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18 Dec 2008 : Column 1002W—continued


18 Dec 2008 : Column 1003W

18 Dec 2008 : Column 1004W

July August September October November Total

Actual 2006-07

Cash vehicles

3,633,070

3,780,282

3,486,060

3,427,395

3,187,061

40,286,566

Dart Tag vehicles

1,057,714

1,010,793

996,365

1,088,126

1,063,974

12,222,970

Total

4,690,784

4,791,075

4,482,425

4,515,521

4,251,035

52,509,536

Projected 2007-08

Cash vehicles

3,596,739

3,742,479

3,451,199

3,393,121

3,155,190

39,966,374

Dart Tag vehicles

1,047,137

1,000,685

986,401

1,077,245

1,053,334

12,129,458

Total

4,643,876

4,743,164

4,437,601

4,470,366

4,208,525

52,095,832

Actual 2007-08

Cash vehicles

3,597,970

3,729,553

3,304,591

3,347,900

2,790,671

39,120,691

Dart Tag vehicles

1,098,397

941,550

1,055,653

1,122,481

1,031,550

12,310,116

Total

4,696,367

4,671,103

4,360,244

4,470,381

3,822,221

51,430,807


Departmental Correspondence

Mr. Goodwill: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when he expects to reply to the letter of 15 October 2008, sent by Mr. Edward McMillan-Scott MEP, on the M.V. Coronia, Directive 98/18/EC and point 4.3 of the Merchant Shipping (Passenger Ships on Domestic Voyages) Regulations 2000. [244687]

Jim Fitzpatrick: I hope to write to Mr. Edward McMillan-Scott MEP addressing the issues he has put to the Secretary of State about the M.V. Coronia within the next few days.

Departmental Disabled Staff

Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what conclusions his Department has reached in fulfilment of its duty under section 3.111 of the statutory code of practice of the disability equality duty. [240976]

Paul Clark: The Department for Transport has reviewed its progress against the commitments given in its Disability Equality Scheme, as it is required to do under section 3.111 of the statutory code of practice of the Disability Equality Duty.

Progress can be found in its annual report on the Disability Equality Scheme which will be published on the departmental website shortly.

Departmental Manpower

John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport with reference to the answer of 25 November 2008, Official Report, column 1184W, on departmental manpower, what assessment he has made of the reasons for the differences in the percentage of white staff receiving the highest marking in each annual appraisal round as compared to staff from ethnic minorities. [244454]

Mr. Hoon: The Department for Transport assesses the distribution of appraisal marks annually. Performance reports are countersigned and then moderated. Line managers receive regular training on the Department's performance management scheme and consequent diversity implications.

For the 2007-08 performance year, proposed markings for Department for Transport (DfT) (c) were analysed for diversity purposes and where appropriate business units were challenged to ensure that the markings were fair and correct. This pro-active challenge will continue in future years.

Further analysis is being undertaken, and initial findings suggest that variations from expected distribution is due to a number of factors. The final analysis will be published early in 2009.

The Department's performance management system is under review and any changes will be subject to an equality impact assessment.

Departmental Ministerial Policy Advisers

Grant Shapps: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many special advisers were employed in his Department at each pay band on 30 November 2008; and what his Department's total expenditure on special advisers was in 2007-08. [243562]

Mr. Hoon: The Government are committed to publishing an annual list detailing the number and costs of special advisers. Information for 2007-08 was published by the Prime Minister on 22 July 2008, Official Report, columns 99-102WS.

Departmental Official Hospitality

Grant Shapps: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much has been spent on (a) departmental Christmas parties and (b) staff entertainment in the last three years. [243732]

Mr. Hoon: It is central departmental policy that official funds are not used on staff Christmas parties.

Departmental Pay

Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make it his policy to ensure that those temporary and permanent employees at the same grade in his Department who are paid at an hourly rate are paid at the same rate. [244385]

Mr. Hoon: The Department for Transport and its agencies does not generally hire permanent employees
18 Dec 2008 : Column 1005W
on an hourly rate. However under delegated pay arrangements it is the responsibility of each individual business unit within the Department to set its rates of pay in accordance with the business needs of the unit.

Departmental Procurement

Alan Duncan: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what proportion of invoices for goods and services procured from small and medium-sized businesses were paid within 10 days of receipt by (a) his Department and (b) the agencies for which his Department is responsible in (i) 2006-07 and (ii) 2007-08; and if he will make a statement. [243358]

Mr. Hoon: The payment performance in respect of invoices for goods and services procured from small and medium-sized businesses is not separated from the Department of Transport's overall payment performance and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

In 2006-07 and 2007-08 the Department was required to monitor its payment performance against a target to pay all valid invoices within 30 days of receipt. The Department’s performance against this target during the last two complete financial years is shown in the following table:

Valid invoices paid within 30 days of receipt
Percentage

2006-07 2007-08

Central Department

95.5

95.8

DfT agencies

98.8

92.4


Measurement of the number of these invoices that had been paid within 10 days of receipt could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Departmental Secondment

John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport with reference to the answer of 3 November 2008, Official Report, column 44W, on DfT Rail: secondment, whether the one person seconded from a train operating company to work in DfT Rail was given (a) line management responsibility for civil servants, (b) the right to take disciplinary action against civil servants and (c) the right to complete annual performance reports on civil servants. [244458]

Mr. Hoon: Individuals seconded into the Department for Transport (DfT) are expected to work on the same basis as civil servants. Their duties are agreed with their line manager and, where line management is part of the role, it will include responsibility for discipline and performance management of civil servants. The person seconded from a train operating company to Department for Transport (DfT) Rail was given the normal duties and responsibilities of a civil servant for the period of the secondment.

Driving Standards Agency: Training

John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport with reference to the answer of 26 November 2008, Official Report, column 1569W, on the Driving Standards Agency: training, what managerial benefit the five managers in the Driving Standards Agency gained from attending the horse whispering course. [242321]


18 Dec 2008 : Column 1006W

Jim Fitzpatrick [holding answer 10 December 2008]: Any courses attended by Driving Standards Agency (DSA) managers are designed to fulfil the objectives of the DSA Leadership and Development programme, by providing a common standard of leadership in DSA and enabling managers to identify their own development needs. The contribution of individual courses to these wider aims is kept under regular review.

Finsbury Ltd.

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) on what dates since 1 January 2007 (a) Ministers and (b) officials in his Department have had discussions with (i) Finsbury Ltd. and (ii) Roland Rudd; [243130]

(2) what recent representations he has received from Finsbury Ltd. in connection with the proposal for a third runway at Heathrow since 1 January 2007. [243131]

Jim Fitzpatrick [holding answer 15 December 2008]: My hon. Friend, the Minister of State for Transport met with a representative of Finsbury Ltd. on 12 and 16 December.

No representations have been received from them with regards to proposals for a third runway at Heathrow airport.

Senior Civil Servants

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many staff his Department has recruited from outside the Civil Service to senior Civil Service grade posts since 30 July 2007; and of these how many such staff are members of the Nuvos pension scheme. [244267]

Mr. Hoon: The Department for Transport has recruited 13 staff from outside the civil service into senior civil service grade posts since 30 July 2007. All became members of the Nuvos pension scheme.

M27: Noise

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what recent assessment he has made of the level of the level of noise on the M27 between (a) junctions 11 and 12, (b) junctions 10 and 11, (c) junctions 9 and 10 and (d) junction 9 and the River Hamble; and whether this assessment has changed over the last 10 years. [245149]

Paul Clark: Noise levels on all four sections were assessed to establish whether they met the Hansard sift criteria published on 11 November 1999. None met the criteria for further investigation.

An assessment of the noise levels on the M27 between Junctions 11 and 12 was carried out in 2006 as part of the Environmental Statement for the scheme to construct a climbing lane in each direction between junction 11 (Fareham) and junction 12 (Portsmouth). That assessment concluded overall noise levels would reduce slightly in the opening year as a result of using low noise surfacing.


18 Dec 2008 : Column 1007W

M5

Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps the Highways Agency have taken to clear culverts and drains between junctions 8 and 11A of the M5; what long-term maintenance plans are in place to ensure that they remain free-flowing; and if he will make a statement. [244416]

Paul Clark: The following work has been carried out by the Highways Agency to clear culverts and drains between Junctions 8-11A of the M5 during the course of the last year:


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