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Police Service of Northern Ireland

Lady Hermon: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if the Police Service of Northern Ireland has obtained exemption from the application of the Working Time Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1998. [44039]

Jane Kennedy: The Police Service of Northern Ireland has not obtained exemption from the application of the Working Time Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1998.

Shooting (Westrock Square, Ballymurphy)

Mr. Blunt: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what assessment he has made of the responsibility for the shooting of a 17-year-old youth at Westrock Square, Ballymurphy on 9 March. [44456]

Jane Kennedy: Police inquiries into the above incident have to date proved negative and no information has been received as to the identity of the perpetrators of this shooting.

Banner (Derry City Walls)

Mr. McNamara: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, pursuant to the answer of the right hon. Member for East Kilbride (Mr. Ingram) of 11 March 2002, Official Report, column 656W, (1) how many individuals can be seen on CCTV video tape delivering and displaying the banner as the Bloody Sunday commemorative march approached the Derry City walls on 27 January; how many of those individuals have been identified; what facilities are available for military police to view video footage; and what further action he plans to take; [43884]

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Jane Kennedy: The police operation on the date in question was low-key and discreet as agreed with the march organisers. Police on duty did not witness the alleged display of the banner. CCTV footage over a two-hour period at the material time and location has been examined and discloses no evidence of a banner being transported or displayed. Police did not remove a banner nor do they have the banner in their possession. A report in the Derry Journal of 5 February would suggest that the banner is in the possession of the Bloody Sunday marchers.

Golden Jubilee

Mrs. Iris Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how much funding was offered to the public by the Northern Ireland Office for events linked with Her Majesty's Golden Jubilee celebrations; what the closing date for applications was; where and when adverts were placed publicising this funding; how much funding was provided by his Office; and which organisations and events were successful in their application for funding. [44751]

Dr. John Reid: The NIO has not offered funding to the public for events linked with the Golden Jubilee. In Northern Ireland, the Golden Jubilee celebrations are being co-ordinated by the Department for Culture Arts and Leisure.

E-business Strategy

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if the Department produced a full e-business strategy by June 2001. [45998]

Dr. John Reid: The Northern Ireland Office produced an initial e-business strategy at the end of 2000 and is reviewing and refining this in the context of the development of an overall information systems strategy to meet departmental business needs.

Age Discrimination

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what his Department's policy is towards age discrimination. [42573]

Dr. John Reid: It is the policy of the Northern Ireland Office that all eligible persons shall have equal opportunity for employment and advancement solely on the basis of their ability, qualifications and aptitude for the work. The Department promotes an equal opportunities policy whereby no employee or job applicant is unfairly discriminated against on a number of grounds, including age. Staff joining the Department receive, as part of their induction, a mandatory half-day equal opportunities awareness session which explains their responsibilities under the policy and addresses negative stereotypical attitudes towards people, including on the basis of age.

Section 75 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998 places a statutory duty on public authorities to have due regard to the promotion of equality of opportunity for persons in nine separate categories, one of which is age. In

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accordance with its commitments under Section 75, the Department has undertaken an extensive screening exercise to examine all its policies against all the categories, including age.

Job Sharing

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will make a statement on the extent of job sharing in his Department. [41011]

Dr. John Reid: 25 officers out of 1,256 staff employed by the NIO are job sharers.

Jobsharing however is only one of a number of alternative and flexible working patterns that employees are welcome to take up. In the NIO there are also 116 officers who work part-time. The flexibility of the hours worked is decided in conjunction with local management to suit the individuals need and the needs of the branch.

Parliamentary Questions

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will take steps to improve the response time to parliamentary questions. [47711]

Dr. John Reid: In its response to the Public Administration Select Committee's second report of Session 2000–01 on Ministerial Accountability and Parliamentary Questions, the Government made clear its

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commitment to providing prompt and accurate answers to parliamentary questions. This continues to be the Government's position.


Law Commission Reports

Mr. Dismore: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department if he will list the Law Commission reports and their date of publication in respect of which (a) no Government response has yet been published and (b) no legislation where the need for legislation has been accepted in principle, has been published, in each of the last 10 years; and if he will make a statement. [46876]

Mr. Wills: Lists for (a) and (b) are set out in the tables. At any one time, the Law Commissioner will be engaged on between 20 and 30 projects of law reform at different stages of completion. In 1999 the Lord Chancellor established a ministerial committee on the work of the Law Commission. Its remit is to develop and co-ordinate the Government's interest in law reform. The committee looks at the effective use of the resource represented by the Law Commission; the process for referring projects to the commission; how the implementation of Law Commission recommendations may be streamlined; and considers what actions might be taken on unimplemented reports. However, it is for individual Departments to decide whether to accept the reports they receive and when to propose legislation.

(a) Law Commission reports awaiting Government response

1991194Distress for Rent
1994222Binding Over
1994226Judicial Review and Statutory Appeals
1995229Intoxication and Criminal Liability
1996238Landlord and Tenant: Responsibility for State and Condition of Property
1997246Shareholder Remedies
1998249Liability for Psychiatric Illness
1999257Damages for Personal Injury: Non-Pecuniary Loss (Part IV)
1999261Company Directors: Regulating Conflicts of Interest and Formulating a Statement of Duties
1999262Damages for Personal Injury: Medical, Nursing and Other Expense Collateral Benefits
1999263Claims for Wrongful Death
2001269Bail and The Human Rights Act 1998
2001270Limitations of Actions
2001272Third Parties' Rights Against Insurers
2001273Evidence of Bad Character in Criminal Proceedings

(b) Law Commission Reports awaiting legislation

1992208Landlord and Tenant- Business Tenancies: A Periodic Review of The Landlord and Tenant Act
1993218Offences Against the Person and General Principles
1995231Mental Incapacity
1996237Involuntary Manslaughter
1997245Hearsay and Related Topics
1997247Aggravated, Exemplary and Restitutionary Damages
1998248Corruption Offences
1998251The Rules Against Perpetuities and Excessive Accumulations
1998253The Execution of Deeds and Documents
1998255Consents to Prosecution
2001267Double Jeopardy and Prosecution Appeals

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