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Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what the cost to his Department was of community sentences for those aged (a) under 18 years old and (b) 18 to 21 years old; and if he will make a statement. 
Maria Eagle: We do not hold this information centrally. Community sentences for those aged under 18 are provided by youth offending teams (YOTs). YOTs are funded from a range of central and local sources and data are not collected centrally on what proportion of this funding is spent on community sentences. Community sentences for those aged 18 to 21 are provided by the Probation Service. Data are not collected centrally on what proportion of their funding is spent on community sentences.
Miss Begg: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice (1) if he will bring forward plans to limit advertising by fee charging debt management providers who target vulnerable individuals in financial difficulties; and if he will make a statement; 
(4) whether his Department has undertaken research into the potential financial effects on the least well-off from the introduction of statutory regulation of debt management schemes; and if he will make a statement. 
Bridget Prentice: The current economic downturn is causing real hardship for many hardworking consumers and the Government are determined to do all they can to help those in financial difficulties, while balancing this against creditors' rights to recover their debts wherever possible, both now and in the future.
Currently, it is not possible for the Lord Chancellor to control either advertising or the fees charged by debt management scheme providers. However, the powers contained in chapter 4 of part 5 of the Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007 (TCEA) would permit this in respect of approved schemes.
Following concerns about the operation of this sector, the consultation paper 'Debt Management Schemes-delivering effective and balanced solutions for debtors and creditors' was published on 18 September and looks at the current operation of the debt management market. It seeks views on whether any changes are needed in this area and, if so, what those changes should be.
It sets out three broad options: continue with the measures currently under way to raise awareness about current schemes and enforce existing rules with operators (Option 1); improve current schemes without regulation, possibly through the introduction of a protocol (Option 2); or implement the Lord Chancellor's powers to approve debt management schemes contained in chapter 4 of part 5 of the TCEA 2007 (Option 3).
The consultation asks specific questions about how debt management schemes should be supervised and, for example, whether any existing scheme could be used or adapted to achieve the aims. This could include using the process for debt relief orders.
It is expected that the results of the consultation will be available in the new year, at which time the Government will announce what action they plan to take in this area. However, advertising generally will be considered during the compliance review currently being carried out by the Office of Fair Trading. Its report will be issued in spring 2010.
Separate to this consultation, the Government intend to issue guidance on what consumers should expect from debt management plan operators shortly. This guidance will explain that operators should advise on all debt assistance options available to those approaching them and give clear information about the fees that they charge. This guidance will supplement the more detailed guidance 'In Debt? Dealing with your creditors', published by the Insolvency Service on 2 July 2009.
An initial impact assessment was published alongside the consultation paper which considered the potential effectiveness of all of the options contained in the
consultation paper. The impact assessment considers, as far as possible, the potential effects of all of the options on various sectors of society but also requests additional information to assist in the development of this assessment.
John Mason: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice (1) what (a) bonuses and (b) incentives have been paid to (i) consultants and (ii) contractors engaged by his Department in each of the last three years; 
(2) what (a) bonuses and (b) incentives have been paid to (i) consultants and (ii) contractors engaged by Executive agencies and non-departmental public bodies for which his Department is responsible in each of the last three years. 
Mr. Straw: The information requested prior to April 2009 was not kept centrally. However, according to available records, there are no contracts with consultants or contractors in my Department that have bonus payments or incentives included within them. Since April 2009, when Ministry of Justice procurement and relevant records were centralised, no contracts with consultants or contractors have bonus payments or incentives included within them.
Ian Stewart: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what contracts his Department has with private hire taxi companies; and what expenditure his Department has incurred against each such contract in each of the last three years. 
Mr. Wills: The Ministry of Justice purchases taxi services on a regional/local level to support the small and medium enterprises that make up the market. To achieve best value for money sites are clustered and spend is aggregated where possible, while still supporting small and medium sized enterprises.
Expenditure related to these contracts is not held centrally. To obtain this information would require approaching a large number of local business units
across England and Wales and this could be undertaken only at disproportionate cost.
Chris Huhne: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what the (a) longest, (b) average and (c) shortest waiting period for entry into a domestic violence perpetrator programme was in each probation area in each year since such programmes were introduced. 
Maria Eagle: Further to my answer of 21 October 2009, Official Report, column 1471W, and my letter to the hon. Member, a copy of which is placed in the Libraries of the House, the table shows the average number of weeks that elapse from the date of sentence or licence for offences of violence or abuse to the commencement of domestic violence programme requirements in probation areas for 2005-06 to 2008-09.
High risk offenders will be given priority by probation areas over those of medium risk. Preparation work needs to be completed with offenders before they can commence the group work element of a programme.
Offenders waiting for a place on a domestic violence programme are under the supervision of their offender manager who will monitor and actively manage the risk posed by the offender during the course of the supervision period.
The National Offender Management Service are working to reduce waiting times by ensuring staff are familiar with the referral criteria, and by improved liaison between the offender manager, the programme delivery team, and the court.
The figures have been drawn from administrative data systems and although care is taken when processing and analysing the returns, the detail collected is subject to the inaccuracies inherent in any large scale recording system. The Lancashire probation area's figures have been updated since my letter of 12 November.
The table shows the average number of weeks that elapse from the date of sentence or licence for offences of violence or abuse to the commencement of domestic violence programme requirements in probation areas for 2005-06 to 2008-09.
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