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Performance Targets

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what the target has been in each of the last five years for efficiency savings as a percentage of total running costs for each of the non-departmental public bodies for which she is responsible; and if the target was met. [49645]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: Chapter 2 of Treasury's Guidance "Non-Departmental Public Bodies: Annual Reports and Accounts Guidance" requires executive NDPBs to provide, as part of their annual reports, information about the performance and efficiency targets agreed with their sponsor Departments and performance against those targets. The information is to be given for the current year and the four previous years. All of the Department for Education and Skills executive NDPBs, which are: Adult Learning Inspectorate; British Educational Communications and Technology Agency; Construction Industry Training Board; Engineering Construction Industry Training Board; Higher Education Funding Council for England; Investors in People UK; Learning

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and Skills Council; National College for School Leadership; Qualifications and Curriculum Authority; Student Loans Company; and Teacher Training Agency, annual reports are available in the House Library. As the Construction Industry Training Board and Engineering Construction Industry Training Board are self funding we do not set them efficiency targets, however, the boards set themselves efficiency targets, the details and progress towards which are available in their annual reports. Our tribunal NDPBs are also self funding, so we set neither Special Educational Needs Tribunal nor Registered Inspectors Appeals Tribunal efficiency targets. The SENT annual reports are available in the House Library and RIAT has no permanent staff and has only met once since it was registered in 1992 so setting efficiency targets and producing annual reports seems inappropriate.

Age Discrimination

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what her Department's policy is towards age discrimination. [42566]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: The Department for Education and Skills has taken steps to integrate age into all their equal opportunities policies and is committed to eliminating unfair discrimination on the basis of age. Action on diversity has and will continue to tackle any negative attitudes towards older staff particularly through the training and development of managers and through the monitoring of recruitment, selection and appraisal statistics.

We have now implemented recommendations of the Performance and Innovation Unit Report "Winning the Generation Game". As part of the Department's flexible age retirement arrangements we allow all staff, outside the senior civil service, the option to choose when they retire from 60–65 subject to normal fitness and efficiency rules. In addition, all our vacancy opportunities, internal and external secondments and rewards are open to people of all ages and we actively monitor them to ensure there is no adverse impact.

WALES

Non-departmental Public Bodies

Mr. Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many quangos have been established in Wales in each year since 1997; and what the cost of each of them was in 2001–02. [48622]

Mr. Paul Murphy: Since 1 July 1999, I have established no non-departmental public bodies. Prior to that date, my predecessor established the Welsh Committee for Professional Development of Pharmacy. He also wound up a number of quangos.

Sponsorship of the Welsh Committee for Professional Development of Pharmacy has subsequently transferred to the National Assembly for Wales. Its costs in 2001–02 are therefore a matter for the Assembly.

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LORD CHANCELLOR'S DEPARTMENT

Correspondence

Mrs. Betty Williams: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department when she will reply to the question from the hon. Member for Conwy of 14 February (ref 37628). [51396]

Ms Rosie Winterton: I apologise to the hon. Member for not replying to her question of the 14 February; I regret that this was due to an administrative oversight. However, I do refer her to the answers I have given on several occasions, and most recently to the hon. Member for Slough (Fiona Mactaggart) on 12 April 2002, Official Report, column 647W. QinetiQ Ltd. is continuing to work on the technical enhancements for the 1901 Census online. These enhancements are intended to make the site sufficiently robust to permit general internet access, and are being done with a sense of urgency. The most important consideration is to ensure that the service is re-launched successfully. In the first instance, the service will be reintroduced at the designated service centres throughout the country as part of a rigorous testing process. It will then be re-launched on the internet as soon as practicable thereafter, subject to satisfactory completion of this process.

Theft

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what new measures her Department took in 2001–02 to protect its property from theft or damage. [47243]

Ms Rosie Winterton: I refer the hon. Gentleman to my reply to him on 5 February 2002, Official Report, column 907W. As detailed in that response the Lord Chancellor's Department has a wide range of security measures in place to protect its property from theft or damage.

However during this period the Department has continued to take forward its programme of work to achieve compliance with BS7799, the British Standard for Information Security Management. This programme of work will provide quality assurance of the Department's existing security practices and introduce improvements where these are found to be necessary. Current initiatives include extensive use of risk assessment, a programme of security education and awareness for staff and reviews of physical security arrangements.

NORTHERN IRELAND

Crime (Belfast)

Rev. Martin Smyth: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many mobile phone related crimes were reported in Belfast from March 2001 to March 2002. [49901]

Jane Kennedy: Unfortunately data for mobile phone related crimes are not available at the moment. PSNI collection of crime data is undergoing development work which will allow such offences to be identified in future.

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Rev. Martin Smyth: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many incidents of (a) theft, (b) robbery and (c) shoplifting in Belfast city centre were reported over the period March 2001 to March 2002. [49899]

Jane Kennedy: Unfortunately statistics for the period January to March 2002 are not yet available. The figures for the incidents of (a) theft, (b) robbery and (c) shoplifting reported in Belfast city centre for the period April 2001 to December 2001 are as follows:

April 2001 to December 2001

Offence typeNumber of incidents reported
Theft2,676
Robbery158
Shoplifting834

Rev. Martin Smyth: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will make a statement on recent action in Belfast to implement strategies in place in UK city centres on combating crime, with special reference to theft in Belfast city centre. [49898]

Jane Kennedy: The police service of Northern Ireland have a number of on-going and new crime prevention initiatives specifically aimed at reducing thefts in Belfast city centre which reflect best practice procedures in comparable UK cities. Most of these initiatives involve close partnerships with Belfast city centre management along with other agencies. They include:







Local police continue to provide crime prevention surveys and advice. A recent prevention campaign targeted computer theft through leaflet distribution and press releases. Vehicle theft is being addressed through targeted campaigns such as the 'Look, Lock and Leave' initiative where advice signs will be erected in every car park in the city centre.

Mobile Phone Offences

Rev. Martin Smyth: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what proportion of those arrested for offences related to mobile phones from March 2001 to March 2002 were aged (a) under 18, (b) between 18 to 25 and (c) over 25 years. [49900]

Jane Kennedy: Unfortunately arrest figures for offences related to mobile phones are not available at the moment. PSNI collection of crime data is undergoing development work which will allow such offences to be identified in future.

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