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|Table 2: NDPBs' consultancy expenditure|
Consultancy and advisory services cover the provision to the Home Office of objective advice and assistance relating to strategy, structure, management or operations of an organisation in pursuit of its purposes and objectives. The use of external consultants provides the Department with specialist knowledge, skill, capacity and technical expertise that would not otherwise be available.
The Department's overall expenditure on consultancy services represents a small part of the Home Office's overall spend, and at the end of the first half of the current financial year, it stood at some 5.8 per cent. of total overall expenditure, down from 8 per cent. in the previous year.
The Department has in place a series of workstreams designed to bear down on departmental reliance and expenditure on consultancy and other external resources, including being the first Government Department to have introduced (in 2009) prescribed daily fee rates for contractors.
Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what information technology projects initiated by (a) his Department and (b) its agencies were cancelled prior to completion in the last 12 months; and what the cost of each such project was to the public purse. 
Mr. Woolas: No information technology project with a cost threshold of £5 million or more has been cancelled within the Home Office core or its Executive agencies prior to its completion within the last 12 months and no costs have therefore been incurred. Below this cost threshold information is not readily available and could be obtained therefore only at disproportionate cost.
Mr. Heald: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to the answer of 4 March 2010, Official Report, column 1374W, on departmental internet, what the cost was of the website redesign. 
Mr. Heald: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many designs for its (a) internal website and (b) intranet his Department has commissioned since 2005; and what the cost was of each such design. 
John Mason: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what property has been recorded as (a) lost and (b) stolen from his Department in the last 12 months; and what estimate has been made of the cost of the replacement of that property. 
Mr. Syms: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Ruislip Northwood of 5 January 2010, Official Report, column 103W, on departmental marketing, how much his Department and agencies have spent on advertising, marketing, public relations and publicity in relation to (a) Real Help Now and (b) Building Britain's Future themed campaigns to date. 
Mr. Woolas: The Home Office and its agencies have not spent any money on advertising, marketing, public relations or publicity in relation to (a) Real Help Now and (b) Building Britain's Future themed campaigns.
Mr. Carmichael: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many full-time equivalent nurses provided health services at (a) Dungavel House, (b) Tinsley House and (c) Yarl's Wood in each of the last six years; 
At Dungavel House, from September 2006 to May 2009, 7.5 full-time equivalent (FTE) nurses provided health services. This increased to 8.25 FTE from May 2009. 0.75 FTE of a general practitioner attends the centre daily with additional support through an on call service.
At Tinsley House, for the past six years, 5.3 FTE nurses have provided health services. 0.5 FTE of a general practitioner attends the centre daily in the current year. In each of the previous five years, the FTE has been 0.7.
Mr. MacNeil: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how long on average it took for detainees to be transferred from Dungavel House to detention facilities in England in (a) 2007-08, (b) 2008-09 and (c) 2009-10. 
In accordance with the Detention Centre Rules 2001, all detainees undergo a health screening with a nurse within two hours of their arrival, and an appointment is made for them to see a GP within 24 hours. GPs will see detainees earlier than this if there is a particular acute need.
The health care teams in immigration removal centres include Registered Mental Nurses and provide a range of welfare services such as counselling to help detainees to manage their time in detention where they are suffering from stress of depression.
Where a detainee is suffering from a more serious form of mental illness, the centres have access to psychiatrists either to advise on the more appropriate course of action, in conjunction with the local primary care trust.
Mr. MacNeil: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what discussions he has had with his Italian counterparts on the removal to Italy of Eritrean detainees held in immigration removal centres. 
Mr. Woolas [holding answer 16 March 2010]: The UK Border Agency has regular discussions with our Italian counterparts on a variety of migration issues. This includes regular contact at senior level through the Justice and Home Affairs fora in Europe relating to issues surrounding the continued implementation of the Dublin regulations. Officials in UKBA, including a seconded member of staff permanently based in Rome, regularly discuss specific cases in terms of the Dublin regulations and the logistics of removal, and a number of these cases will relate to Eritreans in detention in the UK.
My right hon. Friend the Home Secretary visited Yarl's Wood in February 2010 and my hon. Friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Office, the Member for Hackney, South and Shoreditch (Meg Hillier), visited Yarl's Wood in March 2010.
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what change there has been to the number of entry clearance applications granted since
the transfer of the processing of such applications from the British consulate in Tel Aviv to the British embassy in Istanbul; whether the decision to transfer responsibility for deciding such applications from Israel to Turkey was made as part of a wider Home Office policy; whether an equality impact assessment was carried out prior to this decision; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Woolas: The hub and spoke programme was implemented in the British consulate in Tel Aviv on 7 April 2008. From this date, applications have been processed at the British embassy in Istanbul. Entry clearance decisions in Istanbul are made by a team of entry clearance officers (ECOs), all of whom at present are British nationals.
Key benefits of the hub and spoke programme include the consolidation of staff and complicated administrative functions into fewer locations to improve productivity and efficiency; improved quality and consistency of decision making; greater resilience and flexibility of the overseas network by allowing staff and their work to be located in more stable locations; and the delivery of customer service benefits such as the increase in the number of locations at which applications can be registered.
For the financial year of 2007-08, 1,886 visas were granted at the British consulate in Tel Aviv. Following the implantation of the hub and spoke programme, 1,500 visas applied for in Tel Aviv were granted in the financial year of 2008-09. Israelis do not require a visa to visit the UK.
Hilary Armstrong: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment he has made of the effects of the introduction of the points-based immigration system on the number of doctors and nurses from Africa applying to work in the NHS. 
Mr. Woolas: The points-based system enables health sector employers to recruit from abroad where no suitable residents are available. Where this is due to a national shortage of suitably skilled people the shortage occupation list eases their entry.
Ms Abbott: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what proportion of entry clearance applications for settlement as a spouse in the UK submitted to the British consulate in Tel Aviv were granted prior to the transfer of the processing of such applications to the British embassy in Istanbul; what proportion of applicants were of (a) Israeli and (b) non-Israeli background; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Woolas: Between April 2007 and March 2008, 152 applications for spouse/civil partner settlement, or leading to settlement visas, were processed at the British consulate in Tel Aviv, with an issue rate of 98 per cent. The processing of such applications was transferred to the British embassy in Istanbul on 7 April 2008.
Ms Abbott: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what proportion of entry clearance applications for settlement as a spouse in the UK submitted to the British consulate in Tel Aviv between June 2008 and May 2009 and processed by the British embassy in Istanbul were granted; what proportion of applicants were of (a) Israeli and (b) non-Israeli background; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Woolas: Between June 2008 and May 2009, 103 applications for spouse/civil partner settlement, or leading to settlement visas, were submitted to the British consulate in Tel Aviv and processed by the British embassy in Istanbul, with an issue rate of 94 per cent.
Mr. Sanders: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what criteria he plans to use to determine whether a Tier 4 visa sponsor is highly trusted; and for what reasons all Tier 4 visa sponsors should not be considered highly trusted. 
Mr. Woolas: The criteria for Highly Trusted Sponsors will be published on 22 March. The scheme will be implemented on 6 April. The UK Border Agency has consulted with the education sector on the development of the criteria.
Highly trusted sponsors will be required to meet tough new additional criteria and demonstrate that they have a track record of success in terms of bringing genuine students to the UK. These guidelines are being introduced for sponsors who wish to recruit international students in categories where there is a higher risk of abuse.
David Lepper: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether his Department examined visa requirements for students wishing to enter other countries with a substantial English language teaching sector in its recent revision of the Tier 4 points-based system. 
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