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(c) The Parole Board does not give 'other consideration' to cases other than the paper and oral hearings referred to above.
Chris Huhne: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many offenders whose tariffs had expired remained in prison while they awaited listing for an (a) oral hearing, (b) paper hearing and (c) other consideration before the Parole Board on the latest date for which figures are available. 
Bridget Prentice: The tariff is the minimum period specified by the court which must be served before a prisoner is eligible for release on parole. There is nothing automatic about release on expiry of tariff, as the decision as to whether to release an offender has to be based on the assessed risk of harm which he presents-not on whether he has served the minimum period of imprisonment specified by the court. Therefore, any prisoner whose tariff has expired will remain in prison while they are awaiting an oral hearing, paper hearing or other consideration by the Parole Board to determine whether the risk of harm which they present is such that it might be safely managed in the community.
Chris Huhne: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what assessment he has made of the likely effects on the operations of the Parole Board of its taking on the status of a court; what additional responsibilities the Parole Board would have under such arrangements; and what estimate he has made of the funding required by the Parole Board to discharge those responsibilities. 
Bridget Prentice: We have recently published a consultation paper, 'The Future of the Parole Board', in which we are asking stakeholders to consider how best the Board be managed to ensure its independence from the Executive and its effectiveness and efficiency.
to leave existing sponsorship arrangements as they are; to transfer sponsorship of the Parole Board to Her Majesty Courts Service (HMCS) or the Tribunals Service;
to integrate the Parole Board fully into HMCS; and
to integrate the Parole Board fully into the Tribunals Service.
Until findings from the initial consultation are published in February 2010, the Ministry has not taken a view on the possible future arrangements for the management of
the Board. Accordingly we have not undertaken detailed assessments of the effects of each of these options on the operations of the Board.
Chris Huhne: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many judicial reviews brought in relation to (a) the time taken to hear a case and (b) other matters the Parole Board (i) is contesting and (ii) has contested in each of the last five years; and what costs the Parole Board has incurred on contesting judicial reviews in each such year. 
|(a)||(b)||Costs( 1) (£)|
|(1) Costs include solicitors' fees and any costs and compensation awarded to claimants. All costs are borne by the Ministry of Justice.|
Chris Huhne: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what steps the Parole Board has taken in response to the recommendations of the National Audit Office report on Protecting the public: the work of the Parole Board, HC 239, 2007-08, published in March 2008. 
Bridget Prentice: The Parole Board has been working closely with the Ministry of Justice on an action plan to implement the recommendations of the National Audit Office and the Public Accounts Committee following publication of the report "Protecting the public: the work of the Parole Board". In particular the following progress has been made.
A new generic parole process was introduced from 1 April 2009 whereby the performance of all agencies involved in the parole process can be monitored.
An agreement has been reached about the mandatory documents required by the Parole Board and the production of prisoners' dossiers is being monitored.
A single IT system has been introduced that can be accessed by all relevant agencies.
Amended Parole Board Rules came into force on 1 April 2009.
A Reasons Framework was introduced from January 2009 and members are now required to provide evidence that they have "signed off" the final draft of the reasons for their decision.
The work load of members is monitored on a monthly basis. It shows that on average independent members are undertaking more than their expected work load.
Measures are being taken which are aimed at increasing the number of judges available to carry out Parole Board work.
Decisions and the reasons given for them are being reviewed by random sampling to assess them for quality.
The 2009 member recruitment round included a project with Operation Black Vote aimed at increasing the number of BME members on the Parole Board.
A public consultation paper on the future status of the Parole Board was published on 20 July 2009 for comment by 20 November 2009.
Chris Huhne: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what the (a) longest and (b) average period was between the original and rescheduled date of a deferred oral hearing before the Parole Board on the latest date for which figures are available. 
Chris Huhne: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many oral hearings before the Parole Board were deferred in each of the last five years; and how many of those hearings were deferred more than once. 
Bridget Prentice: The number of oral hearings before the Parole Board that has been deferred in each of the last five years is set out in the following table . The Parole Board does not have figures for the number of cases deferred more than once.
Chris Huhne: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many (a) caseworkers, (b) administrative staff at administrative officer or executive officer level and (c) staff at higher executive officer level or above were recruited to work at the Parole Board in each of the last five years; and how many of those positions were advertised (i) internally only and (ii) internally and externally. 
Chris Huhne: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many (a) caseworkers, (b) administrative staff at administrative officer or executive officer level and (c) staff at higher executive officer level or above have left the employment of the Parole Board in each of the last five years. 
Chris Huhne: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many caseworkers the Parole Board employed to work on (a) oral hearings, (b) paper hearings, (c) post-panel reviews and (d) other matters in each of the last five years. 
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