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Local managers may allow staff to work at home on an ad hoc basis. These arrangements are informal and no monitoring of this pattern of working is currently carried out. Information on this type of home working could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
Mr. Dodds: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many retired or former civil servants were employed as consultants by his Department in each year since 1998-99; and how much they were paid in each year. 
Mr. Woodward: The Northern Ireland Office, excluding its Agencies and Executive NDPBs, spent a total of £4,813,869 on external consultancy costs and £2,869,912 on advisors costs for the period May 2007 to March 2008.
Mr. Paterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what estimate he has made of the number of official (a) emails, (b) telephone calls, (c) faxes and (d) letters his Department has received since May 2007. 
However, the Department collates information for public letters and ministerial correspondence for the annual departmental report, as part of the six national standards for central Government which were introduced to the Department and its executive agencies from April 1997. The numbers of letters received in the period 1 January 2007 to 31 December 2007 is available in the departmental report which can be located on the NIO website at:
Mr. Woodward: I have regular meetings with my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer, HM Treasury Ministers, the First and Deputy First Ministers, Northern Ireland Ministers and others including on a number of matters relating to the Northern Ireland economy and businesses.
I represent the interests of Northern Ireland within Cabinet and in my capacity as a member of the National Economic Council which my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister set up to co-ordinate economic policies across Government and assess the implications of the ongoing challenges in the financial markets for the United Kingdom.
Financial services and financial markets are not devolved matters and are the responsibility of Treasury Ministers, who also have discussions from time to time at the request of Northern Ireland Minsters on matters of mutual interest.
Electrical equipment with a value of more than £1,000 is classed as capital expenditure. Due to the structure of capital expenditure account codes, it would be possible to provide information on spend on electrical equipment where each appliance had a value greater than £1,000 only at disproportionate cost.
Mr. Paterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what recent discussions he has had on the promotion of the Irish language in (a) Northern Ireland and (b) elsewhere in the United Kingdom. 
Mr. Woodward: I continue to have discussions with interested parties on a range issues, including the Irish language. The Northern Ireland (St. Andrews Agreement) Act 2006 placed a statutory duty on the Northern Ireland Executive Committee to
adopt a strategy setting out how it proposes to enhance and protect the development of the Irish language.
David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many staff in his Department did not achieve an acceptable assessment grade in their annual report in the latest reporting year for which figures are available. 
Mr. Woolas: The House of Commons Library retains electronic copies of the Accession Monitoring Report from May 2004 to date within the Statistics Resource Unit. Additionally some have been deposited and are available as Deposited Papers from the Members Library.
Mr. Clappison: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many asylum claimants from (a) Ghana, (b) Nigeria and (c) Poland have received indefinite leave to remain in the UK through (i) the 1998 backlog exercise, (ii) the 2003 family indefinite leave to remain exercise, (iii) the legacy exercise, (iv) exceptional leave to remain, (v) discretionary leave to remain, (vi) humanitarian protection and (vii) the grant of refugee status in each year since 1997. 
Mr. Woolas: Information on the number of nationals from Ghana, Nigeria and Poland who have received indefinite leave to remain in the UK through the 1998 backlog clearance exercise and the 2003 family indefinite leave to remain exercise is as follows. Information on the nationality breakdown of grants of leave to remain under the UKBAs case resolution programme were provided in the response given to the hon. Member on 29 September 2008, Official Report, columns 2348-49W.
Information on asylum initial decisions for nationals of Poland for 2005 and 2006 is as follows. Information for previous years and for nationals of Ghana and Nigeria are available from the annual Statistical Bulletin Asylum Statistics United Kingdom.
Since the accession of Poland to the EU on 1 May 2004 Polish nationals have not been subject to immigration control and have had the ability to exercise EU rights of movement and residence in the UK. Full access to the UK labour market was also provided under the terms of workers registration scheme.
|Nationals of Nigeria, Ghana and Poland, granted exceptional leave under the 1998 backlog criteria( 1,)( )( 2,)( )( 3) , excluding dependants, 1999 and 2000|
|Country of nationality||1999||2000|
|(1) Figures rounded to the nearest five.|
(2) Cases decided under measures aimed at reducing the pre-1996 asylum application backlog.
(3) Includes cases where asylum or exceptional leave has been granted under the backlog criteria.
|Grants of ILR issued under the family ILR exercise as at 7 December 2007( 1,)( )( 2,)( )( 3) , excluding dependants, for nationals of Nigeria, Ghana and Poland|
|Country of nationality||Total principal applicants|
|(1) Provisional figures rounded to the nearest five.|
(2) Main asylum applicants.
(3) This information is based on internal management information and therefore provisional.
|Initial decisions made on asylum applications( 1,)( )( 2) , excluding dependants, 2005 and 2006 for nationals of Poland|
|Initial decisions||2005||2006( 3)|
|(1) Figures rounded to nearest five.|
(2) Information is of initial decisions, excluding the outcome of appeals or other subsequent decisions.
(3) Provisional figures.
Mr. Carswell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many asylum claims were decided in each of the last 11 years; how many claims were granted in each of those years; how many dependants were included in those successful claims; how many people were granted extended leave to remain or humanitarian protection in each of those years; how many dependants were included in those grants; how many claimants were refused in each of those years; and how many dependants were included in those refused claims. 
Information on asylum is published annually and quarterly. Annual statistics for 2007 and quarterly statistics for 2008 are available from the Library of the House and from the Home Office Research, Development and Statistics Directorate website at:
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