Select Committee on Northern Ireland Affairs Minutes of Evidence

Examination of Witnesses (Questions 55 - 59)




  55. We are very conscious, Mr Spratt, that this is a resumption of the conversation we had with you two years ago.

  (Mr Spratt) Yes.

  56. We are very grateful to you for coming back. I do not know whether there is anything you want to say to us before we get into taking evidence. You will remember the ground rules under which we operate, which are that you should feel totally free to gloss any answers you give, either while you are with us or later in writing, should you wish to do so; equally, we would come back to you if we have a supplementary question after the event which we thought needed to be tendered in writing. We are delighted to see Mr Smyth and yourself on this occasion. Is there anything you would like to say to us before we start?
  (Mr Spratt) Thank you very much for giving us the opportunity to come back again some two years later, and for giving us the opportunity to express our views on how the Northern Ireland Prison Service is progressing. Can I address a few items of fact that Mr Halward put to the Committee? Would this be the appropriate time to do it?

  57. Yes.
  (Mr Spratt) I just want to clarify a few points, first of all on page 7 of the minutes.

  58. Is this the transcript from the last meeting? I am not sure whether all of us have a copy. I happen to have a copy in front of me. It would be easier, from our selfish point of view, if you could deal with question numbers rather than pages. You will notice there are question numbers.
  (Mr Spratt) Question 5.

  59. I guessed it was going to be question 5.
  (Mr Spratt) Mr Halward, in fact, was asked the question about the amount of money that was paid out in severance payment to officers and what was the range of payments received by individual officers. It relates to a figure here of £250,000 as a lump sum. I just want to clarify that. That may have been the total figure before tax, but in actual fact the officer was left with £164,000 at aged 40, which had to do him for 20 years, or I hope he gets a job. I just want to clarify that.

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