Select Committee on Home Affairs Minutes of Evidence


Memorandum submitted by the Home Office

RESPONSES TO WRITTEN QUESTIONS ON THE HOME OFFICE DEPARTMENTAL ANNUAL REPORT 2007

Q1.   How many terrorists have been deported as a result of the Memoranda of Understanding for deporting terrorist suspects (page 17) with the relevant countries? What percentage is this of the number of applications that have been made under these MoU arrangements?

  Under the 3 MoUs we have agreed with Jordan, Libya and Lebanon, we have sought assurances in respect of three Jordanians and 12 Libyans. These cases are at various stages in the appeal process. To date, no-one has been deported on the basis of assurances obtained under the MoUs; deportation cannot take place until any appeal against the decision has been resolved.

  In relation to Algeria, the assurances agreed are contained within an exchange of letters between the President of Algeria and the previous UK Prime Minister. We have sought assurances on this basis in 17 cases. Eight individuals have been deported (having withdrawn their appeals); another one has withdrawn his appeal and arrangements for his deportation are in hand; the remaining eight cases are at various stages in the appeals process.

Q2.   Can you please provide the Committee with the latest draft of the terrorism prevention strategy which is being developed with Communities and Local Government and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (page 17)? How have local authorities been involved in its development? What specific issues did the Foreign and Commonwealth Office want to see addressed in the strategy?

  Over the summer of 2007, a series of workshops has been hosted by the Home Office involving a wide range of representatives across Whitehall departments, including CLG and FCO, as well as the Police, NOMS, BIA, CPS, and security and intelligence agencies to refresh the contest-prevent strategy. This work is still in progress and ministers have not yet finalised a revised strategy.

  A key part of CLG's contribution is working with Muslim communities at every level to build their resilience and enable them to challenge robustly the ideas of those extremists who seek to undermine our shared values. Making this agenda a core part of Local Authority business, to deliver local solutions for local challenges, is key to achieving this. Communities and Local Government have, therefore, engaged with partners in local government to ensure their involvement in the development of the strategy.

  The FCO's input reflects the fact that the threat we face is seamless internationally and domestically. The ideology we need to counter has international aspects.

Q3.   The overall assessment for SR2004 PSA1 has declined from "on course" in the 2006 Departmental Annual Report to "slippage" in the 2007 Report. What are the main reasons for this recent decline in performance and what actions is the Department planning in 2007-08 to ensure the target of a 15% reduction in crime is achieved by March 2008?

  The PSA1 target is in two parts: Reduce crime by 15%, and further in high crime areas, by 2007-08.

  The most recent British Crime Survey (BCS) results (to March 2007) show a 9% (statistically significant) reduction in crime against the 2002-03 baseline.

  To improve performance we have focussed our efforts on 44 areas of the country, where, working with the Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnerships (CDRPs), we believed there was a need for greatest improvement. The priority 44 project started in January 2007 and has already had a significant impact on overall police recorded crime. We hope this will in due course be reflected in the British Crime Survey and give us the best chance of getting closer to the 15% target.

Q4.   The 2007 Departmental Annual Report (page 24) reports an 11% increase in the level of vandalism in England and Wales and (page 25) a 6% rise in recorded robbery in the year to December 2006. What are the main reasons for these increases and what actions are planned in 2007-08 to address them?

VANDALISM

  Figures from the annual 2006-07 bulletin on crime show that British Crime Survey vandalism in 2006-07 was up 10% up on the previous year.

  These figures relate to vandalism against private households and three-quarters of the 2006-07 increase is due to vandalism against vehicles (which is up 12%)

  The estimated total number of incidents was 2.9 million in both 2006-07 and 1997, and is 11% below the peak of 3.4 million in 1995.

  Around two thirds of incidents are vehicle vandalism, which tend to be scratches or other damage to bodywork or wing mirrors.

  Interviews with offenders suggest there is a link between criminal damage and alcohol misuse. However, a large amount of damage is far from mindless or random, with revenge and personal factors also mentioned by offenders

Actions planned for 2007-08:

    —  Neighbourhood Policing is crucial to ensuring people feel reassured by the action being taken to tackle ASB in local areas; and this is also a way of encouraging people to pass on intelligence and ensuring relevant agencies respond effectively to those problems most of concern to local people. In many areas, this will be criminal damage.

    —  There is much work already underway that will help to tackle criminal damage—a national drive to encourage wider and more effective take up of tools and powers to tackle anti-social behaviour; the longer-term work set in train by the cross-government Respect programme; and the Alcohol Strategy that establishes a priority action for local partnerships to develop strategies to tackle alcohol-related crime and disorder, including criminal damage and vandalism.

    —  Over 250 entries were received for our Anti Vandalism Competition to design a publicity campaign on criminal damage. The entries were of a high quality and we will develop them into teaching and publicity materials available for use by CDRPs.

    —  We are actively promoting the sharing of good practice in reducing criminal damage. A website provides up to date information and good practice guides on a range of aspects of criminal damage. We are developing further good practice guides on "investigating criminal damage', "engaging the community" and "restorative justice and criminal damage'. Good practice is also shared through conferences and on-line sessions, where experts provide practical advice to those seeking to reduce criminal damage.

ROBBERY

  The police recorded crime figures for robbery in 2006-07 were up 3% on the previous year. The annual rate of increase has slowed, being 8% in 2005-06.

  Young peoples" desire for the latest mobile consumer electronic products (eg mobile phones, MP3 players) is likely to be a factor in the increase.

  Actions planned for 2007-08:

    —  We are supporting 31 CDRPs that account for over half of all robbery to help them get to grips with robbery in their areas by developing action plans based on an understanding of their local problem. Addressing robberies involving the use of firearms is a key element of these plans.

    —  Robbery in the MPS (which accounts for almost half of all robbery) has reduced significantly. The last MPS published figures to the end of August show all Robbery down by 14% (18,536 to 15,948) compared to the same period last year, and Personal Robbery down 15.5% (17,331 to 14,651) compared to last year.

MPS Safer Streets:

    —  In parallel with our action plan, the Metropolitan Police "Safer Streets" operation, which started in May 2006, aimed at tightening up the police response to robbery in London. This includes improving investigative processes, improved targeting of hot spots and dealing more robustly with false allegations. The intention is now to mainstream the programme beyond March 2008.

    —  A £500,000 media campaign to get across the message "stolen mobile phones don't work anymore" was launched in June It targets online media, magazines and posters on bins and phone boxes in our hot spot areas and is aimed at 16 to 24 year olds. The message is simply "don't buy a handset that may be stolen, because it may soon cease to work".

    —  We are funding the National Mobile Phone Crime Unit (£1 million in 2007-08) to continue to be innovative and fight mobile phone crime on a local, national and international level and to help encourage the mobile phone industry to make continual improvements to mobile phone security.

    —  In March 2007, the mobile phone industry met its target of blocking stolen handsets. It actually achieved 90% of stolen mobile phones across all networks within 48 hours.

Cash In Transit Robberies:

    —  We published the Cash and Valuables in Transit (CViT) delivery plan in June 2007 which brings together a concerted plan of action for all key stakeholders involved in tackling cash and valuables in transit crime. Progress has been made on a number of areas in the plan with a reduction in the number of attacks on CViT companies showing a small reduction on last year. Progress on the delivery plan will be reviewed at the ministerial led round table meeting on the 17 October.

    —   Working with the Local Government Association and APACS we issued guidance in January 2007 encouraging CDRPs to help tackle Cash Machine (ATM) crime by introducing 1 metre "defensible spaces" around ATMs.

Q5.   What percentage of crime is committed by the small hard core of offenders (page 23) and what percentage of offenders make up the hard core? What percentage of the hard core is accounted for by the 10,000 on the Prolific and other Priority Offenders programme?

  Home Office research and modelling—described in more detail in "Criminal Justice: The Way Ahead", published in February 2001—suggests that there are about one million active offenders in the population at any one time. Ten% of these—around 100,000 offenders -accumulate more than three convictions during their criminal career, and this group may be responsible for 50% of all crime.

  The Prolific and other Priority Offender (PPO) programme was introduced in 2004. At that time it was estimated that, within this pool of 100,000 most active offenders, the most prolific 5,000 offenders (0.5% of the total active offender population) could be responsible for as much as 9% of all crime. It was intended that the PPO programme would tackle this "super prolific" group.

  The programme comprises local schemes covering every Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnership area in England and every Community Safety Partnership area in Wales. Each scheme targets the most prolific offenders in their area or those whose offending causes the most damage to the local community. PPO performance management data shows that there approximately 10,000 PPOs managed by the programme across England and Wales at any one time. The performance management data also shows that, in the 20 months between October 2005 and June 2007, 3,210 PPOs were taken off of the programme because they had significantly reduced their offending behaviour. Their places on local schemes will have been filled by other prolific offenders.

  Key elements of the programme include "catch and convict" to ensure that PPOs are brought to justice for the crimes they have committed; and "rehabilitate and resettle" which provides them with interventions focused on reducing the likelihood of further offending.

  The Home Office evaluation of the programme tracked the first offenders taken on to the programme in September and October 2004 and found a 62% reduction in their convictions over their first 17 months on the programme, with a sharp reduction in their offending following entry onto the scheme. While these positive findings cannot necessarily be attributed solely to the PPO programme, as we do not know what would have happened had the scheme not been introduced, they are nonetheless very encouraging.

Q6.   What international comparators has the Department developed on the fear of crime (page 24), and how does the United Kingdom compare within the European Union?

  The 2005 European International Crime Victimisation Survey[1] published in February 2007 showed that the United Kingdom had over a third of respondent households with a burglar alarm compared with a 10% average for EU countries taking part in the survey. One third of respondents in this country had an expectation of being the victim of a burglary in the next year, just above the EU average. The highest expectations of being the victim of a burglary were in Greece, Italy and France, with the lowest in Scandinavian countries and The Netherlands.

  The survey also showed that the percentage of the population feeling unsafe on the street after dark in the United Kingdom was just under one third and similar to the EU average. The highest rates were in Greece, Luxembourg and Italy and the lowest rates again in Scandinavia and the Netherlands.

Q7.   The Department's Strategy on reducing criminal damage includes collating knowledge of the causes of different types of criminal damage (page 24). Can the Department provide any results from that work?

  We have provided a range of information on our web site (see links below) on the causes of different types of damage, including updated results from the national Offending, Crime and Justice Survey (see link 2), which asks a range of young people about their offending. Boredom and alcohol are common responses, but clearly not all damage is mindless or random as personal motivations and revenge are also cited.

  We have also provided a link to an investigation of young people's motivations to commit acts of criminal damage in the North West of England, commissioned by Lancashire's Strategic Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnership (see link 1 below). Having interviewed over 100 young people, the report concluded that the majority of young people can differentiate between different types of criminal damage and they create a range of justifications around their involvement.

  At the most prevalent end of the spectrum of property damaged, many young people engage in damage to public property because they do not perceive it as being owned by an individual and therefore the action is known to be legally wrong but thought to be morally acceptable. Fewer young people took part in criminal damage to private or personal property as this was understood to be clearly wrong in legal and moral terms.

Links:

  1. Investigation into young people's motivations to commit acts of criminal damage in NW England: http://www.crimereduction.gov.uk/criminaldamage/Lancashire%20Study.doc (77 Page Document).

  2. Offending, Crime and Justice Survey: http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/pdfs06/hosb1706.pdf (108 pages).

  3. Home page of criminal damage mini-site: http://www.crimereduction.gov.uk/criminaldamage/criminaldamage001.htm (interactive web pages).

  4. Criminal Damage Facts and Figures: http://www.crimereduction.gov.uk/criminaldamage/cd%20facts%20and%20figures.htm (interactive web pages).

Q8.   The Departmental Annual Report (page 23) states that you are "introducing statutory minimum performance standards for CDRP and CSP partnerships". What are the minimum performance levels?

  The Police and Justice Act 2006 included provisions which allowed for the introduction of regulations setting out the core functions of CDRPs to provide the framework for all partnerships to deliver to a common standard. The regulations came into force in England on 1 August. The 2006 Act also repealed the duties for partnerships to produce three yearly audits and strategies and to report annually to the Secretary of State on progress.

  The new statutory requirements for partnership working are:

    —  Senior representation from all responsible authorities on a "strategy group".

    —  All responsible authorities will produce, sign, and comply with, an information sharing protocol.

    —  Each responsible authority should designate someone to be a "liaison officer" whose role is to facilitate information sharing within the CDRP.

    —  Production of an annual strategic assessment based on information from responsible authorities and the priorities and concerns of the community to identify priorities for delivery in the coming year.

    —  Production of a partnership plan, based on the strategic assessment, outlining how priorities will be delivered.

    —  Publication of a summary of the key priorities for delivery for the coming year and report on the previous year, made available to the local community in a form considered appropriate by the responsible authorities.

    —  Community engagement should take account of the current obligations of responsible authorities, to be targeted to diverse groups and to take into account those who will be most affected by priorities.

    —  "Face the People" sessions that will allow local people to discuss community safety issues with the partnership.

    —  Requirement for the responsible authorities to consider the skills and knowledge available to them for delivery.

  Additionally, in county areas, with two tier authorities:

    —  A "county level strategy group", consisting of the chairs of each district CDRP, representation from the county council (community safety portfolio holder where applicable) and other representation from responsible authorities.

    —  The county level strategy group will incorporate the district strategic assessments to identify county wide crime reduction priorities and opportunities for cross-border or county-wide working.

  The 2006 Act also introduced a new duty on certain agencies to disclose certain sets of depersonalised information at least quarterly in electronic form to the other section 115 relevant authorities.

  This duty only applies when the authority holds the information so it does not require the collection of any additional information. In each case, the duty applies to information relating to the partnership area as defined by the district or unitary authority area. Analysis can then take place across a number of different datasets on at least a quarterly basis.

Guidance:

  To support the process of implementing the minimum standards and information sharing regulations, the Home Office published good practice guidance "Delivering Safer Communities: A guide to effective partnership working. Guidance for Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnerships and Community Safety Partnerships".

Q9.   How much of the £115m made available through the Youth Opportunity Fund and Youth Capital Fund (page 23) was spent during 2006-07, and how much is planned to be spent during 2007-08? Can the Department provide a breakdown of how the funding has been allocated to the various programmes and what outcomes have been achieved?

  The Youth Opportunity Fund (YOF) and Youth Capital Fund (YCF) were included in the Home Office Annual Report due to their relationship with the work of the RESPECT Task Force, which was a Home Office based resource during the period in question. However, the funding is owned by the DCSF (then the DfES) and this response has been provided by that department.

  The £115 million can be broken down as follows: £31m for the YOF and £26.5 for the Youth Capital Fund YCF in both 2006-07 and 2007-08.

  Continuation funding for YOF/YCF and an additional £25 million for YOF was secured by DCSF in CSR07 for the 3 year period 2008-09 to 2010-11. The main purpose of the funds continues to be empowering young people and removing the barriers faced by a significant minority of young people to participating in positive activities. The Funds will contribute towards tackling antisocial behaviour and building community cohesion especially as the extra funding will be allocated only amongst the most deprived local areas.

  The full £57.5 million combined YOF/YCF was paid to local authorities in the first year (2006-07). It is not yet known how much of that local authorities have actually spent, as this is dependant on the receipt of end-year signed off by the Chief Finance Officer a number of which remain outstanding. Similarly, we anticipate that the £57.5 million for these Funds in 2007-08 will be spent in full.

Q10.   What good practice lessons have emerged from the ten regions in England and Wales that took part in the trial of innovative ideas to tackle criminal damage (page 24)?

  Each of the areas which received funding for their schemes undertook some form of evaluation, and we will be making the results available to practitioners though our web site, as well as through Government Offices and other channels. Some of the benefits are expected to be longer term and thus not possible to detect yet.

  Some of the emerging findings include the need to undertake careful analysis and problem profiling; to engage with young people on the nature and reasons for their offending; and to tackle criminal damage as part of a bigger picture of offending and ASB rather than as a stand-alone. A number of areas undertook awareness campaigns, aimed at deterring potential offenders and explaining the consequences of damage; diversionary activities for young people; and problem solving at particular hotspots.

Q.11  How many Parental Compensation Orders (page 26) were issued during 2006-07 and for what total value? Of this amount how much was collected during the year?

  No Parental Compensation Orders (PCOs) were reported as being issued during 2006-07.

  The PCO powers are being piloted. They were commenced in July 2006 in 10 local authority areas. Eight of these authorities decided to proceed to pilot the PCO and set up procedures for referring and dealing with children using the voluntary reparative approach described in guidance or, where that fails, using a PCO.

  So far, pilots are reporting that children under 10 are being referred to existing services such as youth inclusion and support panels (YISPs) but have not been recommended for PCOs.

  The pilots will be assessed early next year and advice will be provided to Ministers about the way forward.

Q12.   How many Anti-Social Behaviour Orders and Acceptable Behaviour Contracts (page 27) were issued during 2006-07 and of these how many individuals re-offended during the year?

  The latest available data is that 7,500 acceptable behaviour contracts/agreements were made in 2005-06 (source: CDRP survey); and 4,060 anti-social behaviour orders were issued in 2005 (source: MoJ). Data on the offending history of those with ABCs and/or ASBOs is not held centrally. However, a study by the National Audit Office[2] published in 2006 showed that 37% of their sample of anti-social behaviour perpetrators had an average of 24 convictions each. The report's main conclusion was that the majority of people in their case review sample who received an ASB intervention did not re-engage in ASB:

    —  65% of people desisted after one intervention;

    —  86% after two; and

    —  93% after three.

Q13.   Performance on SR2002 PSA 6 [reduce the harm caused by drugs] continues to show "slippage" on 2 of the 5 measures underpinning the PSA—class A drug use among young people and class A drug use by vulnerable young people. What are the main reasons for these "slippages" and what actions are planned in 2007-08 to address them?

  Since 2004 the Home Office has shared responsibility with the Department for Children, Schools and Families (previously the DfES) for the delivery of the young people and drugs target:

    —  Reduce the use of Class A drugs and the frequent use of any illicit drug among all young people under the age of 25, especially by the most vulnerable young people.

  There are four parts to this target. We are on course to reduce the frequent use of any illicit drugs by all young people and by the most vulnerable young people, but Class A use amongst all young people and the most vulnerable is flat.

  A thorough review of our available data and evidence over the summer of 2006 highlighted the main reasons for the slippage as being geographical variations in access to specialist treatment for under 18s, significantly higher levels of use and frequent use of Class A and other drugs amongst key vulnerable groups and cocaine use amongst those aged 19-24.

  We agreed a cross government action plan to accelerate delivery of the young people and drugs target. Key elements are:

    —  better targeting of vulnerable young people with prevention and early intervention through children's services and the Youth Justice System.

    —  improved access to specialist treatment for under 18s, to prevent escalation of problems.

    —  focus of the FRANK campaign for 2007/8, including specific targeted activity on cocaine.

Q14.   The latest figures for the Drug Harm Index are for 2004 (page 29 and page 84). Why is the data so old? If more up to date data is now available can you please let the Committee have this?

  Due to the large number and diverse nature of the data streams which make up the Drug Harm Index, timing of publication of updates for the whole index is driven by the availability of the last data source. This is currently the Drug Deaths data provided by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) which is only available 14 months after the end of the period that it is measuring. For example, data on drug deaths in 2005 was not published until 21 February 2007.

  The update to the Drug Harm Index using 2005 data is expected to be published in November 2007.

Q15.   Can you please provide the Committee when available with a copy of the new alcohol strategy (page 28)? Can you also please provide details of how key stakeholders have been involved in its development?

  In putting together the National Alcohol Strategy, officials from the Home Office, Department of Health and Department for Children, Schools and Families held a series of discussions with around 80 representatives from:

    —  the medical profession;

    —  the police;

    —  young people's groups;

    —  NGOs (eg Alcohol Concern);

    —  NOMS Prisons & Probation; and

    —  the alcohol industry.

  There was a broad consensus on the progress that had been made following the earlier Alcohol Strategy (Alcohol Harm Reduction Strategy for England, 2004).

  There was also broad consensus on the issues targeted for future action, namely:

    —  18-24 year old binge drinkers;

    —  harmful drinkers; and

    —  young people under 18, in particular 13-15 year olds, who drink alcohol.

  Stakeholders particularly welcomed a commitment by Government to work towards achieving long-term-reduction in alcohol harms.

  The strategy is available at: http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/documents/Alcohol-strategy.pdf

Q16.   How much has been spent on the programme to reduce alcohol harm?

  The following is a breakdown by each Department taking forward actions arising from the National Strategy:

SUMMARY OF GOVERNMENT SPENDING ON ALCOHOL IN 2007-08
Home Office£3,250,689
Department for Health £2,541,773 (* plus £15m on NHS spending—see below)
Joint Home Office/Department of Health "Know Your Limits" campaign £4,800,000
Department for Transport£3,600,000
Ministry of Justice (NOMS)£383,600
Department for Children, Schools and Families £175,000
Total£14,751,062*


NHS Spend on Alcohol Interventions

  A total of £15 million in additional funding has been included within PCTs' general allocations from 2007-08 onwards to help PCTs to improve their local arrangements for commissioning and delivering alcohol interventions.

  How much PCTs choose to spend on particular services is for them to decide in line with their local priorities.

  The Alcohol Needs Assessment Research Project (ANARP), published in 2005, estimated that £217m was spent by PCTs in England in the financial year 2003-04. It represents the best estimate we have of how much is spent in England from all sources on the delivery of alcohol treatment.

Q17.   What is the latest estimate of the number of victims of human trafficking who are working in prostitution in the United Kingdom? What key improvements are envisaged in 2007-08 as a result of the implementation of the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings? What, if any, are the potential disadvantages of having implemented the Convention?

  By the nature of the secrecy and deception involved in the crime of trafficking it is extremely difficult to gauge accurately the full extent and scale of the crime as it affects the United Kingdom. Home Office research on organised crime markets suggest that at any one time in 2003 there were up to 4,000 victims of trafficking for prostitution in the UK. We have recently entered into the enforcement stage of Operation Pentameter 2 which focuses on trafficking for the purposes of sexual exploitation. This should, in part, give us a clearer picture of the extent of the problems faced.

  During 2007-08 we shall be developing more formal identification procedures and looking into developing a national referral mechanism to identify possible victims. This will follow on from a "national referral model" which is presently being tested in Operation Pentameter 2. This model was discussed with a range of stakeholders, including Non Governmental Organisations, and further consultation will take place before any final model is adopted.

  The Convention was signed against a background of increasing awareness of the scale and seriousness of the crime of trafficking. There were concerns that some of the provisions (such as the automatic granting of reflection periods and the issue of residence permits in certain cases for trafficking victims) may open up another route to legal challenge against removal or be used fraudulently. However, we believe these risks will be mitigated in the context of an increased drive against irregular migrants and organised immigration crime and the need to ensure a victim centred approach to the trafficking issue.

Q18.   The percentage of police time spent on front-line policing in 2005-06 (63.2%) is below the baseline of 63.6% for 2003-04 as set in the 2005 Departmental Annual Report. What specific action is being taken to increase this figure?

  The frontline policing measure was recalculated in 2006, at the request of the service, to change the way that probationer time and officer sickness absence were treated. This had the effect of revising the baseline to 62.1%. When taking into account these changes the 2005-06 score in fact represents a small increase on the previous year's figure.

  The 2006-07 figures have now been published in PPAF and show a further increase to 64.2%.

Q19.   For 2007-08 the Department has made a commitment to ensure that there is a Neighbourhood Policing Team (NPT) in every community. How many NPTs are there at present and what proportion of communities currently have NPTs?

  As at the end of August there were 3,501 Neighbourhood Policing teams across England and Wales and 31 of the 43 forces had already fully rolled out Neighbourhood Policing. These forces cover nearly three quarters of the population of England and Wales. Those forces not yet fully rolled out remain on target to meet the end of March 2008 deadline.

Q20.   The pilots for using police staff to carry out some tasks normally performed by police officers resulted in "significant efficiency savings" (page 35). What were these savings, and what is the Department's estimate for the total potential savings if the scheme were rolled out across the country?

  Accenture's review of workforce modernisation (WFM) published in 2006 brought together the evaluations of the ten Home Office pilots. The pilots were varied in scope[3] and cost data was not always clearly defined by some of the forces,[4] making it difficult to draw conclusions around potential savings if the projects were implemented across the country.

  Despite this, the report identified some significant points around the cost benefits and efficiency savings of workforce modernisation. Some examples include Staffordshire, who made an estimated saving of £177k through outsourcing of their custody capability during the first year of the pilot. The successful roll out of the pilot across the force was expected to generate savings of £127k per year until 2009. Dyfed Powys made an annual saving of almost £266k pa by introducing mixed officer/staff teams in their custody function. Reconfiguration of investigation teams achieved significant cost savings, for example in Surrey where efficiency savings of £600k pa were estimated, including a £91k (8%) saving on salary costs. In Lincolnshire, the introduction of twelve police staff resulted in efficiency savings of £218k pa compared to CID being staffed by 12 officers.

  The national workforce modernisation programme launched in July this year builds on the lessons learned from the initial 10 pilots and incorporates the key recommendations made in the Accenture report. The 11 demonstration sites are wider in scope and involve much larger numbers of officers and staff than the initial pilots. It will be subject to a robust and independent evaluation managed and funded by the Home Office. Central to the evaluation will be an evaluation of cost and performance benefits, with baseline measures agreed with forces from the outset of the projects. Evidence of increased productivity and greater efficiency, with an emphasis on improvement to operational policing, will be rolled out to other forces.

Q21.   In the 2007 Departmental Annual Report you have provided figures as at 30 September 2006 for the number of members of the police service broken down into police officers, police staff and PCSOs (p35). Can you please provide comparator figures as at 30 September 2003, 30 September 2004 and 30 September 2005?

SERVICE STRENGTH AT 30 SEPTEMBER:

  Excluding officers on maternity/paternity leave and career breaks, and NCS/NCIS (now SOCA) officers.
YearOfficers Staff[5] PCSOsTotal
2003135,44162,172[6] 1,176[7] 198,789
2004138,93568,309 4,125211,369
2005140,20871,229 6,323217,760
2006140,00573,175 8,517221,697
2007 (March)140,514 73,79313,497227,804

Q22.   Public confidence in the CJS is shown as being "on course" although confidence has decreased by 2 percentage points since last year. Does the survey data, or other research, indicate any likely causes for this decline in performance? What actions are planned for 2007-08 to address this?

  The British Crime Survey shows that 41.4% of respondents were confident that the CJS is effective in bringing offenders to justice in the twelve months to March 2007. Although this fell from 44.4% in the previous year, it remains above the target (40%).

  Perceptions of the CJS are driven by a range of influences. Research suggests that levels of confidence are influenced by personal experience, word of mouth, and messages portrayed by the media. Levels of knowledge and understanding of the CJS, and the degree to which people feel that the system is responsive to local concerns are also key drivers of confidence. It is not possible to attribute changes in confidence, as measured by the BCS, to any single factor.

  In addition to the work underway to improve services to victims and witnesses, and to improve perceptions of fair treatment among people from black and minority ethnic communities, a cross-cutting programme is in place to build public confidence by:

    —  Improving our understanding of the drivers of public confidence.

    —  Supporting arrangements for joining up delivery by local CJS agencies and wider partnerships.

    —  Promoting a cross-agency approach to community engagement.

    —  Engaging with staff to improve their understanding and commitment with the end-to-end CJS.

    —  Co-ordinating communication of information and messages to the public on crime and justice.

Q23.   Can the Department provide the Committee with a copy of the Code of Practice for victims of crime (page 39)?

  A copy of the Code of Practice for Victims of Crime is available online at:

    http://www.cjsonline.gov.uk/downloads/application/pdf/Victims%20Code%20of%20Practice.pdf

  A summary version giving an overview of the standards of service contained in the Code is also available at:

    http://www.cjsonline.gov.uk/downloads/application/pdf/VCOP—GUIDE.pdf

Q24.   Of the 1.4m offences which were brought to justice in the year to December 2006 (page 38), how many were issued with fines and penalty notices? Please provide payment rate data for fines imposed in 2006-07 (page 43) and how does this compare with the figure for 2005-06?

  The table below gives the number of offences which were brought to justice and issued with fines and penalty notices. Penalty Notice for Disorder payment rates for 2005-06 and 2006-07 are also shown. It should be noted that the 2006 data are not yet publicly available.
YearOBTJs (thousands) Fines (thousands)PNDs (thousands) PND Payment Rate[8],[9]
20051,27790 9951%
2006Data will be published before the end of the Year


  The payment rate for fines has increased substantially in recent years up from 55% in 2002-03:

    The payment rate for 2006-07 was 92%.

    The payment rate for 2005-06 was 83%.

  This has been the result of a number of actions lead by Her Majesty's Court Service through the Enforcement Programme. The programme has worked closely with magistrates courts and has undertaken a range of initiatives designed to improve the collection rate. The initiatives undertaken include:

    —  Improving the enforcement processes, following the introduction of the Courts Act 2003;

    —  The provision of targeted support to areas that have difficulty in reaching their performance targets;

    —  The provision of effective practice guidance to court staff; and

    —  Implementation of wider information sharing to improve tracing capabilities eg access to the Police National Computer, Department for Work and Pensions Customer Information System and a credit reference agency.

  The Courts Act 2003, national roll out of which was completed in March 2005 introduced a new fines collection scheme, enabling magistrates' courts to improve fine collection rates throughout the application of new sanctions and processes. The new sanctions included:

    —  Attachment of earnings.

    —  Deductions from benefit.

    —  Clamping of a defaulter's vehicle.

    —  Increasing the fine.

    —  Registration of the fine on the Register of County Court Judgements and Fines.

  The Courts Act also created the role of the Fines Officer whose role was to see defendants and defaulters encoring payment on the day of sentence, discourage defaulting and gather and verify means information referring prolific defaulters back to court.

  However, it is important to note that the fine payment rate is not an exact measure of performance. This will only be possible with the introduction of the Libra system which is now being rolled out across the magistrates courts. In particular, the figures quoted are not exactly comparable year on year because of changes in their definition. However, there is no doubt that fine payment has increased substantially. The cash collected in respect of fines alone (financial impositions, minus costs and compensation) are at their highest for 13 years. The most recent years figures are as follows (rounded to the nearest million pounds):

    2002-03      £120 million.

    2003-04      £133 million.

    2004-05      £142 million.

    2005-06      £149 million.

    2006-07      £155 million.

Q25.   The CJS IT Programme is forecasting benefits of around £2.5bn over 10 years (page 44). Can you please provide a breakdown of how these benefits are expected to arise?

  The forecast of benefits of around £2.5bn is sourced from the 2006-07 Quarter 4 "Benefits Evidence and Revised Forecast" (BE&RF) Report. This was approved by the CJS Benefits Working Group and the OCJR Operational Board. The table below shows the breakdown of the total forecast with respect to the projects that deliver the benefits.
CJS IT Projects10 Year Total 2003-04 onwards £'m
Applications NSPIS Custody and Case Prep 226.43
PentiP8.53
Compass CMS (50%)68.51
NWNJ IT tool (WMS)22.77
SOCA3.26
Libra application (incl Exchange 3a)102.40
OASys (inc CJSE DIP)246.49
OASys/C-NOMIS enabled (Offender Management) 281.73
C-NOMIS (70%)164.92
ViSOR5.4
CJSE Release 1a (NSPIS-CMS)17.72
CJSE Release 1b (NSPIS-Libra)9.45
XHIBIT/CJSE Release 2a and b (Portal)28.98
PROGRESS22.59
Secure Email/Emailing Securely4.17
New YJB ICT programe56.52
NES IT47.87
CJ MIS13.87
Intrastructure and Enabled CJSE Release 3a (Libra/DVLA) 0.01
CJSE Release 3b (NSPIS/DVLA)5.79
COMPASS infrastructure (50%)225.74
Libra enabled (Enforcement Initiatives) 35.74
C-NOMIS infrastructure (30%)70.68
OMNI infrastructure (and cost effectiveness) 42.69
LINK enabled (ETMP xCJS model and Crest) 13.45
Shared Access27.84
Equip direct55.00
Equip enabled (Phoenix)311.00
Prog Combined Effectiveness Impact 173.01
Political Value
Social Value Benefits221.81
Total Benefits2,514.37
Potential Opportunity Value of joining up via Exchange (POV) 51.52
Total Benefits including POV2,565.89


  The following table shows the breakdown of benefits by recipient organisation. All (except for Social Value and Potential Opportunity Value benefits) have been signed off by Benefits Realisation Leads and Departmental Efficiency Planners.
10 Year Benefits Value by Recipient Department (£'m)
Benefit CategoryHome Office CPSHMCS OCJRWider CJS CJSBeyond
the CJS
Total
CJS IT Applications Efficiency Cashable 4.16115.55 8.04127.75
Efficiency Opportunity565.01 126.7336.922.11 1.98732.74
Efficiency Opportunity180.87 8.53189.40
Effectiveness Cashable
CEI104.4839.03 12.0417.46 173.01


CJS IT Infrastructure

Direct
202.01225.74427.75
Infrastructure subtotal202.01 225.74 427.75
CJS IT enabled benefits Indirect/Enabled 592.7249.19 641.91
CJS IT subtotal1,645.09 395.66213.69 10.1527.97 2,292.56
Contribution to reducing the economic and social cost of crime 10.630.030.06 4.69227.65221.81
Total (exclude POV)1,634.46 395.69213.75 10.1532.67 227.65 2,565.89
Potential Opportunity Value of joining up via Exchange 51.52 51.52
Total1,634.46 395.69213.75 10.1532.67 51.52227.65 2,565.89

Q26.   Performance on the NOMS standard (page 86) for the reconviction rate for young offenders and the SR2002 PSA 5 [re-offending by young offenders] both have a performance status of "slippage" in the 2007 Departmental Annual Report. Although responsibility for NOMS has now transferred to the Ministry of Justice can the Department provide reasons for the reported slippage?

  The Youth Justice Board and the Ministry of Justice have increased the emphasis on reducing re-offending (the latest figures for the 2005 cohort show continued slippage against the target) and have a range of measures in place to drive up performance but these inevitably take time to impact on offender behaviour.

  We have developed a reducing re-offending delivery plan to drive progress, set up an Inter-Ministerial Group to work across government to improve access to mainstream services, and invested in IT making it easier to address offending behaviour by improved sentence planning and risk assessment of young people while in custody.

  The Youth Justice Board continues to work to improve performance by working with Youth Offending Teams and the Secure Estate to improve practice by improving the completion and quality of the assessment tool Asset, revising Key Elements of Effective Practice and the national Standards for Youth Justice Services and maintaining the development of the youth justice workforce. The inclusion of several youth justice indicators in the new Performance Framework for Local Authorities and their partners will help to drive local delivery across a range of agencies.

  This is an ambitious target in dealing with this most troublesome group of offenders—many of whom come from extremely troubled backgrounds. The factors that drive young people towards offending such as family problems, homelessness, mental health problems, school exclusion mean that there are no easy solutions but we are committed to improving our performance.

Q27.   What level of funding has been transferred to the Ministry of Justice in respect of the recent Machinery of Government change?

  The level of funding transferred to the Ministry of Justice in respect of the recent Machinery of Government is £4,992m Resource and £560m Capital in 2007-08 (to the nearest £m). These figures will be formally confirmed and published in the Winter Supplementary Estimates shortly.

Q28.   What is the annual cost of (i) the Airline Liaison Officers based overseas, and (ii) the strengthened juxtaposed controls broken down into its constituent parts (page 57)?
  (i) The role of the Airline Liaison Officer (ALO) Network is to reduce the number of inadequately documented passengers reaching the UK as part of our work on exporting the border. ALOs are based overseas at source and transit locations which have been identified as significant points of embarkation for inadequately documented arrivals (IDAs) in the UK. The activity of ALOs has played a significant part in reducing IDAs reaching the UK from just over 11,200 in 2004 to just over 6,900 in 2006. Over the last five years, the ALO Network has assisted in preventing nearly 180,000 IDAs from boarding aircraft. A comprehensive review of the ALO network was completed this year and work is now ongoing to prioritise the recommendations and ensure benefits realisation.

  The total cost of the ALON, including pay and non-pay, for the financial year 2006-07 was just over £8.9m. The UK cost was just under £2.6m. The total annual overseas costs by region were as follows, rounded to the nearest £0.1m:
Africa£1.5 m
Middle East, India & Pakistan£0.9 m
Far East£1.5m
Europe£2.4m


  (ii) During 2001-2002 significant numbers of clandestine illegal entrants and inadequately documented and inadmissible passengers came through the French ferry ports and Channel Tunnel system, with the overwhelming majority claiming asylum after arrival in the United Kingdom. This led to the phased implementation of juxtaposed controls.

  UK immigration controls, known as juxtaposed controls, operate in Northern France at Calais, Boulogne and Dunkerque ferry ports as well as the Eurotunnel terminal at Coquelles and the Eurostar stations of Brussels, Paris, Lille and Calais Frethun. Juxtaposed controls have been highly successful and have played a key part in reducing the dangerous and illegal crossing of the channel. In 2006 our juxtaposed controls in France and Belgium stopped almost 16,900 people crossing the channel illegally. In addition, for the same period 6,800 people were refused entry to the UK at juxtaposed controls.

  Annual pay and non-pay total costs for operational staff at juxtaposed control locations is just under £40m The annual pay total is just over £30m and the non-pay total cost is just over £9m. A high majority of our staff work in frontline controls ensuring the borders are strengthened to prevent thousands of potential illegal immigrants reaching the UK.

Q29.   How many asylum applications have been made in each of the last 3 years? What is the number of cases making up the backlog of unresolved asylum cases and what are the main reasons for the reduction in the number of unfounded cases between April 2002 and March 2006?

Number of asylum applications made in each of the last three years:

  The below table shows the number of asylum applications that have been made in the last three years, both excluding and including dependants.
20042005 2006
Principle Asylum Applicants33,960 25,71023,610
Applicants including Dependants40,625 30,84028,320


  The below table gives the proportion of principle asylum claims which have been successful and splits this down into (a) those granted asylum and (b) those granted another form of leave to remain. The figures include claimants granted on initial decision or at appeal. Please note that the below figures are estimates because a proportion of claims made in these years is still awaiting an initial decision or the outcome of an appeal.
Proportion of Principle Asylum Claimants: 20042005 2006
Granted Asylum (Refugee Status)13% 17%17%
Not recognised as a refugee but granted Humanitarian Protection/ Discretionary Leave 11%11%9%
Total24% 28%26%

Number of cases making up the backlog of unresolved asylum cases

  The former Home Secretary announced the legacy programme (now also known as the case resolution programme) to Parliament in July last year. He advised that there were up to 450,000 unresolved electronic and paper records on asylum cases within the Immigration and Nationality Directorate (now the Border and Immigration Agency).

  This figure is an estimate of the number of unresolved asylum case records which includes duplicates and data errors, and does not equate to numbers of asylum applicants. It remains our intention to clear these legacy cases within five years or less, ie by July 2011.

  We will provide updates on the progress we are making in due course.

Main reasons for the reduction in the number of unfounded cases between April 2002 and March 2006:

  An unfounded asylum claim is one where the applicant and dependants of the applicant have not been granted full refugee status (indefinite leave to remain) under the 1951 UN Convention, ie failed asylum seekers (applicants refused refugee status at the initial decision stage for which no appeal is received and applicants whose appeal rights are exhausted).

  The reduction between April 2002 and March 2006 is due to:

    —  A decline in the number of initial applications being made in the first place (as evidenced in the statistics above). This was partly due to factors such as the introduction of Non-Suspensive Appeals countries, the introduction of fast-track processes (for example at Harmondsworth detention centre) and the strengthening of our borders, for example through the Airline Liaison Officer Network and juxtaposed controls.

    —  In the first half of the period in question (April 2002 to March 2006) there was a large number of "backlog" cases decided.

    —  Fewer appeals were made (which links to fewer initial decisions, which in turn stem, to some extent, from fewer applications).

Q30.   The estimated total resource costs of providing passports and ID Cards to British and Irish citizens resident in the UK over the next 10 years is £5.55bn (Identity Card Scheme—Cost Report May 2007). What impact will the increased costs have on the application fee and how much is expected to be paid to IT and Management Consultants involved with the project?

  It is intended that future operational costs, including any costs incurred by the Identity and Passport Service on consultancy services, will predominantly be recovered through fees charged for passports and identity cards as well as any fees charged to organisations for identity verification services. However, no decisions have yet been made on the actual fee structure, nor how much of future estimated expenditure will be for external contracted services. The use of consultants will be where that is demonstrably the most cost-effective option for particular aspects of the work. The Identity & Passport Service has made significant progress in ensuring that the bulk of its on-going needs are met by Civil Servants, including a recent exercise which recruited 70 I.T. specialists. But a project as large as the National Identity Scheme will continue to need a level of technical and specialist support, which cannot be provided solely in-house.

  Further information on the estimated costs of the identity cards scheme over the next 10 years will be provided in the next 6 monthly report to Parliament due in November.

RESOURCES AND EFFICIENCY

Q31.   The Department had previously agreed that the Home Affairs Committee should be involved in the way that PSA outcomes are defined, measured and delivered. Can you please provide the Committee with copies of the draft Public Service Agreement targets and Departmental Strategic Objectives for the Home Office being contemplated under the Comprehensive Spending Review 2007? Can you also please provide details of what stakeholders have been involved in their development?

  In response to the agreement made previously, the Home Office sent to the Committee on 18 July 2007 a paper "consulting the Home Affairs Committee on the SR07 PSAs". This included the Departmental Strategic Objectives and the direction of travel the Home Office was considering for the PSAs at that time.

  The final Departmental Strategic Objectives and the PSAs have since been published and can be found at:

    http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/about-us/purpose-and-aims/?view=Standard

    http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/pbr—csr/psa/pbr—csr07—psacommunities.cfm

Q32.   Budget 2006 announced the CSR2007 settlement for the Home Office with resources "maintained at the Home Office's 2007-08 Departmental Expenditure Limit in real terms'. What changes in the Department's activities and priorities will be needed to accommodate such a settlement and to ensure service delivery is maintained over the CSR 2007 period? What revisions to the settlement are likely as a result of the Machinery of Government changes in May 2007 that affected the Department's remit?

  The Comprehensive Spending Review Announcement by the Government on 9 October provided over £200 million additional resources per year by 2010-11 (£695 million extra over the three years) for counter terrorism and security—taking real growth in the Department's total budget to over 1% per year over the CSR07 period.

  We are still considering how to allocate the resources in detail. But along with efficiency and effectiveness improvements, this growth provides resources for the Department's priorities including:

    —  the Home Office to lead more effectively the cross-Government effort to reduce the risk of international terrorism in the UK;

    —  delivering the new crime strategy with a stronger focus on serious violence and more freedom and flexibility for local partners and the frontline;

    —  investment of over £11m per year by 2010-11 to establish a new National Fraud Strategic Authority, Lead Police Force and National Fraud Reporting Centre to strengthen our efforts in tackling fraud;

    —  delivering the new alcohol strategy focusing on the groups which cause the most harm and a new drugs strategy to be published in April 2008 to improve prevention and treatment;

    —  investment in neighbourhood policing to ensure it is embedded across the country, enabling forces to better respond to local concerns, increase intelligence and build up trust; and

    —  controlling migration, harnessing its benefits whilst further securing our borders with increased investment in a new e-Borders system to count people in and out of the country and implementation of a new points-based migration system that will ensure Britain gets the skilled migrants it needs for economic growth.

  With this funding and our ambitious value for money programme we will be able to invest in improving performance, rolling-out neighbourhood policing and delivering our major projects, including e-borders and identity cards.

  The figures published with the Spending Review[10] show the Home Office and Ministry of Justice baselines following the Machinery of Government Changes. These represent the transfer of the National Offender Management Service, Office for Criminal Justice Reform and a proportion of the corporate centre and unallocated provision. These figures also include the various changes that have gone through the estimates process since the original settlement. Including the departure of Communities responsibilities to Communities and Local Government and Cabinet Office, and the transfer of Respect to the Department for Children, Schools and Families.

Table D11

HOME OFFICE1 BASELINE AND ADDITIONS
£ million
Baseline 2007-082008-09 Additions 2009-102010-11
Resource DEL8,577468 7161,010
of which near-cash8,351 4927451,048
of which administration440 -11-21-31
Capital DEL80350 -2150
Total DEL29,214 546728 1,101


1  Includes Assets Recovery Agency.

2  Full resource budgeting basis, net of depreciation.

Table D12

MINISTERY OF JUSTICE BASELINE AND ADDITIONS
£ million
Baseline 2007-082008-09 Additions 2009-102010-11
Resource DEL9,170162 211270
of which near-cash8,539 114141175
of which administration459 -11-21-33
Capital DEL6884 9257
Total DEL19,465 140256 259

1  Full resource budgeting basis, net of depreciation.

Q33.   Could the Department please provide the Committee with copies of any action plans which have been developed in order to take forward the recommendations of the external Capability Review of the Home Office? In particular, how is the Department addressing the issues identified as "serious concern" and "urgent development areas"?

  The action plan is available at: http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/documents/reform-action-plan.pdf/ and the latest progress update at http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/about-us/organisation/home-office-reform/reform-detail/ho-review-milestone-3-progress/?view=Standard

Q34.   The Committee would be grateful for a breakdown of the reported £2,352 million savings into the OGC classifications and details about the audit or verification of the efficiency savings

  The Outturn reported to the Treasury at the end of Q4 2006-07 described significant confidence in the Department's numbers, with £1,535m gains categorised as "finalised" (the final, settled classification) and a further £817m gains categorised as "delivered" (that we expect to be classified "finalised" when final outturn for the period is reported). This was reflected in the Committee of Public Accounts" recent report on the cross-Government Efficiency Programme. The table at Appendix A shows how this breaks down between business areas and the scrutiny process employed by the Department and the Treasury (formerly by the Office of Government Commerce).

Q35.   The National Audit Office report "Progress in improving government efficiency" [HC802-1 February 2006] stated that "the biggest risk is that efficiency gains are accompanied by unintended falls in the quality of service delivery" [para 16]. How does the Department monitor quality of front-line services where efficiency savings have been delivered?

  The Home Office Technical Note describes the methodology for assessing quality of service against the delivery of savings. http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/documents/sr2004-value-for-money-tech-note/?version =1. The table at Appendix A describes the performance and quality measures against which efficiency savings are monitored to give reassurance that reductions in quality do not take place.

  Gains reported in the Border & Immigration Agency build on those achieved by the former Immigration & Nationality Directorate (IND), to which the historical documents at Appendix B refer.

Q36.   A number of other departmental select committees have been provided with their departments" quarterly efficiency reports to the OGC. The Committee would be grateful for a copy of the efficiency reports the Home Office has submitted to the OGC for the quarters to March 2006 and December 2006

  The Department submitted documents to the OGC describing:

    —  Performance against target; and

    —  Case-studies of good practice.

  The consolidated reports are attached at Appendix B.[11]

Q37.   The NAO report "The Efficiency Programme: A Second Review of Progress" [HC 156-I, 8 February 2007] raised concerns that there was no direct assessment of whether the cashable efficiency gains made by the Police Force were made at the expense of service quality. What measures of service quality have been introduced and can the Committee please see the results?

  In preparing their efficiency plans, police forces are asked to link planned gains to a particular function. These are the functions which were inspected by HM Inspectorate of Constabulary in their Baseline Inspections in 2006 and the baseline inspection process provided a quality cross-check on the efficiency gains claimed. We believe that baseline assessment at the functional level provided a reasonable balance between the level of assurance required that performance had been maintained or improved and the additional bureaucracy that would be required to trace in detail the precise impact of each action intended to improve efficiency.

  In cases in which Baseline Assessment showed a deterioration in a function compared to 2004-05, forces were only allowed to claim efficiency gains linked to that function if they could satisfy HMIC that the gain claimed had been made and had not caused or contributed to the decline in performance. Some of the gains claimed by three forces were disallowed on that basis. There will be no baseline inspection for 2006-07 or 2007-08 and work is in hand to develop a replacement check that can be used for the remainder of the SR04 years and for the years covered by CSR 07.

Q38.   How were the revised set of objectives (page 10) developed and how do the existing PSAs map to the new set of objectives? The new objective on cutting crime now specifically mentions alcohol related crime: would this change still have been made if there had not been the Machinery of Government changes in May 2007? Have the applicable PSAs and targets also been adapted as a result of this change in objectives?

  The revised set of Departmental Strategic Objectives were set through strategy workshops with senior staff and Ministers followed by a staff consultation.

  The specific addition of alcohol in the objectives is to signal the priority being given to reducing alcohol-related harms.

  The SR04 PSAs were not changed as a result of the change in objectives, although ownership of elements such as the re-offending standard transferred from the Home Office to the new Ministry of Justice.

  The SR07 PSAs, which take effect in April 08, reflect the Government's priorities for the next three years and include, for example, alcohol-related harms.

Q39.   Please can you explain the variance between the planned staff numbers for Civil Service full time equivalents for 2007 (19,836) in the 2006 Departmental Annual Report and the actuals (21,224) in the 2007 Departmental Annual Report (page 113, table 5.6)? What impact has this higher than previously planned number had on your headcount reduction target?

  The difference between predicted and actual 2007 staffing numbers reflects growth in operational strength, particularly including operational staffing in the Border and Immigration Agency (BIA). The Department's target to reduce headcount was cast carefully to bear down on the size of the civil service headquarters function whilst sparing those activities that provide operational services directly for the public (this mirrors the distinction between Administration and Other Current Expenditure, that are Voted separately by Parliament for the same reason). That means, whilst there has been growth in operational functions, that has not impinged upon the focus or delivery of the target to reduce the size of the headquarters.

  BIA Front line staffing increased by 1,155 between end March 2006 and end March 2007 and is outside the scope of the target to reduce the size of the headquarters by 2,700 FTE posts by 31 March 2008 (that also includes reducing the size of the headquarters in the BIA by more than 300 posts in the same period).

  Increasing staff resources has allowed the BIA to maintain its focus on border security in the context of challenges posed by increasing international travel, the introduction of new border technologies and the opening of new ports, such as Terminal 5 at Heathrow. Similarly, Managed Migration staffing increased in response to increasing volumes of applications and to strengthen the intelligence and compliance functions.

  There was also a small amount of growth in functions supporting the Department's response to the key points raised in the Capability Review, and also in planning the increased prisons building programme. Changes in these areas are reflected in the net outturn figures for overall staffing and reduction in the size of the HQ.

  Transfer of the National Offender Management Service to the new Ministry of Justice meant the target to reduce the size of the headquarters in the residual Home Office was reduced to 2,327 fewer FTE posts by 31 March 2008.

  As at the end of 2007 Quarter 2 (1 September 2007), the headquarters had shrunk by 2,253 FTE posts, leaving reduction by 74 FTE posts still required during 2007-08.

Q40.   Could you please explain the following variances identified in the tables in Chapter 5?

    —  The outturn of £54m for 2006-07 on drugs in table 5.1, compared with the planned expenditure of £210m in the 2006 Departmental Annual Report.

    —  The outturn of £233m for 2006-07 on Central Services in table 5.2 compared with the planned expenditure of £198m in the 2006 Departmental Annual Report.

    —  The outturn of £400m for 2006-07 on administration income in table 5.5 compared to the planned income of £489m in the 2006 Departmental Annual Report.

  The 2006-07 outturn figures in the Departmental Annual Report are estimated figures determined in January 2007. The actual audited outturn is recorded in the 2006-07 resource accounts and explanations for variances between plans and budgets on an Estimates basis as shown in note 2 to the accounts are set out in pages 15 to 19 of the accounts.

  The actual expenditure on drugs programmes was £221.99m. The estimate in the DAR excluded expenditure of £173m resource and £3m capital on the Drugs Intervention Programme which, following major organisational change within the Crime Reduction and Community Safety Directorate earlier in the year, was wrongly mapped against the objective "people feel more secure in their homes and daily lives".

  The plan figure for Central Services in the 2006 Report reflects the SR04 baseline position. This has subsequently increased due to the transfer into Central Services of a number of additional programmes and activities, in particular the Respect Taskforce £21.6m; the International Directorate £2.5m; Race and Diversity Action Team £1.6m; and Parliamentary and legal fees previously met by the Cabinet Office £1.7m.

  Administration income in the audited resource accounts is £468m, broadly in line with the plan figure of £489m. The estimated income in the 2007 Report increased following the identification of income that had been mis-classified as programme and also higher than expected receipts by the Criminal Records Bureau and the Identity and Passports Service.

Additional questions (which would have been asked by Members at the 25 July evidence session with the Home Secretary, had time allowed):

  The Home Office state that "the PSAs, performance indicators and targets are under development and have not yet been finalised" but "will be published at the CSR".

Q41.   You have supplied us with a paper on the "direction of travel" for the latest round of PSA targets. However, this deals with generalities rather than details. Will this Committee be provided with a draft of the PSA targets themselves once they have been developed, so that we can comment on them before they are finalised?

  The 2007 Comprehensive Spending Review PSA targets have now been published and can be found at:

    http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/pbr_csr/psa/pbr_csr07_psacommunities.cfm

  In its 2005 report on Home Office Target-Setting, the Committee recommended that:

    when the Home Office next reviews its PSA targets, as part of the 2006 Spending Review, a higher proportion of targets should contain "realistic but stretching" quantitative elements.[12]

  The Government's response stated that "we will consider the appropriate use of quantitative and directional targets in our PSA set during the 2006 Spending Review process".[13]

Q42.   How will the new Public Service Agreements improve the use of quantitative rather then directional targets as recommended by this Committee?

  The new PSAs set out the key priority outcomes the Government would like to achieve in the next spending period (2008-09 to 2010-11). A small number of performance indicators will be used to measure progress towards each PSA.

  Some of these indicators have specific national targets or minimum standards attached. National targets have been limited to a small subset of PSA indicators that require firm central direction thus providing far greater space for service providers to set their own targets in response to the priorities of local communities. All other PSA indicators are expected to improve over the course of the spending period.

  This is the policy that the Government has adopted for all 30 of the SR07 PSAs. A summary list of the PSAs and their performance indicators that identifies which indicators have targets or minimum standards can be found at:

    http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/media/D_0/pbr_csr07_annexc_92.pdf

  The Budget in March 2006 announced the CSR 2007 settlement for the Home Office with resources "maintained at the Home Office's 2007-08 Departmental Expenditure Limit in real terms".

Q43.   Looking forward, the 2006 Budget confirmed a flat settlement for the Home Office for financial years 2008-09 to 2010-11. Which areas of the Department will be expected to deliver further efficiencies after March 2008?

  The Home Office has established a robust process for developing further opportunities for achieving Value for Money over the CSR period. The programme covers the breadth of Home Office and police activity. Key areas where we expect to make gains include:

    —  The FrontRunner programme that will deliver substantial VfM improvements through local operational process improvement. We have established projects in the police, BIA and the OCJR that will begin to show tangible local performance and cost improvements by the start of the CSR period;

    —  By reducing volume and price on procurement;

    —  Workforce reform, deployment of resources and operational efficiency. Defining the scope for delivering VfM by using the workforce more effectively, including, for example, by aligning workforce mix and deployment profiling with strategic objectives through better use of improved management and performance data.

    —  Collaboration and Shared Services. This involves taking forward our work on transactional shared services for finance, HR, IT, estates, and procurement, but also looking for opportunities to deliver directly operational support more cost-effectively on a shared service basis.

    —  Greater use of IT and Technology. Continued theme from SR04. This means maximising VfM benefit from IT projects, with a particular emphasis on business re-engineering to maximise ICT benefit and draw upon lessons from the Sir David Varney's review "Service Transformation: a better service for citizens and businesses, a better deal for taxpayers".

  The Department will publish VfM Delivery Agreements describing the methodology for measuring gains around the end of the year.

  The Home Office paper (para 13) refers to the Departmental Strategic Objective of protecting the public from terrorist attack. It states that:

    We are looking to see whether it would be possible to develop a PSA in this area to reflect the strategic importance of counter terrorism across government. This is ambitious as we have never had a counter terrorism PSA before. If we do develop a PSA in this area, the details will not be public.

Q44.   What are the options for developing a PSA target for protecting the public against terrorist attack? You say that with any such target, "the details will not be public". What is the point of a secret target? Will you undertake to make details of the target available to this Committee, so that we can discuss it with Ministers, even if that has to be in closed session?

  Each PSA is underpinned by a Delivery Agreement shared across all contributing departments and set out the plans for delivery and the role of key delivery partners. They also describe the performance indicators and targets. The Delivery Agreement for the PSA to "reduce the risk to the UK and its interests overseas from international terrorism" can be found at:

    http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk./media/B/9/pbr—csr07—psa26.pdf

  As indicated, this document only includes a summary as, by its nature, a full Delivery Agreement would contain information about the UK counter-terrorism effort that could potentially be useful to those who threaten the UK and its interests. In so far as is possible and consistent with national security, scrutiny arrangements for this PSA, including parliamentary scrutiny, will mirror those in place for other PSAs with progress reports made public during the CSR period.

24 October 2007







1   The Burden of Crime in the EU. Research Report: A Comparative Analysis of the European Crime and Safety Survey 2005. Back

2   Tackling Anti-Social Behaviour, NAO, 7 December 2007: http://www.nao.org.uk/publications/nao_reports/06-07/060799.pdf Back

3   Spanning the operational areas of custody and prisoner handling; investigation; response; and community policing. Back

4   The report identifies these difficulties primarily as a lack of clarity over the time period in which cost savings were made and the cost base they refer to. Back

5   Staff figures exclude PCSOs, Designated Officers and Traffic Wardens. Back

6   Numbers at 31 March 2003-data is not available for September 2007. Back

7   Numbers at 31 March 2003-data is not available for September 2007. Back

8   PND Payment Rates refer to calendar year ie 2005 = 2005-06 and 2006 = 2006-07. Back

9   Excludes cases that are registered at the courts for non payment, contested at court or cancelled. Back

10   Annex D7 to the 2007 Pre-Budget Report and Comprehensive Spending Review. Back

11   Not printed. Back

12   Home Affairs Committee, Third Report of Session 2004-05, Home Office Target-Setting 2004 (HC 320), para 52. Back

13   CM 6592 (June 2005), p 4. Back


 
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