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William Mackessy

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Williams of Mostyn: The level of security vetting applied to personnel appointed to the Northern Ireland Office in Belfast varies according to the posts involved. All staff are vetted to CTC (counter terrorist check) level. For those who are allowed access to more sensitive material, further vetting may be required at SC (security check) or DV (developed vetting) level.

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Williams of Mostyn: Mr Mackessy was security cleared to CTC (counter terrorist check) level.

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Williams of Mostyn: Concern was expressed by a member of staff in Castle Buildings to his line manager.

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Williams of Mostyn: It was investigated by the line managers of Mr Mackessy.

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Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Further to the Written Answers by the Lord Privy Seal on 21 October concerning William Mackessy (WA 82–84), what action the Northern Ireland Office's central personnel section took following an investigation into Mr Mackessy by his line management.[HL6206]

Lord Williams of Mostyn: NIO's central personnel section considered the report of the investigation of the concern which had been expressed about Mr Mackessy and concluded that evidence did not exist to support it.

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Further to the Written Answers by the Lord Privy Seal on 21 October concerning William Mackessy (WA 82-84), what further vetting checks were made by the Royal Ulster Constabulary.[HL6207]

Lord Williams of Mostyn: The police were asked by NIO to recheck Mr Mackessy's CTC clearance. This further check, completed in November 2001, produced no adverse information.

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Further to the Written Answers by the Lord Privy Seal on 21 October concerning William Mackessy (WA 82–84), whether any inquiries were held by Ministers or officials into Mr Mackessy's performance of duties in the Compensation Agency and at the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment; and, if not, why.[HL6241]

Lord Williams of Mostyn: No inquiries were held while Mr Mackessy was working in the Compensation Agency or DETI as nothing in his performance caused concern.

Following Mr Mackessy's arrest on 4 October 2002, the Compensation Agency and DETI reviewed the areas where he had worked. Nothing adverse was found.

Northern Ireland Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure: Linguistic Diversity Branch

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Since 1 December 1999, who have been the members of the Linguistic Diversity Branch of the Northern Ireland Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure who have expertise in Irish language and who have expertise in Ulster-Scots language and culture.[HL6244]

Lord Williams of Mostyn: Officials in Linguistic Diversity Branch of the Northern Ireland Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure belong to the Northern Ireland Civil Service (NICS) general administration grades and have been recruited in accordance with NICS competencies and procedures. Expert advice is sourced as appropriate.

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PEACE II and INTERREG IIIA Monitoring Committees

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

    How selection took place for the monitoring committees created by the Special European Union Programmes Body of the North/South Ministerial Council, set up under the Belfast Agreement of 1998; and what is its current religious and gender balance.[HL6285]

Lord Williams of Mostyn: The Special EU Programmes Body is the managing authority for the PEACE II and INTERREG IIIA programmes. These are joint programmes covering all of Northern Ireland and the Border region of Ireland and the membership of the monitoring committees set up to supervise these programmes is therefore drawn from both jurisdictions. The selection of members for both monitoring committees was made on the basis of nominations sought from the full range of regional and sectoral interests included in the agreed structure for these committees.This structure and final membership was agreed by the Northern Ireland Executive in the North and relevant authorities in the South.

The gender balance of the permanent membership of both monitoring committees is as follows:

Monitoring CommitteeFemaleMaleTotal
PEACE II6 (19%)25 (81%)31
INTERREG IIIA7 (25%)21 (75%)28

Information on the community background of members of the PEACE II and INTERREG IIIA monitoring committees is not maintained.


Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Who makes appointments, and on what basis, to the joint steering committee for the EU INTERREG IIIA, administered by the Special European Union Programmes Body, set up after the Belfast Agreement of 1998; and what are the relevant interests in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland which are to be included according to the joint communique from the North/South Ministerial Council of 9 October.[HL6286]

Lord Williams of Mostyn: Appointments to the INTERREG IIIA steering committee will be made by the Special EU Programmes Body, as managing authority for the programme, following agreement with the INTERREG IIIA monitoring committee. These appointments will be made on the basis of nominations submitted by organisations representing the relevant interests included on the committee. The relevant interests in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland which will be included on the committee and which are referred to in the joint communique from the North/South Ministerial Council on 9 October are representatives of the four pillars of social partners; local government; Border corridor groups; the CORE group of district councils; equality organisations and environmental

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organisations. The table below sets out the proposed membership of the steering committee. The proposed structure for membership of the steering committee

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was agreed by the Northern Ireland Executive and the North/South Ministerial Council.

INTERREG IIIA Steering Committee—Draft Structure

TitleNorthSouthTotalComments
Chair—SEUPB1Per operational programme
Finance departments112
Border corridor groups (chair/member)3Per NSMC April 2001
CORE group11
Local government representatives*112
Social partners & community & voluntaryAs per monitoring committee
sector:112
Voluntary sector112
Agriculture112
Trade unions112
Business
Equality organisations1As per monitoring committee
Environmental organisations1As per monitoring committee
TOTAL19

INTERREG IIIA Steering Committee—Draft Structure

TitleNorthSouthTotalComments Advisers Accountable Departments5712 Enterprise Ireland1 Invest Northern Ireland1 Intertrade Ireland1 Observers European Commission1

*To be included on a rotational basis if required by the monitoring committee.


Northern Ireland: 11-plus Transfer Arrangements

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they will defer implementation of the decision of the former Education Minister for Northern Ireland to abandon the current 11-plus transfer arrangements until such a time as a broadly acceptable alternative transfer procedure has been decided.[HL6318]

Lord Williams of Mostyn: Too many children are disadvantaged by the transfer tests and this cannot be allowed to continue. Responses to the extensive consultation on the Burns Report showed widespread demand for change and an emerging consensus, including among the political parties, for ending the tests. The Government are therefore determined to continue to work towards the abolition of the transfer tests as soon as practical. Officials of the Department of Education for Northern Ireland will be holding meetings over the coming weeks to seek views on how best to develop new post-primary arrangements.


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