|Previous Section||Back to Table of Contents||Lords Hansard Home Page|
Further to the Written Answer by the Lord President on 27 January (WA 171) concerning underspending by Northern Ireland departments, for each department, what the funds transferred to the current year were used for. [HL1120]
Baroness Amos: Any underspends which arose in areas where automatic end-year flexibility (EYF) arrangements applied (primarily capital investment, and allocations in respect of executive programme funds and education and library boards) were retained by the relevant department for use in the same area in the following financial year. All residual underspend (i.e. in areas not covered by automatic EYF) was surrendered for reallocation in the course of the June 2004 monitoring round. This round also dealt with general reduced requirements declared by departments, and it is not possible separately to identify spending funded by the residual underspend.
Further to the Written Answer by the Lord President on 27 January (WA 176) concerning a document of 10 April 2003 entitled Ministerial Decision Making: Interim Procedures, whether the practice not to consult advisers about decisions for cross-border bodies means that there is no Unionist impact; and, if so, whether this is consistent with the spirit of the Belfast agreement of 1998. [HL1140]
Further to the Written Answer by the Lord President on 27 January (WA 176) concerning political advisers during a period of suspension of devolution in Northern Ireland, whether there was an agreement on the issue of consultation with political advisers between the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, the leader of the Ulster Unionist Party and the leader of the Social Democratic and Labour Party. [HL1141]
Baroness Amos: On 19 December 2002 the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland gave a written undertaking to the leader of the Ulster Unionist Party that advisers could have the same prior access to relevant documents on North/South decisions as they had before suspension.
On what occasions since 1 September 2004 the Prime Minister has attended meetings which included members of the Irish Republican Army Council; who attended those meetings; and what was discussed. [HL1193]
Baroness Amos: The chief constable's comment followed the Northern Bank's decision to withdraw from circulation its current bank notes, and replace them with notes of a different colour and style. Given the expected timetable of a change over, any move to achieve the value of the stolen notes exposes those responsible for the robbery to the risk of detection thereby rendering the notes valueless.
On what date the North/South Ministerial Council Secretariat gave approval to Waterways Ireland to appoint a director without open competition despite the legal advice to the secretariat dated 8 July 2002; and [HL1221]
Whether paragraphs 5 and 6 of the legal advice, dated 8 July 2002, to the Joint Secretary of the North/South Ministerial Council have been adhered to at all times in the appointment of senior staff by the cross-border implementation bodies; and, if not, why not. [HL1222]
Baroness Amos: It is not a function of the North/South Ministerial Council Joint Secretariat to approve appointments of staff in the implementation bodies, and the advice in paragraphs 5 and 6 of the advice to which the noble Lord refers was specific to the particular circumstances of filling the post of chief executive in the Ulster-Scots Agency.
Whether the document Unemployment, Statistical and Technical Issues was commissioned from the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency; why it was commissioned; when it was published; and for what reason. [HL1223]
Baroness Amos: The document Unemployment, Statistical and Technical Issues was commissioned from the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency. The document was intended to inform the development and monitoring of labour market policy. The document was published on the OFMDFM website on Monday 31 January 2005. The reason for publication was to provide open access to the document which was being released under a Freedom of Information request.
Who commissioned a report on equality of opportunity in Northern Ireland from DTZ Pieda of Edinburgh; how the firm was chosen; how much the report cost; and whether the consultants will consider equality of opportunity for teachers. [HL1224]
Baroness Amos: Research on equality of opportunity is an addition to an existing labour market dynamics study commissioned from DTZ Pieda by the equality directorate of the Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister. The firm was chosen in order to maximise the benefit and value of its original work including the collection of a large corpus of relevant data. The cost of this additional research is estimated to be in the region of £6,500, subject to final agreement on the detail of a work programme. This work programme and costs will be published in the OFMDFM research branch website.
It is not intended to include a consideration of equality of opportunity for teachers in this research. This issue has already been the subject of an investigation by the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland under Article 71(2) of the Fair Employment and Treatment (NI) Order 1998. The commission's findings and recommendations on the issue of the teachers' exception will be considered in the context of the development of a Single Equality Bill for Northern Ireland.
How many voluntary housing associations there are in Northern Ireland; how many of these associations had a performance audit by the housing branch of the Northern Ireland Department of Social Development in 2004; and how many of the associations made a financial loss in 2003. [HL1260]
Baroness Amos: There are currently 39 voluntary housing associations registered with the housing division of the Department for Social Development, Northern Ireland. In 2004 the housing division regulation and inspection team commenced performance audits in four of the registered housing associations and progressed a further seven performance audits which had been ongoing from the previous year.
|Next Section||Back to Table of Contents||Lords Hansard Home Page|