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Police Service of Northern Ireland

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

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Baroness Amos: The current recruitment arrangements for civilian staff were introduced in the Police (Northern Ireland) 2000 Act. It requires that where there are more than six vacancies at the same level and which are to be filled at or about the same time, then appointments must be made from a pool of qualified candidates on a 50:50 basis.

The tables below show the requested figures for all the competitions that have taken place for civilian posts in the Police Service of Northern Ireland. It is important to note that some competitions are still ongoing and the numbers recruited from those competitions are not yet finalised.

Table 1 Less than six vacancies (i.e. not subject to appointment on a 50:50 basis)

PositionDate AdvertisedNumber SoughtNumber Recruited
Medical Adviser9 November 200110
Occupational Health Nurse9 November 200122
Nursing Adviser9 November 200144
Clinical Psychologist9 November 200110
Fire Safety Officer29 November 200111
Welfare Officer26 March 200210
Junior Occupational Psychologists25 April 200222
Health & Safety Advisors24 May 200233
Senior Crime Analyst20 June 200211
Graduate Trainee Accountants20 June 200223
School Teacher Liaison Officer15 March 200211
Deputy Director Press Office9 May 200211
Staff Officer—Press Office9 May 200224
Purchase Ledger Supervisor6 February 200211
Staff Officer— Central Pay1 April 200211
Mapping Officer3 October 200251
Clinical Psychologist27 October 200222
Medical Advisers27 October 200222
Practice Manager27 October 200211
Financial Accounts Supervisor24 October 200211
Fingerprint Officers7 November 200254
H&S Accident Investigator7 November 200211
Corporate Diversity Manager3 November 200211
TED Director3 November 200211
Financial Accounting Technician 30 January 200333
Purchase Ledger Supervisor30 January 200311
Photographers12 February 200354
Fingerprint Photographer14 February 200311
PE Instructor12 February 200311
Head of Bureau3 April 200311
Quality Services Manager3 April 200311
Head of Supplies10 April 200311
Scientific Officer1 May 200311
Deputy Director of Media & PR8 May 200311
Public Affairs Officer8 May 200311
Financial Accountant14 August 200311
Project Sponsor28 August 200322
Accountant18 September 200311
Health & Safety Adviser16 October 20031*

* Not complete

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Table 2 More than six vacancies (appointment is on a 50:50 basis)

Position Date AdvertisedNumber SoughtNumber Recruited
Administrative Assistants9 November 2001Ongoing vacancies30
Photographic Officer23 May 200272
Personnel Manager17 May 2002 to March 200315+8
Telecommunications Engineering Technician15 March 2002146
Traffic Warden14 February 2002308
Trainee Police Analyst5 March 20022014
Press Officer26 September 200288
IT Specialist3 October 20021616
Driving Instructor3 October 200266
Trainee Police Analyst9 January 20031810 (appointed to date)
Station Enquiry Assistant12 February 20036035 (appointed to date)
Business Manager20 March 2003148 (appointed to date)
Telecommunications Engineering Technician10 April 200314Appointments to be confirmed

North/South Language Body

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Further to the Written Answer by the Lord President on 9 September (WA 105), in what form and by whom the Ulster-Scots Agency was informed about its budget being reduced by 16 per cent by the Eire Government. [HL5086]

Baroness Amos: I refer the noble Lord to the answer given to him on 11 June 2003 (WA 44).

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Further to the Written Answer by the Lord Privy Seal on 12 May (WA 1), whether the budget for 2003 for the Language Implementation Body was set by a department of the Eire Government; and[HL5344]

    Whether the Written Answer by the Lord Privy Seal to Question HL2474 (12 May, WA 1) is consistent with the Written Answer to Question HL2475 (12 May, WA 2).[HL5345]

Baroness Amos: I refer the noble Lord to the Answer given to HL5244 on 18 November 2003 (WA 271).

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The Answer given on 12 May (WA 1) is consistent with the Answer given on 12 May (WA 2).

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Further to the Written Answer by the Lord President on 15 July (WA 91), whether they will place in the Library of the House all documentation, including e-mails, letters, memoranda and minutes of meetings, concerning the discussions between the departments on the setting of the budget for the Ulster-Scots Agency for 2003.[HL5090]

Baroness Amos: The papers relating to the decisions made on the Language Body budget under the Exchange of Notes of 19 November 2002 have been placed in the Library.

Under Part II, Paragraph 2 (Internal discussion and advice) of the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information, it would be inappropriate for the Government to disclose documentation relating to discussions on the budget for the Language Body.

Lord Laird asked her Majesty's Government:

    Further to the Written Answer by the Lord President on 15 July (WA 96) concerning the budget of the Ulster-Scots Agency, why the agency was not allowed to transfer funds from one financial year to the next for specific projects.[HL5091]

Baroness Amos: I have nothing further to add to the answers given on 15 July 2003 (WA 96), Tuesday 24 June 2003 (WA 7), Monday 13 January (WA 1) and Tuesday 26 November 2002 (WA 36).

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Why the Northern Ireland Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure agreed to reduce the 2003 budget of the Ulster-Scots Agency by 16 per cent.[HL5273]

Baroness Amos: In accordance with the agreement made by the exchange of notes between the two Governments dated 19 November 2002, the budget for the agency for 2003 was agreed by the Government of the UK and the Government of the Republic of Ireland as part of the overall budget for the North/South Language Body. This took account of a number of factors, including in particular pressures on public expenditure in the South. The budget for 2003 has now been increased in line with revised business plans for the Irish Language Agency and the Ulster Scots Agency.

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Further to the Written Answer by the Lord Privy Seal on 11 June (WA 45), on what date and in what form the Special Advisers in the Office of the First and Deputy First Ministers were consulted about the budget of the Ulster-Scots Agency.[HL5396]

Baroness Amos: I refer the noble Lord to the Answer given on 9 September 2003 (WA 105).

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Independent Monitoring Commission

Lord Kilclooney asked Her Majesty's Government:

    (a) How often the four members of the Independent Monitoring Commission have met;

    (b) how often the two United Kingdom members of the Independent Monitoring Commission have met; and

    (c) what payments and expenses will be available to each of the members of this monitoring commission.[HL5103]

Baroness Amos: The four members of the Independent Monitoring Commission, including those from the United Kingdom, met for the first time on 12 October 2003. No meeting has occurred since. Specific details of costs concerning payments and expenses are being finalised. As with the Independent International Commission on Decommissioning, the Government intend to make IMC accounts available in due course.

Strangford Lough: Prawn Fishing

Lord Kilclooney asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What new proposals there are to restrict the fishing of prawns in Strangford Lough; whether a consultation document will be issued; if so, to whom it will be made available; and what is the proposed timetable.[HL5104]

Baroness Amos: Currently there are no proposals to restrict fishing for prawns in Strangford Lough. However, should the department decide to introduce legislation, depending on the nature of the legislation required, it will consult in accordance with legislative requirements.

Northern Ireland Civil Service: Smoking Policy

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether it is proper use of public funds to facilitate smoking in the Northern Ireland Civil Service through the funding of 144 smoking chambers.[HL5127]

Baroness Amos: Since the policy on smoking was first issued in 1978, revised in 1987 and again in 1994, the NICS has been to the forefront in developing progressive workplace smoking policies aimed primarily at protecting non-smokers from the harmful effects of passive smoking.

In line with increasing workplace restrictions being placed on smokers at those early stages, it was agreed with the trade unions that, where practicable, a properly ventilated smoking room should be provided in each building. This remains the practice in many public sector and private sector organisations across the UK.

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The noble Lord will be aware that a further policy review is under way and it is anticipated that this review will have a significant impact on the current position within the NICS.

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