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21 Jan 2009 : Column 1442W—continued


Waterloo Station

Stephen Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what his most recent estimate is of the cost of the track works outside Waterloo station required to bring the old Eurostar platforms into use for commuter services; and what the annual cost of maintaining these platforms is. [249043]

Paul Clark: Network Rail is currently developing the options and undertaking the detailed cost analysis of carrying out the works to bring the old Eurostar platforms into use for domestic services. The cost analysis should be available in the spring.

The platforms at Waterloo International are an integral part of the terminal building which is operated and managed by BRB (Residuary) Ltd (BRBR) as a single site. As such it is not possible to accurately determine the cost of maintaining the platforms on a stand alone basis. The total annual costs of managing the entire facility are in the order of £2.5 million. These costs are partially offset by rental income of approximately £340,000 per annum and BRBR are looking for further opportunities to generate income while the terminal is non-operational.

Work and Pensions

Child Support Agency: Debt Collection

Ms Keeble: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what steps the Government takes to monitor the debt collection strategies of bailiffs appointed by the Child Support Agency. [241926]

Kitty Ussher: The Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission is responsible for the child maintenance system. I have therefore asked the Commissioner to write to the hon. Member with the information requested.

Letter from Stephen Geraghty:

Child Support Agency: ICT

Mr. Donaldson: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions when he expects the transfer of historical child maintenance cases on to the Child Support Agency's new system for calculating maintenance payments to be complete. [249016]

Kitty Ussher [holding answer 19 January 2009]: The Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission is responsible for the child maintenance system. I have therefore asked the Commissioner to write to the hon. Member with the information requested.

Letter from Stephen Geraghty:


21 Jan 2009 : Column 1443W

Children: Maintenance

Andrew Selous: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the (a) mean and (b) median number of days was for child maintenance to be sent to parents with care after the non-resident parent had made payment (i) in the most recent period for which figures are available and (ii) over the last three years. [245228]

Kitty Ussher [holding answer 18 December 2008]: The administration of the child maintenance system is a matter for the Commissioner of the Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission. He will write to the hon. Member with the information requested.

Letter from Stephen Geraghty:


21 Jan 2009 : Column 1444W
The mean and median number of days for child maintenance to be forwarded to the parents with care after the non-resident parent made payment, from September 2006-09
Receipt received Mean days Median days

September 2006

13.2

2

October 2006

12.0

2

November 2006

11.9

2

December 2006

11.5

2

January 2007

9.9

2

February 2007

9.7

2

March 2007

9.2

2

April 2007

9.3

2

May 2007

8.5

2

June 2007

7.5

2

July 2007

7.4

2

August 2007

7.3

2

September 2007

7.4

2

October 2007

6.9

2

November 2007

5.8

2

December 2007

5.3

2

January 2008

4.7

2

February 2008

4.3

2

March 2008

4.4

2

April 2008

3.9

2

May 2008

4.1

2

June 2008

3.5

2

July 2008

3.4

2

August 2008

2.9

2

September 2008

2.2

1

Notes:
1. Only includes receipts and payments for cases held on the current computer system (CS2) and represents 70 per cent. of the Agency caseload. Management information is not available for the 30 per cent. of cases held on the old computer system (CSCS).
2. Information provided calculates time between receipt arriving in Agency’s bank account and the Agency forwarding payment to the parent with care.
3. Mean—the average number of days taken, which will take into account all payments, including the minority of payments where there has been a significant delay, and as such can be significantly altered by a few extreme cases.
Median—the middle figure in a series.

Mr. Rooney: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions in what proportion of new claims for (a) income support and (b) jobseeker's allowance by parents with care the applicant opted to apply to the Child Support Agency for child maintenance in each of the last three years. [249026]

Kitty Ussher: The Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission is responsible for the child maintenance system. I have therefore asked the Child Maintenance Commissioner to write to the hon. Member with the information requested.

Letter from Stephen Geraghty, dated 21 January 2009:


21 Jan 2009 : Column 1445W

Crisis Loans: Telephone Services

John Penrose: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) what proportion of calls to the Crisis Loan Helpline have been dropped or cut off before being answered in each of the last 12 months; [248605]

(2) how long it has taken to answer calls to the Crisis Loan Helpline on average in each of the last 12 months. [248606]

Kitty Ussher: The information requested is not available.

Departmental Data Protection

Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions for what reasons his Department's customer information system does not meet Cabinet Office rules for personal data. [249656]

Jonathan Shaw: The Cabinet Office's requirements for accreditation apply only to IT systems which were introduced after 1 July 2008.

Departmental ICT

Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will place a copy of his Department's IT strategy in the Library. [246678]

Jonathan Shaw: The Department's IT strategy is available to the public, and will be placed in the Library. It consists of two documents:

Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will place a copy of his Department's skills framework for IT staff in the Library. [246679]

Jonathan Shaw: The Department uses the Skills Framework for the Information Age (SFIA), which has been adopted by the Government IT profession. A copy of the current (December 2008) version will be placed in the Library.

Departmental Procurement

Alan Duncan: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what proportion of invoices for goods and services procured from small and medium-sized businesses were paid within 10 days of receipt by
21 Jan 2009 : Column 1446W
(a) his Department and (b) the agencies for which his Department is responsible in (i) 2006-07 and (ii) 2007-08; and if he will make a statement. [243360]

Jonathan Shaw: Until October 2008 the Department for Work and Pensions was required to monitor and publish payment performance against a 30-day payment target and does not therefore currently publish information about payment within 10 days. However, following the PM's commitment of 8 October that central Government Departments will make payment within 10 days, we will additionally report 10-day payment performance from the period January to March 2009.

The Department for Work and Pensions does not currently publish information about size of suppliers. We do not discriminate by size because many SMEs can be found within larger supply chains.

The Department for Work and Pensions welcomes the statement by the Prime Minister at Prime Minister's Questions on 8 October 2008 and the Department has made changes to its payment process in order to meet this commitment as soon as possible.


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