§ Mr. McDonnell
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what plans he has to include Irish as a category in his Department's ethnic monitoring of staff recruitment. 
§ Mr. Denham
Civil Service recruitment is based on the principle of fair and open competition and that selection should be on merit at each stage.
Monitoring in this area is based on ethnic origin and not nationality. The nine ethnic origin categories monitored by this Department are those used in the 1991 census, which did not include an Irish category. They will be reviewed in the light of any suggested changes for the 2001 Population Census.