criminal Justice Reform (OCJR) which transferred to Ministry of Justice in 2007. Their costs can be identified and deducted only at disproportionate cost.

The difference in costs over the period reflects the changing nature of the Home Office's business, in particular the growth of international terrorism and migration. Collaboration and information exchange both domestically and internationally on counter-terrorism activities and border control have become increasingly critical to the effective discharge of the Department's responsibilities for asylum, immigration and national security. This has involved higher levels of overseas and UK travel.

UK Border Agency: Dismissal

Mr. Hands: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many officials were dismissed from the UK Border Agency and its predecessor bodies in each of the last three years. [221862]

Mr. Woolas: Please find in the following table, the number of UK Border Agency staff dismissed over the last three financial years.








UK Border Agency: Finance

Keith Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the UK Border Agency's budget for 2008-09 is, broken down by (a) staff, (b) equipment, (c) buildings and (d) other categories for which information is held centrally. [227497]

Mr. Woolas: The following table provides the UK Borders Agency's budget broken down by spending category and includes (a) staff, (b) equipment and (c) buildings. In addition, the capital budget is provided and includes (b) equipment and (c) buildings:

21 Oct 2008 : Column 273W
UK Border Agency
Spending type 2008-09 Budget (£000)

Pay and allowances (a)


Travel subsistence








Financial and office services


Equipment and vehicle maintenance (b)


Telecoms and IT services


Contracted out services


Other supplies and services


Accommodation and utilities (c)


Other current expenditure




Depreciation/cost of capital


Resource spend


IT Projects


Detention centres (c)


Estates (c)


plant, equipment, vehicles, etc (b)


Capital spend


Keith Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how much the UK Border Agency spent on (a) administrative and (b) operational matters in each of the last three years; and what its budget is on the same basis for 2008-09. [227498]

Mr. Woolas: The following table provides the UK Borders Agency’s spend on (a) administrative and (b) operational matters (programme spend) in each of the last three years along with the budget for 2008-09 on the same basis. 2008-09 includes the costs UK Visas operation that is transferring from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office:

UK Border Agency
S pending type 2005-06 2006-07 2007-08 2008-09 budget

(a) Administrative





(b) Operational (programme)










Work Permits: Care Homes

Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people born outside the UK were (a) given work permits for and (b) employed in the care-related sector in each of the last 10 years. [222410]

Mr. Woolas: This information is not centrally recorded in the format requested and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

Written Questions: Government Responses

James Brokenshire: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when she expects to answer question (a) (i) 203248, on counterfeit routers and (ii)
21 Oct 2008 : Column 274W
203249, on pilot schemes, tabled on 28 April 2008 and (b) 194334, on Ministerial taskforces and action groups, tabled on 11 March 2008. [222653]

Mr. Woolas: It is not in the interests of the UK's national security for Departments to confirm whether they hold information about malicious attacks against their IT systems. I refer the hon. Gentleman to Cabinet Office guidance.

Innovation, Universities and Skills

Aimhigher Programme

Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what the projected cost of Aimhigher is for 2008-09. [229042]

Mr. Lammy: Aimhigher is an important part of our policies to widen participation in higher education. Evidence from Excellence Challenge (a predecessor initiative which provided activities similar to those of Aimhigher) showed that, after just 18 months of the programme, it was having a significant effect on the aspirations of young people, and their attainment levels. The budget for Aimhigher for 2008-09 is £85.5 million, including contributions from the Higher Education Funding Council for England and the Department of Health. £3 million is for the new Aimhigher Associates initiative, which links undergraduates with young people at school or college to help them through educational transitions and into university.

Our policies are succeeding: the proportion of UK domiciled, young, full-time, first degree entrants to English higher education institutions who were from lower socio-economic groups rose from 27.9 per cent. in 2002/03 to 29.8 per cent. in 2006/07.

Higher Education

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what progress has been made in preparation of a White Paper on higher education; and if he will make a statement. [227755]

Mr. Lammy: We are currently hosting an ongoing debate on the future of higher education, with the aim of producing a framework document for the development of a world-class higher education system over the next 10 to 15 years.

We have recently received nine contributions from individuals and organisations involved in higher education. These will be published shortly. We have also commissioned seven ‘users’ of higher education, employers from the private and public sectors, to provide reports on what they will need from higher education in the years to come to ensure that the UK remains internationally competitive. These reports are due to be completed by the end of November and will be published shortly afterwards.

At the same time, an online debate is ongoing and all interested parties can participate. This is hosted by the Joint Information Systems Committee website at:

We intend to publish the framework document during 2009.

21 Oct 2008 : Column 275W

Intellectual Property

Mr. Hunt: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what progress has been made by the UK Intellectual Property Office in implementing a plan on intellectual property enforcement. [227176]

Mr. Lammy: Since the Patent Office (now the UK Intellectual Property Office (UK-IPO)) launched its IP Crime Strategy in 2004, it has become a key player in co-ordinating efforts to deal with intellectual property enforcement in the UK and internationally. The UK-IPO is taking forward its plans for IP enforcement as set out in Commitment 16 of “Creative Britain: New Talents for the New Economy” (published in February 2008). It is funding an enforcement pilot related to the ‘Fake Free London’ campaign. It is developing plans for a National Centre of Excellence on IP Crime. It is holding a consultation on penalties for copyright infringement (published 11 August, closes 31 October). The UK-IPO is also updating its IP Crime Strategy as the enforcement landscape has changed considerably in the past four years.

Next Section Index Home Page