HC Deb 07 March 2000 vol 345 cc559-60W
Rev. Martin Smyth

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will make a statement on the process by which the titles of the new departments and the Information Service of the Northern Ireland Executive were decided. [112788]

Mr. Mandelson

The titles of the Northern Ireland Departments are set in statute in the Departments (Northern Ireland) Order 1999. The Order was made following a statement issued by the First Minister (Designate) and Deputy First Minister (Designate) on 18 December 1998 on structures (including Departmental titles) and functions across the then proposed new Departments. The statement was considered and ratified by the shadow Northern Ireland Assembly in January 1999 and the Departments (Northern Ireland) Order 1999 specifies the Departmental titles agreed at that time.

In relation to the Information Service this was an interim short title designed to distinguish the Information Service of the Executive from that of the Northern Ireland Office. The title would have been subject to consideration by the Executive Committee in the context of proposals for corporate identity and for a communications strategy which were in preparation at the time of suspension.