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Northern Ireland Office: Staff

Volume 714: debated on Thursday 5 November 2009


Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government what payments have been made for the year 2008–09 to staff of the Northern Ireland Office over and above their normal salaries; and what percentage of staff have received such payments. [HL5836]

Non-consolidated performance payments were made to Northern Ireland Office staff, below Senior Civil Service, in the current year rewarding performance throughout the 2008-09 reporting year. Approximately 28 per cent of staff received non-consolidated performance payments, totalling £599,048.50.

Under a separate scheme special performance payments were awarded to staff in Grades A to D2 in the year 2008-09. Approximately 46 per cent of staff received these payments, totalling £260,865.

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Written Answer by Baroness Royall of Blaisdon on 13 July (WA 187) concerning press officers in the Northern Ireland Office, what is the monitoring service provided for Ministers and senior officials; what is monitored; how many officials receive the information; and what ranks they are. [HL5987]

The Northern Ireland Office (NIO) has a media monitoring service, covering both print and broadcast media, for Ministers, senior officials and other staff as appropriate.

It also provides a service for the devolved Administration and a range of external bodies.

Outlets monitored cover news and current affairs programmes, both television and radio, which report or comment on the peace and political process, the work of the department or departments in the devolved Administration. Stations covered include BBC, UTV, RTE, Channel 4, Sky News, the Parliament Channel and CNN.

An early morning digest of the local and national papers on issues of relevance is also circulated and cuttings placed on the department's intranet, which are accessible to all staff.

Other services include transcripts, hourly news updates, news digests from the local morning, lunch and evening news programmes as well as a Belfast Telegraph digest.

A digest of relevant articles from the Provincial press is also produced.

It is not possible to provide an exact figure on the number of staff who receive the service because transcripts are requested on demand.