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17 Nov 2004 : Column 1634W—continued

Civil Service

Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many civil service posts there are in each Department, agency and non-departmental public body in Northern Ireland; what the planned number of posts in each is for (a) 31 March 2005, (b) 31 March 2006, (c) 31 March 2007 and (d) 31 March 2008; and if he will make a statement. [195538]

Mr. Pearson: Staffing levels in the Northern Ireland Office, including agencies and NDPBs, at 31 March 2004, are set out in Table A. The Northern Ireland Office plans to reduce its total number of posts by 771 (net) by 31 March 2008. A breakdown of the areas affected is available on the NIO website and detailed in the Efficiency Technical Note.

Staffing levels for the 11 Departments of the NI Administration, including agencies, at 31 March 2004 are set out in Table B. The Government plans to reduce its total number of posts by 2,300 by 31 March 2008. This will be spread across all grades, including the senior civil service.

A further 2,600 reductions will result from the creation of the Water Service GoCo and Agri-Food Biosciences Institute. In addition, further reductions may be made from reform initiatives, including the outsourcing of particular corporate services. Further details are set out in the "Fit for Purpose" document, which can be accessed on the website at

The detailed breakdown of posts and the profile for the reductions by Department and agency will not be available in advance of the publication of the Final Budget, planned for December.

Information relating to the number of civil service posts in NDPBs that are sponsored by the 11 Departments of the NI Administration is more difficult to define and quantify given the diverse range and functions they undertake across Northern Ireland. Such information could therefore be obtained only at disproportionate costs.
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Table A: NIO staff in post (including agencies and NDPBs) at 31 March 2004

NIO Core727
Forensic Science NI137
Youth Justice Agency294
Compensation Agency121
NI Prison Service2,024
Legal bodies (Public Prosecution Service NI and Crown Solicitors Office)340
Other bodies626

Table B: NICS staff in post by Department and agency at 31March 2004

DARDCore Department3,379
Rivers Agency443
Forest Service346
DCALCore Department192
Public Records Office (PRO)92
Ordnance Survey (OSNI)159
DECore Department644
DETICore Department734
DFPCore Department1,570
Land Register NI226
Rates Collection Agency (RCA)294
Valuation and Lands Agency (VLA)311
NI Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA)357
Business Development Service (BDS)230
DELCore Department1,793
DHSSPSCore Department918
NI Health and Social Services Agency133
DOECore Department219
Environment and Heritage Service603
Driver and Vehicle Testing Agency (DVTA)468
Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency NI (DVLNI)497
Planning Service688
DRDCore Department555
Water Service2,094
Road Service2,347
DSDCore Department653
Child Support Agency (CSA)1,661
Social Security Agency (SSA)6,152
OFMDFMCore Department399

Civil Service Recruitment

Mr. Dodds: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many people were recruited through the competition conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers Ltd. on behalf of the Department of Finance and Personnel in each year since 2001; and how many of those people were not previously members of the civil service. [198031]

Mr. Pearson: I have assumed that the hon. Member is referring to the Staff Officer Graduate competition run by the Northern Ireland Civil Service each year. The table gives the number of graduates recruited through that competition in each year since 2001, and how many of those recruited were not members of the Civil Service at the time of application.
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Number of graduates recruited via staff officer graduate competitionNumber recruited who were not members of the civil service at the time of application
2004 (64)4335

(64) as at 11 November 2004


Mrs. Iris Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (1) how much each Government Department in Northern Ireland has paid to consultancy firms in each year since 1998; [190607]

(2) how much his Department has spent on external consultants in each of the last 10 years. [196417]

Mr. Pearson: The following table details the expenditure by the 11 departments of the Northern Ireland Administration and the Northern Ireland Office since April 2000 (excluding Agencies and non-departmental public bodies). Information prior to this date is not readily available due to the restructuring of the departments in 1999.

Mr. Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how much his Department spent in each year since 2002 on employing (a) external management consultants and (b) external human resources consultants; and if he will make a statement. [195765]

Mr. Pearson: The following outlines the expenditure by the 11 Departments of the Northern Ireland administration and the Northern Ireland Office excluding agencies and non-departmental public bodies.
External management consultants(66)4,211,0484,853,689
External human resources consultants(67)504,1801,428,848

(65) The figures for 2002–03 exclude figures for the Department of Education for Northern Ireland, as these are not held centrally. Details will be forwarded to the Member as soon as they are available.
(66) Defined as management advisory consultancy work relating to policy appraisal and review, strategic management, organisational development and performance measurement.
(67) Defined as human resources consultancy work relating to training needs analysis, assessment centre development, IIP advisory.

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Pete Wishart: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (1) which non-accounting and non-information technology external organisations which previously held contracts with his Department (a) won new contracts at the culmination of the existing contracts and (b) won new contracts after a period of inactivity with his Department in each of the past four years; [196891]

(2) which non-accounting and non-information technology external organisations have won new contracts with (a) his Department and (b) executive agencies for which he is responsible in each of the past three years. [196892]

Mr. Pearson: The information requested could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Crosshill Quarry, Crumlin

David Burnside: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what assessment has been made of the environmental impact on the Crumlin River from its source to Lough Neagh of the proximity of asbestos storage and destruction at Crosshill Quarry, Crumlin. [196084]

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Angela Smith: No specific assessment of the impact of the Crossbill Quarry site on the Crumlin River has been undertaken as the quality of the discharge from the quarry site has complied with all the Environment and Heritage Service (EHS) consent standards which have been set to ensure that the discharge does not have a negative impact on the watercourse. In addition, the results from routine river water quality monitoring indicate no adverse trends in water quality. Monitoring, undertaken by the Water Management Unit of EHS, has shown that over the last five years the Crumlin River has complied with the Freshwater Fish Directive (FFD) which is designed to ensure that waters are of sufficient quality to protect fish life.

Chemical quality throughout the Crumlin River catchment has been Fairly Good to Good, with no definite trends discernible from the classifications. Biological quality throughout the catchment has ranged between Fairly Good and Very Good, with the upper reaches of the Crumlin River and its tributaries tending to be of slightly better quality than the lower reaches of the river.

EHS recently collected a sample of the discharge from the quarry to be checked for the presence of asbestos. No asbestos was detected in the sample.

The following table (Crumlin River System) sets out FFD compliance and General Quality Assessment (GQA) chemical and biological classifications for the most recent five years available.
Crumlin River at Cidercourt BridgeCrumlin River at Airport Road BridgeCrumlin River at Thompsons' BridgeDundesert River at Dundesert Gospel HallCooper's Water at Boomer's Bridge
Irish grid refJ135766J192767J225765J169775J216757
Type of stationPrimaryPrimarySecondaryMinorMinor
FFD designationSalmonidSalmonidSalmonidNot designatedNot designated
FFD 1999PassPassn/an/an/a
FFD 2000PassPassn/an/an/a
FFD 2001PassPassn/an/an/a
FFD 2002PassPassn/an/an/a
FFD 2003PassPassn/an/an/a
GQA chem. 1997–99BBn/an/an/a
GQA chem. 1998–2000BCn/an/an/a
GQA chem. 1999–2001BCn/an/an/a
GQA chem. 2000–02CCn/an/an/a
GQA chem. 2001–03CCn/an/aC
GQA biol. 1999C (1)B (1)A (3)B (1)A (1)
GQA biol. 2000B (3)B (3)A (2)A (1)B (1)
GQA biol. 2001C (1)C (1)D (1)B (1)C (1)
GQA biol. 2002C (3)C (3)A (1)B (3)B (3)
GQA biol. 2003C (3)C (3)B (2)B (1)B (1)

Station type:
Primary = larger river
Secondary = smaller river more than 3 m wide
Minor = 1.5 to 3 m wide
Chem./biol. classification:
A = very good quality
B = good quality
C = fairly good quality
D = poor quality
E = bad quality
1. FFD compliance is recorded only for designated rivers. Dundesert River and Cooper's Water are not designated. Crumlin River at Thompson's Bridge was only designated in December 2003.
2. GQA chemical classification requires three years' data. Crumlin River at Thompson's Br. was chemically monitored for the first time at the start of 2003, so its first GQA classification was end of 2003.
3. Dundesert River is not chemically monitored.
4. Chemical classification is based on results for rolling three-year periods.
5. Biological classification is based on results for individual years.
6. Number in brackets beside biological classification indicates number of seasons during which biological monitoring was undertaken.

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