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Departmental Functions

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list the functions of his Department that have been (a) market tested and (b) outsourced in each of the last five years, specifying the (i) money saving and (ii) percentage saving in each case. [43003]

Beverley Hughes: The available information on Home Office functions that have been market tested and

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outsourced in each of the last five years specifying the money and percentage saving in each case is as follows:

FunctionYearMonetary saving (£)Percentage saving
Prison management2000–014.5 million18
Prison shop 2000–011 million27
Security guarding services1997(31)380,000(31)8.8

(31) Figures at net present value (NPV) over three years.


The calculation of net present value is intended to express all future cash flows associated with a procurement in their present day values.

I am sure the savings for the taxpayer occurred by this will be welcomed by the hon. Member.

Street Robbery (London)

Mr. Dobson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will give the figures for street robberies in London for the most recent year for which figures are available and the five preceding years showing separately how many such robberies in each year were of mobile phones. [46207]

Mr. Denham [holding answer 25 March 2002]: Details of robbery of personal property have been collected centrally at the police force area level since 1 April 1998. Details of robbery of mobile phones are not routinely collected centrally.

Offences of robbery of personal property for the Metropolitan police area

Year ending MarchNumber of offences

(32) A boundary change on 1 April 2000 meant figures are not directly comparable with previous years.

The street crime initiative represents a step-change in cross-Government action to tackle street crime with a focused programme of action in the 10 police force areas where the problem is most acute.

Work that was already under way to support police in the 10 worst areas was brought forward to begin in April. This is supported by a cross-Government action group that works across the criminal justice system and the whole of Government in a concerted effort to tackle any obstacles to cutting street crime.The purpose of the group is to identify and support the implementation of actions which all the various agencies can take to tackling the problem of street crime, working together to bring about both an immediate and a sustainable long-term reduction.

Professional Indemnity Insurance

Mr. Gray: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many contracts the Home Office has with consultants; what level of professional indemnity insurance is standard in contracts with small consultants; whether he can make exceptions to the level of professional indemnity insurance; and what recent discussions he has had with other Government Departments about the level of professional indemnity insurance. [50843]

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Beverley Hughes [holding answer 18 April 2002]: The Home Office currently have in use 88 consultancy contacts.

The level of professional indemnity insurance set is commensurate with the level of risk and type and value of contract.

As with previous Administrations it is not Government practice to provide details of meetings with other Government Departments.

Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary

Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the internal structure of the HMIC with specific reference to the research, quality and analysis activity. [51631]

Mr. Denham: Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) is led by Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Constabulary, Sir Keith Povey. The 43 forces in England and Wales are inspected by four Her Majesty's Inspectors (HMIs), based in regional offices covering the North, London and East, Wales and Central and South regions.

Of 128 staff, 61 are members of the regional teams. 38 of those are seconded police officers, the remainder being civil servants for seconded civilian support staff.

HMIC is funded directly by central Government and expenditure is controlled by the central unit at Queen Anne's Gate.

Regional HMIs direct the inspections in their areas following an annual risk assessment of all forces to determine how best use can be made of HMIC resources to help improve police effectiveness. All inspections are based on national standards-based protocols to ensure consistency.

Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority

Mr. Dismore: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department in relation to criminal injuries compensation scheme applications on behalf of infants who have sustained catastrophic brain damage as a result of having been shaken by a third party in the last three years, how many applications are outstanding; of these how many have (a) outstanding decisions on liability and (b) decisions accepting liability in principle; what is (i) the longest delay and (ii) the average delay since the application was lodged; of payments made in each of the last three years, what was (A) the average value, (B) the lowest value and (C) the highest value; how many of those decisions which accept liability in principle are awaiting care reports from the applicants' advisers; what the average cost of a care report is; what contribution towards the cost of a care report is offered by the CICS; in cases where a decision has been made accepting liability in principle where a care report has been supplied (1) how many have resulted in additional care questions for the applicants' advisers, (2) what the average cost of the care report was and (3) what contribution was made towards the cost of the care report; what his policy is towards the requesting of additional expert evidence at the expense of the applicants; whether it may be accepted

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that a case clearly exceeds the maximum award without the need for a care report; and if he will make a statement. [57649]

Hilary Benn: With respect to questions (a) and (b), (i) and (ii), and A, B and C, the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) advises that it does not have a classification on its casework database corresponding to these specific types of case. To answer those questions accurately would accordingly require the individual examination of every case where the victim was a young child at the time of injury. That could be done only at disproportionate cost.

It can take a considerable time to complete the assessment of compensation payable in individual cases that involve severe or complex injuries. However, once eligibility has been established in principle, CICA may make interim awards, for example in respect of the care needs of a severely injured child.

CICA obtains and meets the cost of all the reports it considers necessary to inform a fair and accurate assessment of an application. No applicant is required to provide reports. However, some do provide reports in support of their view of the award that they should receive. Where the Authority considers reports or other information submitted by an applicant to be inaccurate, inadequate, or out of date, it may propose that supplementary information be provided at the applicant's expense.

Generally, CICA does not reimburse the cost of care or other reports, commissioned by applicants or their representatives. However, CICA will make interim awards of compensation so that an applicant has the funds to pay for any specialist report that he or she may wish to obtain. The Authority is not routinely told the cost of care reports commissioned by third parties. And the records held by CICA of the cost of reports that it has paid for do not differentiate between care reports and others. Consequently CICA has no centrally held data from which to derive the average cost of a care report.

Where it appears that the combination of the tariff award and the assessment of special expenses is highly likely to exceed the Scheme limit of £500,000 per case, CICA will usually concentrate on the main heads of claim to shorten the process involved in reaching the determination. However, where the victim is a severely injured young child the process of assessment may be complicated by considerations such as life expectancy and difficulty in reaching a firm long-term prognosis.

In such cases the local authority's assessment of care needs and details of what it will provide free of charge are an essential part of the corresponding assessment of costs under the Tariff Scheme. This is because local authorities tend to provide services to children without charge, and paragraph 35(d) of the Scheme specifies that the reasonable costs of care services may be provided for in an award of compensation only where they are not available free of charge from the national health service, local authorities or any other agency.

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