HC Deb 05 February 1997 vol 289 cc653-4W
Mr. Beggs

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (1) pursuant to his answer of 27 January,Official Report, columns 53–54, if he will investigate the circumstances whereby a consultant on short-term contract to the Northern Ireland Department of Environment, described in the answer as not involved in water quality issues within DoE NI, answered a telephone call to the water quality unit, DoE NI, on 10 January; [14086]

(2) if the consultant on short-term contract and working on the preparation of a waste strategy for Northern Ireland is on loan from Haul Waste; [14087]

(3) if he will list the consultants and companies employed to date by the Northern Ireland Department of the Environment (a) in the preparation of the waste strategy for Northern Ireland and (b) in assessing the merits of applications for landfill sites in Northern Ireland on behalf of DoE NI. [14140]

Mr. Moss

Responsibility for the subject in question has been delegated to the Environment and Heritage Service under its chief executive, Mr. Robert C. Martin. I have asked him to arrange for a reply to be given.

Letter from Robert C. Martin to Mr. Ron Beggs, dated 4 February 1997:

You recently put down three parliamentary questions about Environment and Heritage Service operational matters which have been passed to me for reply as Chief Executive. I will answer each in turn in this letter according to the number order in which they were tabled.

No. 176

I have investigated the matter and the consultant simply answered the phone in his office and referred the caller to the Water Quality Unit. The caller had used a direct line number for the former occupant of the office (an Environmental Health Officer) with whom the caller had had regular contact.

No. 180

The consultant was appointed under the terms of a contract between his company the Environment and Heritage Service to provide recommendations for the specification for waste strategy and landfill audit contracts. He is not on loan.

No. 193

Two companies were contracted to prepare specifications for a strategic study and an assessment of training needs, Haul Waste Ltd. and Hyder Environmental.

Following this groundwork two companies—Environmental Resources Management and Kirk McClure Morton—were contracted to prepare a Draft Waste Strategy for Northern Ireland.

No companies are employed to assess the merits of landfill site applications on behalf of the Department. However, two companies—Environment Assessment Group Limited and M J Carter Associates—are engaged in the environmental audit of existing facilities.