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The ISA's role will be to consider all relevant information relating to the risk of harm posed by persons seeking to work with children or vulnerable adults, in either a paid or voluntary capacity, and to bar those considered unsuitable for such work. The transition to the new scheme is now under way. From 31 March this year, the ISA began to advise the Secretaries of State for Children, Schools and Families and for Health in connection with new cases arising under the existing barring arrangements, in accordance with the provisions of paragraph 1 of Schedule 8 to the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act. From 7 April this year, cases will be referred to the ISA under the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006 (Transitional Provisions) Order 2008, under which the ISA must include, or consider including, in the new barred lists those individuals who are barred under the current schemes.

From October 2009 the new ISA scheme will “go live”. From that point, the scheme will consider new applications in relation to persons seeking work with children or vulnerable adults. The fee charged for ISA scheme applications has been set at £28. This is based on cost recovery of the operational costs for the scheme over its first five years of operation, estimated at £246 million. The scheme will cost £84 million to set up.

Taken together with the fee required for a Criminal Records Bureau disclosure check, the total fee for an initial application will be £64. Under the planned arrangements, the ISA element of the fee will be payable only on first joining the scheme. Once registered, employers will be able to verify an applicant's registered status in the scheme by means of a free online check. No fee will be payable by those in unpaid voluntary work. The need for subsequent CRB checks will remain a matter for employers, except in those sectors where it is a legal requirement.

The establishment of the ISA plays an important part in the Government's agenda to meet the Bichard recommendations and ensure the most robust procedures are in place to safeguard children and other vulnerable groups.



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Maritime and Coastguard Agency: Ministerial Targets

Lord Bassam of Brighton: My honourable friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport (Jim Fitzpatrick) has made the following Ministerial Statement.

I am pleased to announce the broad objectives and specific ministerial targets for the Maritime and Coastguard Agency for 2008-09. These are:

Safety Objective—Through accident prevention and effective search and rescue co-ordination and response, improve the safety of ships and people at sea and at the coast.

Performance under this objective will be measured against the following ministerial delivery targets:

MT1

Conduct operational standards and training audits and secure year-on-year improvements in the average scores covering both exercise and individual assessment elements to maintain the quality of maritime emergency co-ordination and response by the coastguard.

MT2

Helicopters tasked to respond to incidents will be airborne within 15 minutes during daylight hours and 45 minutes at night in at least 98 per cent of cases.

MT3

Meet the internationally required target to inspect 25 per cent of foreign vessels in UK ports under PSC arrangements, with an increasing emphasis on inspecting available ships judged to be high risk.

MT4

Maintain the quality of the UK ship register by reducing the level of deficiencies recorded on UK ships inspected abroad, and maintain a position on the Paris MOU White List which is comparable to registers of a similar size and reputation.

MT5

As a category 1 responder, continue to meet the provisions of the Civil Contingencies Act including increased engagement with local resilience fora.

Under this objective the MCA will also take forward a three-year programme of work in the following areas:

Seafarer fatigue—working with the shipping industry and seafarer unions on a coherent strategy to reduce seafarer fatigue.Fishing vessels—working with the fishing industry to improve the safety of small fishing vessels (under 15 metres).Lifejackets—working with the agency’s partner organisations (including the Royal National Lifeboat Institute and the Royal Yachting Association), to promote the wearing of lifejackets within the leisure sector.

Environment objective—through our monitoring of ships and response to pollution incidents protect the marine environment.

Performance under this objective will be measured against the following ministerial delivery target:



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MT6

Respond promptly to potential and actual pollution from ships around the UK coast, drawing effectively on resources including our emergency tugs, and following the procedures set out in the national contingency plan.

Under this objective the MCA will also take forward a three-year programme of work covering:

Vessel traffic management—identifying the future requirements of sea space management and the role the agency may perform.

Beyond these objectives and targets are the agency’s service standards and measured outcomes. Together these measures cover all aspects of the agency’s work and provide continual assurance about the quality of our performance.

The agency will also continue to monitor its performance through a range of service standards and measured outcomes which will be reported in its published annual report and accounts.

Ministry of Defence: DASA and DMETA

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Baroness Taylor of Bolton): My right honourable friend the Minister of State for the Armed Forces (Bob Ainsworth) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

With effect from 1 April 2008 the Defence Analytical Services Agency (DASA) and the Defence Medical Education and Training Agency (DMETA) will cease to have the status of executive agencies of the Ministry of Defence.

DASA was established as an executive agency in 1993 to provide professional analytical, economic and statistical services and advice to the department, and defence-related statistics to Parliament, other government departments and the public. The case for a change in status arises primarily from its developing role in supporting the exploitation of the substantial information resource which new departmental systems will provide. For the department to fully exploit the additional value of these new systems it will have to adopt a more co-ordinated, cross-MoD approach than previously. DASA's ability to play its full role in these future developments will require greater flexibility of role and responsibility than is compatible with agency status.

DMETA was established in 2003, as part of the Defence Medical Services. Its principal objective has been to make available secondary care personnel for deployments who are medically educated and trained, to meet military operational requirements. The agency has also taken on additional roles, beyond its original mission, in the delivery of secondary and tertiary healthcare and operational capability at the Royal Centre for Defence Medicine and the Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre. As part of planned improvements to the structure of the Defence Medical Services, we have decided to subsume DMETA's roles within a new Joint Medical Command (JMC), which will be formed on 1 April. The JMC's wider role will in due

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course make it responsible for the delivery of all joint medical services, including joint medical and dental outputs, force generation, healthcare acquisition, training and education. We are planning for the JMC HQ, which will be established initially at Fort Blockhouse, Gosport, the current home of the DMETA HQ, to be relocated to Whittington Barracks, Lichfield, as part of the Midland Medical Accommodation project.

New Deal

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions (Lord McKenzie of Luton): My right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (James Purnell) has made the following Statement.

On 14 March (vol. 473 col. 30 WS) I announced my plans for implementing the flexible New Deal to build on the success of the existing New Deals for jobseekers it replaces, helping to underpin our objectives for full employment and eradicating child poverty. Based on our previous experience in implementing successfully the commercially delivered Pathways to Work in just two phases, I announced that we would adopt a similar approach for the flexible New Deal, with phase 1 being delivered from October 2009 and phase 2 from October 2010.

Following further consultation between my officials and the Welsh Assembly Government, I have decided to make changes to the phase 1 contracting arrangements as they will affect Wales so that there will be two contracts wholly within Wales.

These changes take account of existing partnerships in Wales and by doing so the implementation of a flexible New Deal should be enhanced.

The list of Jobcentre Plus districts to be included in each phase that I announced in my earlier Statement now is:



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Phase 1Phase 2

Birmingham and Solihull

Merseyside

North and East Yorkshire and Humber

Forth Valley, Fife and Tayside

Tees Valley

Glasgow

South Yorkshire

West London

Derbyshire

City and East London

Surrey and Sussex

North and North East London

Kent

Essex

Leicestershire and Northamptonshire

Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire

Nottinghamshire

Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire

Central London

Cumbria and Lancashire

Lambeth, Southwark and Wandsworth

South London

Devon and Cornwall

Dorset and Somerset

South Wales Valleys

West of England

South East Wales

Gloucestershire, Wiltshire and Swindon

South West Wales

Hampshire and the Isle of Wight

North and Mid Wales

Highland, Islands, Clyde Coast and Grampian

Black Country

West Yorkshire

Greater Manchester Central

Northumbria

Greater Manchester East and West

South Tyne and Wear Valley

Coventry and Warwickshire

Cheshire, Halton and Warrington

The Marches

Staffordshire

Lanarkshire and East Dunbartonshire

Edinburgh, Lothian and Borders

Ayrshire, Dumfries, Galloway and Inverclyde

Cambridgeshire and Suffolk

Norfolk

Lincolnshire and Rutland

Advertisements for organisations interested in bidding for phase 1 contracts will be published in the press from today.

Transforming Britain’s Labour Market: Ten Years of the New Deal is available at www.dwp.gov.uk/welfarereform/docs/PMNewDeal2-01-08.pdf.

DWP “Commissioning Strategy” is available at www.dwp.gov.uk/publications/dwp/2008/com-strategy/cs-rep-08.pdf.

NHS: Foundation Trusts

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Darzi of Denham): My honourable friend the Minister of State, Department of Health (Ben Bradshaw) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement

The chairman of Monitor—the statutory name of which is the independent regulator of NHS foundation trusts—announced this week that, in accordance with Section 35 of the National Health Service Act 2006, Monitor has decided to authorise the following NHS acute and mental health trusts as NHS foundation trusts from 1 April:

the Mid Cheshire Hospitals NHS Trust;

Medway NHS Trust; and

Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust.

Monitor’s announcement brings the total number of NHS foundation trusts to 92. A copy of Monitor’s press notice has been placed in the Library.


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