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The Department’s arrangements to ensure compliance with these measures comprise a system of self-assessment, accreditation, assurance reporting, audit and review.

Depending upon the circumstances of particular incidents involving staff, a range of sanctions are available to the Department, including disciplinary or administrative action and, in extreme or persistent cases, termination of employment and, if appropriate, criminal proceedings. Information is not collected centrally on the occasions when IT security policies have been broken by employees, and it would involve disproportionate cost to obtain these details.

The Department does not publish its security hierarchy, as this could pose a threat to the security of information by exposing vulnerabilities which could be exposed for unlawful purposes.

Similarly, it is not in the interest of the security of the Department, or that of the public, to disclose detailed information pertaining to electronic breaches of security of the Department's IT systems. Disclosing such information could enable criminals and those who would attempt to cause disruptive threats to the Department to deduce how to conduct attacks and therefore potentially enhance their capability to carry out such attacks.

Departmental Postal Services

Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions 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. [259969]

Jonathan Shaw: DWP postal volumes delivered by Royal Mail Group over the past 12 months were approximately 200 million items to customers; this was 67 per cent. of all DWP postal services.

DWP postal volumes delivered by other postal providers over the same period are as follows:

DWP remains committed to using Royal Mail postal services and we have developed a range of joint initiatives to further enhance our relationship and deliver postal efficiencies. DWP is also monitoring the developing postal marketplace for best value for money opportunities for taxpayers.

Departmental Translation Services

Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many language translators are employed in each of his Department's executive agencies; and what the cost of translating services provided by such people was in the latest period for which information is available. [257157]

Jonathan Shaw: The DWP provides a range of language translation services for customers across Great Britain (as Northern Ireland is excluded), namely:

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DWP has 154 staff with foreign language speaking skills which are used alongside their normal duties and for which they receive an annual allowance of £730 per annum. There are also 557 staff with foreign language speaking skills who provide additional cover and receive an annual allowance of £310 per annum. These services are used on an ad hoc basis and their overall cost is not maintained on a central basis.

The Department routinely offers a bilingual service to customers living in Wales, generally delivered by members of staff, without any allowances being paid to them.

NDPB's have access to our frameworks but we do not hold centrally any data relating to their specific spend, if any, via these services. To ascertain this would incur disproportionate cost.

The information requested is given in the following table:

Type of service Number of suppliers 2007-08 spend( 1) (£ million)

Face to face translation



Telephone interpreting



Ethnic translation (documents)



Welsh language






Audio formats



Easy read documents



(1) 2007-08 is the last full financial year of recorded data that we can provide.
(2) Not available as included in creative design costs.

Disability Living Allowance: Hemel Hempstead

Mike Penning: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many nationals of each non-UK EU member state were in receipt of disability living allowance at each rate in Hemel Hempstead in the most recent period in which figures are available. [263235]

Jonathan Shaw: The information is not collected centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Invalidity Benefits: Costs

Mr. Clappison: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the additional cost is estimated to be of the new rates of invalidity allowance in support of the alignment of the rates of incapacity benefit and employment and support allowance in the first 12 months in which they have effect; what the estimated average increase in the relevant benefit payment to claimants will be as a result of the alignment; and what that increase will be expressed as a percentage. [259126]

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Jonathan Shaw [holding answer 2 March 2009]: The White Paper, ‘Raising expectations and increasing support’, announced measures to smooth the transition to employment and support allowance for existing incapacity benefit customers by starting to align their benefit rates with employment and support allowance rates from April 2009. To begin the process of achieving alignment with employment and support allowance, those on contributory incapacity benefit with an age addition, including former invalidity benefit customers, will see their overall benefit increased in April 2009 by half of the Rossi index(1), rather than by the full Rossi index. Customers in receipt of severe disablement allowance with an age addition will receive an increase equivalent to the full Rossi increase.

In 2009-10 there will be an estimated 660,000 customers receiving incapacity benefit with age additions(2). As a result of the White Paper changes, from April 2009 the benefit rate for these cases will be on average £3.20 per week higher than in 2008-09, an increase of 3.4 per cent.(3) For example, those on incapacity benefit with the higher age addition, and no other additions, will see their benefit increase from £102.25 per week in 2008-09 to £105.45 per week in 2009-10.

Despite the increase in benefit rates for people with age additions, the total expenditure on these cases is expected to fall by nearly £180 million from 2008-09 to 2009-10 due to an expected reduction in the number of people claiming incapacity benefits(4).

Natural Gas: Engineers

Mrs. Maria Miller: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions with reference to the answer of 26 November 2008, Official Report, column 1942W, on natural gas: engineers, what performance indicator the Health and Safety Executive has set for Capita's performance in promoting awareness of the new gas safety council; and when the Executive plans to publish its assessment of progress against this objective. [252079]

Jonathan Shaw: Capita has a Key Performance Indicator (KPI) to achieve at least 40 per cent. unprompted brand recognition of the New Gas Safe Registerā"¢ among gas consumers by the end of October 2009, rising to 60 per cent. by the end of October 2010 and 75 per cent. by the end of October 2011. A further KPI requires annual increases over the first five years of the contract in gas consumer awareness of gas safety risks and the need to use only a Gas Safe registered engineer for gas work. The KPIs will be measured through consumer surveys with the results published as soon as possible.

Occupational Therapy: Manpower

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the number of people required to promote occupational therapy in social care in the next 10 years. [263615]

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Phil Hope: I have been asked to reply.

No assessment has been made centrally as to the number of occupational therapists required, as social care employers are best placed to assess the social care needs of their local populations.

Effective workforce planning is about delivering the best possible care by ensuring high quality staff with the right skills are in the right place at the right time.

Social Security Benefits: Disabled

Mr. Jamie Reed: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people were receiving disability benefit in (a) Cumbria and (b) Copeland constituency in each of the last five years. [263798]

Jonathan Shaw: Information is not available about the number of people who are registered disabled and receiving disability benefits. The available information is in the following table.

Number of attendance allowance and disability living allowance recipients
Attendance allowance Disability living allowance
As at August each year Copeland parliamentary constituency Cumbria Copeland parliamentary constituency Cumbria


























Notes: 1. Caseload figures are rounded to the nearest 10. 2. Figures show the number of people in receipt of an allowance, and exclude people with entitlement where the payment has been suspended, for example if they are in hospital. 3. Figures are published on the DWP website:
Source: DWP Information Directorate: Work and Pensions Longitudinal Study.

Trade Unions

Mr. Maude: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions which trade unions are recognised in his Department. [262081]

Jonathan Shaw: The Department for Work and Pensions recognises three trade unions, the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS), FDA and Prospect.

Children, Schools and Families

Children in Care

Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families if he will bring forward measures to assist local authorities in reducing the number of placements for looked-after children. [262992]

Beverley Hughes: Through the White Paper “Care Matters: Time for Change” and the Children and Young Persons Act 2008 the Government have put in place a range of measures to improve the placement stability of looked after children and raise the quality of placement provision.

Through the Fostering Changes training programme and the Multi-dimensional Treatment Foster Care and Social Pedagogy pilots we are taking action to help
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improve the range of support and skills for foster carers and residential workers to help them meet the needs of looked after children and prevent placement breakdown.

We are also helping local authorities improve their commissioning arrangements for LAC placements through the Commissioning Support programme which will run until 2011.

Children: Databases

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many of the 17 early adopter local authorities for ContactPoint raised concerns about shielding in their most recent monthly assessment. [254531]

Beverley Hughes [holding answer 5 February 2009]: The first operational stage of ContactPoint delivery began on 26 January. This allows all local authorities to start to shield a small proportion of records on ContactPoint. This precautionary measure is appropriate for the records of children who would be at risk of significant harm if their whereabouts was disclosed. This might include children in particularly vulnerable circumstances, such as children from families on police protection schemes; where one parent has been the victim of domestic violence or abuse; or, in certain cases, where the child has been adopted.

We are working closely with 17 early adopter local authorities to identify and help them work through any issues. In their assessment at the end of January, 4 of these early adopters raised issues concerned with the effective implementation of this first operational stage and we are now working with them to resolve these issues. We remain committed to a prudent and incremental approach to implementation, and will continue to evaluate progress and adapt our approach as required.

Faith Schools: Islam

Mark Pritchard: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families (1) how many Muslim schools in England receive direct or indirect funding from foreign countries; and from which countries such funding is provided; [263090]

(2) how many complaints his Department has received on the use of physical punishment in Muslim schools in the latest period for which figures are available; [263091]

(3) how many pupils in England are being educated in Muslim schools. [263092]

Jim Knight: There are Muslim schools in both the independent and maintained sectors. We do not collect information about the sources of direct or indirect funding for independent schools. Maintained faith schools receive recurrent funding from their local authority although this can be topped up from other sources, for example where there are extended school activities. Voluntary aided maintained schools usually receive 90 per cent. of funding for capital work from the Department and provide 10 per cent. themselves. The Department does not record the source of funding for the 10 per cent. contribution, or any other contributions towards voluntary aided capital projects.

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