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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord Bach): The Government are at present considering how to respond to the recommendation that the edited version of the electoral register should not be available for sale, along with all of the other recommendations set out in the report.
Further to the Written Answer by Lord Patel of Bradford on 14 October (WA 45) concerning payment of bonuses to civil servants, whether the bonuses were agreed with the appropriate trade unions. [HL5695]
Lord Patel of Bradford: Further to my Written Answer of 14 October (WA45), Civil Service reward, including bonus arrangements for civil servants outside the senior Civil Service (SCS), is a matter for individual departments and agencies to negotiate with their own local trade unions. Information on the detail of these negotiations between individual departments and the local trade unions is not collated centrallyto do so would incur disproportionate cost. Under the centrally managed arrangements for the SCS, the independent Senior Salaries Review Body (SSRB) makes recommendations to the Government on reward policy for the SCS each year. The First Division Association, which represents senior civil servants, submits its own evidence to the SSRB, but does not have negotiating rights.
Lord Patel of Bradford: The Government have no immediate plans to provide time for a debate on the White Paper. The first round of post-legislative scrutiny under the system set out in the White Paper is only just beginning. We will consider further the need for a debate, in the light of how the system develops.
Lord Patel of Bradford: The system of post-legislative scrutiny set out in the White Paper is initiated by the submission of a memorandum on the Act by the relevant government department to the departmental Select Committee, generally between three and five years after the Act receives Royal Assent.
Officials involved in producing legislation are routinely reminded of the need to identify clear and developed policy objectives when a Bill is presented to Parliament, to serve as a benchmark for future post-legislative scrutiny.
Further to the Written Answer by Lord Bach on 29 October (WA 174) concerning the cost of holding a person in prison, why the cost of holding a person in prison in Northern Ireland differs to the extent it does from England and Wales. [HL6048]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord Bach): There are a number of factors which will cause differences in prisoner costs, such as the category, size, age, and location of the prisons, the mix of prisoners and the internal regime and rehabilitation work followed. For example, in England and Wales the average cost per prisoner in a male dispersal prison (category A) is more than double the cost in a male open prison.
The Northern Ireland Prison Service is substantially smaller than that in England and Wales and the scope for benefiting from economies of scale is considerably less. Staffing levels are higher due to complexity and inefficient building designs. In addition, salaries are historically higher in Northern Ireland due to the management of terrorist prisoners. Steps are being taken to align salaries to those paid elsewhere.
Further to the Written Answer by Lord Bach on 23 October (WA 131) concerning the ratios of prisoners to wardens in Northern Ireland and England, why the ratio is 3:1 in England and 1.13:1 in Northern Ireland. [HL6049]
Lord Bach: The apparently large difference in the ratio of officers to prisoners is mainly due to the
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If operational support grades are included along with officer grades to calculate the ratio for England the ratio falls to 2.2:1. The continuing differential is because the Northern Ireland Prison Service has not been able to benefit from economies of scale.
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