§ Valerie Davey
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what steps he is taking to appoint the Chair and Chief Executive of the proposed Disability Rights Commission. 
§ Ms Hodge
The Disability Rights Commission Bill has received its Second Reading in the Commons, thereby indicating Parliamentary support for the principle of the232W Bill. My right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education and Employment, has informed the Department that they may start the recruitment for a Chair and Chief Executive for the proposed Disability Rights Commission. The successful candidates will not be formally appointed to these positions until after the Bill has received Royal Assent.
Parliamentary approval to this new service will be sought in the Summer Supplementary Estimate for the Department for Education and Employment Vote (Class 1, Vote 1). Pending that approval, urgent expenditure estimated at £100,000 will be met by repayable advances from the Contingencies Fund.
This expenditure is required to meet the cost of recruiting the Chair and Chief Executive. The urgency arises from the need to have both the Chair and Chief Executive in place as soon as possible after Royal Assent to ensure that public funds are properly protected and to enable their full participation in the planning process to ensure rapid progress to the establishment of Disability Rights Commission in April 2000.