§ Mr. Kilfedder
asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what guidelines have been issued to the Northern Ireland Housing Executive, and to other statutory bodies, about the selection of firms of architects to undertake projects.
§ Mr. Carter
As far as the Northern Ireland Housing Executive and most statutory bodies are concerned no specific guidelines have been issued about the selection of firms of architects to undertake projects.
The Northern Ireland Department of Health and Social Services laid down the following guidelines in 1974 for Health and Social Services Boards: (a) the Department's Chief Architect must be consulted before any steps are taken to appoint a firm of architects to undertake a project delegated to the Board; (b) the Board should approach the Chief Architect and ask him to suggest a suitable firm or firms—if more than one name is given by the Chief Architect the final choice is for the Board to make; (c) the Board itself may put forward names of firms it wishes considered by the Chief Architect; (d) on receipt of the Chief Architect's advice the actual appointment is made by the Board concerned.
The Building Handbook published by the Northern Ireland Department of Education in 1974 stipulates that where an area education and library board wishes to appoint a private architect for a particular project the person appointed must be a registered architect. Subject to this the choice of architect is a matter for the board's discretion, but if it is proposed to appoint an architect from outside Northern Ireland the Department's specific approval is required.
§ Mr. Kilfedder
asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what projects to be paid for out of public funds have been awarded to the architects, W. D. R. and R. T. Taggart in 1975, 1976 and so far in 1977; what is the expected total cost of each project; and what is the present estimate of the fees to be paid to this firm.
§ Mr. Dunn
Information in the form requested is not readily available and566W could only be obtained at disproportionate cost. From the information which is available, the firm W. D. R. and R. T. Taggart is involved in architectural work to be paid for out of public funds in respect of about 40 projects costing together over £6 million involving fees of more than £395,000.