Previous Section Index Home Page

27 Mar 2006 : Column 679W—continued

Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill

Alan Simpson: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what assessment her Department made of the constitutional implications of the Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill, with particular reference to the powers of each House. [59849]

Ms Harman: My Department does not make formal assessments of the constitutional implications of individual pieces of legislation.


Mr. Heald: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs which EU states allow notaries public from England and Wales to practise within their legal system. [60280]

Bridget Prentice: No EU member state allows notaries public from England and Wales to practise within their legal system.

All notarial appointments are limited to the jurisdiction in which the notary qualified.

Mr. Heald: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs to what extent the UK allows notaries public from other EU member states to work in the UK as notaries public. [60282]

Bridget Prentice: Notaries from EU member states cannot work in the UK unless they re-qualify to become an English or Welsh notary.

If an EU notary wishes to do this, they must apply to the Master of the Faculty Office, which regulates notaries in England and Wales, for recognition and for admission as a general notary to practise anywhere in England and Wales.

Pre-legislative Scrutiny

Keith Vaz: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs whether she plans to submit the Government's legislation on legal reform for pre-legislative scrutiny in the Constitutional Affairs Select Committee. [60654]

Bridget Prentice: It has been agreed that the Government's draft legislation on Legal Services Reform will be scrutinised by a Joint Committee.

Small Firms

Mr. Prisk: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what definition the Department uses of a small firm. [59273]

27 Mar 2006 : Column 680W

Ms Harman: There is no single definition of a small firm with terms such as small firm" and SME" (small and medium-sized enterprise) being used interchangeably.

When completing the Small Business Service Annual Survey for HM Treasury, my Department uses the Treasury definition of an organisation with 249 or less full-time employees (or equivalent).

My officials follow the central guidance on regulatory impact assessments, including its suggestion that any business with less than 250 employees should be considered small.


Annesley Mansion/Promenade (Newcastle)

Mrs. Iris Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland which Department is responsible for the (a) Annesley Mansion project and (b) promenade project in Newcastle, County Down. [60456]

Angela E. Smith: Central Government are not responsible for either of these projects. District councils have powers under the Recreation and Youth Service (Northern Ireland) Order 1986 to provide recreational facilities and may promote tourism under the Tourism (Northern Ireland) Order 1992.


David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland which Government Department in Northern Ireland has responsibility for biofuels. [56393]

Angela E. Smith: The Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment has responsibility for energy policy and strategy and for producing an overarching energy framework for Northern Ireland, including biofuels, which contribute to the achievement of that energy policy. Other Departments also contribute to the development, regulation and delivery of that policy within the terms of specific departmental responsibilities.


Mr. Gregory Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many pupils were (a) suspended and (b) expelled for bullying in schools in Northern Ireland in each of the last five years. [59818]

Angela E. Smith: The Department does not hold information on the reasons for suspension and expulsion for each of the last five years.

From the 2002–03 school year, statistics on the reasons for suspension have been gathered annually from each education and library board and relate to the number of individual suspensions not to the number of pupils suspended. The table details the number of suspensions for bullying in school for the 2002–03 to 2004–05 school years:
27 Mar 2006 : Column 681W

Suspensions as a result of bullying

School yearNumber of incidences

The reasons for expulsion were first collected in 2003–04. The following table details the number of pupils expelled for bullying in school for the 2003–04 and 2004–05 school years.
Expulsions as a result of bullying

School yearNumber of incidences

Causeway IT

Mr. Spellar: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will make a statement on progress on the Causeway IT programme. [60175]

Mr. Hanson: The Causeway Programme is a joint enterprise by the six criminal justice organisations in Northern Ireland that aims to improve their performance by sharing information electronically. The programme is being implemented in phases.

Phase 1, the Criminal Justice Viewer, was implemented on time and within budget in March 2004.

Phase 2, Electronic Case Preparation—which enables the electronic transfer of information between the police, prosecution and forensic services—went live on 13 June 2005. To date some 40,000 PSNI investigation cases have been placed on the Causeway system with approximately 13,000 of these being shared with the Public Prosecution Service (PPS). There have been over 11,000 shares of forensic test requests and reports
27 Mar 2006 : Column 682W
between forensic scientists, the police and prosecution lawyers. Over the course of the year Causeway is expected to have removed from circulation some 6 million pieces of paper.

Examples of other tangible benefits already delivered include:

The programme is currently working on phase 3, in which the Northern Ireland Court Service and the Prison Service will join the system. Recently the Compensation Agency, Youth Justice Agency and thePolice Ombudsman's Office have been provided with access to on-line criminal records. The programme is also examining the feasibility of linking into the Police National Computer. In addition to winning a national award for promoting joined up government, Causeway was recently cited by HM Treasury as an example of best practice in risk management.

Charter Mark

Mr. Gregory Campbell: To ask the Secretary of Statefor Northern Ireland how many charter marks were awarded to public sector (a) offices and (b) departments in Northern Ireland in 2005. [61425]

Angela E. Smith: The information is not available in the format requested. However, I can confirm that 43Charter Marks were achieved by 17 public sector organisations in Northern Ireland in 2005. In addition, four Charter Marks were achieved by voluntary sector organisations which deliver public services. A list of all Northern Ireland organisations which achieved Charter Mark in 2005 is as follows:
St. Mary's College, Creggan
Compensation Agency
North and West Belfast TrustAssisted Living Scheme
Muckamore Abbey
Mid Ulster HospitalChildren's Unit
Hotel Services Department
Newry and Mourne Health and Social Services TrustDirect Access Haematuria Service
Paediatric Diabetes Service
Down District CouncilDownpatrick and Newcastle Tourist Information Centres
Building Control
General Register OfficeNorthern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA)
North Eastern Education and Library BoardLibrary Service
Antrim District Office
Collon Terrace District Office, Londonderry
Armagh District Office
Belfast 6 District Office
Carrickfergus District Office
Cookstown District Office
Downpatrick District Office
Lurgan Brownlow District Office
Omagh District Office
Northern Ireland Housing ExecutiveBallyclare Grants Office
Ballymoney District Office
Banbridge District Office
Bangor District Office
Belfast South and East Grants Office
Limavady District Office
Magherafelt District Office
Newtownabbey District 2 Office
Newtownards District Office
Omagh Grants Office
Waterside District Office
Ards Borough CouncilArds Crafts, Ards and Portaferry Tourist Information Centres
Cookstown Tourist Information Centre
Whiteabbey HospitalDay Rehabilitation Unit
Ulidia Housing Association Ltd.(21)
Action Mental Health(21)New Horizons Fermanagh
Causeway Health and Social Services TrustDomestic Services Department
Down Lisburn Health and Social Services Trust (Corporate Charter Mark)
Department of EducationEducation and Training Inspectorate
Northern Ireland Association for Mental Health(21)
Northern Ireland Court ServiceAntrim Court Office
Armagh Court Office
Ballymena Court Office
Banbridge Court Office
Court Funds Office
Dungannon Court Office
Enniskillen Court Office
Limavady Court Office
Lisburn Court Office
Magherafelt Court Office
Newry Court Office
Strabane Court Office
Royal Victoria HospitalRegional Endocrinology and Diabetes Centre
Springfield Charitable Association(21)

(21)Voluntary Sector Organisations

27 Mar 2006 : Column 683W

Next Section Index Home Page