HC Deb 11 November 1996 vol 285 cc75-6W
Mr. Redmond

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment who are the contractors for security services to cover the offices of her Department in(a) Doncaster and (b) Mexborough; what is the total cost of the contract; and if she will make a statement. [2676]

Mr. Forth

Responsibility for the subject of the question has been delegated to the Employment Service under its chief executive. I have asked him to arrange for a reply to be given.

Letter from M. E. G. Fogden to Mr. Martin Redmond, dated 11 November 1996: As the Employment Service (ES) is an Executive Agency, the Secretary of State has asked me to write to you direct to respond to your question about the contractors for security services to cover the offices of her Department in Doncaster and Mexborough and the total cost of the contract. This is something which falls to me within the responsibilities delegated to me as Chief Executive of the Agency. The ES takes very seriously the issue of security within its premises. In preparation for any significant change to our working methods there is a legal obligation to carry out risk assessments to highlight any potential dangers. A risk assessment in accordance with national guidelines was conducted at every ES Jobcentre as part of the preparations for the implementation of Jobseeker's Allowance. The outcome of the risk assessments at Doncaster Jobcentres showed that two security officers would be required at Trafford Way Jobcentre due to the perceived increased risk to staff following the implementation of Jobseeker's Allowance. The risk assessment carried out at Mexborough Jobcentre showed that security services would not be required. The contract to provide security services at Trafford Way Jobcentre was awarded to Burns International Security Services (UK) Ltd following a regional tendering exercise carried out under standard ES contracting procedures. The contract to supply two security officers is for a period of 12 months from 9 September with an option to extend for a further two years on annual review. Following a request by my District Manager in Doncaster, Burns International Security Services (UK) Ltd were also contracted to provide one security officer per site at East Laith Gate House, Queensgate House and Queensgate Corner Jobcentres in Doncaster for the period 30 September to 1 November 1996. In addition to static guarding of the premises, the service requirements include monitoring of CCTV systems which were installed in Trafford Way Jobcentre in Doncaster several years ago. The security officers employed have attended a training course run by the ES' s Regional Training Consultancy Services. The course provided instruction and guidance on handling difficult situations. In addition, Burns International Security Services (UK) provide induction training for employees as part of their quality plan. In the current financial year, ES in Yorkshire and the Humber region anticipates that expenditure on security services will be approximately £191,000. Individual contracts are commercial in confidence and therefore I am unable to provide you with details of the costs relating to security services in Doncaster Jobcentres. I hope this is helpful.

Forward to