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To ask the Solicitor-General what efficiency savings projects the Law Officers' Departments put in place under the Operational Efficiency Programme; on what date each such project was initiated; how much each such project was expected to contribute to
Departmental savings; how much had been saved through each such project on the latest date for which figures are available; and if she will make a statement. 
The Solicitor-General: The Law Officers Departments account for one of the smallest budgets in Whitehall. In line with the Government's OEP implementation plan, they have provided benchmarking data to HM Treasury across the range of OEP indicators.
The Law Officers Departments' contribution to the Operational Efficiency Programme (OEP) is being delivered as part of their wider effort to deliver value for money, including their contribution to the Government's target to deliver £35 billion in savings during the current comprehensive spending review period.
Under these arrangements a number of projects are planned or are already under way. In April it was announced that we would merge the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) and the Revenue and Customs Prosecutions Office (RCPO) to drive out economies of scale, minimise duplication and create a more flexible and resilient organisation which was better able to handle specialist and complex cases. RCPO and CPS will by July 2010 have merged into one prosecuting body delivering significant savings.
The Law Officers Departments are also reviewing their estates as part of the overall efficiency effort, with a view to rationalising accommodation as leases expire. The first major phase of the rationalisation will be to give up RCPO's existing accommodation in New Kings Beam House when the lease on that property expires in December 2011. Work thereafter will enable the whole Law Officers Departments' estate to be used more flexibly and cost-effectively in the future.
Additionally, the Treasury Solicitor's Department (TSol) has upgraded its financial system and reviewed its financial processes so that the opportunities for efficiency provided by the new system can be fully exploited and these include outsourced invoice scanning with electronic authorisation. New procure-to-pay systems are being introduced, in line with the recommendations of the OEP, to improve controls over the procurement process, reduce costs and increase the opportunities for collaborative procurement.
The Law Officers Departments continue to work collectively to identify and deliver further opportunities for efficiency savings in OEP areas and are undertaking a review to ensure that they are best positioned to contribute to the £9 billion which will be delivered in the next spending period.
Chris Huhne: To ask the Solicitor-General whether she has considered the merits of the Serious Fraud Office operating a leniency programme similar to that operated by the Office of Fair Trading. 
The Solicitor-General: The SFO has recently published a guide to dealing with overseas corruption, including a self-reporting element that has some similarities with the Office of Fair Trading's Leniency Programme.
Mr. Wallace: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice whether officials in his Department took a minute or other record of the telephone calls between Sir Mark Allen, Senior Consultant at BP, and him in (a) October 2007 and (b) November 2007. 
Mr. Straw: The fact that the phone calls had been made was recorded, and has already been made public. From my recollection both calls were brief, no formal record of the calls was taken, and no other record of the calls remains.
Mr. Bellingham: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice (1) what discussions officials of his Department have had with the Prime Minister's Office on the regulation of debt management schemes; 
(6) what his policy is on the generation of profits from debt management schemes operating under the provisions of the Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007; 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 we 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.
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 2009. It looks at the current operation of the debt management market, seeking views on whether any changes are needed in this area and, if so, what those changes should be.
The consultation paper sets out three broad options. First, to continue with the measures currently under way to raise awareness about current schemes and enforce existing rules with operators. Second, to improve current schemes without regulation, possibly through the introduction of a protocol. Or third, to implement the Lord Chancellor's powers to approve debt management schemes contained in Chapter 4 of Part 5 of the Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act (TCEA) 2007.
During the development of the paper, officials held a number of bi-lateral meetings with stakeholders from the credit, advice and debt management plan operator sectors. These were supplemented by a series of seminars to wider audiences at various locations across the country and the creation a key stakeholder group consisting of representatives from all sectors that has met several times.
The Government had originally intended to publish the consultation paper before the summer recess. However, publication was delayed to allow the paper to reflect early comments on the Consumer White Paper published on 2 July 2009, which detailed wider Government action to support consumers.
This consultation has been developed jointly by the Ministry of Justice, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and the Insolvency Service. As is normal,
such consultations involve discussions with and input from a wide range of departments, including the Cabinet Office.
The consultation paper makes it clear that the Government have no set view on which, if any, of the options proposed should be taken forward. However, we have made it clear that only reasonable costs should be recoverable by providers and are seeking views on the level at which these should be set should there be a consensus to move forward with either the introduction some form of protocol or the implementation of the powers in Part 5 of the Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007.
Mr. Touhig: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what criteria his Department uses in determining the award of contracts; and how much his Department and its predecessors spent on the advertisement of tenders for Government contracts since 1997. 
Mr. Wills: Contracts are awarded on the basis of the most economically advantageous offer taking into account economic, technical and commercial considerations using criteria linked to the subject matter of the contract. No costs are incurred by the Ministry of Justice on the advertisement of tenders. We are required to advertise certain types of contracts in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) which is a free of charge service and we also take advantage of other free trade journals.
Mr. Heald: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what the cost was of maintaining his Department's website in the 2008-09 financial year; and what the forecast cost is of maintaining websites within his responsibility in the 2009-10 financial year. 
Mr. Wills: The Ministry of Justice does not separately identify expenditure on website maintenance in its accounting records. However, the Ministry's Information, Communications and Technology (ICT) division holds offline records on this expenditure as follows:
|2008-09 m aintenance cost|
|2009-10 f orecast maintenance cost|
It is not possible to reliably distinguish website maintenance costs (incurred or forecast) from other IT expenditure for HM Courts Service and the National Offender Management Service, except at disproportionate cost.
Maria Eagle: I refer the hon. Member to the answers I gave the hon. Member for Epsom and Ewell (Chris Grayling) on 16 March 2009, Official Report, column 955W and the hon. Member for Rochford and Southend, East (James Duddridge) on 9 October 2008, Official Report, column 785W.
Mr. Wills: There are no scientific adviser posts within the Ministry of Justice, nor are there any civil servants working in scientific posts. A small number of staff in the National Offender Management Service work as scientific officers or with the scientific grade group but these are in statistical or professional and technical, rather than scientific roles. The Ministry of Justice as a whole employs a number of statisticians, economists, social researchers and operational researchers but these are not classified as scientific posts.
Chris Huhne: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what the (a) longest, (b) average and (c) shortest waiting period for entry on to a domestic violence perpetrator programme was in England and Wales in each year since such programmes were introduced. 
Maria Eagle: The following table shows the longest, average and shortest 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 England and Wales from 2005-06 to 2008-09.
|Domestic violence programme waiting times in England and Wales|
|(1)Average across 40 probation areas, excludes data from Cheshire and Greater Manchester.|
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