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Further to the Written Answer by Baroness Scotland of Asthal on 18 December 2006 (WA 253), what biometric or other information will be contained in the electronic record of the e-Borders programme scheduled to commence in 2008.[HL1410]
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.
Further to the Written Answer by Baroness Scotland of Asthal on 13 December (WA 195) regarding correspondence via the open letters pages of newspapers, whether this policy applies only in Hong Kong or on a world-wide basis; and whether they will place in the Library of the House any documents which record this policy and the date on which it was adopted. [HL925]
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.
To whom the descendants of a deceased person who, in July 1953, became a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies in Uganda by naturalisation or registration can apply to obtain a copy of his naturalisation or registration application records. [HL1034]
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.
Further to the Written Answer by Baroness Scotland of Asthal on 16 January (WA 143-44) on the joint Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Home Office visit to Nepal, which Nepalese Ministers attended the meeting on 22 November 2006; and what further steps they are now taking following the expiry of the one-month time limit before which they expected confirmation from the Nepalese authorities of the statements the latter made at the meeting.[HL1404]
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 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.
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.
In light of the provisions of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 prescribing a mandatory custodial sentence of five years for unlawful possession of a prohibited weapon other than in exceptional circumstances, whether they have made any assessment of a recent case where a person who was found in possession of a self-contained gas cartridge revolver in a public place was offered a caution. [HL1075]
How much the Government Office for the East of England has spent on internal administration in each year since its creation; and what is this figure expressed as a percentage of its total budget in each relevant year. [HL1137]
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:
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:
How many failed asylum applicants with dependent children were receiving income and other benefits at the most recent date for which figures are available; what was the estimated annual cost of providing these benefits; how many have agreed to return voluntarily; and whether all such cases received support via the National Asylum Support Service. [HL1022]
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).
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).
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.
Further to the Written Answer by Baroness Scotland of Asthal on 8 January (WA 356), what criteria were used in compensating police authorities for expenditure on the Government's police merger plans, now largely dropped, whereby some authorities were compensated in full, but others received smaller sums down to 20 per cent of their expenditure. [HL1349]
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.
How many prisoners who are released on temporary licence are subject to a condition that no alcohol will be consumed; and whether the risk assessment which underpins the use of release on temporary licence takes account of the role alcohol played in the offence for which the prisoner was sentenced.[HL1402]
Lord Bassam of Brighton: All temporary release licences include a condition prohibiting the offender from consuming alcohol. In exceptional casesfor example, temporary release to a marriage or religious ceremonythis 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 www.hmprisonservice.gov.uk.
Whether the Custody-National Offender Management Information System (C-NOMIS) was implemented at HM Prison Albany on10 December 2006; and when the review of the implementation will be published. [HL1147]
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.
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