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Mark Durkan: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will list consultancy firms engaged to provide advice to each Northern Ireland Department in the last five years in respect of the outsourcing of Civil Service functions and services; how much has been paid to each consultancy firm by each Department; and if he will make a statement. 
Angela E. Smith: The following table sets out the list of consultancy firms engaged to provide advice to Northern Ireland Departments in respect of the outsourcing of civil service functions and services, and how much has been paid to each consultancy firm by each Department in the last five years.
|Amount paid (£)|
|Year contract awarded||Name of firm||200405||(22)200506||(22)Total||Service||Department|
|2004||Deloitte MCS Limited||272,233||175,119||447,352||e-HR Contract||DFP|
|2005||Grant Thornton UK LLP||||58,088||58,088||e-HR Contract||DFP|
|2004||Helm Corporation||32,102||||32,102||Broadband Aggregation Project||DFP|
|2004||Mason's Communications||4,900||||4,900||Broadband Aggregation Project||DFP|
Payments made by the Strategic Investment Board to consultancy firms providing legal advice on the eHR project are listed separately as follows. These payments, although strictly not made by departments, are included for completeness.
|Amount paid (£)|
|Year contract awarded||Name of firm||200304||200405||(23)200506||(23)Total||Service|
|2003||Denise Wheatley Associates||||13,512||||13,512||e-HR Contract|
|2003||Denton Wilde Sapte||146,718||853,469||811,643||1,811,830||e-HR Contract|
Mrs. Iris Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what obligations school nurses are under to inform school staff when they are approached by 11-year-old girls seeking contraceptive treatment on school property. 
Mr. Woodward: None, but given the girls' age the school nurse is required to discuss such cases with social services in accordance with child protection policies and procedures which implement the Department's guidance on Co-operating to Safeguard Children issued in May 2003.
Angela E. Smith:
There are currently eight members appointed by the head of the Department of Education to serve as members on the Council for Catholic Maintained Schools. Of this total there are two Protestants and six Roman Catholics. The Department
8 Nov 2005 : Column 415W
does not hold community background information on the remaining 28 members of the Council as they are not appointed by the head of the Department.
Angela E. Smith: The vast majority of appointments to the NICS non-industrial grades are for administrative positions in which candidates must hold at least a grade C or better pass in GCSE or equivalent. The majority of NICS posts do not require a mathematics qualification. Applicants for each post are required to provide details of those qualifications which are necessary to demonstrate their eligibility for the advertised post. It should be noted that many new recruits are assessed by test prior to being appointed. These tests may comprise a number of elements which measure numeracy and literacy.
There are no formal educational requirement for staff appointed to support grades e.g. messengers, security guards etc., however these applicants are required to pass a numeracy and literacy aptitude test. Staff appointed to industrial grades, e.g. drivers etc., do not require qualifications in English or mathematics.
Mr. Gibb: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what methods of assessment of (a) literacy and (b) numeracy skills are used as part of the recruitment process by employees of his Department. 
Angela E. Smith: All appointees to posts at administrative assistant, administrative officer, executive officer and staff officer positions in the Northern Ireland Civil Service (NICS) are required to satisfy a minimum standard through tests which measure 'following procedures', 'numerical reasoning' and 'speed and accuracy'. These specifically test numeracy, while literacy is tested through candidates' ability to understand and follow procedures correctly.
The selection process for the graduate staff officer grade also includes assessment centre exercises. Recruitment to other specialist grades within the NICS involves testing in the specific competences required for the post, e.g. assistant statisticians, assistant scientific officers and IT specialists which all have a mathematical element.
Mark Durkan: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what the staff breakdown by community background is of each district council in Northern Ireland; which district councils in Northern Ireland have implemented affirmative action measures in response to staff under-representation; and what affirmative action measures have been taken by district councils with identified under-representation in each case. 
Angela E. Smith:
The staff breakdown by community background for each district council, set out in the following table, has been taken from the Equality Commission's 2003 Monitoring Report.
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|Dungannon and South Tyrone||150||138||18||306|
|Newry and Mourne||56||343||6||405|
District councils are listed in Schedule 1 of the Fair Employment (Specification of Public Authorities) Order (Northern Ireland) 2000 as one of the public authorities required to secure fair participation in employment. However, details about the implementation of affirmative action measures are not held centrally and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.
Angela E. Smith: The members of the education and library boards were appointed by the Minister for Education and were selected in accordance with legislative requirements and the code of practice laid down by the Commissioner for Public Appointments.
Each Board has 35 members of which 14 were nominated by the relevant local councils, eight were nominated by the Transferors and Trustees and 13 were appointed through an open competition process that is regulated by the Commissioner for Public Appointments. The Commissioner's independent assessor found the process used to have met the exacting standards set down by OCPA.
The information available in respect of the community background of members of each of the education and library boards is detailed in the following table. To enable Ministers and Departments to ensure that the pool of candidates from which appointments are made contains a fair and equitable representation of the Northern Ireland community, in accordance with OCPA guidelines, details of community background are sought from each candidate for monitoring purposes.
8 Nov 2005 : Column 417W
This information is not made available to the shortlisting and interview panels or to the Minister when decisions on appointments are being made.
|District Council Nominees||6||7||1|
|General Interest Members||4||9|||
|District Council Nominees||12||2|||
|General Interest Members||6||4||3|
|District Council Nominees||12||2|||
|General Interest Members||10||3|||
|District Council Nominees||7||6||1|
|General Interest Members||6||7|||
|District Council Nominees||3||11|||
|General Interest Members||8||4||1|
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