HC Deb 22 March 2004 vol 419 cc537-8W
Mr. Oaten

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many people are employed by his Department's Research and Statistics Directorate; and how many employees there were in each year since 1997; [161787]

(2) how many research projects have been undertaken by (a) in-house researchers in the Research and Statistics Directorate and (b) external contractors in each year since 1997. [161788]

Fiona Mactaggart

The Research, Development and Statistics Directorate (RDS) is the main Home Office resource to support performance measurement and delivery of social research and analysis essential to building the evidence base for policy development. The available information on staffing and projects undertaken by RDS are shown in the tables.

During the period 1997 to 2004, RDS has evolved and created new teams. This has been in response to the need to meet demands for faster collection and analysis of more comprehensive performance data as well as to carry out more timely and targeted research, particularly in the areas of crime reduction, drugs and alcohol, immigration and communities research as well as enhancing the capacity for economic analysis and modelling.

Some of the projects identified will carry forward into two or more years and are included in the figures for both years. Projects undertaken by RDS can vary in size, complexity and scope. In addition to this RDS responds to regular ad-hoc requests for R and D advice from both within the Home Office and from external organisations.

Table 1: Staff compliment for the Home Office Research, Development and Statistics Directorate—1997–98 to 2003–04
Number of staff RDS compliment
1997–8 260
1998–9 260
1999–20001 280
2000–012 360
2001–023 375
2002–034 435
2003–04 445
Current 422 in post
1 The 1999–2000 figures reflect re-structuring of Social Research within the Home Office; the Police Research Group (40 staff) joined together with the Research and Statistics Directorate to form the new Research, Development and Statistics Directorate (RDS). At the same time, 15 staff from Co-ordinating Computing in Criminal Justice System moved out of RDS.
2 The 2000–01 figure includes a new team that was set up to support evaluation of the crime reduction programme. There was also a new programme to expand the evidence base for Immigration research and voluntary/community research.
3In 2001–02 the Machinery of Government changes resulted in the movement of Fire Statistics to Department of Environment, Transport and Regions (now Office of the Deputy Prime Minister).
4 The 2002–03 figure reflects the establishment of a new team to support research into drugs and alcohol research, in particular supporting the development of the Drugs Strategy and further development of the Immigration Research programme and in the capacity for economic analysis.

All totals are based on the RDS complement and are full-time equivalents.

Table 2: Number of Research Projects undertaken by (a) in-house researches and (b) through external contractors in the Home Office Research, Development and Statistics Directorate 1998–99–2003–04
In-house research projects Externally contracted research projects
1998–99 156 145
1999–2000 1120 165
2000–01 1106 2137
2001–02 1108 2283
2002–03 1171 2294
2003–04 1212 2222
1The figures for these years based on a manual count of projects in the Research Development and Statistics Directorate (RDS) business plan.
2The figures are based on a central record of RDS external contracts