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Northern Ireland: Bill of Rights

Volume 703: debated on Monday 14 July 2008

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Further to the Written Answer by Lord Rooker on 9 June (WA 87) concerning the travel expenses of the chairman of the Northern Ireland Bill of Rights Forum, when they paid those travel expenses; and why they paid them. [HL4185]

As the noble Lord will be aware from my Answer of 9 June 2008 (WA87), according to Cabinet Office guidance, (Making and Managing Public AppointmentsA Guide for Departments, Fourth Edition, February 2006), all members of public bodies are eligible to be reimbursed for the costs of travel and subsistence associated with their public duties. The same overriding principle, that no appointee should be out of pocket as a result of his or her appointment, was applied in relation to Mr Sidoti's appointment to the forum.

Mr Sidoti served as chair of the Bill of Rights Forum between 15 March 2007 and 31 March 2008. He was reimbursed on a regular basis for his travel expenses during this period.

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Further to the Written Answer by Lord Rooker on 16 June (WA 136), what were the “changing resource requirements for work” which allowed the Northern Ireland Office to sponsor the Bill of Rights Forum. [HL4275]

The reference to “changing resource requirements for work” in my Written Answers of 16 June (Official Report, col. WA 136) and 12 May (Official Report, col. WA 113) is unconnected to the sponsorship of the Bill of Rights Forum. Those Answers relate to a Question from the noble Lord about why the budget of the division of the Northern Ireland Office which recently sponsored the Bill of Rights Forum increased between 2002-03 and 2003-04. The division in question did not sponsor the forum during either of those years; the forum was not established until December 2006.