§ Mr. Donohoe
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will make a statement on the employment of polling or public survey organisations by his Department during the current and previous financial years, on the organisations employed by his Department, on the values of individual contracts for these services, on the total amounts of money spent and on the purposes of the research undertaken by these organisations.
§ Mr. Roger Evans
Most of the Department's research contracts are let following a process of competitive tender. The Department announces its research programme annually and potential contractors are invited to register an interest in relevant projects.67W
A list of contracts let by the Department to polling or public survey organisations in the current financial year is set out below:
Organisation Amount £ British Market Research Bureau (BMRB) Contributions Agency Customer Survey 1994 152,691 Resettlement Agency Customer Survey 1994 36,310 Industrial Facts and Forecasting Research Ltd. (IFF) Forecasting demand for Social Security Advice Line for Employers 42,594 Staff Attitude Survey 1994 86,362 Market and Opinion Research International (MORI) Child Support Agency Customer Survey 1994 265,531 Child Support Agency Survey on the Phasing Option 10,100 Office of Population Censuses and Surveys (OPCS) Family Resources Survey (FRS) (joint project with Social and Community Planning Research) 2,960,000 Disability survey development work 9,420 Public Perceptions of Occupational and Personal Pensions 40,000 Retirement Survey follow-up 395,166 Study to compare the contents and methods of FRS and Family Expenditure Survey 3,500 Omnibus Survey on Contributions Statement 8,800 Public Attitude Surveys Ltd. (PAS) War Pensions Agency Customer Satisfaction Survey 1994 92,837 Educational Compliance Visits 35,516 Council Tax Benefit (Second Adult Rebate) Research 7,656 Housing Benefit: LA Anti-Fraud Incentives scheme 25,397 Income Support Review 17,531 Benefits Agency Customer Satisfaction Survey 1994 208,738 Research on the service provided by the War Pensions Welfare Service 31,020 Research Services Ltd. (RSL) Evaluation of One Stop Initiative 63,620 Social and Community Planning Research (SCPR) Industrial Injuries: Income and Resources of recent claimants 12,244 Women, Pensions and Divorce 397,870 Pension Scheme Dispute Resolution 112,625 Employers' Pension Provision 177,300
Organisation Amount £ Direct Payments of Mortgage Interest 33,577 Satisfaction with Benefits Agency Local Office Services 38,230 Customer Satisfaction: Methodological Issues 18,115 Secondary Analysis of Benefit Agency Customer Satisfaction Survey 15,875 Management of money in later life 40,400
The Department also commissions research from independent research institutes, universities and other non-survey research organisations. Full details of all projects commissioned as part of the research programme are contained in the social research yearbook published annually.
In addition, the Department has contracted a number of market research agencies to develop and monitor public information campaigns and projects through the Central Office of Information.
Research contributes to the development and implementation of new policies and the monitoring and evaluation of existing policies. It also plays an important role in providing customer feedback on the Department's services. The Department's external research budget for 1994–95 is £4,000,000.