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12 Nov 2008 : Column 1208Wcontinued
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: Information on retired or former civil servants employed by the Northern Ireland Office is not held centrally. To obtain this information could be done only at disproportionate cost.
Mr. Paterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how much his Department has spent on external consultants and advisers since May 2007. 
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.
Figures for the current financial year have not been included as they have not yet been audited and are therefore subject to change.
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. 
Mr. Woodward: The Northern Ireland Office does not hold the information centrally and to obtain it would incur disproportionate cost.
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:
or a copy is available in the Library.
Mr. Paterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how much his Department spent on advertising in the last 12 months. 
Mr. Woodward: The Northern Ireland Office, excluding its Agencies and Executive NDPBs, spent £454,075 on advertising during 2007-08.
Mr. Paterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how much was spent on overnight accommodation for his Department's staff in the last 12 months. 
Mr. Woodward: The Northern Ireland Office, excluding its agencies and executive NDPBs, spent £200,601 on overnight accommodation during 2007-08.
Mr. Paterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many vehicles his Department owns. 
Mr. Woodward: The Northern Ireland Office, excluding its agencies and executive NDPBs, owned three vehicles as at 30 September 2008. All three of these vehicles are tractors.
Mr. Paterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (1) what recent discussions he has had with the Northern Ireland Assembly on prospects for the Northern Ireland economy; 
(2) how many meetings he has had with members of the business community in Northern Ireland in the last 12 months; 
(3) what recent discussions he has had with the Northern Ireland (a) First Minister and (b) Deputy First Minister on the economy and businesses in Northern Ireland; 
(4) what recent discussions he has had with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on the exposure of Northern Irish taxpayers to the liabilities of UK banks; 
(5) what recent discussions he has had with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on the impact on Northern Ireland banks of guarantees given by the Republic of Ireland to Irish banks. 
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.
Those aspects of the economy which are devolved are the responsibility of the relevant Northern Ireland Ministers with whose officials mine liaise on an on-going basis.
In preparation for the very successful investment conference in May this year, I met various Northern Ireland and international business leaders and continue to maintain that contact.
Mr. Paterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how much his Department has spent on electrical equipment in the last 12 months. 
Mr. Woodward: In 2007-08, the Northern Ireland Office, excluding its agencies and executive NDPBs, spent £24,603 on electrical appliances where each appliance had a value of less than £1,000.
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.
The UK Government remain committed to doing all they can to continue working with the Executive to this end.
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. 
Paul Goggins: Within the Northern Ireland Office two members of staff received an unsatisfactory report marking for the 2007-08 reporting period.
Mr. Paterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (1) what percentage of recent recruits to the Police Service of Northern Ireland were from ethnic minorities; 
(2) what percentage of the most recent cohort of recruits to the Police Service of Northern Ireland are from (a) Catholic and (b) Protestant backgrounds. 
Paul Goggins: That is an operational matter for the Chief Constable. I have asked him to reply directly to the hon. Member, and a copy of his letter will be placed in the Library of the House.
Jim Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if she will place in the Library a copy of the EUs most recent Accession Monitoring Report for the A8 countries. 
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.
The report is located on the House of Commons Library Catalogue.
The last published Accession Monitoring Report May 2004-June 2008 can be accessed on the UK Border Agency website on the following link:
The next report to September 2008 will be published on 19 November.
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.
Copies of these publications are available from the Library of the House and from the Home Office Research, Development and Statistics website at:
|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. 
Mr. Woolas: The following table gives published figures available for the last 11 years.
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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