Dr. Evan Harris: To ask the Leader of the House with reference to the Resolution of the House of 4 March 2010, Official Report, column 1099, what steps she is taking to establish a Backbench Business Committee in time for the beginning of the next Parliament and to implement the associated recommendations of the First Report of the Select Committee on Reform of the House of Commons, Session 2008-09. 
Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what recent assessment she has made of the level of demand for employment support from carers; and how many carers have been helped into work as a result of the £38 million funding for employment support for carers referred to in the 2008 National Carers Strategy for Carers. 
Jonathan Shaw: The National Carers Strategy included a commitment that, by 2011, Jobcentre Plus would ensure carers have access to appropriate employment programmes, and fund replacement care for those participating in approved training.
Work focused support for carers provides adviser support and training opportunities for carers who did not already have access to employment programmes. We estimate that 4,000 carers a year will take part in work focused support for carers in addition to those already accessing support through new deal or pathways to work programmes.
Carers can have replacement care costs paid if they are taking part in training or attending interviews with advisers or employers as part of a return to work action plan. We estimate that 33,000 carers a year will request replacement care.
In the 12 weeks since work focused support for carers and replacement care funding started, 420 carers have attended a work focused support for carers initial interview. It is too early to report take up of replacement care.
Helen Goodman: The number of complaints relating to the Child Support Agency received and accepted by the independent case examiner (ICE) in each of the last five years is contained in the following table.
|Number of complaints about the Child Support Agency received by ICE||Number of complaints about the Child Support Agency accepted by ICE|
The independent case examiner can accept only those complaints that fall within his jurisdiction, and only after the Child Support Agency has first had the opportunity to respond to them. Complaints addressed prematurely to the independent case examiner are redirected to the agency for resolution.
Stewart Hosie: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many cases of absent parents resident in (a) Scotland and (b) Dundee, East constituency are currently being managed by the Child Support Agency. 
Helen Goodman: The Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission is responsible for the child maintenance system. I have asked the Child Maintenance Commissioner to write to the hon. Member with the information requested and I have seen the response.
In reply to your recent Parliamentary Question about the Child Support Agency, the Secretary of State promised a substantive reply from the Child Maintenance Commissioner as the Child Support Agency is now the responsibility of the Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission.
You asked the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many cases of absent parents resident in (a) Scotland and (b) Dundee, East constituency are currently being managed by the Child Support Agency. 
Latest figures available show as at December 2009, the number of cases in Scotland is 111,050; of these 2,120 are in the Parliamentary Constituency of Dundee, East. These figures include old scheme cases with a full or interim maintenance assessment as well as current scheme cases with a full maintenance calculation or default maintenance decision. Figures are adjusted to reflect those cases administered clerically.
I hope you find this answer helpful.
Mr. Stephen O'Brien:
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what assessment she has made of the capacity of prime contractors to (a) monitor
and (b) review the quality of service provided by sub-contractors; and whether she has made an assessment of the level of knowledge of each prime contractor of (i) Public Service Agreement 16 and (ii) personalisation. 
Jim Knight: All DWP welfare to work contracts are procured through open and fair competition in accordance with public procurement policy and EU regulations. The criteria are published on the DWP website at the start of any competition, so that all potential bidders are aware of the basis on which the tenders will be evaluated.
As part of the tender evaluation process, we ask prime contractors to tell us how they will fully meet the varied needs of all customers, including where appropriate socially excluded customers such as those covered by PSA 16. In addition, we ask prime contractors to give details of all their sub-contractors in their tenders and we take into account the performance, skills and experience of the sub-contractors during the tender assessment process. In addition, we consider whether prime contractors and sub-contractors have robust performance management systems.
Post contract award DWP contractors are required to meet all of the quality and delivery standards set out in the contract specification, and are subject to ongoing monitoring by DWP Contract Managers. In addition to this, they are subject to independent quality inspection by Ofsted in England, Estyn in Wales and HM Inspectorate of Education in Scotland.
Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how much her Department has spent on information technology in the last three financial years; how much was spent on (a) software development and testing and (b) applications including (i) staff training, (ii) the cost of new hardware and software and (iii) the cost of launching into the live environment. 
This enabled the development of new applications which are being used by DWP staff to improve customer service and streamline processes. The Department has a very strong track record in delivering major and complex change involving IT. Every project is subject to continuous rigorous scrutiny to ensure it fits with departmental strategy and delivers value for money.
Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what information technology projects initiated by her Department and its agencies have been cancelled prior to completion in the last 12 months; and what the cost of each such project was to the public purse. 
Mr. Maude: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions which external contractors have been given contracts worth over £1 million for work on directgov; and how much has been spent on each contract excluding value added tax. 
Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the average length of time was between a referral from Jobcentre Plus and the first appointment with a Pathways to Work provider for claimants of incapacity benefit or employment and support allowance in the latest period for which figures are available. 
Jim Knight [holding answer 2 March 2010]: Information on the length of time between a referral and the date when a provider conducts the first work-focused interview is not published and could be made available only at disproportionate cost.
Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many claimants of employment and support allowance have been sanctioned in the latest period for which information is available; and what the monetary value was of those sanctions. 
Jonathan Shaw [holding answer on 2 March 2010]: The Department does not publish data on the number of people who have been sanctioned who claim employment and support allowance; such data could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
Anne Main: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) how many people were in receipt of (a) contributory employment and support allowance, (b) income-related employment and support allowance and (c) all types of employment and support allowance in each of the last six months; 
|Number of individuals in receipt of contributory and income-related employment and support allowance in the last four quarters|
|November 2008||February 2009||May 2009||August 2009( 1)|
|(1 )Provisional data.|
1. Caseload figures are rounded to the nearest ten
2. Employment and support allowance replaced incapacity benefit and income support paid on the grounds of incapacity for new claims from 27 October 2009.
3. The figures relating to employment support allowance have been thoroughly quality assured to National Statistics standard however it should be noted that this is a new benefit using a new data source which may not have reached steady state in terms of operational processing and retrospection. Hence most recent data shown are provisional.
Department for Work and Pensions Information Directorate: Work and Pensions Longitudinal Study
Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what assessment she has made of the relative levels of (a) personal service and (b) altruistic benefit offered by (i) third sector and small to medium-sized providers and (ii) large employment organisations under the Work Choice programme. 
Jonathan Shaw: Work Choice is an ambitious and innovative programme and potential delivery organisations, from the public, private and third sectors, have been made fully aware of the clearly defined service requirements.
A crucial principle of the programme is the requirement to fully support the specific needs of individual customers and provide more opportunity for them to exercise choice and control. All Work Choice providers will have to deliver these key requirements. Robust and comprehensive quality assurance and continuous improvement systems are to be implemented and applied to ensure that they are met.
Jim Knight [holding answer 3 March 2010]: Jobcentre Plus is committed to helping all its customers into paid employment, both full-time and part-time. However, it does not have a target focused specifically on assisting customers into part-time work.
Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if she will set out, with statistical information related as directly as possible to Great Grimsby constituency, the effects of her Department's policies on that constituency since 1997. 
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