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Angela E. Smith: The Government will bring forward legislation to establish the post of Commissioner for Victims and Survivors. The appointment of the Commissioner will be made as soon as practicable after the legislation comes into force. The appointment will be subject to the public appointment process.
Angela E. Smith:
The older people's strategy, ''Ageing in an Inclusive Society", which was launched in March 2005, includes an implementation plan for 200506
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which identifies actions for Northern Ireland Government Departments aimed at, amongst other things, improving the services of older people.
Good progress has been made throughout the year on implementing these actions and a mid-year progress report was placed in the Libraries of the House. The Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister is carrying out an end of year review and will publish a report on the Department's website. Copies of the report will also be placed in the Libraries of the House.
Lady Hermon: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many dead (a) wild and (b) domesticated birds have been tested for avian influenza in Northern Ireland in each of the past 12 months. 
|Year/month||Number of dead wild birds tested||Number of dead domesticated birds tested|
David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many civil servants have been given a welfare rating on transfer lists in each Department in Northern Ireland in each of the last five years. 
Mr. McGrady: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what steps are being taken by his Department to assist staff dealing with the applications backlog at Craigavon Divisional Planning Office. 
Angela E. Smith: The Planning Service as a whole has been facing unprecedented operational pressures due to a growth in the number of planning applications received. However, steps are being taken to address those pressures in the short, medium and long-term through the Modernisation and Reform programme.
Since the introduction of revised council consultation procedures last October, across the Agency the number of deferred cases has dropped significantly (by 47 per cent.) and this has released staff time to tackle the live caseload (down by 11 per cent.) and to issue decisions, up 11 per cent. on the same period last year. (Up-dated to the end of February 2006)
In addition, a new procedure to return all invalid planning applications was introduced in Craigavon Divisional Planning Office on 27 February 2006. The new procedure is aimed at improving the quality of applications being made and to help ensure that applications progress smoothly through the system without delay. This will be rolled out across the Agency over coming months.
Angela E. Smith: There are currently two substantive vacancies within the Craigavon divisional planning office and it is anticipated that these will be filled within the next four to six weeks. The planning service management board will continue to monitor the situation and take whatever action is possible to ensure that the Craigavon office has adequate resources to deal with the volume of applications it receives.
Mr. Gregory Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what estimate he has made of the number of households in Northern Ireland which have at least one adult with a disability living in the home. 
Mr. Gregory Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many people in Northern Ireland receive a reduction in their domestic rates assessment on account of their disability; and how this assessment is arrived at. 
Entitlement to disabled persons allowance depends upon how much the property has been altered or adapted to meet the disabled persons needs, that the disabled person lives in the property and that they are a person to whom section 1 of the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons (Northern Ireland) Act 1978 applies.
Properties are inspected to assess the extent of any alternations or adaptations made and to confirm that they are for the benefit of the disabled person. The rateable valuation of such property in the valuation list is reduced accordingly thereby reducing the rate liability.
Angela E. Smith: The following tables show the funding (recurrent and capital) allocated to each of the education and library boards by the three funding Departments, Department of Education (DE), Department of Culture Arts and Leisure (DCAL) and Department for Employment and Learning (DEL) in the last five financial years i.e. 200102 to 200506 inclusive.
Mr. Donaldson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many staff are employed centrally by each of the education and library boards in Northern Ireland in (a) human resources, payroll and finance, (b) procurement, (c) ICT, (d) legal services and (e) other roles. 
Angela E. Smith:
The following table shows the
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numbers of staff employed centrally by each of the education and library boards in the functions requested. Figures given have been provided by the boards and relate to full-time equivalent staff employed in headquarters administration (central) functions. They do not therefore include staff employed in the direct provision of education and youth services or staff employed in schools.
|Human resources, payroll and finance||Procurement||ICT||Legal services||Other|
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