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12 Jan 2009 : Column 62Wcontinued
Mr. Simon: DIUS and DCSF are being guided by the Cabinet Office Staff Transfers in the Public Sector Statement of Practice (COSOP) in our approach to the treatment of LSC staff in this transfer of responsibilities under the Machinery of Government changes. This includes the principle that there should be appropriate arrangements to protect occupational pensions and the application of A fair deal for Staff Pensions (which sets out the policy on staff pensions that must be followed by Central Government Departments and Agencies, and which Ministers expect to be adopted by other public sector employers).
We expect that staff transferring to the Young Peoples Learning Agency and Skills Funding Agency, which will house the National Apprenticeships Service, will continue to be covered by the Civil Service Pension Scheme and staff transferring to local authorities will have access to local government schemes. We are working with the Government Actuaries Department and representatives of the various pensions schemes to establish the details for every member of staff affected by this transfer.
Mr. Swire: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what guidelines are in place for telephone calls by employees of the Learning and Skills Council to telephone numbers at the Palace of Westminster. 
Mr. Simon: This is an operational matter for the LSC, and I have therefore asked Mark Haysom, the LSCs chief executive, to write to the hon. Member with the information requested and a copy of his reply will be placed in the House Library.
To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what assessment he
has made of the recommendations relevant to his Departments policy responsibilities made in the Foresight report on Mental Capital and Well Being, with particular regard to life-long learning policy objectives; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Simon: The Secretary of State was pleased to receive the Foresight report on Mental Capital and Wellbeing on behalf of Government and to oversee progress by Departments in their consideration and uptake of its findings over the coming year.
Part of that process will involve an assessment of what the report might mean for DIUS policy on life long learning and the Department will report on this in due course.
Mr. Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills (1) what assessment his Department has made of the economic impact of research in universities which have received less than £2 million of quality-related research funding in each year since 2002; 
(2) what assessment his Department has made of the impact of research in universities with a strong profile in excellent research of national significance, as determined by the 2002 research assessment exercise, upon innovation and applied research in respect of (a) international companies, (b) the regional economies, (c) higher education exports, (d) the NHS and (e) other public and not-for-profit sectors. 
Mr. Lammy: DIUS carries out a wide range of work to measure the impact of research carried out in universities. Each year, the Department publishes a report summarising this work. The latest report, Economic Impacts of Investment in Research and Innovation is available via the DIUS website at
This report includes sections on the economy, innovation, health care, and the higher education, public and business sectors. It covers research carried out in all universities, regardless of their previous results in the research assessment exercise or the amount of quality-related research funding that they have received.
Mr. Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what his Departments strategy is for ensuring that students in universities which are leaders in widening participation have equal access to a well-resourced research infrastructure in their university. 
Mr. Lammy: The Governments policy are that students should have access to the higher education courses that best suit their needs, and universities should leverage their research activities to enrich undergraduate programmes as appropriate. This will not happen in the same way in all universities, and we do not believe it should. The Governments debate on the future of higher education offers an opportunity to discuss how teaching should develop over the next 10 to 15 years.
Kelvin Hopkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills (1) how many institutions assessed in the 2008 research assessment exercise had at least five per cent. of the research activity in one of their submissions rated as (a) four stars, (b) three stars, (c) two stars and (d) one star; and if he will make a statement; 
(2) if he will make it his policy that the Higher Education Funding Council has as objectives for the distribution of quality-related research funding to universities to ensure that (a) world leading, internationally excellent and internationally recognised research is funded wherever it has been found and (b) universities with profiles in research which have received national recognition receive funding. 
Mr. Lammy: Of the 159 higher education institutions in the UK that submitted to the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise:
150 had at least 5 per cent. of their submitted research activity judged to be at the 4* quality level in at least one submission;
159 had at least 5 per cent. of their submitted research activity judged to be at the 3* quality level in at least one submission;
159 had at least 5 per cent. of their submitted research activity judged to be at the 2* quality level in at least one submission;
157 had at least 5 per cent. of their submitted research activity judged to be at the 1* quality level in at least one submission.
Results for the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise were presented as a quality profile indicating the proportion of research activity in each submission that was judged to reach each quality level.
These figures show that virtually every higher education institution in the United Kingdom that made a submission in the exercise has some research activity assessed to be of world leading quality; and all submitting institutions have some research activity that was assessed as internationally excellent. This is a very strong positive verdict on the strength and diversity of the national research base.
Decisions on allocation of funding arising from the RAE results have not yet been made.
Tom Levitt: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what guidelines his Department follows in respect of making printed materials and forms accessible to people suffering red/green colour blindness. 
Mr. Simon: The Department follows the guidelines of COI.
COI Informability recommends that the use of red and green together as text/background should be avoided. They also recommend that using yellow and blue together should be avoided.
Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what the monetary value of the last three valuations of the student loans book were. 
Mr. Lammy: The student loan book valuation for 31 March 2008 and 31 March 2007 is disclosed in the resource accounts of the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills. Prior to this, the student loan book valuation was disclosed in the resource accounts of the Department for Education and Skills.
More details on the valuation methodology for the student loan book can be found in note 21 of the resource accounts of the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills.
Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what proportion of young people in each of the principal seaside towns were not in employment, education or training at the latest date for which information is available. 
Mr. Simon: Details of young people not in employment, education or training are not available for small geographical regions such as principal seaside towns. The smallest geographical area for which these numbers are available is by local education authority, and this data can be found in the reply given to the hon. Member for Havant (Mr. Willetts) on 26 November 2008, Official Report, column 1721W.
Jo Swinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what recent meetings he has had with BBC Scotland; what topics were discussed; and with what outcomes. 
Mr. Jim Murphy: Aside from interviews, since I took up appointment on 3 October 2008 I have had no meetings with BBC Scotland.
Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what assets of his Department are planned to be sold in each financial year from 2007-08 to 2010-11; what the (a) description and (b) book value of each such asset is; what the expected revenue from each such sale is; and if he will make a statement. 
Ann McKechin: The Scotland Office have little by way of disposable assets, and we have no plans to dispose of any between 2007-08 and 2010-11.
Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how much has been spent by his Department on renovation and refurbishment of its properties in each of the last five years. 
Under the terms of its building leases the Office is required to maintain the buildings to an acceptable standard of decoration and repair. The Scotland Office does not separately identify the costs of renovation and refurbishment from the routine repair and replacement
of existing facilities. Over the period of the last five years, the Office has shared its accommodation with a number of other Government Departments. The following figures show the gross total for repairs and maintenance of Scotland Office buildings, but does not include the contribution by the Departments towards their share of the costs.
|(1) In 2007-08 this included roof and exterior repairs to Dover House in London.|
Grant Shapps: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many (a) letters and (b) e-mails received by his Department had not been responded to as at 15 December 2008. 
Ann McKechin: The information requested is as follows:
(a) The Cabinet Office, on an annual basis, publishes a report to Parliament on the performance of departments in replying to Members-Peers-correspondence. Information relating to 2008 will be published as soon as it has been collated. The report for 2007 was published on 20 March 2008, Official Report, columns 71-74WS. Reports for earlier years are available in the Library of the House.
(b) In respect of emails, this information is not centrally held and is not possible to collect within the disproportionate cost limit.
Mr. Vara: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what percentage of contractors and suppliers to his Department have reported that they are compliant with the Governments security standards following publication of the report, Data Handling Procedures in Government, and the accompanying document, Cross-departmental Actions: Mandatory Minimum Action, on 25 June 2008. 
Ann McKechin: The Scotland Office does not directly use external suppliers or contractors to carry out its responsibilities. As an associated office, the Scotland Office is provided with a range of corporate and support services by the Ministry of Justice, who place an obligation on all of their contractors to provide IT and data management systems that meet Government security standards.
Mr. Vara: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many contracts his Department has which allow contractors to store personal data of UK citizens overseas; for which contracts this applies; in which countries the data for each contract is held; and how many people have their data stored overseas in the case of each such contract. 
Ann McKechin: The Scotland Office has no such contracts in place.
Mr. Vara: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland when his Department appointed a senior information risk owner in accordance with the report, Data Handling Procedures in Government and the accompanying document Cross-departmental Actions: Mandatory Minimum Action; when the appointment was made; and what grade the person holds within the Department. 
Ann McKechin: The Scotland Office is part of the Ministry of Justice (MoJ). The Ministry of Justices Senior Information Risk Owner (SIRO) is the Director General of the Democracy, Constitution and Law Group who took over this responsibility in spring 2008, in advance of the Data Handling Reviews publication.
Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland with reference to the answer of 24 November 2008, Official Report, columns 807-08W, on departmental electronic equipment, how many flat screen televisions were purchased in 2007-08. 
Ann McKechin: The Scotland Office purchased four flat screen televisions in 2007-08.
Philip Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what information his Department holds on the (a) sex, (b) ethnicity, (c) age, (d) disability, (e) sexual orientation and (f) religion or belief of its staff; and what assessment he has made of his Departments performance against its targets relating to diversity in its workforce. 
Ann McKechin: All staff in the Scotland Office are on secondment from the Scottish Executive or the Ministry of Justice. Information relating to the diversity of staff are held by the parent Departments.
Mrs. Moon: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how much was spent by his Department on furniture made by (a) British firms, (b) Remploy and (c) overseas firms in each year since 2000. 
Ann McKechin: The Scotland Office has generally, but not exclusively, obtained office furniture through central procurement contracts set-up by the Scottish Executive. The Office does not separately identify the source of supply.
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