Examination of Witnesses (Questions 180-199)|
WEDNESDAY 20 DECEMBER 2000
180. Before calling Mr Clarke, in terms of what
is now PricewaterhouseCoopers' report, was that commissioned by
yourselves or by somebody else?
(Ms Lyner) The way these things generally work in
our environment is at the end of the founding period the funder
would identify a sum of money which would be paid to us on the
understanding that that then produced an independent evaluation
report, independent meaning by an external body, and we, the funder,
the external body and any other interested party would be involved
in drawing up the terms of reference for that evaluation. In our
understanding that would be external, although the payment would
have been made through us.
181. It will become clear to us when we see
the PricewaterhouseCoopers' report but I am quite clear that it
involves the actual outgoing costs of dealing with case after
case. Does it also look at the opportunity cost to Northern Ireland
of that person going into exile, in other words what that person
would be contributing in Northern Ireland if he or she had not
(Mr Conway) I cannot honestly recall, Chairman, the
last time I read it was about five years ago.
182. And you are not conscious of anybody else
having done a study of that sort?
(Mr Conway) I am not aware of any.
183. Good afternoon. In your letter submitted
to the Committee of 24 July, and earlier on, you referred to an
independent evaluation of Base 2 services by Professor Harry Mika.
Correct me if I am wrong but I believe you said you are hoping
for that to be concluded early in the New Year?
(Ms Lyner) Yes.
184. Could you open up for the Committee a little
bit more as to the workings of that evaluation in terms of what
its objectives were and how that evaluation is taking place and
what sorts of things is Professor Mika looking at?
(Ms Lyner) We are very happy to send you the terms
of reference. I referenced earlier that was aspirational, we had
not secured the resources at that stage. We have just now secured
the resources and we are moving to finalise the terms of reference
in terms of the evaluation. We are happy to send you what papers
we have available immediately and to send those along with the
previous evaluation and when that evaluation is concluded to send
you that as well, but it is not as far on as we might have hoped.
185. Would it be fair to say that it would be
an evaluation of the statistical evidence? Will Professor Mika
be visiting and looking at the project?
(Ms Lyner) Yes. I think it will be a quantitative
analysis. It will be a qualitative analysis in terms of practice.
To be useful for the future it needs to have some sort of view
as to what our business is likely to be in the next period so
we might look with those appropriate in terms of maintenance and
the securing of ongoing resourcing. We need to look to the future
(Mr Conway) Without prejudicing the outcomes, one
of the key elements of it will be around an exit strategy and
what that will look like and what would the demise of Base 2 look
like. We have to address those two points in the evaluation, I
think they are going to be features of it.
(Ms Lyner) Could I just add that a standard element
of just about all the evaluations that we would be involved in
commissioning would also require an input from all the stakeholders,
whether those putting resources in or referral processes, as well
as some feedback from the individuals who have been to the service,
so some input from clients in terms of what they have felt the
value of the service has been to them. Hopefully that will be
a relatively comprehensive set of papers in relation to those
186. A different subject but included in the
text: you mentioned that on a short-term basis you have taken
up a contract under the Asylum Seekers' Programme. Could you say
what impact the workings of that short-term contract and programme
has had on your Base 2 work? Did they fit together well or were
they run separately?
(Ms Lyner) No, they were run alongside each other.
I think it would have put tremendous pressure on resources that
we have for us to do that. I have to say that we started the year
with very little resources in place, so in terms of making ourselves
exist and stay in place we had to do that piece of work. If we
can talk about the time frame that it was in, the Loyalist feud
and the work that we were involved with in terms of the Housing
Executive, one member of staff suffered tremendous pressure in
relation to that. Probably, happily, we were not extremely busy
in the asylum seekers work. I imagine in terms of throughput it
would be nothing like the issues we have evidenced here. Without
doubt it was useful to us because of the money we were going to
attract because of that. It was at a time when a lot of other
issues were ongoing in Northern Ireland. I suppose what was helpful
in making the connection work with the Home Office was the fact
that we had a basic network of processes in place, a system in
place, and all the issues in terms of location, dislocation, in
connection with hostels, organising travel, the connection to
hospitals, to child care issues, to children's schooling issues,
were all practices and policies we had in place. In a very quick
response we were able to do something that fitted the needs of
the Home Office at that stage. It was something useful for us,
if extremely pressurising at the time.
187. Would I be right in thinking that the majority
of those that you were working for under the short-term contract,
the asylum seekers, were Kosovan and Somalian in terms of their
(Ms Lyner) Romanian I think it was.
188. Okay. One of the things that you cannot
put into figures is the fact that their referrals would have been
through a totally different source
(Ms Lyner) Yes, absolutely. And they are not counted
in any statistics.
189. And they are not counted in any statistics.
One of the issues with asylum seekers, of course, would have been
intimidation because of race.
(Ms Lyner) Absolutely.
190. And that would have been recorded separately,
(Ms Lyner) Yes.
Mr Clarke: That has answered my questions, Chairman,
191. Good afternoon. Can I just start by being
clear that the money you received through the Making Belfast Work
programme, was that specifically to support the re-entry of excluded
(Ms Lyner) Making Belfast Work was the name of the
organisation that was funding this area of work up until about
18 months ago. When we received money from Making Belfast Work
it was probably in the years 1993-96.
192. What was that money for?
(Ms Lyner) That was to run the Base 2 programme which
was to provide the services that were in place to locate safely
individuals who were under threat. That funding was for three
years and after that the Probation Board picked up the funding
for a period of time. We are now in receipt of a new contract
for funding from BRO, which is Making Belfast Work in a new guise.
The money we have got for that is about the re-entry programme.
193. So the initial money was not specifically
(Ms Lyner) No, it was not actually for safe movement.
194. What is BRO?
(Ms Lyner) Belfast Regeneration Office.
195. Thank you. Can you tell me, how much money
did you get between 1993-96 through the Making Belfast Work programme?
(Ms Lyner) I could not tell you accurately but the
evaluation will show that. Something of the order of £80,000
196. What proportion of your budget does that
(Ms Lyner) The years change
(Ms Lyner) NIACRO's budget as an organisation would
probably have been about £4 million at that stage in that
period of time.
198. What about the money you have received
through the Peace and Reconciliation Programme, how much have
you received through that and what is that money being used for?
(Ms Lyner) The organisation receives a lot of money
from the Peace and Reconciliation funding. Actually a very small
element of that would be for Base 2. The majority of the money
that we would receive from Peace and Reconciliation would be in
the area of training ex-offenders and ex-prisoners for re-entry
into the world of work and would in the main be what we would
term ordinary prisoners. Also, we have received money from Peace
and Reconciliation to undertake work with young people. We have
received a lot of money through Peace and Reconciliation to try
and see whether some of the innovative programmes we felt would
be appropriate in our community would work and some of them have.
In the last couple of years we have had a small amount of money
also to support the work of Base 2.
199. I am not sure if your earlier answer to
Mr Hunter covered this, if it did, forgive me, I am just trying
to be clear. I am interested in the notion of the re-entry work
for persons excluded. Could you say a little bit about how you
go about that kind of work? What is it you do to assist or secure
(Ms Lyner) We need to state that we have only had
a contract since the beginning of April. It is early in the process
at this stage of establishment of people coming into post and
taking on responsibilities there.