Mr. Jim Cunningham:
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what recent steps the Government has taken to improve health and safety regulation. 
Jonathan Shaw [holding answer 6 October 2008]: The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is committed to better, smarter health and safety legislation. In December 2007 it published its second Simplification Plan(1), which set out how it was reducing the administrative burden of health and safety regulation on businesses and making compliance easier, in particular for low risk, small and medium sized enterprises.
Among the regulatory improvements detailed in the plan was the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007, which consolidated four sets of regulations, and improved the process for proving competency.
HSE is also improving guidance on regulations to help businesses understand and comply. For example, it has produced 29 example risk assessments for different sectors, showing businesses that a risk assessment does not need to be complicated.
Finally, the Better Regulation Executive has carried out a review of the health and safety regulatory regime, particularly for lower risk small businesses(2). This has made several recommendations for improvement. Of those addressed to HSE, some are already being addressed through HSE's simplification work. Others will be considered through the development and subsequent implementation of HSE's new strategy.
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions on what dates in each of the last five years his Department informed the House of the creation of contingent liabilities relating to his Department or its non-departmental public bodies. 
Details of contingent liabilities are contained in the departmental resource accounts each year. The dates on which these accounts were laid in the House over last five years were:
2007-08: 21 July 2008
2006-07: 24 July 2007
2005-06: 7 November 2006
2004-05: 26 January 2006
2003-04: 18 January 2005
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many civil servants working in his Department and its agencies have pensions with a cash equivalent transfer value of over £1 million. 
It is not appropriate to disclose pension information for civil servants other than board members whose details are shown in the Remuneration Report in annual Resource Accounts. A copy of the Resource Accounts for the Department for Work and Pensions 4 Nov 2008 : Column 254W
and its agencies for financial year 2007-08 can be found in the Library or accessed electronically using the following links:
Department for Work and Pensions Resource Accounts 2007-08 (pages 34 to 38 refer)
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what work programme has been put in place for his Department's strategy team; and if he will make a statement. 
The Strategy Unit carries out a range of projects to underpin the strategic objectives of the Department.
Departmental Temporary Employment
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions which companies were used by his Department for providing temporary staff in each of the last five years; and what the value of contracts with each such company was in each of those years. 
A list of companies and organisations that provided temporary staff to the Department for the last three years 2005-06, 2006-07 and 2007-08 and the expenditure with each company and organisation during those years is provided in the following table. Information for the two previous years 2003-04 and 2004-05 is not available.
The expenditure provided for temporary staff includes both clerical and administrative personnel, and other interim, specialist and professional personnel including interim managers (this primarily covers the specialist areas of IT, finance, project and programme management, HR, procurement and communications). It is not possible to provide separate details of expenditure on the different categories of temporary and professional and technical staff.
DWF expenditure on temporary staff2005-06 to 2007-08