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Claire Ward: In 2005 the Government gave a commitment to review specific aspects of the Advocate's Graduated Fee Scheme (AGFS), including payments for 'cracked' trials and guilty pleas. However, this commitment was overtaken by Lord Carter's Review of Legal Aid Procurement, published in 2006. This led to a wide- ranging revision of the existing AGFS framework, implemented in April 2007. In light of these recent changes, the Government do not currently intend to conduct any further review of the structure of the AGFS, although they have recently consulted on changes to the rates payable under the AGFS.
Claire Ward: When assessing financial eligibility, the Legal Services Commission (LSC) does not take into account assets frozen under a restraint order. Where someone is subject to restraint procedures a living allowance is usually made available, and this is taken into account in assessing their financial eligibility. The LSC's management information systems do not hold information on the numbers of people subject to restraint proceedings, or on the living allowances each individual has been allowed by the court, so figures for the number of people who are in principle eligible for legal aid as a result of restraint proceedings are not available. Some information may be held on individuals who have actually applied for legal aid, but this is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
Maria Eagle: Information on the number of staff employed in Regional Offender Management Offices in January 2008 is not available. At that time the staff reported to the Home Office but the records are no longer available and would require a substantial reactivation exercise that would entail disproportionate cost, to obtain.
|Staff employed within Director of Offender Management Offices , 31 December 2009|
|Region||Staff employed||Staff declared surplus( 1)||Vacancies|
|(1) Staff declared surplus are also included in the 'Staff employed' column.|
|Regional and National H eadquarters 31 December 2004 to 2009|
|(1) In 2005 a large number of staff transferred to the original NOMS headquarters, which was part of the core Home Office. The staff transferred back in 2008 when NOMS HQ was formed. These staff are not included in the table for die period when they were part of the core Home Office.|
Mr. Gerrard: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice whether his Department takes in to account the state pension costs of retired staff when calculating the cost of a prison place in England and Wales. 
Maria Eagle: The annual cost per prison place is based on expenditure met by the National Offender Management Service (NOMS) during the year. It does not include the pension cost of staff who have already retired, not the cost of the state retirement pension.
The cost includes the expected cost of pension benefits accrued by staff employed during the year and also the additional cost arising from any staff who leave as part of an early retirement programme during the year.
Present and past employees of NOMS receive pension benefits covered by the provisions of the Principal Civil Service Pension Scheme (PCSPS) which is unfunded. Liability for payment of future benefits to retired staff is a charge to the PCSPS.
Mr. Gerrard: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many illicit mobile telephones with or without SIM cards detected in prisons in England and Wales were forwarded to the National Dog Technology Supply Group in the latest period for which figures are available; and what estimate he has made of the number of such telephones detected and not forwarded. 
Maria Eagle: The Government are committed to reducing the number of mobile phones in prisons. We have already strengthened the law through the Offender Management Act 2007, which made it an offence with a penalty of up to two years' imprisonment to bring a mobile phone or component into a prison. We are also taking forward legislation through the Crime and Security Bill to criminalise the possession of devices, including mobile telephones within a prison without authorisation.
Prisons in England and Wales are instructed to send mobile phones and SIM cards found to a central unit and it is from this unit's records that this answer is based. The following table shows the total number of mobile phones and SIM cards that have been interrogated over the last 12 months.
The figures contained in the table have been drawn from administrative data systems. Although care is taken when processing data, the detail collected is subject to the inaccuracies inherent in any large scale recording system. These data are not subject to audit.
The figures understate the actual number of finds, because they do not include items retained by the police for evidential purposes and phones not submitted for other reasons. It is not always appropriate to send phones to the central unit and some phones sent are not
interrogated. These have not been included in these figures. NOMS is putting in place new procedures to improve the accuracy of these statistics.
Tackling mobile phones in prison presents substantial and increasing technological challenges, and while the numbers of phones found clearly indicates the scale of the challenge, it is also a reflection of prisons' increasing success in finding them and better reporting. The following table shows the number of mobile phones and SIM cards that have been received from each of the prisons over the last 12 months.
|Mobile phones and SIM cards submitted to central unit , March 2009 to February 2010|
Each mobile phone and SIM card is counted as a separate item.
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