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11 Jan 2010 : Column 691W—continued

None of the equipment identified in the question by the hon. Member was reported stolen or lost from any Home Office building in Scotland.

Departmental Public Expenditure

Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department with reference to the answer of 12 October 2009, Official Report, column 522W, on departmental expenditure, on what dates conference facilities at City Inn were hired by his Department; and for what reason rooms in his Department's building in Marsham Street were not used in each case. [308283]

Mr. Woolas: The previous answer given on 12 October 2009, Official Report, column 522W, stated, in error, that rooms were hired on four occasions.

The Department has made payments totalling £4,449 to City Inn, Westminster for the hire of conference facilities on three occasions: 2 April 2008; 8 April 2008; and 8 September 2008.

At the time of two of these meetings, the meeting rooms and conference facilities in Marsham Street were already booked. Conference facilities were not suitable at Marsham Street for the third meeting because of the large number of conference delegates.

All Home Office expenditure 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 Training

Mr. Graham Stuart: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many (a) away days and (b) conferences that took place outside his Department's building attended by civil servants in his Department there have been since 2005; and what the cost was of each. [307524]

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Mr. Woolas: The Home Office accounting system does not separately identify expenditure on staff away days. To provide the requested detail would incur disproportionate cost.

Departmental Training

Daniel Kawczynski: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the (a) date, (b) location and (c) cost was of each of the last four away days attended by a Minister in his Department; and which Minister attended on each occasion. [305463]

Mr. Woolas: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I given on 15 December 2009, Official Report, column 1110W. Home Office Ministers were also in attendance at the away days held by the Home Office Board.

Departmental Written Questions

Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many and what percentage of Parliamentary Questions tabled for written Answer by his Department on a named day in session 2008-09 received a substantive Answer on that day. [307547]

Mr. Hanson: 842 parliamentary questions for named day response were tabled to the Home Office during the 2008-09 parliamentary session. 129 (15 per cent.) of these questions received a substantive answer on the day named.

Central guidance on answering parliamentary questions is now available in the 'Guide to Parliamentary Work', at:

In the response to the Procedure Committee Report on Written Parliamentary questions, the Government accepted the Committee's recommendation that Departments be required to provide the Procedure Committee with sessional statistics in a standard format on the time taken to respond to written parliamentary questions, accompanied by an explanatory memorandum setting out any factors affecting their performance. This will be taken forward as soon as possible.


Mr. Holloway: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people were (a) subject to deportation proceedings and (b) deported on national security grounds in each year since 2001. [307732]

Mr. Woolas: The UK Border Agency is committed to ensuring that we remove those foreign nationals who pose a risk of harm to our society. In 2007, we removed or deported 4,200 foreign national prisoners who met our criteria for deportation. We continued to build upon this success in 2008, when we removed or deported 5,395. In the first half to 2009, the agency removed 2,560(1) foreign criminals.

Figures are unavailable prior to 2007, and could be obtained through the examination of individual records only at a disproportionate cost.

Comprehensive details of the numbers of cases where a notice of intention to deport on grounds of national
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security are not available for the period 2001-04. However, nine people have been deported on grounds of national security since 2005, three in 2006, six in 2007 and zero in 2008.

Employment Tribunals Service

Grant Shapps: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many industrial tribunals relating to his Department have been held in each of the last five years; and what the total cost was of such tribunals in each such year. [309942]

Mr. Woolas: The number of times the Home Office, including the UK Border Agency (UKBA), Identity and Passport Service (IPS) and Criminal Records Bureau (CRB), have been taken to a full employment tribunal hearing in each of the last five years is as follows:






The Home Office does not maintain a central record of costs incurred in contesting employment tribunals (formerly industrial tribunals). The information required could be obtained only at a disproportionate cost.

Entry Clearances

Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the longest time taken to process an asylum application from a former Iraqi locally employed civilian awaiting an asylum decision has been since the inception of the Locally Employed Staff Assistance Scheme. [307853]

Mr. Woolas: Former locally engaged civilians in Iraq who meet the criteria as set out in the Foreign Secretary's statement of 30 October 2007 can request assistance in the form of resettlement to the UK. Their applications are considered to be activated at the point that the UK Border Agency is referred their resettlement application by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. Before this time, they will have submitted an application form for assistance under the Locally Engaged Staff Assistance Scheme, but not an application for resettlement
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or any immigration category to the UK. The longest time it has taken to process an application is 13 months from the time when the UNHCR submitted the application to the date on which the UK Border Agency issued the decision after interview. The average time is five months.

Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent steps his Department has taken to expedite the asylum process for those Iraqi locally employed civilians who are awaiting a decision on an asylum application; and if he will make a statement. [307854]

Mr. Woolas: Several steps have been taken to streamline the decision making process for former locally engaged staff who are being considered for resettlement to the UK. The UK Border Agency has reduced the timeframe from registration with UNHCR to interview with UK Border Agency staff from four months to less than two months. We have also reduced the timeframe between interview date and the decision being made from three months to one and a half months, where no further investigation is required.

We have also responded positively to requests to undertake additional selection missions by staging three interviewing missions previously unplanned. This has ensured that regular numbers of locally engaged staff have been interviewed every quarter during the year and had their decisions made in a timely fashion.

The UK Border Agency is unable to process an application until former locally engaged civilians are outside of Iraq and have been assessed by the UNHCR. Some have delayed their travel because they wished to complete medical treatment or studies in Iraq which is outside of our control. An application is only activated once UNHCR submits their application to the UK Border Agency.

Time frames for decision making are communicated to locally engaged staff at the time of their interview and at regular intervals through meetings with the LE staff manager based in Amman.

Entry Clearances: Overseas Students

Damian Green: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many entry visas for students attending colleges which were subsequently closed on the intervention of the UK Border Agency were issued in (a) 2007 and (b) 2008; and how many such visas were issued between 1 January and 31 October 2009. [301232]

Mr. Woolas: Since the introduction of PBS Tier 4 on 31 March 2009, UKBA has the authority to suspend or revoke the licence of a college. Of the 1,800 colleges currently licensed, 14 had their licences revoked between 1 April and 31 October this year. The number of visas issued to students attending these colleges in 2007, 2008 and 2009 is shown in the following table:

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College 2007 2008 2009 Grand total

Bells College





Brookes College





Concept Care College





Holborn School of Finance and Management





London Academy for Higher Education





London College of Science and Technology





London College Wimbledon





London Reading College





London School of Language t/a Great Chapel College





Middlesex College





St Martin's Business School





The Muslim college





Waterloo School of English





Grand Total





Mr. Oaten: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many students have been (a) served with enforcement notices and (b) deported since the implementation of Tier 4 of the points-based immigration system. [301658]

Mr. Woolas [holding answer 25 November 2009]: Tier 4 of the points based system was implemented on 31 March 2009, replacing the previous arrangements for overseas students to come and study in the UK.

Between 31 March 2009 and 14 December 2009 2101 former students, which would include people who were students under the arrangements which applied before the implementation of Tier 4, have been served with enforcement form IS 151A of which 1,811 have been removed from the UK.

These figures are not provided under National Statistics protocols and have been derived from local management information. They are therefore provisional and subject to change.

Mr. Oaten: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to the answer of 30 November 2009, Official Report, column 481W, on entry clearances: overseas students, how many and what percentage of administrative reviews have been completed within 28 days. [307730]

Mr. Woolas [holding answer 15 December 2009]: As I advised the hon. Member in my answer of 30 November 2009, Official Report, column 481W, we do not record information on the duration of the administrative review process.

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