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Public Inquiries

Volume 475: debated on Thursday 1 May 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what the cost of (a) each public inquiry under way in Northern Ireland and (b) each Historic Enquiries Team investigation has been in each year since 1998. (203226)

The costs to the end of March 2008 for each public inquiry under way in Northern Ireland are:

Inquiry

Cost (£ million)

The Bloody Sunday Inquiry

182.4

The Robert Hamill Inquiry

14.49

The Rosemary Nelson Inquiry

24.78

The Billy Wright Inquiry

21.12

The Wright and Hamill Inquiries are operating under the Inquiries Act 2005. The Nelson Inquiry is operating under the Police (Northern Ireland) Act 1998. The Bloody Sunday Inquiry is operating under the Tribunals Act 1921.

For the Wright and Hamill Inquiries, the Secretary of State has issued a formal notice under section 40(4) of the Inquiries Act 2005, requiring them to operate within limits for fees and hours worked per week. The Inquiries Act also places a statutory duty on the inquiry chairmen to have regard to the need to avoid unnecessary cost in every decision they make. The Nelson Inquiry, which is not operating under the Inquiries Act, has also been formally instructed to keep within limits.

I cannot provide the cost of each individual HET investigation. I can confirm that the annual expenditure on HET investigations has been as follows:

Annual expenditure on HET investigation (£ million)

2005-06

4.32

2006-07

6.04

2007-08

7.69