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8 Mar 2010 : Column 70W—continued

The Department will continue to work, in conjunction with its estates partners and other key stakeholders, to reduce its energy consumption and achieve its carbon budget. It will continue to source renewable energy as part of the pan-government energy procurement contracts which currently require 10 per cent. of energy from renewable sources coupled with 15 per cent. of energy from good quality combined heat and power.

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Dan Rogerson: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what steps her Department plans to take to participate in the Earth Hour event on 27 March 2010. [319105]

Jonathan Shaw: DWP pays particular attention to any out-of-hours consumption of energy and we have registered to take part in this year's Earth Hour event, as we did in 2009. We will be working with our Estates Partner to ensure that the lights are off in our buildings from 8.30 pm on Saturday 27 March for one hour. We will also promote this event internally to our staff.

Departmental Internet

Grant Shapps: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how much has been spent on (a) strategy and planning, (b) design and build, (c) hosting and infrastructure, (d) content provision and (e) testing and evaluation for her Department's websites in each of the last three years; and what budget has been allocated for such activities in 2009-10. [309904] [Official Report, 29 March 2010, Vol. 508, c. 5MC.]

Jim Knight: Websites managed within the Department include:

Ongoing creation, development and maintenance of websites managed by the Department is mainly carried out by the Department's own in-house digital media team and in-house maintenance team. It is not possible for us to extract and quantify previous or forecast costs for the all the categories requested, in particular strategy and content provision, because in most cases, staff working across these areas are engaged in more than one role and/or website. Similarly, our hosting and infrastructure costs form part of a wider departmental IT contract.

We can provide figures for the redevelopment of the DWP website and the Office for Disability Issues website as we ran separate projects with separate budgets within
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the last three years. The costs quoted are for design and build work only and are not an annual cost.

Website Cost (£000)


DWP Corporate



Office for Disability Issues


There are no plans to spend money on design and build in 2009-10 for these two websites.

Figures available for testing and evaluation are:

Cost (£000)



The Pension Service



Jobcentre Plus


Planned spend


The Pension Service



Jobcentre Plus



DWP Corporate



Office for Disability Issues


There is no separate Directgov budget for the elements specified.

We are working with Cabinet Office to implement a standardised method for quantifying website costs across Government in line with Central Office of Information guidelines. This is in response to a Public Accounts Committee recommendation. These costs will be available from April 2010 onwards as per the timetable.

Departmental Ministerial Policy Advisers

Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many full-time equivalent staff of each grade are employed by her Department to assist special advisers. [321146]

Jonathan Shaw: There are two full-time equivalent staff employed to assist the special advisors, one executive officer and one higher executive officer.

Departmental Paper

Martin Horwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what (a) suppliers and (b) brands of (i) paper and (ii) paper products her Department uses; and what her Department's policy is on the procurement of those materials. [320022]

Jonathan Shaw: Either directly or through their subcontractors-Xerox (UK) Ltd. provide DWP with the following paper and paper products:

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At present, cut sheet papers are branded primarily by Banner, M Real, Steinbeis, Datacopy, Hewlett Packard and Xerox. From April 2010, DWP will move to a single brand of 100 per cent. recycled cut paper-Xerox Recycled.

The majority of DWP forms are currently produced on a 100 per cent. recycled paper branded Releaf.

To maximise value for money, the Department's policy is to use only products through the Xerox contract.

Other paper products are provided through other central contracts:

Employment and Support Allowance

Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many and what proportion of claimants of employment and support allowance had attended their first interview with a Jobcentre Plus personal adviser before attending their first appointment with a medical professional working for ATOS in the latest period for which information is available. [319978]

Jonathan Shaw [holding answer 2 March 2010]: The information requested is not publicly available and could be made so only at disproportionate cost.

Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what her latest assessment is of the administrative efficiency of the referral process for incapacity benefit or employment and support allowance claimants to Pathways to Work providers; whether it is the practice of Jobcentre Plus that its staff may not send client referral information electronically to providers; and what discussions she has had on introduction of IT arrangements to assist Jobcentre Plus with the administration of referrals to Pathways to Work providers. [319979]

Jonathan Shaw [holding answer 2 March 2010]: When provider led Pathways to Work was first introduced the Department did not have a system in place which allowed the secure electronic transfer of customer data to external organisations.

The Department ensures that safeguards are built into the process to protect personal customer details by restricting the number of individual customer details. In some areas, Jobcentre Plus conducts the initial interview on provider premises. Where this happens the referral is immediately handed to the provider.

The Department is now in the process of rolling out a more efficient and secure IT based solution to refer customers from Jobcentre Plus to external providers for all commercial employment programmes. The Provider Referrals and Payments (PRaP) System began operating in October 2009 in support of the flexible new deal programme. At the point of contract award or renewal it is intended that all commercial employment programmes
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will adopt the PRaP IT solution both for referring individual customers and to make the associated payments to providers.

Employment Schemes

Paul Rowen: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions when all prime contractors for the new Work Choice contracts will be informed of the outcome of their bid; what recent progress has been made in negotiations with potential Work Choice subcontractors; and if she will make a statement. [320178]

Jim Knight [holding answer 3 March 2010]: Following the completion of the invitation to tender stage of the procurement exercise for this programme, the intention is to notify all those organisations designated as preferred bidders by 5 March. Unsuccessful bidders will be notified during week commencing 15 March.

The sourcing team responsible for the procurement of Work Choice will be taking forward post tender discussions with the designated preferred bidders with the intention of agreeing and awarding contracts by 30 April 2010.

Although we evaluate the subcontractor supply chains, we do not directly get involved in subcontractor negotiations.

Paul Rowen: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions whether she has set a target time in which participants in the Work Choice programme move into unsupported employment; whether an individual target direction is determined for each programme participant; and in what ways a participant's individual circumstances are taken into account in Work Choice programme timetables. [320179]

Jonathan Shaw [holding answer 3 March 2010]: There are no individual time constraints in which Work Choice participants are expected to move into unsupported employment. We will expect providers to focus on helping customers progress into sustainable open employment, wherever possible.

Support provided by Work Choice will be tailored to the individual needs of the customer. We want customers who need supported employment to get more consistent, quality support that helps them progress at work and ultimately into unsupported employment, where appropriate.

Work Choice providers and employers will work with the customer and agree an individual development plan, which is at the heart of their relationship. It is a living document, which will be reviewed regularly and adapted to the changing needs of the customer over what may be a long-term relationship, in order to help them progress in their career and stay in work.

Housing Benefit: Travelling People

Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if she will make it her policy that the absence of planning permission is taken into account when awarding housing benefit to those residing in dwellings on Traveller sites. [319747]

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Helen Goodman: Housing benefit is available to secure the occupation of a person's home by providing help towards the rent that person is liable to pay on it. Where that home is a caravan or mobile home it is possible that a person may have two separate liabilities to pay rent, one for the caravan or mobile home and one for the site on which it stands. Help from benefit is available toward both.

As long as the person has a properly enforceable liability to pay rent for their caravan or mobile home, a claim for benefit would be dealt with in the normal way.

This would be less clear cut if a charge was being made for a pitch fee where the site has no planning permission. It might be that without planning permission the pitch fee would be unenforceable and therefore would not be eligible for housing benefit. If that is the case then no help would be given toward any pitch fee that may be charged.

Jobseeker's Allowance

Jim Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the results were of occupational analysis of the jobseeker's allowance claimant count undertaken by her Department in (a) 2006 and (b) 2009. [319336]

Angela E. Smith: I have been asked to reply.

The information requested falls within the responsibility of the UK Statistics Authority. I have asked the authority to reply.

Letter from Stephen Penneck:

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