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The statutory functions of the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission are set out in Section 69 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998 and provision for its funding in Schedule 7 to that Act. The Government have no reason to believe that the commission has exceeded its statutory remit and no plans to take any action in this respect.

Northern Ireland Office: Budget

Question

Asked by Lord Laird

Baroness Royall of Blaisdon: The 2004 spending review committed the Northern Ireland Office to achieving a target of £90 million of efficiency gains by March 2008. By the end of 2007-08, £103.6 million of efficiency gains had been delivered by the department and, as part of the NIO CSR 2007 settlement, HM Treasury agreed that £11 million of this overachievement could be included as part of the department's CSR07 value-for-money target. At the request of HM Treasury, to ensure transparency around the figures, this overachievement was deducted from final published SR04 efficiency figures to ensure there is no double counting when the department publishes delivery against value-for-money programme targets.

The final efficiency gain amount for 2007-08 is less than the forecast figure that appeared in the department's efficiency technical note and the 2007 autumn performance report because these figures were not at the time reported net of overdelivery.

The SR04 efficiency programme concluded on 31 March 2008 and the department now reports efficiency against the CSR07 value-for-money programme, details of which can be found at www.nio.gov.uk.

Northern Ireland Office: Efficiency

Question

Asked by Lord Laird



19 May 2009 : Column WA301

Baroness Royall of Blaisdon: The volume of work required to retrieve the information requested means that it would only be possible to provide a full list of initiatives at disproportionate cost.

Northern Ireland Office: Staff

Questions

Asked by Lord Laird

Baroness Royall of Blaisdon: The information requested is set out in the following table. For the period 1 January 1998 to 1 January 2002, the information is held in terms of full-time equivalent staff—ie, two-part time staff were counted as one full-time member of staff. Thereafter the information is held in terms of actual numbers of staff employed. The figures after 2002 also reflect the expansion of the Director of Public Prosecution's Office and the new Public Prosecution Service.

January 2009

1,306

January 2008

1,302

January 2007

1,266

January 2006

1,206

January 2005

1,172

January 2004

1,093

January 2003

1,029

January 2002

901*

January 2001

844*

January 2000

852*

January 1999

885*

January 1998

870*

* Please note these are full-time equivalent figures.

Asked by Lord Laird



19 May 2009 : Column WA302

Baroness Royall of Blaisdon: The Northern Ireland Office does not pay danger money. The Answer provided on 18 December (Official Report, col. WA 72) assumed that the reference in the Question to danger money was a reference to the revised environmental allowance.

In 1991 an environmental allowance was introduced for staff working in police stations and prisons. In 1992 a revised environmental allowance was introduced for all staff working in the law and order field. The revised environmental allowance is currently under review.

Northern Ireland: Bill of Rights

Question

Asked by Lord Laird

Baroness Royall of Blaisdon: As the Belfast agreement makes clear, the rights contained in any Bill of Rights for Northern Ireland would reflect the particular circumstances of Northern Ireland. The question of a Bill of Rights and Responsibilities for the United Kingdom is explored in the Green Paper published by my right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Justice on 23 March 2009, entitled Rights and Responsibilities: Developing our Constitutional Framework (Cm7577).

Olympic Games 2012

Questions

Asked by Lord Berkeley

Lord Davies of Oldham: The target set by the ODA sustainability development strategy (2007) states that 50 per cent of construction materials (by weight) will be transported by sustainable means. This target is reflected in the planning obligations for the Olympic park.

The ODA has not set separate targets for the transportation of construction materials by water and rail, nor are these further broken down by material type.

Figures announced in April showed that the ODA is exceeding that target and achieving 57 per cent of construction material deliveries to the Olympic park site by rail alone. The dredging of the local waterways—enabling further sustainable transportation of construction material—is now in progress, with the opening of Prescott Lock in early summer giving site access to barges of 350 tonnes load-bearing.



19 May 2009 : Column WA303

Asked by Lord Berkeley

Lord Davies of Oldham: The ODA has implemented rigorous monitoring systems since the start of the construction programme and has recorded the number of lorry movements to and from the Olympic park construction site from May 2007 to the end of April 2009 as 219,280. Detailed breakdowns of numbers on a month-to-month basis are not available, however, due to the significant additional resource requirement and disproportionate costs that this exercise would incur.

For the next two years, the planned number is approximately 380,000 and is in line with the forecast average of 15,700 two-way movements per month.

Asked by Lord Berkeley

Lord Davies of Oldham: The ODA has self-imposed limits on hours of freight movement by road. Movements are limited to 0630 to 1830 Monday to Friday and between 0700 to 1400 on Saturday. The exception is for abnormal loads which are planned to come to site during the night. There are no limitations for rail and none for water other than tidal restrictions and prior agreement with British Waterways.

Asked by Lord Berkeley

Lord Davies of Oldham: The Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) has not set targets in respect of tonne-miles, value, or weight of materials delivered to or from the Olympic park site. Separate to the above however, and as part of its sustainability development strategy, the ODA has set a target of 50 per cent delivery of materials (by weight) to the park site by sustainable means. Figures announced in April showed that the ODA is exceeding that target (see HL3395).

Asked by Lord Patten



19 May 2009 : Column WA304

Lord Davies of Oldham: The Government Olympic Executive (GOE) is responsible to the Minister for the Olympics, who has lead responsibility for the 2012 Games within Government, which includes working with the wider Olympic family to ensure the success of the 2012 Games.

The GOE's role is to support the Minister for the Olympics in the discharge of her responsibilities through:

overseeing the management of the £9.3 billion public sector funding package for the Games, ensuring public money is being well spent, and ensuring taxpayers interests are appropriately represented in the delivery of the wider 2012 programme;acting as the funder of last resort for the London Organising Committee for the 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games (LOCOG); acting as sponsors of the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA), which will deliver the main venues for the 2012 Games;ensuring all government departments fulfil their obligations to help LOCOG stage the Games;leading the cross-government programme to deliver a national legacy from the Games; andoverseeing the long-term regeneration and development of the Olympic park in east London through membership of the Olympic Park Legacy Company.

By virtue of these roles, the GOE requires oversight of the entire 2012 programme.

Public Expenditure

Question

Asked by Lord Lester of Herne Hill

The Financial Services Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Myners): The Government's position on Trident submarines, the building of prisons and identity cards has been set out by, respectively, the Secretaries of State for Defence and for Justice and the Home Secretary.

Social Care: Employers

Question

Asked by Lord Ashley of Stoke

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Darzi of Denham): The Care Quality Commission (CQC), as regulator of social care, inspects care providers against statutory regulations and national minimum standards and has

19 May 2009 : Column WA305

powers of enforcement, which it may use at its discretion, depending on the nature/severity of any breach of regulations. The range of powers is:

a formal non-statutory caution;a notice requiring improvement within a specified time period;conditions that place restrictions on registration (for example, preventing the provider running a particular service or preventing further admissions to a service);prosecution of organisations and/or individuals—resulting in fines or, in extreme cases, imprisonment; and ultimatelycancellation of registration, which closes the service down.

From 2010, the CQC will be introducing a new system of registration under the Health and Social Care Act 2008, which will give it additional powers designed to bring providers back into compliance where they are not providing acceptable levels of care. The full range of powers will be:

a formal non-statutory caution;a new statutory warning notice, requiring improvement within a specified time; conditions that place restrictions on registration (for example, preventing the provider from running a particular service or preventing further admissions to a service);a new power to issue a fine in lieu of prosecution (penalty notice);a new power to suspend registration for a specific period;prosecution of organisations and/or individuals—resulting in fines or, in extreme cases, imprisonment; and ultimatelycancellation of registration, which closes the service down.

Social Care: Inspectors

Question

Asked by Lord Ashley of Stoke

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Darzi of Denham): The regulation of adult social care is now the responsibility of the new independent regulator, the Care Quality Commission, which took over from the Commission for Social Care Inspection, the Healthcare Commission and the Mental Health Act Commission on 1 April 2009.

Under the Care Standards Act 2000, the commission's inspectors have powers to:

require a provider of a regulated activity to provide information, whether registered with the commission or not;enter and inspect premises which they believe to be used for a regulated activity;

19 May 2009 : Column WA306

examine the state and management of any relevant premises;examine the treatment and care of patients or people using the service; inspect and take copies of documents and records; interview the manager, staff or people using the service; examine patients or people using the service; seize documents, materials or other things;require any person to help with the investigation; andtake measurements and photographs that may be necessary in carrying out the above powers.

Any person who intentionally obstructs the exercise of these powers, or fails to comply without reasonable excuse is guilty of an offence.

St Andrews Agreement

Question

Asked by Lord Laird

Baroness Royall of Blaisdon: The St Andrews agreement stated that the “Government firmly believe in the need to enhance and develop the Ulster Scots language, heritage and culture and will support the incoming Executive in taking this forward”. The administration and remit of the Ulster Scots Agency is a matter for the devolved Administration in Northern Ireland


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