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Further information is also available on national level data for children placed in care outside their local authorities only by foster placement, childrens homes and secure units, year ending 31 March 2007. Table A3 is accessible at www.dfes.gov.uk/rsgateway/DB/SFR/s000741/index.shtml.
Whether, in light of the missing computerised personal data relating to child benefit from HM Revenue and Customs, they intend to continue to compile the computerised children's database created under the Children Act 2004. [HL399]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Children, Schools and Families (Lord Adonis): The department is fully committed to implementing the ContactPoint system. Before it is put into service, ContactPoint will go through extensive user acceptance testing by practitioners to ensure that the system meets their needs and is fit for purpose. It will also be subject to rigorous penetration testing by people who are experts in the IT security field and approved by the Communications and Electronics Security Group.
My honourable friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Children, Young People and Families (Kevin Brennan) and I have today made the following Written Ministerial Statement about funding and implementation of ContactPoint:
We have also provided indicative funding allocations to local authorities for future years: £27 million in 2009-10 and £15 million in 2010-11. My officials will write to local authorities and national partners today to inform local authorities and other partners about this funding.
ContactPoint is a key element of the Every Child Matters programme to transform children's services by supporting more effective prevention and early intervention. Its goal is to improve outcomes and the experience of public services for all children, young people and families. ContactPoint will provide a tool to support better communication among practitioners across education, health, social care and youth offending. It will provide a quick way for those practitioners to find out who else is working with the same child or young person.
Over the last few months, we have been considering the substantial stakeholder feedback that we have received and we have looked at the implications that the resulting proposed changes could have on the system. It is clear from the considerable work that we have done so far that we will need more time than we originally planned to address the changes to ContactPoint that potential system users suggested.
The change to the timetable will mean that deployment of ContactPoint to the early adopters local authorities and national partners will be in September or October 2008. It will be deployed to all other local authorities and national partners in 2009, between January and May, depending on final deployment slots. The additional time available presents a number of opportunities to do more work in the period prior to ContactPoint deployment, which will help to realise some benefits earlier. The fundamental design of ContactPoint will not change; the alterations will make sure that the system works even more effectively for users and improves the ability of local authority ContactPoint teams to manage user access.
The news on Tuesday 20 November of the loss of large volumes of child benefit data from HMRC has raised questions about the safety of large-scale personal data in other government systems, including ContactPoint. ContactPoint will not contain any financial information (such as bank details) or case information (such as case notes, assessments, medical records, exam results or subjective observations).
On Tuesday 20 November, the department conducted an assessment of how personal data are stored and protected in the department. As a result of that assessment, I am confident that we have very robust procedures in place. On Wednesday 21 November, the Prime Minister confirmed this approach when he asked all departments to check their procedures for the storage and use of data. In light of the security breach at HMRC, we are continuing to check our procedures to ensure that standards are as high as they can be. To this end, on 20 November, the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families decided to commission an independent assessment of its security procedures. This will be undertaken by Deloitte. Delaying the implementation of ContactPoint will enable the independent assessment of security procedures to take place as well as address the changes to ContactPoint that potential system users have told us that they need.
Delivery partners will receive further information early in the new year. In the mean time, progress will be reported to local project managers regularly through their ContactPoint implementation co-ordinators. They will work with individual authorities and national partners to agree new deployment slots as soon as it is possible to do so.
Further to the publication of the annual report and accounts for 2006-07 for the Environment Agency, whether industrial carbon dioxide emissions are not falling fast enough to meet United Kingdom domestic targets because (a) the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme offers insufficient incentive, or (b) other parts of the United Kingdom are increasing carbon emissions. [HL432]
The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Rooker): The most significant factor contributing to increases in UK carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in 2005 and 2006 was greater electricity generation from coal burning. The price of gas has been at a level that has meant that it is more profitable to generate electricity through the increased use of coal.
In phase 1 of the EU ETS, the price of allowances fell significantly due to oversupply in the market. It is still more profitable for electricity generation to come from increased use of coal even when factoring in additional carbon costs of burning coal compared to gas.
In phase 2 of the EU ETS, the European Commission's decision to request significant reductions on several member states caps will help to ensure greater scarcity of allowances in the market. This should deliver a carbon price that incentivises cost-effective emission reductions and investment in clean technology.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Communities and Local Government (Baroness Andrews): There is a range of support for victims of domestic violence. Some victims will be accommodated in refuges, but sanctuary schemes and mainstream local authority accommodation may be an option for others, while some victims will pursue independent solutions with help and advice from support schemes as necessary.
Housing associations have around 3,200 units of accommodation for women at risk of domestic violence. In the period 2006-08, the HC allocated
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The department provided revenue support for victims of domestic violence through the Supporting People programme of £61.6 million in 2006-07, up from £59.3 million in 2005-06. The Government also fund the national domestic violence helpline to give support and advice.
Many victims of domestic violence prefer to stay in their own homes, if these can be made safe. We have published guidance on sanctuary schemes for housing providers, which set out the security measures that can enable victims and their children to remain in the family home.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): Electronic monitoring (EM) is currently available for those aged 10 to 17 who have been sentenced to curfew orders, bailed with a curfew requirement from the courts, or subject to curfew on release from custody under a detention and training order.
|Financial year||Total number of people aged 10 to 17 subject to electronic monitoring|
What representations Ministers have received on the effects for disabled people, including severely disabled war pensioners, of subjecting to import duties the electric powered vehicles on which they depend for their mobility; and what action they will take. [HL359]
Lord Davies of Oldham: Electric mobility scooters have been classified in the same tariff heading for customs import duty purposes since at least 2002 when the World Customs Organisation published its classification opinion on the subject. The World Customs Organisation is the international authority responsible for tariff classification. The European Union has set an import duty of 10 per cent for these vehicles.
For VAT purposes, mobility scooters may qualify for the zero rating that applies when disabled people purchase certain carriages or other equipment specifically designed to meet their needs. The Government have no plans to change the scope of this VAT relief.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): The e-Borders solution contract was awarded to the Trusted Borders consortium, led by Raytheon Systems Ltd, on 14 November 2007. The contract has provisions for the capture of all travel document information (TDI) from carriers during their check-in process as part of the core contractual requirements.
Lord West of Spithead: Project Semaphore was commissioned to run for 39 months to provide an operational prototype to trial e-Borders concepts and technology in order to inform and derisk the e-Borders solution.
The project currently receives and processes 30 million passenger movements each year, covering 134 non-UK arrival and departure points, and has exceeded its 30 million target. It will conclude on 31 March 2008.
Lord West of Spithead: The e-Borders programme will establish the capability to automatically deny authority to carry (ATC) at the point of check-in to certain categories of individuals seeking to travel to the UK. Primary legislation is already in existence for the authority to carry scheme.
E-Borders will require carriers to submit passenger details in advance of travel to the UK. The travel document data will be checked against a specific ATC categories list, which will be specified in secondary legislation. If a person is on this list, authority to carry can be refused to the carrier.
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