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12 Oct 2009 : Column 522W—continued

Departmental Flexible Working

Justine Greening: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what flexi-time arrangements have been available to staff of his Department in each of the last five years; and how many staff participated in such arrangements in each such year. [290574]

Mr. Woolas: Most parts of the Home Office allow staff to participate in flexi-time arrangements where operationally possible. However, there are significant areas of the Home Office, such as the UK Border Agency front-line operations, where business needs preclude the working of flexi-time.

Over a four-week accounting period, staff on flexi-time are required to complete their net conditioned hours of attendance, with a limited credit or deficit being carried over from one period to the next if necessary.

The Home Office flexi-time policy requires staff to be present during an agreed "core time" of 10am to 3.45 pm. Subject to business needs, it allows them to start work any time between 7.30 am and 10am and allows them to leave work any time between 3.45 and 7pm. A lunch break of at least 30 minutes must be taken between 11am and 3pm.

These arrangements may be varied slightly with the agreement of local management. Staff with a part-time attendance pattern must agree individual arrangements with their line managers.

There are more than 250 Home Office locations across the United Kingdom. Flexi-time monitoring is undertaken at a local level and is either electronic or paper-based; records are not maintained centrally and no historic records are available. Therefore, an attempt to obtain the information requested could not be effected without incurring disproportionate cost.

Departmental Marketing

Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department with reference to the answer of 14 November 2008, Official Report, column 2234W, on departmental marketing, how many staff in his Department are responsible for branding activity; and what the cost of employing such staff was in 2008-09. [290212]


12 Oct 2009 : Column 523W

Mr. Woolas: The number of staff responsible for branding and the total cost of employment for the financial year 2008-09 are detailed in the following table:

Number of staff employed Total cost (£)

Home Office

1

3,998

UK Border Agency (UKBA)

1

4,800

Identity and Passport Service (IPS)

1

7,282


This work equates to:

Departmental Motor Vehicles

Andrew Stunell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how much his Department spent on hire vehicles in each of the last five financial years. [291614]

Mr. Woolas: Information on spend is available from 2005-06 following the introduction of the Department's Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system. Collation of information prior to this date is available only at disproportionate cost. The Department's (inclusive of its executive agencies) spend on car hire outside the Government Car Service since 2005-06 is as follows:

Car hire expenditure
Financial year £

2005-06

660,014

2006-07

389,270

2007-08

335,069

2008-09

415,953


Departmental Non-domestic Rates

Justine Greening: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many properties owned by the Department were liable for payment of (a) business rates and (b) empty property rates in each of the last five years; and what the liability in respect of each was in each such year. [290575]

Mr. Woolas: The information is as follows.

(a) In 2004-05 the Department owned five buildings liable for business rates. Since the disposal of a surplus property in 2005-06, this has reduced to four. Details of the costs for each respective year are in the following table:

Total (£000)

2004-05

963

2005-06

596

2006-07

398

2007-08

409

2008-09

427


12 Oct 2009 : Column 524W

(b) The Department has not owned any properties qualifying for empty rates relief in the period covered by this question.

Departmental Official Hospitality

Mrs. Villiers: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what his Department's hospitality and catering budget was in each of the last five years; and what proportion of that budget was spent on entertainment in each such year. [290127]

Mr. Woolas: The Department's budget holders are responsible for translating delegations into sufficiently detailed budgets to enable delivery of objectives. Although the Department's accounting system can report hospitality and catering budget data, budget holders have broken down their resource delegations differently, and not always to this level of detail.

Entertainment is not accounted for separately.

The requested information cannot therefore be provided without incurring disproportionate cost. All Home Office expenditure on entertainment and hospitality conforms to the principles of regularity, propriety and value for money, and any other guidance as applicable contained within "Managing Public Money" and the Treasury handbook on "Regularity and Propriety."

Departmental Paternity Leave

Justine Greening: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many staff took paternity leave from his Department in each of the last five years; and what the average duration of such leave has been. [290573]

Mr. Woolas: Employees are contractually entitled to 10 days paid paternity or maternity support leave if they have completed one year's qualifying service ending with the 15th week before the baby is due.

The actual number of employees who have taken paternity leave in the Home Office has not been collated centrally and we are therefore unable to provide paternity leave data for each of the last five years without incurring disproportionate costs.

Departmental Pay

Justine Greening: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what employee reward schemes are offered to staff of his Department; what the purpose of each scheme is; how many staff participate in each scheme; and what the cost of operating each scheme was in each of the last five years. [290576]

Mr. Woolas: In Home Office HQ and the United Kingdom Border Agency there are two reward schemes: a one-off non-consolidated special payment scheme and a "thank you" voucher scheme. The purpose of the one-off non-consolidated special payment scheme is to reward outstanding achievement by staff in particularly demanding tasks or situations. In the financial year 2007-08 3,702 staff received a payment under this scheme at a total cost of £2,564,759; in 2008-09 2,863 staff received a payment under this scheme at a total cost of £1,161,720.


12 Oct 2009 : Column 525W

Accurate data prior to the financial year 2007-08 are unavailable and could not be obtained without incurring disproportionate cost.

The "thank you" voucher scheme was launched in September 2008. Its purpose is to reward outstanding achievement. Staff can be awarded vouchers to the value of either £25 or £50 to spend in high street stores. Since its launch, 1,635 staff have received vouchers under this scheme at a total cost of £71,728.

The Identity and Passport Service (IPS) operates three employee reward schemes: the corporate one-off non-consolidated payment scheme; the grade 6/7 one-off non-consolidated payment scheme, and the one-off non-consolidated special payment scheme. In all cases, data are available only for the past two financial years. Data for previous years could not be obtained without incurring disproportionate cost.

The IPS corporate one-off non-consolidated payment scheme is available to all staff in grades below the senior civil service. The payment, which is limited to a maximum of £450 per person, is designed to reward successful delivery of key organisational aims. In 2007-08 3,930 staff received a payment under this scheme at a total cost of £1,309,828; in 2008-09 4,401 staff received a payment under this scheme at a total cost of £1,665,760.

The purpose of the IPS grade 6/7 one-off non-consolidated payment scheme is to reward excellent achievement in management and leadership. In 2007-08 122 staff received a payment under this scheme at a total cost of £140, 673; in 2008-09 130 staff received a payment under this scheme at a total cost of £328,500.

The IPS one-off non-consolidated special payment scheme is open to all staff in grades below the senior civil service. Its purpose is to reward individuals or teams for exceptional performance in particularly demanding tasks or situations. In 2007-08 862 staff received a payment under this scheme at a total cost of £94,523; in 2008-09 640 staff received a payment under this scheme at a total cost of £65,410.

The Criminal Records Bureau operates a one-off non-consolidated special payment scheme to reward exceptional individual performance. In 2007-08 13 staff received a payment under this scheme at a total cost of £21,360; in 2008-09 36 staff received a payment under this scheme at a total cost of £9,275.

Keith Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many of his Department's officials received bonuses in each year since 1997; and how much was paid in total in bonuses in each of those years. [291628]

Mr. Woolas: The Home Office (including the UK Border Agency), as part of its annual pay arrangements, pays non-consolidated performance-related bonuses up to 35 per cent. of its staff. There are rewards for exceptional contribution throughout the year. There are separate arrangements for the Department's senior staff, which are set by the Prime Minister for the whole senior civil service, following independent advice from the Senior Salaries Review Body.

In the years for which data are available the following bonuses were paid (with the total costs in brackets):


12 Oct 2009 : Column 526W

Number Total costs (£ million)

2005-06

4,785

(4.28)

2006-07

5,097

(4.45)

2007-08

5,647

(4.48)

2008-09

6,164

(4.75)


It is also possible to give one-off special payments to members of staff in year to reward exceptional achievements on a project or programme. 2,863 staff received such a payment in 2008-09 at a cost of £1.16 million; the equivalent figures for 2007-08 were 3,702 (£2.56 million).

We cannot provide information for previous years except at disproportionate cost.

Departmental Property

Mr. Garnier: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the budget of (a) his Department's property group and (b) the probation division of that group is for 2009-10; and how many people are employed in each. [290336]

Mr. Woolas: General property in the Department's shared services directorate has a planned gross pay/non-pay outturn cost for 2009-10 of £6.4 million allowing for vacancies to be filled. It currently comprises 136 staff that are organised as service delivery teams, rather than client-specific teams. The financial contribution to the Home Office pay/non-pay budget by the National Offender Management Service for services provided which includes those to the National Probation Service estate is £1.5 million.

Departmental Public Expenditure

Mr. Brady: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department which Minister in his Department has been assigned responsibility for overseeing the delivery of value for money in his Department; whether his Department has established a public sector reform team to implement service reforms; and if he will make a statement. [289738]

Mr. Woolas: I am the Minister responsible for value for money in my Department. The Home Office has a strong and ambitious value for money programme that will deliver cashable improvements worth £1,584 million per annum by 2010-11.

Performance against this ambition was reported in the 2008 Home Office Annual Report [Cm 7592]. That included activity to improve public service delivery, for example, Operation Quest in the police service has delivered significant benefits to the public in terms of customer satisfaction and value for money by giving police officers and staff the skills to understand and then implement improved operational processes.

Departmental Recycling

Stewart Hosie: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what proportion of his Department's waste was recycled in the latest period for which figures are available. [289671]

Mr. Woolas: The information requested for the core Home Office and UK Borders Agency combined is as follows:


12 Oct 2009 : Column 527W

Total waste (tonnes) Percentage recycled

2007-08

2,117

25


The Home Office is working towards meeting the Sustainable Operations on the Government Estate targets on waste generation and recycling.

Departmental Sick Leave

Justine Greening: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the cost to his Department of sickness absences was in each of the last five years. [290569]

Mr. Woolas: Full information is not held centrally and to extract and model the required data for five years would incur disproportionate cost.

The total cost of sickness absence in the Home Office for the financial year 2008-09 was £23.47 million.


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