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23 Feb 2009 : Column 48W—continued


Compensatory payments authorised by month by the Child Support Agency and the Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission

Number of payments authorised Value of payments authorised (£000)

2008

January

1,461

4,623

February

1,852

5,689

March

1,351

4,583

April

1,772

6,744

May

1,759

5,416

June

1,474

3,686

July

1,624

3,975

August

1,254

2,747

September

1,072

2,639

October

1,304

3,476

November

964

2,853

December

1,190

2,302

Notes: 1. The figures represent the number of payments authorised in each month. 2. Figures for the amount paid have been rounded to the nearest hundred pounds. 3. The figures do not include special payments awarded on an extra statutory basis or as part of a special exercise. 4. The Pension Service and the Disability and Carers Service were brought together into a single agency from 1 April 2008. The figures quoted reflect payments authorised by the Pension Service element of the new agency. 5. The Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission replaced the Child Support Agency from 1 November 2008.

Council Tax Benefits: Greater London

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many outstanding unprocessed (a) council tax benefit and (b) housing benefit claims
23 Feb 2009 : Column 49W
there were in each London borough in each (i) quarter of each year from 1998 to 2008 and (ii) of the last 12 months; and what the average number of days taken to process (A) council tax benefit and (B) housing benefit applications was in each London borough in each (1) quarter of each year from 1998 to 2008 and (2) of the last 12 months. [257175]

Kitty Ussher: I refer the hon. Member to the written answer I gave the hon. Member for Northavon (Steve Webb) on 5 February 2009, Official Report, column 1417W.

Crisis Loans

John Penrose: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) how many and what percentage of refusals of crisis loan applications were (a) subject to appeal and (b) overturned on appeal in each of the last four years; [255324]

(2) how long on average it took for successful crisis loan applicants to receive payment in each of the last four years; [255325]

(3) how long the process of appealing against refusal of a crisis loan application took on average in each of the last four years. [255326]

Kitty Ussher: A first review is a review at Jobcentre Plus requested by an applicant. Data are not available on the number of refusals of crisis loan applications which were (a) subject to first review and (b) overturned on first review. This is because some crisis loan applicants apply for a review of a partial award and data are only available on the number of all crisis loan applications which were (a) subject to first review and (b) overturned on first review. Similarly, data are not available on the average time taken to process a first review of a refusal of a crisis loan application, but are only available on the average time taken to process all first reviews of crisis loan applications.

Information regarding reviews by the Independent Review Service is a matter for the social fund commissioner.

Crisis loan awards for items are normally sent by post, so data are not available on the average time taken for successful crisis loan applicants to receive payment. However, data are available on the average time taken to process all crisis loan applications, but not on the average time taken to process successful applications only.

Crisis Loans: North East

Dr. Kumar: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the average time was for decisions to be taken on crisis loan applications in the North East in each month of 2008; and if he will make a statement. [254916]

Kitty Ussher: The available information is provided in the following table.


23 Feb 2009 : Column 50W
Crisis loan applications in the North East in 2008 by month
Month Average actual clearance time (working days)

January

1.3

February

1.3

March

1.3

April

1.3

May

1.3

June

1.2

July

1.3

August

1.3

September

1.2

October

1.2

November

1.2

December

1.4

Notes:
1. The clearance time for an individual crisis loan application is measured in whole working days from the date the application is received until the date the decision is taken on whether to make a loan offer, plus, if a loan offer is made, the number of whole working days between receiving the applicant’s reply to the offer and the recording of that reply. The minimum clearance time recorded for an individual crisis loan application is one working day, even if the application is cleared immediately.
2. Numbers are based on applications cleared in each month, not on applications received during that month.
Source:
DWP Social Fund Policy, Budget and Management Information System

Departmental Data Protection

Paul Holmes: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many members of staff in his Department have been (a) investigated, (b) suspended and (c) dismissed for losing (i) memory sticks, (ii) laptop computers, (iii) desktop computers and (iv) mobile telephones belonging to his Department in each year since 1997. [248255]

Jonathan Shaw: Information on the numbers of staff in the Department for Work and Pensions that have been (a) investigated, (b) suspended and (c) dismissed for losing (i) memory sticks, (ii) laptop computers, (iii) desktop computers and (iv) mobile telephones belonging to the Department in each year since 1997 is not available in the format requested.

The Department for Work and Pensions records the numbers of staff investigated, suspended and dismissed for misconduct under general headings, but does not record this information under the specific categories requested. To extract more detailed information from individual records under the categories requested would be at disproportionate cost.

Departments have taken urgent and decisive action across government to improve data handing including minimising the amount of data put on removable media, encryption programmes for data and mobile devices that carry personal protected data and the introduction of training and education programmes to improve staff awareness of information risks.

Government take data security very seriously which is why a report into data handling procedures across government was commissioned and new measures to improve and strengthen controls in the protection of personal data were introduced.

Following publication of the Data Handling Report in June 2008, the Department for Work and Pensions has clarified its disciplinary rules and standards of behaviour to reinforce security measures around the safeguarding of data and equipment.


23 Feb 2009 : Column 51W

Departmental Databases

Mrs. Laing: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what his most recent estimate is of the number of inaccurate records held on his Department's customer information system. [256069]

Jonathan Shaw: The DWP customer information system (CIS) holds over 90 million records, of which around 35 million relate to people receiving benefits who have an obligation to report changes to their personal information. There is no such obligation for those people who are not receiving benefits and for that reason it is not possible to provide an estimate of the number of records which may contain details which are not up to date.

The Department has put in place procedures to ensure that queries about the accuracy of personal information held on the customer information system are dealt with as soon as they are identified.

Departmental Disciplinary Proceedings

Grant Shapps: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many staff in his Department were disciplined for (a) bullying and (b) harassment of colleagues in each of the last three years. [254080]

Jonathan Shaw: This information is not available in the format requested. To extract more detailed information from individual records under the category requested would be at disproportionate cost.

Departmental Foreign Workers

David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many (a) EU foreign nationals and (b) non-EU foreign nationals are employed by his Department. [256195]

Jonathan Shaw: The information requested on (a) EU foreign national and (b) non-EU foreign nationals employed by the Department for Work and Pensions is not available and to obtain it would involve disproportionate cost.


23 Feb 2009 : Column 52W

Departmental ICT

Jenny Willott: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the (a) original expected cost, (b) original expected delivery date, (c) actual cost incurred and (d) actual delivery date was of each ICT project undertaken and completed by his Department in each year since 1997; who the contractors for each project were; what the (i) initial estimated and (ii) outturn payment to each contractor was; and if he will make a statement. [251145]

Jonathan Shaw: The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) was created in June 2001. Prior to that, the provision of detailed project information was the responsibility of different departments and agencies.

Although the DWP does not have any discrete IT projects, it has a number of projects and programmers that include changes to, or new enabling, IT to a greater or lesser extent.

At present the Department has over 200 change projects, a number of which have an IT element which is critical to the success of the project. The number of projects in train at any one time will vary and the duration of the project lifecycle is usually more than one calendar year.

Information on projects that completed more than 4 years ago could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

The information requested in relation to contractor payments is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

The following table shows:


23 Feb 2009 : Column 53W

23 Feb 2009 : Column 54W
Table 1: completed projects
Project Original expected costs (i) (£ million rounded) Actual costs of project (ii) (£ million rounded) Original expected delivery date (iii) Actual deliver/date (iv) Main IT contractors (v)

Pensions Forecasting

72

75

April 2003

July 2005

Accord and Affinity (EDS consortium)

WATCh 2

56

52

October 2006

October 2006

IBM and EDS

State Pension Deferral Project

7

6

April 2006

April 2006

Accenture

Real Time Pensions Forecasts(RTPF)— Strategic Alignment

1

1

February 2007

May 2007

Accenture and EDS

Resource Management

96

207

April 2005

April 2007

Oracle, Fujitsu and EDS

Customer Management System(previously known as Working Age Services Modernisation Project (WASMP)

252

268

April 2008

April 2008

IBM and EDS

HR IS/IT Programme

63

52

March 2006

March 2006

EDS

Centralisation of Benefit Processing

140

118

March 2008

March 2008

BT and EDS

Provider-Led Pathways to Work

17

10

April 2008

April 2008

EDS

DWPIT Transformation Programme (inc TREDSS & ICONS)

169

155

July 2008

December 2008

BT and EDS

Fraud Referrals and Interventions Management System

12

30

October 2007

June 2008

IBM and EDS


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