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Immigration: Deportation

Baroness Hanham asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): The Enforcement Strategy published in March 2007 sets out how the Border and Immigration Agency will ensure and enforce compliance with our immigration laws, removing the most harmful people first and denying the privileges of the United Kingdom to those here illegally. Copies of the document are placed in the Libraries of both Houses. It is also available to view at www.bia. gourborders/enforcementstrategy/

Baroness Hanham asked Her Majesty's Government:

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Lord West of Spithead: Liam Byrne announced on 14 January that over 4,200 foreign national prisoners have been removed or deported from the UK in 2007, exceeding the Prime Minister's target. This is the most robust and accurate information available on the number of foreign national prisoners that have been deported.

Information on the number of people who have been removed from the United Kingdom as visa overstayers and illegal immigrants can only be obtained by the detailed examination of individual case records at disproportionate cost.

Immigration: Northern Ireland

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): The Border and Immigration Agency has responsibility for immigration control matters throughout the UK, including Northern Ireland, and has a team of enforcement officers based in the Province who work closely with the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI).

The agency, the PSNI and the Garda National Immigration Bureau work collaboratively and run regular intelligence-led operations to counter risks to the common travel area borders. These operations have successfully prevented foreign nationals attempting to enter Northern Ireland and the Republic illegally in both directions.

Operation Gull is a periodic enforcement operation undertaken at ports to detect and remove failed asylum seekers and illegal workers. It has had a number of successes.

We also work with the Garda National Immigration Bureau in Dublin to deal with migrants who cross the land border into NI. The agency operates immigration controls at the international ports in Northern Ireland, refusing entry where appropriate, thereby preventing illegal migrants from entering by those routes.

In addition, the agency works closely with the police service in Scotland in dealing with those who are in the UK illegally and who are identified when seeking to move between the Province and Great Britain.

Northern Ireland: Good Friday Agreement

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Rooker: The term “Good Friday Agreement” is a colloquial term that describes the agreement reached at multi-party talks on Northern Ireland signed on 10 April 1998 and set out in Command Paper 3883. The

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Northern Ireland Office recognise that the “Belfast Agreement” is the official title given to this agreement in the Northern Ireland Act 1998, but given the wide use of the term “Good Friday Agreement” have used both terms to describe the same agreement.

The term “Good Friday Agreement” appears in a number of Northern Ireland Office documents including the 2002 and 2004 Public Service Agreements.

Police: Databases

Baroness Miller of Chilthorne Domer asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): Bioinformation is understood to refer to DNA samples, DNA profiles derived from the samples, and fingerprint records. The police have the power to take and retain indefinitely bioinformation of these types from persons arrested for a recordable offence. Individuals may request the destruction or deletion of bioinformation whether or not they were under 18 at the time of the arrest in relation to which the bioinformation was taken.

The decision on whether to agree to a request from an individual to have their DNA profile removed from the National DNA Database lies with the chief officer of the force which took the sample. The Association of Chief Police Officers issued guidance to chief officers on the consideration of applications for removal at the end of January 2006. The then Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Andy Burnham, made a Written Ministerial Statement on the guidance on 16 February 2006 (Official Report, col. 117WS) and placed it in the Library. The guidance makes it clear that it is expected that DNA profiles which have been taken lawfully will be removed in exceptional cases only.

ACPO has tasked a specialist unit within Hampshire Constabulary (known as ACPO Criminal Record Office) to assist chief officers in arriving at a decision, by providing examples of how requests have been dealt with in other forces and offering advice. However, the final decision rests with chief officers.

Railways: Electrification

Lord Bradshaw asked Her Majesty's Government:

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Lord Bassam of Brighton: The Department for Transport has made no estimate of the effect on the business case for electrification of a rise in the cost of oil to $200 by 2020.

However, the Rail Safety and Standards Board has carried out a study of the costs and benefits of electrification. This report concluded that an increase in the cost of gas oil improved the business case for electrification, although it did not address the impact of $200 a barrel.

Scotland: Constitutional Commission

The Earl of Mar and Kellie asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): As part of the Ministry of Justice's ongoing consultation on constitutional issues, the Government have received representations and comments concerning the relationship between Scotland and the United Kingdom.

The Scottish Parliament has recently approved a review process aimed at strengthening devolution and securing Scotland's place in the Union. This reflects overwhelming public support for the Union in Scotland. The Government welcome the Scottish Parliament's support in this aim and welcome the review.

In the light of the terms of reference of that review, the Chancellor of the Exchequer will lay before Parliament a factual paper on the funding mechanisms for the devolved administrations.

The Government are considering how best to take forward these discussions on the review and the Secretary of State for Scotland will bring forward proposals after consultation with other political parties.

Shipping: Irish Lights

Lord MacKenzie of Culkein asked Her Majesty's Government:

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Lord Bassam of Brighton: Officials from the Northern Lighthouse Board have not participated in the evidence study but they have been kept informed of its progress.

Discussions have been held with Trinity House to determine the current collection process of light dues as Trinity House has responsibility for the collection of lights dues on behalf of all three general lighthouse authorities.


Baroness Miller of Chilthorne Domer asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): The Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 provides that specified public authorities may obtain data about individuals' private communications only when necessary and proportionate to achieve a legitimate aim. Detecting crime is one such aim. That includes the making of arrests to secure convictions but equally includes the elimination of suspects and the tracing of witnesses.

Other aims for which data may lawfully be obtained include safeguarding national security, where arrests and convictions may not follow; safeguarding public safety, such as investigating the causes of rail and air accidents, and obtaining data in an emergency to prevent death or injury, such as tracing vulnerable missing children and people threatening self harm.

As part of the Interception of Communications Commissioner's oversight of public authorities’ conduct, his inspectors examine why data have been obtained and what has been achieved by obtaining the data.

We do not collect information about the outcomes of each instance. That would be a significant bureaucratic undertaking. But as part of the Interception of Communications Commissioner's oversight of public authorities, his inspectors do examine why data were obtained and what was been achieved by obtaining the data. The commissioner reports annually to Parliament.

Teaching: Qualifications

Lord Pearson of Rannoch asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills (Baroness Morgan of Drefelin): The average qualification level of first year trainees on undergraduate Initial Teacher Training (ITT) courses, mainly leading to a Batchelor of Education, is shown in Table 1 below.

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Table 1: Average Qualification of Undergraduate Entrants to ITT1
Academic YearAverage A/AS level point Score2Average Tariff score3

























Source: TDA Performance Profiles

The average AS-level attainment is not available for entrants to postgraduate ITT courses, so instead we have provided the percentage of entrants on postgraduate ITT courses with a UK 1st degree classification of 2:2 and above in Table 2 below.

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