HC Deb 04 February 2004 vol 417 cc941-2W
Mr. Peter Robinson

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how much money was paid to solicitors employed by the Government in the drafting of the Energy (Northern Ireland) Order 2003 in (a) 2000–01, (b) 2001–02, (c) 2002–03 and (d) the current financial year, broken down by firm. [152212]

Mr. Pearson

Assembly Bills introduced by the Northern Ireland Executive during devolution and Orders in Council made under the Northern Ireland Act 2000 while the Assembly is suspended are drafted by the Office of the Legislative Counsel of the Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister. Simmons and Simmons, appointed in June 2001 as specialist solicitors to assist with the policy development process leading up to the preparation of the Energy (Northern Ireland) Order 2003, were paid the following amounts (including VAT) for this work:

(a) 2000–01 Nil
(b) 2001–02 178,381
(c) 2002–03 608,541
(d) 2003–04 Nil—the Energy Order was made in February 2003