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Justine Greening: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what employee reward schemes are offered to staff of his Department; what the primary 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. 
Basic pay (and allowances where appropriate);
Non-consolidated performance pay; and
Arrangements for basic and non-consolidated performance pay for senior civil servants (SCS) are based on recommendations made by the Independent Senior Salaries Review Body. Reward arrangements for grades below the SCS are delegated to Departments. In the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) there are separate reward schemes in place for staff in grades below the SCS working in National Offender Management Service (NOMS) and the rest of the Ministry.
The following table provides details of the cost of administering basic pay, allowances and non-consolidated performance pay schemes and the number of staff participating in them. The costs cover the period where there has been machinery of Government changes. The costs are associated with the Department of Constitutional Affairs from 1 April 2004 to 30 April 2007 and the Ministry of Justice since May 2007.
|Staff participating||Cost of operating the reward system (£)|
|n/a = Not available.|
1. The data for 2004-05 reflects staff employed (and subject to the pay award) by the former DCA prior to the Magistrates Courts Service (MCS) becoming part of the DCA on 1 April 2005.
2. The increase in 2005 reflects the increase subsequent to the merger with the Magistrates Courts Service and the machinery of government changes which led to the establishment of the Tribunals Service on 1 April 2006.
3. Totals include all SCS staff subject to pay determination by the MOJ including sister Departments. Payroll services for basic and non-consolidated performance pay and allowances is provided by an outsourced payroll provider.
Flexible benefits schemes enable staff to exercise a degree of choice in respect of the way they are rewarded within the limits of their overall reward package. The following table contains information about participation in these arrangements in the MOJ since the schemes introduction in 2007.
|Scheme||Number of Staff who have participated in this since its introduction in 2007|
|Staff participating( 1)|
|(1) Data relates to staff employed in HM Prison Service. Staff employed by the national probation service are paid by their local probation board.|
Work Life Balance working patterns;
Salary Sacrifice scheme for Childcare; and
Season ticket and bicycle loan schemes
Mr. Prisk: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what percentage of procurement contracts (a) his Department and its predecessor and (b) its agencies awarded to small businesses in (i) 2006-07, (ii) 2007-08, (iii) 2008-09 and (iv) 2009-10; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Wills: At present the size (number of people) and status of businesses is not information that is captured as standard when contracts are awarded to suppliers. To obtain the relevant information would incur disproportionate cost.
Paul Farrelly: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice (1) what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of legislation to protect (a) whistleblowers and (b) press freedom following the injunctions obtained in the High Court by (i) Barclays and Freshfields solicitors on 19 March 2009 on the publication of internal Barclays reports documenting alleged tax avoidance schemes and (ii) Trafigura and Carter Ruck solicitors on 11 September 2009 on the publication of the Minton report on the alleged dumping of toxic waste in the Ivory Coast, commissioned by Trafigura; 
(2) what assessment he has made of the implications of the Court of Appeal judgment in May 2009 in the case of Michael Napier and Irwin Mitchell v. Pressdram Limited in respect of press freedom to report proceedings in court. 
Mr. Straw: The issues raised by this and other similar cases are important and deserve to be properly explored. I intend to look into the issues raised and am ready to discuss them with my hon. Friend and any other hon. Member concerned. A meeting with representatives of the national press, senior officials of my Ministry has already been arranged.
Paul Farrelly: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what mechanisms HM Courts Service uses to draw up rosters of duty judges for the purpose of considering time of the essence applications for the issuing of injunctions by the High Court. 
Mr. Straw: All High Court judges are required to act from time to time as duty judges for the purpose of dealing with urgent court business, such as applications to issue injunctions. Separate rosters are maintained for the Chancery, Family and Queens Bench Divisions but in each case these provide for a High Court judge being available to deal with such matters for 24 hours a day and on every day of the year.
Bridget Prentice: On 13 October 2009, Official Report, columns 24-25WS, my right hon. Friend the Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice made a written ministerial statement to the House announcing the launch of 20 consultation exercises for magistrates courts closures. These courts are underutilised and in many cases their facilities for court users, including victims and witnesses, are inadequate. The Lord Chancellor will make a decision whether to close a court after considering the responses to consultations.
HMCS regularly reviews the use and condition of its estate. Where there is an underutilised court and alternative facilities within a reasonable travelling distance we will consider holding consultations to seek views; on whether to close a court.
HMCS must keep the level of magistrates courts sitting commensurate to the amount of work-local management decisions, involving local judiciary, including magistrates, and staff will be taken regularly to ensure that that is the case.
|Number of places( 1)||Average capital building cost per place( 2)|
|(1) The number of new places does not take into account any places provided through crowding, or any places that have been taken out of use. (2) The costs shown only cover the capital building costs of each new place. No adjustment has been made for inflation.|
Andrew Stunell: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many Probation Service staff there were in each probation area in the north-west in each of the last five years; and what the ratio of offenders to Probation Service staff was in each case. 
Mr. Straw: Over the five-year period, funding for Probation across England and Wales has increased overall by 32.2 per cent., with the number of qualified probation officers increasing by 4.4 per cent. In the north-west region, funding has increased by 16.2 per cent., with the number of qualified probation officers increasing by 4.3 per cent. The total number of staff in each probation area in the north-west region is shown in the following table, together with the ratio to offenders.
|Ratio of offenders to probation staff in the north-west|
|Staff in post figures shown as full time equivalents|
|2004( 1)||2005( 1)||2006( 1)||2007( 1)||2008( 2)|
|(1) Figures as at 31 December.|
(2) Figures as at September 2008; the latest date for which there are corresponding Staffing and Offender figures.
(3) Includes all staff employed within the area/region.
(4) Calculated against all staff employed within the area/region.
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