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Mr. David Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security when he will publish the inspection report of the Benefit Fraud Inspectorate in respect of the City of Bradford metropolitan district council. 
Inspectors report the authority introduced the Verification Framework to improve its poor verification of claims, and early indications are that levels of verification have improved. The report also notes the authority is struggling to cope with backlogs of assessment work, and inspectors consider it is important that it not only clear arrears, but prevents them from recurring. The authority has introduced measures to resolve the backlogs but these measures need to be consolidated into one overall plan.
Inspectors were particularly pleased with the number of high quality customer service initiatives, including good use of the Internet, the sharing of good practices with other local authorities and many good examples of joint working with the BA and other organisations.
The authority needs to improve its administration with regard to Rent Officer referrals, notices of determination, the setting of benefit period's timescales for appeals and review boards and benefit appeals.
Counter fraud work was reported to be good, including commendable risk analysis of local fraud. Investigations were well conducted in a sound, ordered and methodical way. The authority has a sound prosecution policy and has successfully issued administrative penalties. The authority needs to increase the use of its inspectors' powers.
Mr. David Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security when he will publish the inspection report of the Benefit Fraud Inspectorate in respect of the Metropolitan borough of Wirral. 
8 Mar 2001 : Column: 298W
Inspectors found the authority had a customer orientated benefits service with strong focus on claimant's rights. Significant changes had been made to the benefits section which together with a loss of experienced staff, had caused backlogs of work. This had significantly reduced the responsiveness of the benefits service and the level of assurance the authority could give on the accuracy and validity of its benefit payments.
The report notes that counter fraud activity had taken a back seat to changes made in the benefits section. Investigation work was found to be of poor quality and insufficient to tackle the estimated level of fraud in the authority's area. The control and management of overpayment recovery was also found to be poor leading to a low recovery rate.
Despite having a number of well-written strategic and policy documents, these had not been put into practice. Inspectors recommend the authority reviews its internal audit coverage of administration and counter fraud activities as they were found to be insufficient to give an assurance on the integrity of the benefits system.
Angela Eagle: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State will be making minor changes to the discretionary social fund, with effect from 19 March 2001 and 2 April 2001, to take account of new legislation in other benefit areas being introduced on those dates. A number of other minor improvements, identified during the course of routine monitoring, will also be included in this annual amendment to directions and guidance.
Helen Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what resources have been allocated to Warrington local education authority for provision for under fives in each year since 1997. 
8 Mar 2001 : Column: 299W
European Social Fund and the 0-5 sub-block of the Education Standard Spending Assessment to Warrington LEA since April 1998.
(7) The drop in funding between 1998-99 and 1999-2000 is due to a fall in the amount of Nursery Education Grant that the authority was able to claim for new places created in local authority provision. This funding would have been compensated for by a relative increase in the funding available through Education Standard Spending in the following year
From September 1998, all four-year-olds have been able to access a free, part-time, early education place. By April 2001, all three-year-olds in Warrington will also have access to a free early education place. Up to December 2000 Warrington Early Years Development and Childcare Partnership reported the creation of 1,327 new child care places.
Mr. Brady: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment, pursuant to his answer of 13 February 2001, Official Report, column 95W, what the origins were of the private funds used to make payments to the Wildcat Corporation to provide consultancy services to his Department; what the amount of each payment was; and on what terms the payments were made. 
Ms Jowell [holding answer 26 February 2001]: The employer-led New Deal Task Force has been working in partnership with the Wildcat Corporation to develop a demand-led strategy. To date a total of £175,000 has been received from employers and paid to Wildcat to test this innovative approach. Funding came from companies within the financial sector in this country who had seen the results that the Wildcat Corporation had achieved in the US and who were keen to see the same methods applied in this country.
Mr. Martyn Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment if he will set out, with statistical information relating as directly as possible to the Clwyd, South constituency, the effects on Clwyd, South of his Department's policies and actions since 2 May 1997. 
8 Mar 2001 : Column: 300W
|Financial year||Foundation modern apprenticeships(8)||Advanced modern apprenticeships(9)||Total|
(8) Foundation Modern Apprenticeships, formerly known as National Traineeships, were introduced nationally in September 1997.
(9) Advanced Modern Apprenticeships, formerly known as Modern Apprenticeships, were introduced nationally in September 1995.
(10) To date.
1. The Trainee Database System (TDS), from which these data are taken, is less complete than Management Information Supplied to the Department by Training and Enterprise Councils (TECs) (around 95 per cent.).
2. In addition, the postcode information on the TDS, from which parliamentary constituency data are compiled, are 95 per cent. complete.
3. TEC Management Information does not provide information at parliamentary constituency level.
WBTYP trainee database
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