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Departmental Staff

Volume 449: debated on Tuesday 25 July 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many (a) EU foreign nationals and (b) non-EU foreign nationals have been employed in (i) each department in Northern Ireland and (ii) the Northern Ireland Office in each of the last five years; what vetting procedures are in place for each category of staff; and whether this includes liaison with foreign law enforcement agencies. (68005)

Recruitment Service of the Department of Finance and Personnel has responsibility for providing a vetting service for all employees appointed to the Northern Ireland Civil Service (NICS).

The vetting process for all prospective appointees to the NICS includes a number of levels which will be determined by the nature of the duties the appointee is required to carry out. Approximately 95 per cent. of all appointees are required to satisfy a Basic Check level which consists of an identification check as well as a Criminal Record Check (CRC). The CRC, which is undertaken by the Criminal Records Division of the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI), identifies all instances where an individual has either been convicted of an offence or where a criminal case is pending.

A small number of posts within the NICS may require enhanced vetting. In addition to those checks carried out under Basic Check, enhanced vetting, which is undertaken by the NI Security and Vetting Unit of the NIO, includes an assessment of an applicant's credit and pecuniary history and an assessment of the individual as a security risk.

Recruitment Service does not have any direct links, or liaise in any way, with foreign law enforcement agencies, when vetting prospective recruits.

The figures for those employed by Northern Ireland Civil Service Departments within the years and the categories specified are contained within the following table.

Financial Year2001-022002-032003-042004-052005-06

Classification

EU

Non-EU

EU

Non-EU

EU

Non-EU

EU

Non-EU

EU

Non-EU

Department

DARD

6

2

11

1

15

4

27

8

13

1

DCAL

0

0

0

0

2

0

1

0

0

0

DE

0

0

2

0

1

1

1

0

1

0

DEL

5

2

3

0

4

0

0

0

1

0

DETI

3

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

DFP

12

4

11

3

10

4

11

4

4

3

DHSSPS

2

0

2

0

2

1

1

1

1

1

DOE

0

0

3

2

7

2

21

3

11

2

DRD

5

1

13

1

11

2

8

0

1

1

DSD

18

8

15

3

15

2

18

3

11

3

OFMDFM

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

NIO

1

1

0

1

2

0

1

1

1

0

Total

53

18

60

11

69

16

89

20

46

11