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Privacy Screens

Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will provide finance for privacy screens in cells which are used for eating, sleeping and integral sanitation. [2842]

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Beverley Hughes: In June this year the Prison Service approved funding of £1 million for a programme to install privacy screening in 6,500 or so cells across its estate currently without such provision. Arrangements are in hand to manufacture the screens to the newly approved standard. A programme of installation is expected to begin in this financial year and take about 12 months to complete.

Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner

Simon Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many (a) individuals and (b) organisations giving immigration advice for profit are registered with the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner; and how many such organisations are in the process of registering with the OISC; [3299]

Angela Eagle: I understand that, as of 10 July 2001, the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC) had received 150 registration applications from immigration advisers in business for profit. Of these, 94 were from sole practitioners, of which 55 are now registered, and 56 were from organisations comprising two or more practitioners, of which 43 are now registered. Forty-nine applications are still under consideration; three have been withdrawn.

The OISC total expenditure budget for the current financial year awaits approval by the relevant Minister of State. I will write to the hon. Member.

As of 10 July, the OISC had received 56 complaints since 30 April, of which five have been determined.

In addition to the Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner, the OISC currently employs 46 people, broken down as follows:


Based on the number of registration applications received so far, it is expected that total income from registration fees this financial year will be around £400,000. This may increase, depending on how many more registration applications are received. Registration fee income is expected to be broadly similar in

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2002–03 but this will be augmented by fees from designated professional bodies, which are to be set by the Secretary of State after the first full year of the OISC's operation.

Anti-drugs Co-ordinator

Mr. Hawkins: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement about the future role of the UK Anti-drugs Co-ordinator and his deputy. [193]

Mr. Blunkett [holding answer 25 June 2001]: We are currently in the process of re-appointing Keith Hellawell to a part-time role assisting with the investigation of, and advice on, international drug-related issues. Mike Trace, the former Deputy Co-ordinator, has taken a short-term appointment with the National Treatment Agency and will also continue to provide advice on relevant issues.

Feltham Young Offenders Prison

Mr. Gareth R. Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many staff were employed at Feltham Young Offenders Prison in each of the last five years. [3128]

Beverley Hughes: The information requested is set out in the table.

Full-time equivalents

Number of staff in post at 31 March

Natural Cannabis

Paul Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has to re-schedule natural cannabis for medicinal use. [2371]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth [holding answer 9 July 2001]: We have no plans at present. The Government have made it clear that they would be willing to amend the misuse of drugs legislation, to allow the prescribing of a cannabis- based medicine, if current clinical trials into the therapeutic benefits of cannabis are scientifically established and lead to a medical preparation which is approved by the Medicines Control Agency (MCA).

It would be premature to amend the legislation unless and until the quality, safety and efficacy of such a medicine have been demonstrated and a marketing authorisation has been issued for it by the MCA.

Aircraft Accidents

Mr. Alan Duncan: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what guidelines and procedures govern the ability to hold an inquest in respect of (a) military aircraft accidents and (b) civil aircraft accidents (i) in advance of and (ii) following an air accident inquiry report. [3176]

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Beverley Hughes: It is a matter for the coroner to decide on the conduct of his or her investigations and to proceed to an inquest. Where a death arises from a civil aircraft accident, the coroner will generally seek to ensure that inquiries are informed by any relevant reports or written statements from other agencies, including the Air Accidents Investigation Branch and, in relation to military aircraft, any reports produced by a Ministry of Defence Board of Inquiry.

Antisocial Behaviour Orders

3. Kevin Brennan: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the number of antisocial behaviour orders that have been successfully sought since their introduction. [612]

Mr. Blunkett [pursuant to his reply, 2 July 2001, c.7]: The figures for antisocial behaviour orders issued between 1 April 1999 and 31 March 2001 have been revised from 214 to 215 and the number of police force areas where such orders have been issued now stands at 34 not 33.

Forensic Science Service

Mr. Gordon Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he will lay before Parliament the annual report for the Forensic Science Service. [4240]

Mr. Denham: Copies of the Forensic Science Service's Annual Report and Accounts for 2000–01 have today been laid before Parliament.
Performance against Agency Targets 2000–01:
The Forensic Science Service had eight targets in 2000–01, of which seven were met.
Financial targets:
An 11 per cent. return on capital employed was produced against a target of 10–15 per cent.
A three-year rolling efficiency gain of 9 per cent. was achieved against a target of 10 per cent. However, there has been a 10 per cent. improvement in efficiency gain in the last two years since Trading Fund.
Timeliness targets:
An average turnaround time of 26 days was achieved against a target of 27 days; this target was rebased from the original target of 24 days to take account of the change in mix of business and work content per job.
93 per cent. of agreed delivery dates were achieved against a target of 90 per cent.
A feasibility study on a target to achieve 99 per cent. agreed delivery dates on cases classified as urgent or critical was successfully piloted. As a result, an agreement was reached with the Association of Chief Police Officers on the definition of critical cases and procedures implemented to ensure cases submitted are correctly prioritised.
Service level target:
Three service level agreements, three best value agreements and 27 drugs best value agreements have been put in place with police forces.
Customer satisfaction target:
Improvements in customer satisfaction have been shown in a pilot of a transactional-based approach. This will be introduced as an Agency Target next year.
Quality targets:
External quality accreditation has been achieved and extended, including achieving the Investors in People award.

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Agency Targets for 2001–02:
The targets for 2001–02, the agency's third year of trading fund, are as follows:
Financial targets:
Achieve a 10 per cent. return on capital employed.
Achieve a 3-year rolling target of a minimum 10 per cent. efficiency gain.
Timeliness targets:
Achieve a 26 day average turnaround time.
Meet agreed delivery dates in 97 per cent. urgent and critical, 100 per cent. of Persistent Young Offenders.
Achieve 93 per cent. of agreed delivery dates in all categories.
Service level targets:
Put in place agreements on levels of service with 90 per cent. of police forces.
Customer Satisfaction targets:
Establish a baseline overall measure putting into place routine and robust customer satisfaction measurement processes based on transactional approach, and for demonstrating year on year improvements in police (customer) satisfaction.
Conduct a biennial customer satisfaction survey.
Quality targets:
Maintain external quality accreditation to International Standards Organisation (ISO) standards.
Achieve 50 per cent. accreditation to the Council for the Registration of Forensic Practitioners in areas which it is registering people.

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