Departmental Public Consultation

Work and Pensions written question – answered on 26th March 2009.

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Photo of Shailesh Vara Shailesh Vara Shadow Deputy Leader of the House of Commons

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many public consultations his Department has conducted in the last 12 months; how long each consultation was open for; how many responses were received in each case; and what the cost of conducting each consultation was.

Photo of Jonathan R Shaw Jonathan R Shaw Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Disabled People; Minister for the South East), Department for Work and Pensions

The following table provides details of each consultation in my Department in the 12 months to the end of February 2009.

Providing a full answer to the last two parts of the question could be done only at disproportionate cost. The number of responses to our consultations varies greatly. For example we received over 1,000 formal written submissions to our 'No one written off' consultation on welfare reform, but this represents only part of the picture, given that we received numerous responses in internet-based discussion forums, and a large amount of face-to-face input at a range of different events and meetings. In contrast, for our more specialist, and often more limited, consultations in the private pensions area, for example, typically 50-100 responses are received for each.

On costs, the costs quoted for our four largest consultations during the last 12 months, are for services procured specifically to support these consultations—for example, professional production of documents, cost of consultation events, and research. In the case of our smaller consultations, these services are not used.

DWP Consultations in year ended February 2008
Consultation Consultation p eriod Weeks Cost (£)
The Pensions Regulator (Miscellaneous Amendment) Regulations 2009 15 December 2008 to 6 February 2009 7 (1)
The Occupational, Personal and Stakeholder Pensions (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2009 8 December 2008 to 30 January 2009 7 (1)
Financial Assistance Scheme and Incapacity Benefit (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2009 5 November 2008 to 3 December 2008 4 (1)
The Occupational Pension Schemes (Contracting-Out) (Amendment) Regulations 2009 2 September 2008 to 28 October 2008 8 (1)
No One Written Off: Reforming Welfare to Reward Responsibility 21 July 2008 to 22 October 2008 13 (2)268,000
Pension Risk Sharing Consultation Paper 5 June 2008 to 28 August 2008 12 (1)
The Pension Sharing (Pension Credit Benefit) (Amendment) 29 May 2008 to 21 July 2008 8 (1)
The Pension Protection Fund (Miscellaneous Amendments) (No 2) Regulations 2008 28 May 2008 to 5 June 2008 2 (1)
The powers of the Pensions Regulator-Amendments to the anti-avoidance measures in the Pensions Act 2004 25 April 2008 to 20 June 2008 8 (1)
Financial Assistance Scheme (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2008 27 March 2008 to 9 May 2008 6 (1)
Financial Assistance Scheme (Miscellaneous Provisions) Regulations 2008 6 March 2008 to 20 March 2008 3 (1)
Revision of the Annuity Factors employed by the Financial Assistance Scheme 6 March 2008 to 18 April 2008 6 (1)
Independent Living Strategy Consultation 3 March 2008 to 20 June 2008 17 (2)70,000
The Pension Protection Fund (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2008 19 December 2007 to 12 February 2008 8 (1)
Pensions: Contracting-Out - Self Invested Personal Pensions and Other Changes 10 December 2007 to 29 February 2008 12 (1)
Improving Specialist Disability Employment Services 3 December 2007 to 10 March 2008 14 (2)106,000
(1) These consultations were undertaken at low cost as an integral part of the policy-making processes; it is therefore not possible to separate out specific consultation costs.

(2) These figures represent specifically procured costs of the consultation, for example, producing consultation documents and organising consultation events.

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