Ann McKechin: The Secretary of State has not selected any works of art from the Government Art Collection for display in his private office. I have selected 10 prints of modern sketches by Christine Borland, an artist from Glasgow.
Mr. Paterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many press officers the Wright Inquiry employs; how many press releases the Inquiry has published, broken down by month; and what the budget for the press office is in 2009. 
|Press notices issued|
In February 2005, a secretary to the Inquiry was recruited
In April 2005, a deputy solicitor to the Inquiry was recruited
In June 2005, an assistant solicitor was recruited
In July 2006, the assistant solicitor was released
In November 2006, a document evidence manager and a finance accommodation officer were recruited
In April 2007, two personal secretaries were recruited
In May 2007, a witness liaison manager was recruited
In November 2007, an assistant solicitor was recruited.
Mr. Paterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many press officers the Saville Inquiry employs; how many press releases the inquiry has published, broken down by month; and what the budget for the press office is in 2009. 
Mr. Woodward: I am advised by the Bloody Sunday Inquiry that the Inquiry does not currently employ a press officer and there is no dedicated budget for press office facilities. Since November 2004, all press enquiries have been handled by the Secretary and Deputy Secretary to the Inquiry. An average total on-call allowance of £400 per month is paid to cover out-of-hours press inquiries.
Mr. Woodward: The Bloody Sunday Inquiry does not directly employ staff. The inquiry has engaged a number of people on loan or secondment from Government Departments/agencies to undertake specific posts and roles. A number of other people have been issued with Northern Ireland Office fixed-term contracts to work with the inquiry. Given the duration of the inquiry, detailed monthly breakdowns could not be obtained without incurring disproportionate cost.
Over its lifespan, the number of staff in the inquiry peaked at 38 during hearings in April 2003. Posts included the secretary and deputy secretary to the inquiry, five inquiry solicitors, one costs solicitor, one assistant solicitor,
one press officer, one assistant press officer, three legal assistants, two researchers, six witness liaison, one finance assistant, one archivist, two personal assistants and 12 administrative support staff.
The inquiry has since reduced its complement to eight staff, including the secretary to the inquiry (part-time), costs solicitor (and acting inquiry solicitor), deputy secretary, finance assistant, personal assistant to the chairman, legal assistant to the tribunal, archivist and an administrative officer.
The inquiry also holds contracts with employment agencies for the provision of temporary staff for administration services. These have not been included in this response, as their employer is the temporary staff agency.
The Government have put in place a raft of targeted and co-ordinated measures to underpin the financial sector, stimulate growth, increase employment and provide real help now. Northern Ireland will benefit from many of these measures and I will continue to represent the interests of Northern Ireland at the National Economic Council and consult with Northern Ireland Ministers to establish how we can best work together for the benefit of the Northern Ireland economy.
Mr. Woodward: Economic policies are partly reserved and partly devolved. It is the Minister of Enterprise, Trade and Investment in Northern Ireland who monitors, and regularly comments on, the state of the Northern Ireland economy within the devolved field.
Her Department published its latest Quarterly Economy Review on 6 February 2009. It indicated that Northern Ireland, in common with other UK regions, is facing very significant economic pressures and will not be sheltered from the impacts of the downturn. The review revealed that 2009 will see continuing falls in output and employment in the region. The Minister also highlighted that the structure of the economywith its large public sector and small financial services sectorshould help ensure that Northern Ireland is, broadly speaking, no worse affected than other UK regions.
I concur with this assessment. The Government have put in place a raft of targeted and co-ordinated measures to underpin the financial sector, stimulate growth, increase employment and provide real help now. Northern Ireland will benefit from many of these measures and I will continue to represent the interests of Northern Ireland at the National Economic Council and consult with Northern Ireland Ministers to establish how we can best work together for the benefit of the Northern Ireland economy.
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