§ Mrs. Calton
To ask the hon. Member for Roxburgh and Berwickshire, representing the House of Commons Commission, what arrangements are in place for monitoring pay and positions by ethnicity, gender and disability on the parliamentary estate; and if he will make a statement. 
§ Mr. Kirkwood
[holding answer 16 May 2002]: The House of Commons Commission is committed to fairness in its employment policies. On its behalf, officials monitor all recruitment exercises by ethnicity, gender, and disability status at both application and appointment stages. In addition, there is regular monitoring of staff across all pay bands, broken down by ethnicity and gender for each department.
In 1999 and 2001, the Board of Management reviewed the findings of two consultancy studies of all aspects of performance appraisal for senior posts and for two mid-range pay bands. These reviews focused on the fairness and effectiveness of the system in general and in particular on equality aspects.
There has been a recent programme of further training for reporting officers involved in conducting performance appraisals, with the aim of promoting consistency across the House at all levels in the application of the House's performance review markings and performance pay decisions. Officials are currently reviewing the pay system for the main pay bands, in consultation with the trade unions. The review will include an exercise in equality proofing as carried out in the Civil Service.