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24 Nov 2008 : Column 979W—continued

Departmental Catering

Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions whether food and drink on sale to staff of (a) his Department and (b) each of its agencies at official premises is subsidised from public funds. [237427]

Jonathan Shaw: The Department provides an annual subsidy of £3.4 million for various catering outlets that sell food and drink to staff. This subsidy allows outlets to remain viable and varies depending on a number of factors, such as location and canteen usage.

Departmental Electronic Equipment

Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how much his Department and its agencies have spent on (a) flat screen televisions, (b) DVD players and (c) stereo equipment in each of the last three years. [237444]

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Jonathan Shaw: The Department’s capitalisation policy is to treat items costing over £5,000, either on an individual or a pooled basis, as capital assets recorded within the fixed asset register. No expenditure on flat screen televisions, DVD players or stereo equipment has been capitalised during the last three years.

The Department does not have any account codes or categories to specifically identify any spend on these categories which may fall below the capitalisation threshold and thus to try and identify any such expenditure would incur a disproportionate amount of time and cost.

Departmental ICT

Mr. Todd: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the cost of data cleansing of his Department’s customer information system was in each year since 2004. [236324]

Jonathan Shaw: The information requested is shown in the following table.

Financial year Data cleansing( 1) (£000)











(1) Ongoing costs for data cleansing work are drawn from the cost of a data maintenance team and the delivery of related change requests. Other Government Departments may also contribute to data cleansing in regards to shared data. This amount is not included in the table as it could be collated only at disproportionate cost.

Departmental Internet

Mr. Heald: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the cost of maintaining his Department's website was in 2007-08; and what the forecast costs of maintaining it are in 2008-09. [237575]

Jonathan Shaw: Maintenance of DWP websites including is mostly carried out by the Department's own in-house digital media team. It is not possible for us to quantify internal staff costs, because in most cases, staff are engaged in more than one role. In addition, we are unable to establish accurately our infrastructure costs because they form part of a wider departmental IT contract.

DWP is currently working with the COI to develop a standardised method for quantifying website costs across Government. We will be implementing this standard from March 2009 in line with the current timetable.

Mr. Heald: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many (a) page hits and (b) visitors his Department's website received in 2007-08. [237576]

Jonathan Shaw: The website

received 9,979,110 visitors, 6,034,988 unique visitors and 51,469,970 page views 2007-08.

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Departmental Lost Property

Grant Shapps: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what (a) equipment and (b) data was lost by his Department in the last 12 months; and if he will make a statement. [231426]

Jonathan Shaw: The Department takes its responsibilities for the protection of personal data very seriously.

Departmental Marketing

Mr. Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how much his Department spent on advertising in each of the last five years. [227606]

Jonathan Shaw [holding answer 16 October 2008]: Government policies and programmes affect the lives of millions of people and in order for them to work they must be communicated effectively. However, this has also to be done with cost efficiency in mind and there are strict rules to ensure value for money on Government advertising.

Much Government advertising aims to alert people to things that can save lives—and we make no apologies for campaigns like this—such as wearing seat belts, not drinking and driving, quitting smoking and what to do in an emergency. We also use our communications work to protect public funds, for example through our work to drive down benefit fraud.

The other main area of activity is in recruiting people to important frontline services such as in attracting more people to become nurses and police, which are crucial to the public's welfare.

Advertising spend within the DWP covers both campaign advertising and recruitment advertising.

Advertising costs in the following table are for total media spend only and exclude the cost of creative work, research, production of supporting materials or launch events.

All costs are exclusive of VAT, advertising rebates and audit adjustments.

The majority of departmental spend on advertising is via the Central Office of Information (COI) rosters.

Total spend that is held centrally or with the COI is as follows:

£ million











Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many staff in his Department and its agencies are responsible for branding activity; and what the cost of employing such staff was in 2007-08. [237464]

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Jonathan Shaw: In 2007-08, a central branding team comprising of two full-time posts advised on the development, promotion, and use of the departmental corporate brand, promoted guidelines and best practice and ensured consistency and clarity in the use of the brand across the range of Departmental communications.

Our agency brands were managed by two posts with responsibility for ensuring the consistency of the brands on our customer facing products and communications.

The cost of these four posts over the period 2007-08 was £130,140.

Departmental NDPBs

Mr. Jeremy Browne: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the remit is of each non-departmental public body sponsored by his Department; and what budget each has been set for (a) 2008-09, (b) 2009-10 and (c) 2010-11. [236936]

Jonathan Shaw: The remit of each non-departmental public body (NDPB) sponsored by the Department for Work and Pensions can be found on the Department's Internet site at the following location

In respect of the budget information requested, I refer the hon. Member to the written answer I gave the hon. Member on 30 October 2008, Official Report, column 1197W which refers to the executive NDPBs budgets. The advisory NDPBs sponsored by the Department incur little or no expenditure and are resourced from within the Department. As a result, information on the advisory NDPBs budgets for 2008-11 is not available.

Departmental Official Hospitality

Mr. Heald: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how much was spent on entertainment by his Department at Caxton House in 2007-08. [237641]

Jonathan Shaw: While the Department separately identifies expenditure on entertainment within its agencies and business units, this information is not recorded by location. It would not, therefore, be possible to provide this information without incurring a disproportionate amount of time and cost.

Departmental Older Workers

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people recruited by his Department in 2007-08 were aged over (a) 55 years and (b) 60 years; and what percentage this represented of the number of new recruits in each case. [235239]

Jonathan Shaw: I refer the hon. Member for Sutton and Cheam to the answer I gave on 29 October 2008, Official Report, column 1074W.

Departmental Redundancy

Jenny Willott: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many posts will be discontinued in (a) his Department and (b) its agencies to achieve the planned 12,000 headcount reduction; and if he will make a statement. [230436]

24 Nov 2008 : Column 983W

Jonathan Shaw: The Department achieved significant work force and financial efficiencies over the Spending Review 2004 period with a reduction in its total work force of over 31,000 and an increase in productivity of 11 per cent., between March 2004 and March 2008.

The Department’s three-year plan for 2008 to 2011 published in February 2008 contained planning assumptions of further headcount reductions of 12,000 between April 2008 and March 2011. The plan is available in the Library.

The recent increase in unemployment will have an impact on departmental staffing levels. In particular, in 2008-09, the Department plans to retain many of the staff employed to support the introduction of the new employment and support allowance implementation in order to deal with increased work loads.

Plans for future years are being actively reviewed as part of the Department’s planning process.

Departmental Responsibilities

Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions which (a) external and (b) internal programmes of his Department and its agencies cost between £1 million and £50 million; and what the (i) purpose and (ii) expected completion date of each is. [226196]

Jonathan Shaw: All projects/programmes within DWP are subject to a formal monitoring and governance process. However, within this monitoring/governance process, there are two levels.

24 Nov 2008 : Column 984W

1. Monitoring by Investment Committee/Change Delivery Committee (CDC)

2. Projects Managed by Business Unit Governance Boards

The majority of the projects/programmes covered in this response are monitored and managed within the CDC Portfolio, and are therefore within the £25 million to £50 million range. However, for some IS-IT projects, we have already collected these data and these have also been included.

For the majority of projects managed by business units (£1 million to £25 million) we are unable to provide details due to the disproportionate cost associated with obtaining these details.

When assessing the costs of the projects to be included, the ‘investment (i.e. one-off)’ costs of the project/programme have been used. Costs of running the solutions implemented by the projects and programmes are not included as in the vast majority of cases they are more than compensated for by the financial benefits they generate.

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Project (i) Purpose (ii) Expected completion date

Document Repository Service(1)

This project seeks to support the Department’s modernisation programmes through the provision of a document repository to store digitised images of documents received from customers (letters, faxes, e-mails etc.), cutting down paper in the organisation

March 2009

On Time Solution

Provide a range of improved information services to DWP businesses, including improved quicker management information, fraud and error intervention and analysis

March 2011

Provider Referrals and Payment Project

Deploy an IT system to automate and e-enable transactions between Jobcentre Plus and training providers

June 2010

Local Services Integration Programme

To provide local services with an IT solution that supports the end to end process

December 2011

Government Connect

To roll out a secure data network connecting Government and local authorities, including secure file transfer, e-mail and web-browser capability

March 2011

Method of Payment Reform

MPRP will develop modern, electronic, secure and efficient methods of payments for customers who require payment by an alternate means other than direct payment to bank accounts.

March 2011

Tell Us Once

TUO is a major cross Government initiative, led by DWP, to transform the way in which people can tell Government (central and local) about changes to their circumstances

April 2009

Data Centre Strategy

The project is addressing the ongoing continued threat of business service continuity at Washington Data Centre with a replacement strategy to be complete by the end of 2010


Lone Parent Obligations

LPO is part of welfare reform and intends increasing the lone parent employment rate. Currently lone parents are not required to seek employment until their youngest child reaches 16. Under new proposals to be phased in (starting with youngest child aged 12), lone parents will no longer be entitled to income support solely for being a lone parent if their youngest child is above seven. In the last year before entitlement ceases, work-focused interviews will take place to encourage lone parents to take up training opportunities, leading to employment

February 2011

Provider Led Pathways to Work (PL Pathways)

Central to the welfare reform agenda, this project will contract the private and voluntary sector to provide additional help and support for all but the most severely ill or disabled incapacity benefit customers gaining employment. Additional help will be provided through additional mandatory monthly work-focused interviews and tailored, job-focused support, including help to manage customer’s health condition, especially in relation to work

April 2008

Jobseekers Regime and Flexible New Deal

This programme will replace and streamline the current new deal programmes and will concentrate on tackling the challenging problems of those who remain unemployed despite a strong economy and historically low unemployment. The programme will include provision of obtaining skills and mandatory work experience for customers

October 2010

Periodicity and Payday

This project forms part of the Working Age (WA) Benefit Simplification Programme to align and extend payment periods for all WA benefits on an incremental basis so that they would over time be paid on a fortnightly basis, wholly in arrears. A single payday will be assigned to each individual, regardless of the benefits they receive

July 2009

(1) Document Repository System: The date shown for the expected completion date (March 2009) is the End Project Review (EPR) date. A completion date of November 2008 has been previously quoted; this refers to the 1(st) “Go Live Date” which was delivered to the original planned deadline.

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