HC Deb 16 April 1991 vol 189 cc167-9W
Mr. William Ross

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will publish a table in theOfficial Report to show the number of civil servants in each branch who are to be moved to Castle Court in Belfast; what are the numbers of (a) Roman Catholics, (b) Protestants and (c) others in each branch so moved; how many new posts and at what levels are to be created by this movement; what area is to be taken into account in assessing whether fair employment exists in the staff so transferred; and what effect the transfer of these staff to Castle Court is expected to have on the proportions of Roman Catholics, Protestants and others employed in the civil service in Castle Court.

Dr. Mawhinney

There are currently 308 civil servants located within Castle Court. A further 406 civil servants are to be transferred to Castle Court as follows:

Branch Number of staff
Central Benefits 288
Disability and Incapacity Benefits 69
Industrial Injuries 32
Ancillary 17

The number of new posts being created as a consequence of the move to Castle Court is:

Grade Number of staff
Staff Officer 1
Executive Officer I 2
Executive Officer II 2
Administrative Officer 2
Administrative Assistant 1
Support Manager Grade 3 1
Support Grade Band 1 5
Support Grade Band 2 19

The Northern Ireland civil service has an equal opportunities monitoring system which contains information on the sex, community background and disability of its staff. However disclosure of information on the community background of Northern Ireland civil service staff is governed by a code of practice which stipulates that no statistical summaries will be produced which fall outside the categories of analyses agreed with the equal opportunities Whitley committee.

The Northern Ireland civil service recruits on a wide basis. The community background of successful can-didates plays no part in determining the office to which such candidates are posted. Consequently there is no reason why a particular office in terms of its community background should represent the local community in which it is located. An assessment of fair employment for the staff in question is thus inappropriate and has not been undertaken. Fair employment considerations are addressed for the Northern Ireland civil service and details of the community background of staff together with their sex and any disability is given in the series of reports published by the NICS's equal opportunities unit which is based in the Department of Finance and Personnel of the Northern Ireland civil service; copies of these reports are placed in the Library.