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Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, how many cases have been brought against his Department under the Human Rights Act 1998; and what the cost has been in (a) legal fees to defend cases and (b) compensation payments. 
Mr. Paul Murphy: The Human Rights Act 1998 has been relied on in numerous cases both civil and criminal. The Northern Ireland Office does not keep a record of cases brought against it where a party to the proceedings has relied on the Act. Without analysing each case brought against the Department in detail it would be difficult to determine the impact of the Human Rights argument in any particular case as it is normally only one of a number of arguments deployed.
Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland whether it is the policy of the Department to retain for the benefit of future (a) historians and (b) applicants under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 the same (i) complete categories of files, (ii) numbers of files and (iii) representative examples of files from categories of files destroyed as had been preserved prior to the passage of that Act. 
Angela Smith: The implementation of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 will not affect the reviewing procedures for the selection of files deemed to be of historical and other research value. The Public Record Office of Northern Ireland has a records management policy that includes the appraisal of departmental files in order to identify files of permanent value. Files are selected for preservation on this basis when brought forward to the Public Record Office reviewers by Departments. Only a few sample files are preserved where the series of files is deemed to be of no historical interest. If a series is deemed to be of particular historical importance the complete series is preserved. The overall numbers of files selected for preservation will continue to depend on the historical value of the files reviewed in any given period.
Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many departmental mobile telephones were used by Ministers, special advisers and officials in his Department in each year since 1997; at what cost; how many such telephones were lost or stolen in each year since 1997; and what the replacement costs were in each case. 
Mrs. Iris Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what assistance is available to businesses in the Province for adaptations to premises in response to new disability discrimination legislation. 
Mr. Spellar: The new Disability Discrimination legislation that came in on 1 October 2004 affected businesses both as employers and as providers of services to the public. The Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2004, which implemented the Employment Framework Directive, extended the Disability Discrimination Act to cover certain new occupations and employers with fewer than 15 employees. Also 1 October 2004 saw the introduction of the final stage of duties on service providers. From that date they have had to make 'reasonable adjustments' in relation to the physical features of their premises to overcome physical barriers to access. In effect this means that where a physical feature of a building makes it impossible or unreasonably difficult for disabled people to make use of services, a service provider will have to take reasonable steps to remove, alter or provide a reasonable means of avoiding it.
There is no specific funding available to help businesses with duties under the Disability Discrimination Act to meet these new requirements. This is because employers and service providers are only required to do what is reasonable, and factors such as the cost and practicability of making reasonable adjustments, and the financial and other resources available to the business will be taken into account in determining what is reasonable.
The Department for Employment and Learning does not directly provide assistance to businesses to adapt premises in response to disability discrimination legislation. However, in certain circumstances assistance can be provided through Access to Work (NI) towards adaptation of premises to help overcome employment related obstacles faced by disabled employees.
The Equality Commission for Northern Ireland has undertaken wide-ranging publicity campaigns to raise awareness of these new duties in order to give employers and service providers the opportunity to understand, and plan for, their implementation. Their campaigns have been supported by a variety of information leaflets and promotional literature.
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will list the European Union directives and regulations relating to his Department that have been implemented in each of the last two years, specifying (a) the title and purpose of each, (b) the cost to public funds of each and (c) the cost to business of each. 
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what the total external spending by his Department was on Private Finance Initiative consultants in each of the last two years; how many full-time equivalent consultants were employed over this period; how many billed consultancy days there were per year; what the implied average cost of each PFI consultant was; how many consultancy firms were used by his Department over this period; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Paul Murphy: The total external spending by this Department on Private Finance Initiative consultants in each of the last two years including how may full-time equivalent consultants were employed over this period; how many billed consultancy days there were per year; what the implied average cost of each PFI consultant was and how many consultancy firms were used by this Department over this period are as follows:
|Firm 1||Firm 2|
|Year 200304 Firms used (2)|
|Total Paid (ex VAT)||£14,664.00||£57,969.00|
|Implied Cost per Consultant||£2,600.00||£794.10|
|Year 200405 Firms Used (0)|
|Total Paid (ex VAT)|||||
|Implied Cost per consultant|||||
Mrs. Iris Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how much has been spent by local health (a) boards and (b) trusts on (i) external contract staffing, (ii) external consultants and (iii) advertising in each of the last five years. 
The information requested is detailed in the following tables. The figures for external contract staffing and consultancy services are collected as one amount on the annual financial returns and as a result, the individual elements cannot be identified.
13 Dec 2004 : Column 921W
|External contract staffing and consultancy services||199899||19992000||200001||200102||200203|
|Armagh and Dungannon||31||45||21||14||23|
|Belfast City Hospital||62||193||207||191||203|
|Craigavon and Banbridge||38||72||86||54||76|
|Newry and Mourne||12||33||22||61||107|
|North and West Belfast||28||23||62||90||34|
|Royal Group of Hospitals||209||215||221||223||199|
|South and East Belfast||8||0||0||0||0|
|Armagh and Dungannon||53||66||100||77||71|
|Belfast City Hospital||84||117||157||168||190|
|Craigavon and Banbridge||13||54||92||70||87|
|Newry and Mourne||66||100||73||102||27|
|North and West Belfast||66||60||89||201||185|
|Royal Group of Hospitals||108||133||160||274||250|
|South and East Belfast||114||76||86||122||179|
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