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29 Jan 2003 : Column 908W—continued

Computer Misuse

Mr. Webb : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many cases of computer misuse there were in his Department in each of the last five years, broken down by each category of misuse; and how many of those cases resulted in disciplinary action. [93046]

Hilary Benn: The figures, so far as information is available in the form requested, are as follows:

Cases of computer misuse

Home Office(37)293477
Disciplinary Cases(37)2830(38)74
Prison Service Agency(37)(37)2(37)3
Disciplinary Cases(37)(37)2(37)3
UK Passport Agency(37)(37)(37)(37)1
Disciplinary Cases(37)(37)(37)(37)1
Forensic Science Service(37)862(39)43
Disciplinary Cases(37)5125

(37) Indicates that no comprehensive figures are available.

(38) Figure includes some cases dealt with by local management.

(39) Includes cases in which informal local action taken.

Criminal Records Bureau (Checks)

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what research was undertaken by (a) his Department and (b) Capita to determine the (i) likely level of demand for Criminal Records Bureau checks and (ii) Criminal Records Bureau customers' preferred means of submitting applications for checks. [89984]

Hilary Benn: Original research into the likely level of demand for Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) checks was undertaken by the Home Office and CRB. Two comprehensive market research studies were carried out by Coopers Lybrand (1996) and Accent Market Research (March 2000) to determine who would use the service and what likely levels of take up were anticipated. These studies were validated by the Labour Force Survey carried out between September and November 1999. A telephone survey with existing checkers was carried out to validate the baseline information created from the above research. In December 2001, Capita Account Managers conducted their own research to determine which Registered Bodies were likely to be major users of the service and there is ongoing joint Capita and CRB forecasting work based on latest actual demand and outputs from a forecasting model.

An analysis of legislation and its likely impact on CRB demand was also undertaken. The analysis looked at whether or not legislation would increase the number of sectors eligible for CRB checks or whether or not the impact would be neutral. It was determined that the outcome was likely to be neutral.

The original concept for the CRB was based on a call-centre, telephone-based and online application route, with capacity to deal with individual paper applications. That arrangement was expected to be convenient for applicants and would reduce errors. It was also in line with the Government's e-government objectives. Market research was undertaken by Rosslyn Research in 2000 to establish employer's requirements in terms of service standards.

However, during extensive consultation with registered bodies and employers from January to June 2001, there was strong pressure from them to introduce a full-scale paper-based application. Consequently, in May 2001, the CRB agreed to introduce more extensive capacity to deal with paper-based applications.

Departmental Expenditure (Newsprint)

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the total expenditure of his Department was on newspapers, magazines and periodicals in 2002. [90527]

Mr. Blunkett: The total expenditure for the Home Office and Agencies during 2002 was £45,292.81. This does not include expenditure by non-departmental public bodies (NDPBs). Collection of this data could be achieved only at disproportionate cost.

Departmental Performance Report

Tony Wright : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when his Department's autumn performance report for 2002 will be published. [93158]

Mr. Blunkett: I refer my hon. Friend to the reply I gave to the hon. Member for Arundel and South Downs (Howard Flight) on 21 January 2003, Official Report, column 302W.

External Consultancies

Mr. Laws : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how much (a) his Department and (b) each agency and non-departmental public body

29 Jan 2003 : Column 909W

spent on external consultancy in each year from 1995–96 to 2002–03 (planned); and if he will make a statement. [92232]

Hilary Benn: The information is not available in the format requested. Total expenditure figures on consultants by Non Departmental Public Bodies (NDPBs) for the period in question and also planned expenditure by core Home Office Directorates and its Agencies in 2002–03 is not held centrally. Total expenditure on external consultants in each year from 1995–96 to 2001–02 for the core Home Office and its Agencies.


Consultancy expenditure by the Home Department and Agencies

The increase in expenditure on consultancy in financial years 2000–01 and 2001–02 is primarily due to

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a major investment programme in the modernisation of the Home Office and in particular on IT related modernisation and also the cost of setting up the National Probation Directorate.

Extradition Cases

Simon Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how much was spent on each extradition case in the last five years, broken down by individual case. [93337]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The information requested is available only at disproportionate cost.

Failed Asylum Seekers

Mr. Clappison: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many failed asylum seekers left the UK in each year since 1997, broken down by those (a) deported and (b) who left voluntarily. [93324]

Beverley Hughes: Information on the number of failed asylum applicants (a) removed; and (b) known to have left the United Kingdom voluntarily since 1997 is given in the table. It is not possible to separately identify the number of principal applicants who departed 'voluntarily' after enforcement action had been initiated against them.

Principal asylum applicants removed from the UK(40)

19971998199920002001(41) (p)January to September 2002(42) (p)
Total number of principal asylum applicants removed(43)7,1656,9907,6658,9809,2857,780
Of which:
Assisted voluntary returns programme(44)50550980640

(40) Persons who had sought asylum at some stage, excluding dependants.

(41) Removal figures exclude 1,495 dependants of asylum seekers removed in the period April to December 2001, of which 230 left under the assisted voluntary returns programme; data on dependants removed have only been collected since April 2001.

(42) In the same period 1,825 dependants of principal asylum seekers departed, of which 185 left under the assisted voluntary returns programme.

(43) Including persons known to have departed "voluntarily" after enforcement action had been initiated against them.

(44) Persons leaving under the assisted voluntary returns programmes run by the International Organisation for Migration. May include some on-entry cases and some cases where enforcement action has been initiated.

Family Visitor Appeals

Lynne Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he plans to publish the final report of the inter-departmental review of family visitor appeals. [93094]

Beverley Hughes: The report of the inter-departmental review group and the report of the research commissioned by that group have been delayed by unforeseen circumstances They will be published shortly. A copy of the report will be placed in the Library as promised.

Foster Deportation

Mr. Letwin: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department at what times on (a) 1 December, (b) 2 December and (c) 3 December 2002, members of the press office at 10 Downing street held conversations with members of the press office at the Home Office regarding the deportation of Mr. Foster; which officials in the Downing street press office and in the Home Office press office took part in these conversations; and what the duration was of each such conversation. [91364]

Mr. Blunkett [holding answer 20 January 2003]: The Home Office press office has regular daily contact with their opposite numbers at Downing street press office. Records of these conversations and their duration are not kept.

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