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|April 2007 to March 2008|
|DWP by business||Actual||Attempted||Verbal||Total|
Mr. Allen: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) if he will ensure that his Department does not enter into contracts with faith-based organisations which have policies and procedures which do not comply with equalities legislation; 
(2) what his Department's policy is on whether contracts may be awarded to faith-based organisations which engage the exemptions for religious organisations provided for by the (a) Employment Equality (Religion or Belief) Regulations 2003 and (b) Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2003; 
(3) what measures are in place to ensure religious organisations working under contract with his Department do not discriminate in their employment practices on grounds of (a) religious belief or (b) sexual orientation. 
Jonathan Shaw: The Department has a separate contract with an independent external organisation to check that providers have appropriate diversity and equality policies in place; these checks are made before contracts are awarded, and repeated annually thereafter.
Contracts are awarded in accordance with existing EU and UK law including those relevant to equality including faith and sexual orientation. Successful suppliers to the Department are required to act lawfully and in accordance with relevant legislation including any provisions regarding unlawful discrimination, and exceptions regarding genuine occupational requirements and proportionality. A potential supplier failing to agree to the terms of contract would not be successful at contract award.
The compliance of external providers with standards of diversity and equality is regularly monitored by my Department's contract management staff. Contracts can be terminated in the event of a serious breach of these standards.
Jonathan Shaw: In dealing with correspondence, the Department does not differentiate between letters and emails. However, no central record is held of the vast number of letters and e-mails the Department for Work and Pensions and its agencies receives and deals with; this information could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.
The Cabinet Office, on an annual basis, publishes a report to Parliament on the performance of Departments in replying to Members and 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.
Jonathan Shaw: The Department has adopted appropriate industry best practice security controls, including encryption, in respect of its portable data storage devices and key databases. It is not in the public interest to describe those controls. I refer the hon. Member to the answer of 17 December 2008, Official Report, column 826W, which sets out the Department's approach to data and information security.
Mr. Vara: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions when his Department's customer information system was accredited to Government security standards in accordance with measures set out in the report Data Handling Procedures in Government: final Report and the document Cross Government Actions: Mandatory Minimum Measures. 
Jonathan Shaw: The requirements for accreditation set out in the Data Handling Procedures in Government: Final Report, relate to new systems introduced after 1 July 2008. The Customer Information System was first accredited for compliance with the Department's Information System Security Standards in 2005 and is currently undergoing re-accreditation.
Mr. Vara: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many cases of internal fraud there have been in (a) each section of his Department and (b) each of his Departments agencies in each of the last five years. 
Jonathan Shaw: Information is not available in the exact format requested. I refer the hon. Member to the answers given on 3 June 2008, Official Report, columns 804-05W. We are able to provide the breakdown of staff in each agency in 2003-04 and 2004-05 as set out in the following table. From 2005-06 onwards HM Treasury reporting requires details at departmental level only. This analysis is consistent with the way in which the Department reports to HM Treasury on internal fraud.
Mr. Vara: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many (a) staff and (b) contractors with (i) each section of his Department and (ii) each of his Department's agencies have been disciplined for fraudulent activity in each of the last five years. 
Jonathan Shaw: Information on the numbers of (a) staff and (b) contractors with (i) each section of the Department for Work and Pensions and (ii) each of the Departments agencies that have been disciplined for fraudulent activity in each of the last five years is not available in the format requested.
The Department for Work and Pensions records the numbers of staff disciplined for fraudulent activity under the general heading of Fraud, Theft and Loss of DWP funds. No additional information has been recorded to break down this information further. To extract more detailed information from individual records under the category requested would be at disproportionate cost. The information provided in the following table shows the number of staff disciplined under the category Fraud, Theft and Loss to DWP funds since April 2007 by departmental agency.
The Department does not collect statistical data on employees working for the Departments contracted providers because they are not employees of the Department and disciplinary action is a matter for the contracting organisation as an employer. The Department does take action to recover any inappropriately claimed funding as a result of actions by contractors staff, although no central records of this are kept.
|Agency||1 April 2007-31 March 2008||1 April 2008-17 December 2008||Agency total|
Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions which of his Department's computer systems use (a) real time and (b) batch interfaces for the transfer of data between departmental computer systems. 
It would not be in the public interest to disclose details of the applications and arrangements that govern data transfer. I refer the hon. Member to the answer given on 17 December 2008, Official Report column 826W, which sets out the Department's approach to data and information security.
Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will place in the Library a copy of (a) system maps, (b) user guides, (c) project initiation documents from the time of implementation, (d) system notes and (e) interface details/charts for financial and non-financial IT systems in place within (i) his Department and (ii) its agencies. 
Jonathan Shaw [holding answer 11 December 2008]: The Department has 149 major application systems, the documentation for which often contains information which may be prejudicial to the security of those systems and its disclosure would not be in the public interest. I refer the hon. Member to the answer given on 17 December 2008, Official Report column 826W, which sets out the Department's approach to data and information security.
Grant Shapps: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many special advisers were employed in his Department at each pay band on 30 November 2008; and what his Department's total expenditure on special advisers was in 2007-08. 
Jonathan Shaw: The Government are committed to publishing an annual list detailing the number and costs of special advisers. Information for 2007-08 was published by my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister on 22 July 2008, Official Report, columns 99-102WS.
Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many days staff took as sick leave in (a) his Department and (b) its agencies in each of the last three years for which figures are available; what the average number of days of sick leave per member of staff was in each year; and if he will make a statement. 
|Business||Working days lost||Average working days lost per staff year|
|Business||Working days lost||Average working days lost per staff year|
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