The Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission's 2009-10 draft business plan has been submitted to the sponsor division in the Northern Ireland Office for consideration.
Once the 2009-10 business plan is finalised, a copy will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.
As stated in my Answer of 11 May, Official Report (col. WA 164), documentation relating to the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission's August and November monitoring returns last year, including the Northern Ireland Office's responses to requests for funding, has already been placed in the Library of this House. In summary, the commission was granted an additional £92,000 during the year.
The Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission was established by Section 68 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998 and its statutory functions are set out in Section 69 of that Act. It carries out these functions independently of government. However, as set out in Schedule 7(5) to the Northern Ireland Act, the Commission makes a report to the Secretary of State on the performance of its functions during the year. Copies of this annual report are placed in the Libraries of both Houses.
Paragraph 25 of the financial memorandum agreed between the Northern Ireland Office and the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission states:
“The Commission may receive grants from other sources, with the Department's approval, to fund additional work consistent with its statutory function, which would not otherwise have been funded from grant-in-aid. This negative DEL income must be used only for discrete projects approved by the Department”.