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Written Answers

Friday 26 January 2007


Lord Marlesford asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Bassam of Brighton: The electronic record of the e-Borders programme will contain passenger data submitted to the e-Borders system by air, sea and rail carriers in advance of their travelling in to or out of the UK. For each passenger, this will include the eight key fields of biographical data held in their travel document (name, place and date of birth, gender, nationality, passport number, date of issue and expiry date) details of the specific journey being undertaken, and passenger reservation details where the carrier has been required to supply this.

The system will also contain the results of the risk assessment performed on the passenger and details of their compliance with UK immigration rules.

Full operating capability is scheduled to be completed in 2014.

British Citizenship

Lord Avebury asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Bassam of Brighton: While there is no formal policy in the Home Office and Foreign and Commonwealth Office about writing to newspapers, it is not considered appropriate for Her Majesty's Government to conduct correspondence with individuals or groups through open letters pages. Letters sent direct to the Home Office or Foreign and Commonwealth Office will receive a reply.

Lord Avebury asked Her Majesty's Government:

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Lord Bassam of Brighton: Such descendants may request a letter confirming details of naturalisation or registration in Uganda by telephoning the London Enquiry Line on 020 7008 0186, which is open between the hours of 10.00 and 12.00 Monday to Thursday or by writing to Nationality and Consular Registration Section, Consular Division, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Old Admiralty Building, London SW1A 2PA. Any descendants living abroad should contact their nearest British Consulate.

Lord Avebury asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Bassam of Brighton: No Nepalese Ministers attended this meeting, only officials from the Government of Nepal. An e-mail was sent to the Nepalese Ministry of Foreign Affairs on 9 January to ask whether it was content with amendments to the meeting record, and for further clarification on a point of law. This has been acknowledged and a response is expected in due course.

Lord Marlesford asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Bassam of Brighton: Aspiring British citizens must either pass a test of their knowledge of the UK that requires English proficiency to the standard of English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL), entry three level, or undertake an English course using specially developed citizenship materials. Those taking the second alternative must successfully complete the course by showing progress from one ESOL level to the next. These requirements will shortly be extended to those seeking permanent residence in the UK.

Crime: False Accusations

Lord Campbell-Savours asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Bassam of Brighton: I understand that of the 32 cases referred to the Court of Appeal by the Criminal Cases Review Commission involving convictions for rape or attempted rape, among the reasons for referral doubts as to the reliability of the evidence of the alleged victim featured in 22 of those references.

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The Earl of Shrewsbury asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Bassam of Brighton: The decision to discontinue proceedings and to offer a caution was taken by the Crown Prosecution Service having full regard to the circumstances of the case.

Government Offices of the Regions: Costs

Lord Hanningfield asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Communities and Local Government (Baroness Andrews):The Government Office for the East of England has spent the following amounts, to the nearest thousand pounds, on internal administration in the years since 1995:























This covers all running costs including staff costs, accommodation etc.

The Government Office manages directly or indirectly programme funds, which forms only one element of the office's role in the region. The office also has a key role in negotiating and brokering local area agreements and regional strategies, for example. Programme funds which are managed directly have been formally delegated to the GO in recent years. Internal administration as a proportion of this total budget is:

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5.6 per cent


7.1 per cent


5.1 per cent

Immigration: Failed Asylum Applicants

Lord Hylton asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Bassam of Brighton: Internal management information shows that in October 2006 there were approximately 7,730 failed asylum applicants with dependent children receiving support from the Home Office Immigration and Nationality Directorate (IND).

The estimated annual cost of IND support for these families is around £150 million.

In 2006, 570 families of asylum seekers or failed asylum seekers applied for assisted voluntary returns. Our records do not show whether all of these families were receiving support from IND.

No figures are available centrally on the number of cases supported by local authorities on the basis of Section 21 of the National Assistance Act 1948. (All numbers of asylum seekers have been rounded to the nearest five).

Name Changes

Lord Marlesford asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Bassam of Brighton: There is no legal obligation for a person changing their name to notify the Identity and Passport Service (IPS) of the change until they apply for a passport. However, a person wishing to obtain a British passport in a new name must submit evidence of the change of name and surrender any existing passport held. On the issue of the passport in the new name, the previous passport record is cancelled on the IPS's database. In the event that the passport in the original name is declared to be lost, the details are notified to the Immigration Service, Interpol and others via the Identity and Passport Service's database of lost, stolen and recovered passports.

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Police: Reorganisation

Lord Jopling asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Bassam of Brighton: An upper limit of £100,000 was set to ensure that the total amount paid to police authorities was affordable from available funds, and that it would provide a threshold under which the majority of forces could expect to be fully reimbursed for their additional costs on this work. Two criteria were employed in exception to this. The first was for those which incurred costs through undertaking work on behalf of a group of forces and police authorities. The second was specific to Lancashire and Cumbria police authorities which were voluntarily undertaking a pilot merger, which was then abandoned.

Prisoners: Alcohol

Lord Avebury asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Bassam of Brighton: All temporary release licences include a condition prohibiting the offender from consuming alcohol. In exceptional cases—for example, temporary release to a marriage or religious ceremony—this condition may be omitted from the licence depending on the assessment of risk. There is no centrally maintained record of cases where this licence condition has been omitted. Data on the number of releases on temporary licence are published in Home Office Statistical Bulletin Offender Management Caseload Statistics 2005.

Prisoners are not granted temporary release without first passing a rigorous risk assessment. This includes the consideration of the prisoner's criminal history and factors which may have contributed to the offending behaviour, such as any history of alcohol or drugs abuse.

Further details of the policy relating to temporary release are set out in Prison Service Order 6300 Release on Temporary Licence, a copy of which is available on the Prison Service website at

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Prisons: C-NOMIS

Baroness Anelay of St Johns asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Bassam of Brighton: The first release of C-NOMIS was very successfully implemented, as planned, in the HM Prison Service designated early adopter, HMP Albany, on 10 December 2006. It is now in use as the operational case management system for the prison.

Initial performance monitoring and feedback from users has been positive.

First post-implementation and lessons-learnt reviews will be conducted in February 2007, which will inform progress on the C-NOMIS project. There are no plans to publish these.

Baroness Anelay of St Johns asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Bassam of Brighton: No date has yet been set for implementation of C-NOMIS in the Northamptonshire Probation Service.

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