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Sammy Wilson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what representations the Department of Education for Northern Ireland has received regarding accounting procedures at the (a) Belfast Education and Library Board and (b) South Eastern Education and Library Board. 
Angela E. Smith: Accounting and accountability issues are a central item for discussion at the regular accountability reviews held between the Department and each Board. Board members have expressed concern regarding complexities in operating resource accounting, although all public bodies have for some years, been required to account for the public expenditure allocated to them in line with government accounting procedures and the principles and practice of resource accounting.
The report from the Statutory Inquiry into Financial Management and Control in the Belfast and South Eastern Education and Library Boards pointed to the importance of Board members understanding the financial context in which the Boards operate and probing and challenging officers on issues relating to finance and accountability. As part of the process of enabling Board members to fulfil this role, my Department is providing additional training and support to all Board members to complement existing internal induction arrangements and ensure that all Board members understand standards of public accounting and accountability.
In common with all public bodies, the five education and library boards are required to live within the allocations voted by Parliament. I have been assured that this will be the case in 200506. Plans are also in place to ensure that the two boards in deficit repay the amounts they overspend in previous years.
Mr. Gregory Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what estimate he has made of the number of households that have at least one energy efficient light bulb from an energy efficiency advice centre in Northern Ireland. 
Mr. Hanson: Energy efficiency advice centres, now known as the energy saving trust advice centre, distribute energy efficiency light bulbs, provided by Northern Ireland Electricity, at a rate of one per household, largely through promotional events and energy saving road shows. Information on the number distributed in this way since 200304 is as follows:
|Number of light bulbs distributed|
Mr. Woodward: There are a total of three research projects currently being sponsored by the DHSS and PS R and D Office on retinitis pigmentosa. These are listed in the following table along with the start dates and a calculated budget figure for the work.
|Research title (short version)||Start date||Budget(£)|
|Studentship 2002The identification and characterisation of novel ion channels within the retina||1 October 2002||48,439|
|Fellowship 2004The relationship between measurements of retinal thickness using optical coherence tomography and retinal function using multifocal electroretinography in patients with myopia and retinal disorders.||13 September 2004||156,145|
|RRG 11.13 The application of systematic proteomics to characterise the neuroretina and the inherent subsistence factors that maintain its integrity||1 May 2002||170,292|
Mark Durkan: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will meet the Equality Commission to discuss the implications of the maps presented in chapter six of the Commission's publication, Fair Employment in Northern Ireland A Generation On. 
Angela E. Smith:
I am aware of the research published by the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland in
7 Nov 2005 : Column 217W
Fair Employment: A Generation On". I have asked officials to consider the implications of the maps in chapter six of this publication, to discuss this with the Equality Commission and to keep Ministers advised as necessary.
|Number of applications|
Mrs. Iris Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will list the projects being undertaken by the Department for Health, Social Services and Public Safety Research and Development Office. 
Mr. Woodward: There are a total of 248 active/successful projects currently being undertaken by the R&D Office. A table listing these, along with the start dates and a calculated budget figure for the work has been placed in the Library.
Mrs. Iris Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what the average waiting time for (a) emergency and (b) routine ultrasound scans was in each health trust in the Province in 200405. 
Mrs. Iris Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what percentage of patients discharged from hospitals in the Province were readmitted within two months in the last five years. 
Dr. McCrea: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what the qualifying criteria are for patients wishing to access the hospital travel cost scheme (HTCS); what financial provision is available under the scheme; and what the level of uptake of the HTCS has been in each of the four health board areas in each of the past three years. 
Mr. Woodward: Information on entitlement to hospital travel costs is contained in part 2 of the Travelling Expenses and Remission of Charges Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2004, which are available on the website www.opsi.gov.uk.
(a) must be calculated by reference to the cost of travelling by the cheapest means of transport which is reasonable having regard to the person's age, medical condition and any other relevant circumstances; and
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