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Mr. Watson: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills if he will publish the travel guidance issued to staff of each of his Department's agencies and non-departmental public bodies. 
Mr. McFadden: I have approached the chief executives of the Insolvency Service, Companies House, the National Measurement Office and the Intellectual Property Office and they will respond to my hon. Friend directly.
For travel guidance issued to NDPB staff, the chief executive of each body should be contacted. A list of the Department's NDPBs can be found at the following link, under BERR's and DIUS's public bodies directories 2009:
I am replying on behalf of Companies House to your Parliamentary Question tabled 28 January 2010, UIN 314926 to the Minister of State for Business, Innovation and Skills.
Companies House follows the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills published guidelines for its own travel guidance issued to staff.
The Minister of State, for the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) has asked me to reply to your question if he will publish the travel guidance issued to staff of each of his Department's agencies and non-departmental public bodies.
Travel guidance is in the Insolvency Service staff handbook (Employment Matters) and this is published on the Intranet. It is planned that this will also be published on the Insolvency Service's Internet site within the next six weeks in accordance with the Freedom of Information publishing requirements.
I am responding in respect of the National Measurement Office to your Parliamentary Question tabled on 28 January asking the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, about the travel guidance issued to staff in the Department's agencies and non-departmental public bodies.
Please find attached the travel guidance issued to NMO staff.
NMO Guidance on Managing and Authorizing Staff Travel
Managing and authorising staff travel
The nature of the Agency's work means that there is a need for some staff to undertake business travel on occasions.
Given the substantial impact that travel costs have on the Agency's budget, and to minimise environmental damage through CO2 emissions, business travel should be kept to a minimum.
Budget Holders, line managers, staff and finance all have a role to play and this section sets out these roles.
The role of Budget holders, in particular Business Team Managers, is to make sure that:
budget estimates for travel and subsistence are based on a critical and realistic assessment of need
line managers work within the budget ceiling
there is flexibility in the allocation of funds between line managers
regular information is made available to enable effective management of staff travel.
staff take full advantage of the services and discounts available from departmental travel providers.
Line managers are responsible for:
day-to-day authorisation of travel requests (where they have specific delegated authority)
day-to-day approval of claims
keeping the cost of travel and subsistence within their delegated authorities
deciding who carries out particular tasks involving travel
communicating the need to plan travel responsibly and minimise travel costs.
As part of their role line managers need to consider whether travelling is really necessary to meet specific work objectives.
If travel is absolutely necessary, particular attention should be paid to:
the number and grades of staff travelling
the frequency and duration of travel.
Line managers are responsible for deciding who carries out specific travel-related activities, and should ensure that travel is conducted by the most suitable method available, with consideration for the cost incurred and the environmental impact.
Line managers should use the information on claim forms to check:
the agreed method of travel was used
allowances claimed are correct and comply with departmental rules
overall costs (in time and money) were kept to a minimum.
Line managers must make sure that staff:
inform them of the purpose and details of all visits in advance of booking travel, to help control costs
plan travel efficiently, for instance arranging a full day's appointments in one location
rather than visit on two successive part-days
plan itineraries to reduce costs and/or mileage
book early to secure whatever cheaper fares are available and take advantage of offers available through recognised booking agents and operators
Travellers and travel bookers
Travellers and travel bookers must make sure that any staff travel arrangements make the best overall use of official time, fares and subsistence. It is the responsibility of the traveller to ensure that they have adequate funds, the correct form is completed (with receipts attached) and to obtain authorisation before submitting to finance for payment. Payment may be delayed if the form is not completed adequately.
In order to choose the most appropriate method of travel, travellers should bear in mind the following:
Staff who would normally qualify for first-class rail travel should consider travelling second class where the dearer fare offers no practical advantage, eg for short journeys and for longer journeys on routes which are known not to be crowded.
For staff required to travel 6500 miles or more by car each year it is as cheap to provide a lease car as to pay standard rate mileage allowance. For staff with an annual mileage of 9000 miles and above, a lease car can provide savings of up to a third.
Self-drive hire as a short-term measure may sometimes be the most economical option.
Taxis can be cost-effective for short journeys. Used discriminately, they can save much official time, especially with more than one person travelling. However, travellers should make sensible choices based on comparisons with available public transport before opting for travel by taxi.
Car sharing will substantially reduce travel costs.
For longer journeys travel by air is usually cheaper, taking into account savings in travelling time and overnight subsistence. Similarly, overnight sleeper services can cut travel costs.
Where there is a need to work on a Journey rail travel offers advantages which may outweigh the savings from cheaper forms of travel
All staff should try and share examples of best practice.
It is the responsibility of the Finance team to:
check that claims follow guidance and that they have received all the necessary documentation required to make payment and to enable the correct Business Team and service to be charged-and follow up any insufficient documentation;
keep records for audit purposes: and
I am responding in respect of the Intellectual Property Office to your Parliamentary Question tabled 28 January 2010, to the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.
The Intellectual Property Office (IPO) is a Trading Fund and Executive Agency of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. The IPO publishes its travel guidance to staff via its staff handbook, on its internal intranet site.
David Simpson: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what estimate he has made of the number of (a) males and (b) females who have taken involuntary early retirement in the last 12 months. 
Mr. McFadden: The Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS), estimates that five people in the Department have taken involuntary early retirement in the last 12 months but further details cannot be given on the grounds of confidentiality.
Mr. Burstow: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills how many people have applied to their employer for flexible working arrangements to assist them with their caring responsibilities in the last 12 months; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. McFadden: The new employment rights introduced in April 2003 gave parents of children under six and disabled children under 18 the right to request flexible working; this was extended to carers in April 2007 and parents of children aged 16 and under in April 2009. There are no requirements for either employers or employees to notify the department when requests are made to work flexibly. The department does not have the requested information for the past 12 months, nor does the department have evidence on the number of requests accepted or rejected by carers since 2007.
However, the department conducts periodic sample surveys to estimate the proportions of employees making requests to change their regular working hours and the proportion of such requests accepted or rejected. The most recent employee survey (Third Work Life Balance Employees' Survey) was conducted in 2006, before the implementation of the extension of the right to request to carers. Table 1 presents the findings from the 2006 Survey.
Employees with parental responsibilities (defined as having dependent children aged under 19): in 2006, 20 per cent. of working parents (employees with dependent children undue nine years old) had made a request to change their regular working pattern during the previous two years, and 80% of requests had been accepted.
Employees with adult caring responsibilities (defined as looking after sick, disabled or elderly adults): in 2006, 26 per cent. of employees with adult caring responsibilities had made a request to change their working pattern, with 79 per cent. of requests accepted (11 per cent. rejected).
|Table 1: Request made to employer to change how they work at some point over previous two years, employees; Outcome of request by parental status and adult caring responsibilities|
|Request made to change how regularly worked during the previous two years( 1)||Requests accepted by employer( 2 ) (fully and partially)||Request declined by employer( 3)|
|(1) Over the last two years, have you approached your current employer to make a request to change how you regularly work for a sustained period of time|
(2) Was your request to change the way you regularly work agreed to?
(3) Not all requests had an outcome by the time of the survey
(4) Parental status is defined in the survey as having dependent children aged 18 or less;' Adult carers are defined as people who look after adults who are sick, disabled or elderly, whether they live with the carer or not
Third Work-Life Balance Survey 2006. ( 2,081 employees across Great Britain)
Mr. Benyon: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills whether his Department has received representations on the recent dispute between Fujitsu and Fujitsu employees on redundancies, levels of pay and company pensions policy. 
Mr. McFadden: The Department has received a small number of letters about the rationalisation programme announced by Fujitsu Services last August, and the related dispute with some of its employees. The resolution of a dispute is a matter for the parties concerned, with the assistance of ACAS available, where both parties request their intervention.
Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills how many places there were in (a) further and (b) higher education institutions in academic year 2008-09. 
Mr. Lammy [holding answer 26 February 2010]: In 2008/09 academic year (provisional), 4,756,600 learners participated in Learning and Skills Council funded learning (excluding Higher Education and school sixth forms).(1)
Source s :
(1) Individualised Learner Record. Includes participation in further education provision, Apprenticeships, Train to Gain, Adult Safeguarded Learning and University for Industry.
(2) Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) Student Record
Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills if he will take steps to simplify the arrangements for funding of colleges; and if he will make a statement. 
Kevin Brennan: As set out in "Skills for Growth" (November 2009), the Government are committed to simplifying the further education (FE) and skills landscape. We will reduce the number of separate publicly-funded agencies, and the funding and monitoring of FE colleges will be undertaken through a simpler and lighter touch approach.
From April 2010, the Skills Funding Agency will have responsibility for allocating and delivering funding to colleges to support the training of adults (aged 19 and over). Each college and training organisation funded through the Skills Funding Agency will have a single contact point through their account manager.
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