|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Maria Eagle: A budget is set for Travel, Subsistence and Hospitality. The cost of entertainment provided in the course of furthering departmental business falls within this budget. There is, however, no departmental requirement to separately report expenditure on entertainment and therefore no separate budget for entertainment is held. The element of the Travel, Subsistence and Hospitality budget that relates to entertainment could be separately estimated only at a disproportionate cost.
All expenditure on entertainment is in line with the Ministry's internal Finance Policy Manual and its Gifts and Hospitality Policy, which set out mandatory guidance for all staff regarding the use of public funds. Both are consistent with the Treasury guidance on Managing Public Money, and the Treasury handbook on Propriety and Regularity.
Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many and what percentage of letters sent by his Department were given to (a) the Royal Mail and (b) another postal services provider for delivery in the last 12 months; and if he will make a statement. 
Information about the volume of correspondence sent by Royal Mail is not held centrally and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.
Regarding the use of other commercial delivery services, the former DCA used one other licensed carrier, DX Network Services. Volumetric data for this financial year are currently being collated and will be available in April 2009.
In respect of spend for the 2007-08 financial year, the Department spent £10.49 million (77 per cent.) with Royal Mail, compared with £3.1 million (23 per cent.) with DX Network Services.
DX Network Services provides a cost effective and efficient mail service between courts, to the legal profession and other business addresses.
Information about the volume of correspondence sent by Royal Mail and other commercial delivery services is not available and could only be provided at disproportionate cost.
Postage is handled on an individual Prison basis and there are no central contracts for mail collection and distribution; volumes are not recorded either.
Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what information his Department holds on the number of persons appointed to executive positions in bodies for which his Department has responsibility who previously had careers in the banking industry. 
Mr. Wills: The Ministry of Justice does not centrally hold information on the number of persons appointed to executive positions in bodies for which we are responsible, who have previously had careers in the banking industry. To collate this information would necessitate enquiring of all those in executive positions across a significant number of MOJ bodies, which would incur disproportionate cost.
Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what payments for (a) polling and (b) other services his Department has made to (i) Deborah Mattinson and (ii) Opinion Leader Research Limited since 31 December 2007; and if he will make a statement. 
All NDPBs, NPS, and the Scotland Office are excluded from this response as their details are held separately and to gather it would exceed the cost limit. Information can be separately requested from the individual offices if required.
The Ministry of Justice also provides in-house one-to-one coaching on presentation skills. This course covers what a presentation is and when to use the medium; tools to plan and prepare; using appropriate visual aids; and how to keep the audience listening and interested. 310 people have attended this course over the last 12 months.
As part of the tools to plan and prepare element of the presentation skills course, delegates are given an explanation of appropriate pitch, tone and pace of voice. Records are not kept on requests by delegates to enlarge on that subject.
Dr. Iddon: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice when Ministers in his Department last visited (a) Jersey and (b) Guernsey; and whether the importation of health foods and food supplements from the Channel Islands to the UK was discussed on such visits. 
Mr. Wills: A ministerial visit was made to Guernsey on 10 and 11 February 2009, the importation of health foods and health food supplements were discussed. A ministerial visit was last made to Jersey on 10 May 2004, the importation of health foods and health food supplements were not discussed on this occasion. It is anticipated that there will be a ministerial visit to Jersey in the near future.
A total unit cost of £6,000 per order for DTTOs was calculated from the experience of the pilots run from 1998 to 2000. This was split into approximately £2,000 for offender supervision/management costs and £4,000 for treatment costs, with the latter paid into the Department of Health pooled treatment budget and the remainder met by probation areas from main funding.
Significant regional variations in Drug (and Alcohol) Action Team (D(A)AT) commissioning practice and costs of treatment modalities have made it difficult to establish unit costs for DRRs since the pilots.
The National Offender Management Service plans to undertake a piece of analysis, informed by work on treatment costs being undertaken by the National Treatment Agency, to establish more accurately the unit cost of a DRR.
The most recent analysis of the drug rehabilitation requirements (DRRs) caseload was carried out at the end of 2007-08. At that time there were 10,519 DRRs and 187 Drug Treatment and Testing Orders (DTTOs) in force.
The following table shows the number of starts, completions, orders where breach proceedings were instigated and revocation of orders for drug rehabilitation requirements (DRRs) or Drug Treatment and Testing Orders (DTTOs) in each of the last three financial years for which full information is available.
The proportion of offenders successfully completing DTTOs/DRRs has risen significantly from 28 per cent. in 2003 to 43 per cent. in 2007-08. This is encouraging because we know from research that offenders who complete orders have significantly lower reconviction rates (53 per cent.) than those that don't (91 per cent.), although it is not possible to attribute this difference entirely to the programme.
|DRR/DTTO starts||DRR/DTTO completions||Orders where breach proceedings were instigated||Revocation of the order for failure to comply|
Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice if he will publish the guidance issued by his Department to electoral registration officers on visits to the houses of people who have failed to register. 
Mr. Wills: The Electoral Administration Act 2006 introduced a new, explicit requirement for electoral registration officers (EROs) to take all steps that are necessary for the purpose of complying with their duty to maintain the electoral registers. These steps, as set out in the legislation, include sending the canvass form more than once, making house to house inquiries in connection with the canvass, making contact by such other means as the ERO thinks appropriate with a person who does not have an entry in the register, and inspecting any record that the ERO is permitted by law to inspect.
Issuing guidelines for EROs falls within the Electoral Commission's remit and they published a guidance manual on all aspects of managing electoral registration to support EROs in Great Britain on 24 February 2008. This manual is regularly updated and specifically deals with matters in relation to undertaking an annual canvass, the appointment of canvassers and the requirement to make house visits to non-responding households.
Mr. Wills: The form to be used by Electoral Registration Officers (EROs) for the annual canvass must be that prescribed for the purpose of the canvass or a form to like effect, in accordance with section 10(4) of the Representation of the People Act 1983. The prescribed form is set out in Regulations, for example in England and Wales the form is set out in its entirety in the Schedule to the Representation of the People (Form of Canvass) (England and Wales) Regulations (SI 2006/1694).
The design of rolling registration forms is a matter for EROs: but such forms must contain the detailed information required by Regulation 26 of the Representation of the People (England and Wales) Regulations 2001 (SI 2001/341). The Electoral Commission has designed a form that EROs may use. Electors may register to vote by simply writing to their ERO enclosing the required declaration, information and their signature. This can help to speed up the registration process for electors and thus the Government have no current plan to prescribe a rolling registration form in legislation. However, we will consider the need for all electoral registration forms to be identically-worded and whether a rolling registration form should be prescribed, particularly in view of the Government proposal to allow for the collection of personal identifiers on a voluntary basis.
Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice whether his Department reimburses local authority chief executives for their work on electoral administration; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Wills: Under section 8 of the Representation of the People Act (RPA) 1983, each local authority must appoint an officer of the local authority to be electoral registration officer (ERO), responsible for maintaining the electoral register in the local authority area. Under section 35 of the RPA 1983, each local authority must appoint an officer of the local authority to be returning officer for local elections in that area. Local authority chief executives are often appointed as ERO and returning officer for their local authority.
Under section 28 of the RPA 1983, the duties of the returning officer for constituencies at a parliamentary election will be discharged by the ERO appointed by the local authority (as acting returning officer). Under section 6 of the European Parliamentary Elections Act 2002, at European parliamentary elections, acting returning officers for parliamentary elections will act as local returning officers for the purposes of administering the election. However, the Local Elections (Ordinary Day of Elections in 2009) Order 2008, which provides for the local government elections in England in 2009 to take place on the same day as the European parliamentary elections
on 4 June 2009, amends the European Parliamentary Elections Act 2002 to provide that the European elections on 4 June will be administered in England by local authority returning officers.
Maria Eagle: The Secretary of State for Justice does not issue guidance to courts on sentencing disposals. This function is exercised by the independent Sentencing Guidelines Council. In May 2008, they published the Magistrates Court Sentencing Guidelines which cover most of the offences regularly coming before a magistrates court, including that of making a false statement or representation to obtain social security benefit. The guideline can be found on the Sentencing Guidelines Councils website at:
Mr. Ancram: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what guidance his Department provides to other Government departments on the legal requirements which they must meet when undertaking public consultations. 
Mr. Wills: The Ministry of Justice does not provide guidance to other Government departments on the legal requirements that they must meet when undertaking public consultations as, in general, each department will rely on its in-house legal advice.
Chris Huhne: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many of those convicted of murder of a woman in each of the last five years had a previous conviction for domestic violence or had previously been reported to the police for domestic violence. 
Mr. Hanson: The requested information is not available. The Ministry of Justices extract of data from the police national computer can provide information on the previous convictions of offenders. However, the database does not enable us to identify offences involving domestic violence, nor does it include information on the gender of murder victims.
Mr. Straw: The Governments White Paper on Lords reform was published on 14 July 2008 following cross-party talks. Building on the consensus established in the talks, the Government intend to develop detailed proposals to be put to the electorate as a manifesto commitment at the next general election. Legislation would then be possible in the next Parliament.
The White Paper set out three possible models for managing the transition to a fully reformed Chamber. The timetable for completing the transition to a fully reformed second Chamber will be very much determined by which of these models is adopted.
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|