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Mr. Alan Campbell: The Drug System Change Pilots programme is not a source of new money for service delivery. The aim of the programme is to improve outcomes for communities and individuals by encouraging partnerships to make better use of existing resources, align the efforts of all partners and key stakeholders, encourage innovation and share best practice, and to identify efficiencies that can come from the pooling of budgets, streamlined communication and information systems.
Joint funding (£2 million from the Home Office and Department of Health) has been allocated to kickstart the pilots in 2009-10, and to help build capacity by funding the appointment of a project manager and administrative support in those pilot sites which require it.
A tendering process for the independent evaluation of the programme is currently being undertaken, and it is hoped that this will be completed, and an independent contractor appointed, by September 2009. The intention is that, based on the reports from the contractor and the pilot sites, updates on progress from the Drug System Change Pilots will be made available on a quarterly basis.
Damian Green: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many risk assessment officers are (a) based at the UK Border Agency Abu Dhabi hub and (b) working on Pakistani visas in Abu Dhabi. 
Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to the answer of 18 June 2009, Official Report, column 455W, on entry clearances, if he will allocate greater resources to the processing of sponsor licences in order to meet the target time. 
These data are unpublished and should be treated as provisional
Central Reference System.
Andrew Stunell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department for what reason the electronic processing of emergency visa applications from Jamaica has been suspended; when it will be resumed; and what steps he is taking to ensure that applications for emergency visas from that country can be granted where appropriate. 
Jo Swinson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many applications for visas from nationals of (a) Macedonia and (b) Kosovo were processed at the visa section of the British Embassy in Skopje in the latest period for which figures are available. 
Mr. Woolas [h olding answer 19 June 2009]: In the financial year 2008-09, our visa section in Skopje received 3,326 visa applications from nationals of Macedonia, and 3,233 applications from nationals of Kosovo.
These data are unpublished and should be treated as provisional.
Proviso visa processing system.
These data are unpublished and should be treated as provisional
Central Reference System
Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps he took to inform hon. Members of the recently announced planned changes to the Forensic Science Service prior to the release of information to the media. 
Mr. Alan Campbell [holding answer 9 July 2009]: I made the announcement of Forensic Science Service (FSS) Transformation plans in a written ministerial statement (WMS) on 8 June 2009, Official Report, column 22WS and the commencement of the process by the FSS through internal meetings with staff and staff representatives began on the same day. I was aware that Bill Griffiths, the executive chairman of the company, had previously written to, and in some cases spoken to, Members with constituency interests. I also agreed with Bill that he would write to Members on the day of the WMS. This was done. This process was designed so that the statement was made to Parliament first.
Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what procedures are in place to assess the (a) quality and (b) adequacy of private forensic science services operating under contract to police forces. 
Mr. Alan Campbell: The Forensic Science Regulator sets out the quality standards and accreditation that are required for all forensic practitioners, including private forensic laboratory service providers.
Under the national forensic framework agreement, private forensic providers must comply with the standards set by the Forensic Science Regulator to be eligible to provide forensic services to police forces (in England and Wales). This is a mandatory clause contained within the framework agreement. The current standard requirements include ISO9001 quality management systems, 17025, and where appropriate 17020 compliance for each speciality area of work performed.
At a national level, the National Policing Improvement Agency (NPIA) manages the framework agreement on behalf of the 43 police forces and ensures that these
quality standards are held by the participating suppliers and that they are maintained. The private companies themselves undergo annual inspection for compliance with the standards which is carried out by the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS). UKAS report any failings in compliance to the Forensic Regulator, who then passes relevant information on to the NPIA. If any action is required in terms of contract management, or there has been a breach of contract terms, the NPIA will address this through formal contract management processes with the supplier concerned.
To monitor the adequacy of any services being performed throughout the life of a forensic services provision contract, key performance indicators (KPIs) have been developed. These KPIs are reviewed at regular intervals.
This performance monitoring regime also includes regular contract management meetings between the suppliers and the police force and strategic business reviews carried out by the NPIA on behalf of Association of Chief Police Officers.
The regime is being designed to ensure that the services being provided by the private forensic suppliers are adequate to meet the operational needs of the police force. This also ensures that high quality standards set by the Forensic Science Regulator continue to be complied with, throughout the length of any service contract and for the lifetime of the national forensic framework agreement itself.
The UK also leads an EU funded initiative called the 'East Africa Migration Routes Initiative' worth approximately £1 million in 2008 and 2009 which was co-funded by the EU Commission, UK, Malta, Italy and the Netherlands. The initiative included:
work by UK, Italy and Maltese border authorities to monitor and debrief migrants arriving by sea from Africa in the EU including Somali migrants in 2008;
an East-Africa wide information campaign by the International Organisation for Migration which informed prospective migrants about the risks of attempting the dangerous journey to the EU; and
creation of a regional focal point in Djibouti to help co-ordinate migration policies of countries of the region, including Somalia.
EU Heads of Mission (HOMS) in Nairobi also recently agreed to establish a local taskforce on Somali migration issues that will share information about illegal migration from Somalia and work with Somali authorities to curb irregular migration to the EU.
Mr. Hanson: The Vetting and Barring Scheme programme, which includes establishment of the Independent Safeguarding Authority is being delivered in phases. The programme is currently in its third phase and a privacy impact assessment is scheduled to be completed with the full support and contribution of the Information Commissioner's Office during the remaining three phases of the programme. Some aspects of the privacy impact assessment have been captured in the first round of business impact assessments and the Information Commissioner's Office is aware of this progress.
James Brokenshire: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how much his Department has allocated to development of the International Child Sexual Exploitation Image database; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Woolas: The information requested could be obtained only at disproportionate cost. The Chief Executive of the UK Border Agency has regularly written to Home Affairs Select Committee in order to provide them with all the robust and accurate information available relating to foreign national criminals. Copies of these letters are available in the Library of the House.
Justine Greening: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) which (a) specific and (b) area-based grants are distributed to local authorities by each division of his Department; 
(2) what recent estimate has been made of the annual cost to (a) his Department of distributing each grant made by it to local authorities and (b) local authorities of administering each such grant; 
(3) what (a) eligibility conditions and (b) compliance measures are in place in respect of the expenditure by local authorities of each grant distributed by his Department; and what recent estimate has been made of the annual cost to his Department of monitoring the compliance by local authorities with such measures in respect of each such grant. 
Mr. Woolas: The introduction of the Area Based Grant has reduced ring-fencing, giving councils increased flexibility to manage their budgets. Alongside this, the new local performance framework has provided a simplified and more effective structure for priority setting and performance measurement.
|Grant stream||Budget 2009-10 (£ million)|
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