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Mr. Touhig: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what criteria her Department uses in determining the award of contracts; and how much her Department and its predecessors spent on the advertisement of tenders for Government contracts since 1997. 
Jim Knight: The criteria the Department uses in determining the award of contracts is tailored specifically to individual contracts. Contracts are let through a fair and open competitive tendering process underpinned by EU principles of transparency, equal treatment, non-discrimination and proportionality. Contracts should deliver sustainable best practice commercial services and solutions that support the required departmental business outcomes, take account of current policies and provide best value for money.
Departmental spend on advertising contracts since 1997 is not collated centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost. Where appropriate, current contracts are advertised through the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) which is free of charge. Procurement teams will also consider advertising in external trade journals and other relevant publications if appropriate to individual contracts.
Mr. Heald: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the cost was of maintaining her Department's website in the 2008-09 financial year; and what the forecast cost is of maintaining websites within her responsibility in the 2009-10 financial year. 
Jim Knight: Ongoing delivery and maintenance of the Department's website is carried out by the Department's own in-house Digital Media team. It is not possible for us to extract and quantify internal staff costs, because in most cases, staff are engaged in more than one role. In addition, we are unable to establish accurately our annual running costs because they form part of a wider departmental IT contract.
We can provide a figure for 2008-09 development work, as we redeveloped the Department's website in that year. This is a one-off cost relating to that development only and is not an annual cost. This is £215,666.00.
The total forecast expenditure for Directgov in the 2009-10 financial year is £30,500,000. This is consistent with previously agreed financial figures and covers all aspects of Directgov business of which an aspect is website maintenance.
It is not possible to provide 2009-10 forecast costs for the remaining websites within the responsibility of the Department. We are working with Cabinet Office to implement a standardised method for quantifying website costs across Government in line with Central Office of Information guidelines. This is in response to a Public Accounts Committee recommendation. These costs will be available from April 2010 onwards as per the timetable.
Mr. Heald: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the cost to her Department was of provision of that office facilities to (a) special advisers and (b) press officers in the 2008-09 financial year. 
The cost of providing serviced accommodation for DWP press office and support staff in London, the regions, Scotland and Wales, was £233,914 in 2008-09. DWP press office carried out work on behalf of the Department, Jobcentre Plus, the Pensions, Disability and Carers Service and the Child Support Agency (now Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission).
Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions with reference to the answer to Lord Ashby of Stoke on 13 October 2009, Official Report, House of Lords, columns 112-13, on, disabled people: benefits, which benefits are included in the Government's definition of disability benefits. 
Jessica Morden: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many parents of young children have exercised their right to request flexible working in (a) Newport East constituency and (b) Wales since the introduction of that right. 
The new employment rights introduced on April 2003 gave parents of children under six and disabled children under 18 the right to request flexible working. This was extended to carers in April 2007 and parents of children aged 16 and under in April 2009. The proportion of employees with children (under 16 years old) who have requested to work flexibly by region and nation in Great Britain are provided in the following table. These figures are from the Flexible Working Survey (2005). However information is not available for Newport East and due to a small sample size of respondents in Wales reliable information is only available for all employees' requests for flexible working, not those employees with children.
Later information comes from the Work Life Balance Survey (2006), which asked 2,081 employees in Great Britain whether they made a request in the last two years to change their working arrangements. Again, the relative small sample size representing Wales means reliable statistics are not available for parents of young children; however the survey found that 18 per cent. of all respondents in Wales requested flexible working, 17 per cent. for all of Great Britain.
|Table 1: Requests to work flexibly over last two years, employees with children|
|Employees with children (under 16) requests for flexible working||All employees|
|(1) Reliable figures are not available due to small sample sizes.|
Flexible Working Employee Survey 2005
The Employment Equality (Age) Regulations 2006 provide for a statutory retirement procedure which includes an employee's right to request to stay in employment beyond retirement age and a default retirement age of 65 that employers can use if they wish. The Government fixed the default retirement age at 65 for sound policy reasons and the High Court has confirmed that it is objectively justified. There is therefore no requirement for employers to give a reason why they are retiring someone if using the default retirement age.
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions which disability benefits are included in the figure of £6.1 billion quoted on page 101 of the Green Paper on "Shaping the Future of Care
Together", for expenditure on the disability benefits specifically targeted at older people; and what estimate was made of the amount spent on each benefit. 
Jonathan Shaw [holding answer 23 November 2009]: The £6.1 billion quoted on page 101 of "Shaping the Future of Care Together", refers to the amount of attendance allowance and disability living allowance paid in 2007-08 to those aged 65 and over in England. The expenditure was estimated at £3.5 and £2.6 billion respectively.
(a) Greater Manchester Central and Greater Manchester East and West: £9.34 million
(b) Cambridgeshire and Suffolk; and Norfolk: £5.66 million
Both Work for Your Benefit pilots will start delivery in November 2010 and will run for two years. There will be a full and independent evaluation of the pilots which will begin in 2010. Findings will be available throughout the lifetime of the pilots with early results available from autumn 2011. A final report will be published in 2013-14.
Jim Knight: The Work for Your Benefit pilots are not yet operational and it would be premature to pre-judge the results of the evaluation. As such there are no current plans to roll the programme out nationally.
Jim Knight: The Work for Your Benefit programme will be delivered through private, voluntary or public sector contractors. It will be for individual providers to source work experience placements with a variety of host organisations once contracts have been awarded. Procurement for these contracts is under way with contract award expected in the summer of 2010 with the pilots due to be launched in November 2010.
Mr. Sanders: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department with reference to the answer of 11 November 2009, Official Report, column 416W, on animal welfare, whether the guidance relating to named veterinary surgeons takes account of circumstances in which such a veterinary surgeon is a shareholder in a company owning a scientific procedures establishment. 
Meg Hillier: Paragraphs 3.17 to 3.19 of the Guidance on the Operation of the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 (HC321) dealing with conflicts of interest do not make specific reference to circumstances in which an individual is a shareholder in a company owning a scientific procedures establishment in which they are the named veterinary surgeon. However, all relevant circumstances will be taken into account when considering any suggestion that a potential conflict of interest exists.
Chris Huhne: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many asylum seekers who declared their age to be (a) 17, (b) 12 to 16, (c) five to 11 and (d) under five years old have been the subject of age disputes in each of the last 12 years. 
Mrs. Maria Miller: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how much funding his Department has allocated for (a) the Criminal Records Bureau and (b) the Independent Safeguarding Authority for (i) 2009-10 and (ii) 2010-11. 
The funding for set up of the Vetting and Barring Scheme, including the costs associated with the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA), are provided by the Department of Children Schools and Families (DCSF) and the Department of Health (DH).
Alan Johnson: The following table shows the number of removals and voluntary departures by destination for nationals of the Occupied Palestinian Territories between 2004 and 2008. Destination data prior to 2004 are not available.
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