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26 Jan 2009 : Column 68W—continued

Departmental Complaints

Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what steps he plans to take to make his Department's customer information system compliant with Cabinet Office rules; and when he expects this will be achieved. [249682]

Jonathan Shaw [holding answer 20 January 2009]: The Cabinet Office published requirements for accreditation of IT systems only apply to those systems that were introduced after 1 July 2008, and are not retrospective. However, the Department is currently reviewing the technical options that will enable the Customer Information System to meet the new requirements. Until this review has been completed, it is not possible to confirm the timescale for this work.

All IT systems that become operational from 1 July 2008 will be formally accredited.

Departmental Data Protection

Mr. Vara: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many contracts (a) his Department and (b) its agencies have 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. [245352]

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Jonathan Shaw: There are no instances where the Department or its agencies have authorised, through any contracts, the storage of personal data overseas.

Mr. Vara: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions 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; and what grade the person holds within the Department. [245373]

Jonathan Shaw: The Department’s head of legal group was appointed senior information risk owner as from 1 September 2008. Prior to that date, the Department’s chief information officer performed the role. Both are directors general, and are members of the Department’s Executive team.

Mr. Vara: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what percentage of the IT systems in (a) his Department and (b) its agencies are fully accredited to the Government's security standards. [245394]

Jonathan Shaw: All IT systems that have become operational since 1 July 2008 are formally accredited.

For systems that were operational before that date, there is no requirement under the Data Handling Review for formal accreditation. Nevertheless, all current systems are routinely assessed for compliance against the Department's Information Systems Security Standards, and are fully authorised for use. Any residual risks have been identified and are being managed.

Departmental Equality

Philip Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions 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 Department's performance against its targets relating to diversity in its workforce. [246017]

Jonathan Shaw: The Department for Work and Pensions holds the following information on the diversity of its work force:

(a) 68.5 per cent. of DWP staff are women;

(b) 10.2 per cent. of staff have disclosed that they are from an ethnic minority;

(c) The age breakdown of DWP staff is














(d) 5.7 per cent. of staff have disclosed that they are disabled.

(e) A new system to allow staff to disclose their sexual orientation was introduced in April 2008. As we would
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expect at this early stage, the disclosure rate has yet to reach a level that could allow the current data to be considered representative.

(f) DWP does not monitor the religion or belief of its staff at present but will start to do so in order to meet its commitments under the Civil Service Diversity Strategy.

The Department's performance against its diversity targets is monitored regularly and is reported in its equality schemes. The latest available figures (from October 2008) show that DWP's performance against its 2008 diversity targets was as follows:

Grade Target Representation in October 2008


Senior Civil Service



Grade 6/Grade 7










Senior Civil Service PB2 and above



All Senior Civil Service



Grade 6



Grade 7







Grade 6/Grade 7/SEO









Results show a marked improvement in the Department's performance since 2002, both at SCS level, and at feeder grade levels—with an increase in female staff at Grade 6 and Grade 7 of nearly 20 per cent. and ethnic minority representation rates more than doubling at grades HEO, 6, 7 and SCS over the same period.

However, there remains work to be done—women and ethnic minority staff remain under-represented at senior grades, and there has been little change to the proportion of disabled staff at all grades since 2002.

New targets for 2011 covering gender, ethnicity and disability will be published shortly. DWP does not currently have targets relating to age, sexual orientation or religion or belief.

Departmental ICT

Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what assessment of value for money he has made of his Department's IT contracts with (a) BT and (b) EDS. [246682]

Jonathan Shaw: Since the realignment of the EDS and BT contracts in 2005 the overall combined spend with EDS and BT is on track to reduce by around 40 per cent. from the overall spend of £840 million in 2005-06 to around £508 million by 2010-11.

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At the same time IT operational performance has improved, with all 25 of the Department's major critical systems available 100 per cent. of the time in August 2008.

The BT contract has also provided the Department with a single modern converged telephony data network that has enabled new contact centre technology, offering major improvement dealing effectively with the growth in customer call volumes.

Departmental Languages

Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many (a) Ministers and (b) civil servants in his Department received coaching in a foreign language in the last 12 months; what expenditure his Department incurred in providing such coaching; and in what languages such coaching was provided. [248070]

Jonathan Shaw: The information requested is not retained centrally; to obtain this information would incur disproportionate costs.

Departmental Sick Leave

Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions pursuant to the answer of 13 January 2008 to question 245661, how many days staff took as sick leave from (a) his Department and (b) its agencies in the 12 months from 1 December 2007 to 30 November 2008; what the average number of working days lost per staff year in his Department and in each agency was during that 12 month period; and if he will make a statement. [249183]

Jonathan Shaw: The information was contained in my earlier answer on 13 January 2009, Official Report, column 575W, in the table headed 2008-09.

In the notes to the previous answer, it was stated that the information contained in the table 2008-09 covered the period from December 2007 to November 2008.

The following table provides the required information.

Data for 12 month period from 1 December 2007 to 30 November 2008
Business Working days lost Average working days lost per staff year

Jobcentre Plus



Disability and Carers Service



The Pension Service



Other, including central directorates






1. The table reflects data currently held on the Department's personnel computer system.
2. The averages shown are the average per full time staff year, rather than per employee, to take account of part-time workers.
3. Any difference between the sum of the agency figures and the total for DWP is due to rounding.

Departmental Surveys

Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how much his Department's central media and communication unit spent on public surveys in each of the last three years. [247925]

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Jonathan Shaw: Quantitative and qualitative research is an integral part of the development of communications campaigns. The cost of such is often included within those campaign development costs and the specific costs are not held separately. To attempt to extract those costs, covering a three year period, would be at disproportionate cost to the tax payer.

My Communications Department has also conducted omnibus surveys on public attitudes to the Government's welfare reform programme and a small amount of research on attitudes to savings and retirement in the last three years.

Details per financial year are provided in the following table.

Cost (£)







Disability Living Allowance

Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many claimants received awards of disability living allowance on the basis of drug or alcohol dependency in each of the last 11 years. [248761]

Jonathan Shaw: Entitlement to disability living allowance is not dependent on a diagnosis or condition but relies instead on the care and/or mobility needs arising. In the case of someone with drug or alcohol dependency, needs may arise as a result of their substance dependence or a physical or mental complication caused by drugs or alcohol. Many people with drug or alcohol dependence have an underlying psychiatric illness. Information about the number of people receiving disability living allowance where the main disabling condition is recorded as drug and alcohol abuse is in the following table.

Disability living allowance cases in payment where the main disabling condition is recorded as drug and alcohol abuse
As at May each year Number























1. Figures are rounded to the nearest 100 and have been uprated to be consistent with WPLS data.
2. Although the preferred data source for benefit statistics is 100 per cent. Work and Pensions Longitudinal Study, the 5 per cent. sample data has been used in this case because it provides some detail not yet available from the 100 per cent data sources, in particular, more complete information on the disabling condition of Disability Living Allowance claimants.
3. Where more than one disability is present only the main disabling condition is recorded.
4. A diagnosed medical condition does not mean that someone is automatically entitled to Disability Living Allowance. Entitlement is dependent on an assessment of how much help someone needs with personal care and/or mobility because of their disability. These statistics are only collected for administrative purposes. For example, a customer would not be awarded Disability Living Allowance on the basis of a diagnosis of drug/alcohol abuse. The decision is based upon the care/supervision and difficulty getting around as a result of the substance dependency and any associated physical or psychological complications.
Department for Work and Pensions, Information Directorate, 5 per cent sample.

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