Research Publications 2014

Synopsis The Northern Ireland Assembly Research and Information Service (RaISe) produces a number of Research publications each year. These cover a variety of topics which are of interest to Members, Committees and the general public.

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123/14 Budget 2015/16: Implications for Undergraduate Student Support by Eóin Murphy
The following paper discusses the potential implications of the announced budget cuts on student support in Northern Ireland.
 26.11.14
122/14 Ordnance Survey 'open data' This paper has been prepared for the ETI committee and looks at the availability of open ordnance survey data in GB, NI and elsewhere. 25.11.14
121/14 Sitting and Voting Times in the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland by Michael Potter
This paper has been prepared in the context of the review by the Assembly and Executive Review Committee into women in politics and the Northern Ireland Assembly. 
24.11.14
120/14 Job Sharing, Twinning and Zipping: Applications to Northern Ireland by Michael Potter
This paper has been prepared in the context of the review by the Assembly and Executive Review Committee into women in politics and the Northern Ireland Assembly. 
24.11.14
119/14 Women and Public Appointments in Northern Ireland by Michael Potter
This paper has been prepared in the context of the review by the Assembly and Executive Review Committee into women in politics and the Northern Ireland Assembly. 
24.11.14
118/14 Draft Budget 2015-16: Lines of Questioning by The Public Finance Scrutiny Unit
This Briefing Note aims to support Assembly scrutiny of the Executive’s Draft Budget 2015-16, providing potential lines of questioning for the Assembly’s statutory committees. 
19.11.14
117/14 Food Hygiene Rating (Northern Ireland) Bill by Dr Janice Thompson
This Bill paper provides information on the Food Hygiene Rating (NI) Bill, the aim of which is to reduce the incidence of foodborne illness. The paper highlights: differences between the Bill and the Food Hygiene Rating (Wales) Act 2013; issues for further consideration raised through the consultation process on the Bill; and issues highlighted during the passage of the Food Hygiene Rating (Wales) Act 2013. The paper also describes the voluntary Food Hygiene Rating Schemes in place presently in England, Scotland and NI and the statutory scheme in place in Wales. Some international examples are also cited. 
13.11.14
116/14

The Barnett formula: update 2014 by The Public Finance Scrutiny Unit
This Briefing Note provides an update on issues that have arisen since January 2013 about the prevailing devolved funding arrangements in the United Kingdom (UK), particularly those relating to the continued operation of the Barnett formula in the wake of the referendum on Scottish Independence. 

13.11.14
115/14 Directive 2008/51/EC by Fiona O'Connell
This briefing paper has been prepared in response to a research request from the Committee for Justice on Directive 2008/51/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council which amends Council Directive 91/447/EEC on the control of the acquisition and possession of weapons 
13.11.14
114/14

Draft Budget 2015-16 and key aspects of Treasury discretion by The Public Finance Scrutiny Unit
As part of the five-part series on the Draft Budget 2015-16, this Briefing Paper seeks to explore key aspects of the proposals that are based on Treasury’s discretion:

  • The proposed method for repayment of funding from the UK Reserve; and,
  • The proposed use of Reinvestment and Reform Initiative borrowing to fund potential workforce restructuring. Neither can occur unless Treasury approval is granted. To facilitate the Assembly’s consideration of the Draft Budget, scrutiny points are highlighted throughout the Paper. 
12.11.14
113/14 Draft Budget 2015-16: Infrastructure Investment by The Public Finance Scrutiny Unit
As part of the five-part series on the Draft Budget 2015-16, this Briefing Paper seeks to explore key aspects of the proposed Northern Ireland Investment Fund, including both Financial Transactions capital and the European Investment Bank, as outlined within Section 4 of the Draft Budget 2015-16 document. 
12.11.14
112/14 Access to funding from the United Kingdom Reserve by The Public Finance Scrutiny Unit
As part of the five-part series on the Draft Budget 2015-16, this Briefing Paper describes the mechanisms through which the Northern Ireland Executive is able to gain access to additional temporary funding from the United Kingdom Reserve. To establish context, the Paper first explains the duty placed on the Executive and its departments to control expenditure and to contain pressures. Such information establishes the circumstances in which Reserve funding may be accessed. 
12.11.14
111/14 Financing the Draft Budget 2015-16 by The Public Finance Scrutiny Unit
As part of the five-part series on the Draft Budget 2015-16, this Briefing Paper presents key considerations arising from the Executive’s proposed use of finances that are outside UK Government allocations (the Block Grant and Annually Managed Expenditure): these finances include borrowing, regional rates revenue, water charging and European Union funding. 
 18.11.14
110/14 Draft Budget 2015-16: departmental allocations and timetable by The Public Finance Scrutiny Unit
As part of the five-part series on the Draft Budget 2015-16, this Briefing Paper presents some of the headlines from the Executive's proposals using tables and graphs and tables. In particular, it illustrates the extent to which funding Health and Social Care is placing an increasing demand on Northern Ireland's Resources. It also highlights some key risks in relation to the Executive remaining within its expenditure totals, and compares the consultation timetable for Draft Budget 2015-16 with the timetable for Draft Budget 2011-15.
 
109/14

Sitting Times in the Swedish Riksdag
This paper has been prepared in the context of the review by the Assembly and Executive Review Committee into women in politics and the Northern Ireland Assembly. Following discussion on family friendly sitting times in the Swedish Riksdag, this paper summarises procedures in the Riksdag with regard to sitting times and some comparison is made with sitting time procedures in the Northern Ireland Assembly. 

12.11.14
108/14 A summary of issues with archaeological archives in Northern Ireland, and a range of legislative and non-legislative options by Dr Dan Hull
This briefing paper explores a range of issues with the storage and ownership of archaeological archives in Northern Ireland, along with a number of potential options for legislative and non-legislative change in this area. 
07.11.14
107/14 Training and Support Programmes for Women in Politics

This paper summarises some general principles on training and support programmes for women in politics and gives an overview of some such programmes that have been used in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. 

04.11.14
106/14 Job Sharing in Political Representation

This paper has been prepared in the context of the review by the Assembly and Executive Review Committee into women in politics and the Northern Ireland Assembly.

04.11.14
105/14 An examination of business models within the Water and Sewerage Industry in the UK and Republic of Ireland 
This paper examines the structures, including business model and governance systems within the water and sewrage industry in the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland.
04.11.14
104/14 

Smart grid capital expenditure within price controls
This paper outlines how smart grid capital expenditure is determined in the price controls that govern the operations of system operators in Northern Ireland, Great Britain and the Republic of Ireland. Whilst the focus on the paper is smart grid investment initiatives, the paper also provides information on smart meter roll out. 

04.11.14
103/14 CAP Reform 2014–20: EU Agreement and Implementation in the UK and in Ireland (updated)
The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) reform package for 2014-2020 has been finalised and Member States are using 2014 as a transitional year as they prepare to introduce new Basic Payment Schemes and new Rural Development Programmes. This paper updates the November 2013 version which was prepared whilst many issues were still the subject of consultation. It sets out the main implementation decisions of the four countries of the UK, and also of neighbouring Member State Ireland, in relation to the new reform package. The new agreement allows Member States and their devolved administrations a great deal of flexibility regarding how they implement the provisions
30.10.14
102/14

Financial Transactions Capital
This Briefing Paper gives an overview of the Financial Transactions Capital scheme for funding infrastructure investment in Northern Ireland.  It considers the relative advantages and disadvantages for Northern Ireland departments using this scheme and provides some general information on other infrastructure funding methods.

24.10.14
101/14

Internal Complaints and Disciplinary Processes
This paper provides a comparison of arrangements in other jurisdictions for dealing with internal conduct and disciplinary issues within the legal professions, including the level of oversight and independence which applies. It looks at such processes in England and Wales, Scotland and the Republic of Ireland.

23.10.14
100/14

Legal Complaints and Regulation: Follow Up Issues
This paper has been produced in response to issues raised by the Finance and Personnel Committee during a previous briefing on the Draft Legal Complaints and Regulation Bill.

23.10.14
99/14

Community Relations Funding in Northern Ireland
This paper briefly outlines the community relations1 funding framework for Northern Ireland in the context of the inquiry by the Committee for the Office of the First Minister and deputy First Minister into the Together: Building a United Community strategy.

21.10.14
98/14

 Child Poverty Strategies
This paper examines child poverty strategies in Northern Ireland and the other devolved regions of the UK and outlines the viewpoints of children’s campaigners, research bodies and others. It also notes Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) projected figures for absolute and relative child poverty throughout the UK for 2020.

20.10.14
97/14

Non-governmental funding for arts organisations
This paper provides information on the range of funders of the arts for which organisations in Northern Ireland would be eligible to apply. It focuses on charitable trusts and foundations, though a number of other non-governmental funders are also indicated.

17.10.14
96/14

European Commission Legislative, Non Legislative and Status Unknown Proposals Q3 2014
This paper provides spreadsheets detailing European Commission Legislative, non-legislative and status unknown proposals Q3 2014

08.10.14
95/14

Funding for Victims and Survivors Groups in Northern Ireland
This paper summarises the arrangements for funding for groups providing support to victims and survivors of the conflict in Northern Ireland.

08.10.14
94/14

Preventative Expenditure
This Research Paper presents key findings of research undertaken by the Research and Information Service (RaISe) for the Committee of Finance and Personnel (CFP), to identify Executive / Departmental initiatives in Northern Ireland relating to prevention and early intervention expenditure.  For a comparative perspective, the Paper examines initiatives in other jurisdictions, to identify lessons learnt elsewhere, to help inform CFP‘s consideration of undertaking an inquiry in this area.  This Paper supplements RaISe Research Paper 51/14, dated 8 May 2014.

08.10.14
93/14

The Swedish General Election 2014 and the Representation of Women
This paper reviews the Swedish general election of September 2014 from the perspective of the representation of women in politics

07.10.14
92/14

Staffing levels in the Northern Ireland Civil Service
This Briefing Note provides an update to RaISe Paper 16/12: Staffing levels in the Northern Ireland Civil Service. It presents available headcount data for staffing levels for 2012 to 2014.

03.10.14
91/14

In-year Reductions to Departmental Resource DEL: the October 14-15 Monitoring Round
This Briefing Paper outlines relevant background information and presents two models the potential impact of ringfencing on the budgets of Northern Ireland departments if spending reductions are applied in the forthcoming October Monitoring Round.

03.10.14
90/14

In-year monitoring of public expenditure: an analysis of departmental bid documentation
This Research Paper examines the Northern Ireland Executive’s In-year Monitoring process for the control of public expenditure. It sets out the purpose and operation of the system. It also presents key results of an analysis undertaken by the Research and Information Service (RaISe) of the in-year bids by departments for additional resources.

03.10.14
89/14

Teacher Training: Primary Science Content
This paper considers Teacher Education for the primary school phase as offered by 3 institutions in Northern Ireland: St Mary’s University College, Stranmillis University College and the University of Ulster (Coleraine campus).

30.09.14
88/14

Primary Science: Teaching Time and Enquiry-Based Learning
This paper considers the 2011 Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) report which indicates that 10 year old pupils in Northern Ireland receive an average of 72 hours of science teaching time per annum.

30.09.14
87/14

Potential issues regarding women and sport
This paper provides a brief summary of a variety of potential issues for further scrutiny regarding women and sport, following a recent Assembly research paper on the subject.

25.09.14
86/14

Act for Real Equality between Women and Men - France
This paper summarises the Loi No 2014-873 pour l’égalité réelle entre les femmes et les hommes. The Bill was introduced in the Sénat on 3 July 2013 and passed into law on 4 August 2014. The paper gives a brief background to the Act and summarises some of the key provisions in relation to their intended impact on gender equality in France.

23.09.14
85/14

Justice Bill 2014
This paper outlines the provisions of the Justice Bill and policy proposals underpinning the Bill.

15.09.14
84/14

Student Hardship Fund
This paper provides a brief discussion of the Student Hardship Fund available to students studying in Northern Ireland’s Regional Colleges.

04.09.14
83/14

Carrier bags – Environmental Impact
This paper is an update to the research paper from 2011 Comparison of Environmental Impact of Plastic, Paper and Cloth Bags. It details some of the most referenced and peer reviewed research that has been conducted on the overall environmental impacts of different types of carrier bags.

09.07.14
82/14

Year-end surges in Northern Ireland departmental expenditure
This Research Paper presents a review of available evidence in relation to expenditure surges at the end of the fiscal year in the public sector. The Paper discusses some possible implications that may arise from such year-end surges, where they are not justified by business needs. It also presents analysis of Northern Ireland departmental data that confirms that year-end surges were a feature of public expenditure in Northern Ireland over the 2010-11 to 2012-13 period.

03.07.14
81/14

The Childcare Payments Bill 2014-15: Legislative Consent Motion
The UK Government announced in the Queen’s Speech on 5 June 2014 its intention to introduce a Childcare Payments Bill which would create a new scheme to give working families a proportion of their childcare costs. The UK Government will be seeking the Assembly’s approval of a Legislative Consent Motion (LCM) in respect of some of the provisions of the Bill. The LCM and Bill are brought to this Committee as OFMdFM is the lead department on strategy for childcare. This paper outlines the purpose of the Bill and the Legislative Consent Motion.

03.07.14
80/14

European Investment Bank: Financial Assistance for UK Local Government
This paper supplements RaISe briefing NIAR 219-14 (dated 1 May 2014) for the Committee for Finance and Personnel (the Committee). It is provided in response to the Committee’s request for further information about European Investment Bank (EIB) loans to local government in the United Kingdom. The paper also provides information that is relevant to the Committee’s consideration of the Department of Finance and Personnel’s view about the use of EIB loans by Executive departments in Northern Ireland.

27.06.14
79/14

Who Runs Northern Ireland? A Summary of Statistics Relating to Gender and Power 
This Briefing Paper is prepared in the context of the review by the Assembly and Executive Review Committee (AERC) of the representation of women in the Northern Ireland Assembly.  The paper summarises statistics on gender representation in decision-making positions in Northern Ireland.

24/06/14
 78/14

Local Elections 2014: Results by Party and Gender
This Briefing Note has been prepared in the context of the Assembly and Executive Review Committee review on women in the Northern Ireland Assembly . The Note should be read in conjunction with Research and Information Service Briefing Note Candidates for the 2014 Elections in Northern Ireland by Gender.

 24/06/14
77/14

Visual Impairment and Educational Attainment
This paper gives a background to visual impairment by summarising childhood vision development. It then outlines the incidence of visual impairment and its effect on development and academic attainment, making reference to a number of academic studies. Finally, the paper examines Visual Stress, and discusses the challenges faced by pupils with this condition.

20.06.14
76/14

Services for Children with Visual Impairment
This paper gives an overview of services available for school children with visual impairment in the United Kingdom. It makes reference to referral, waiting times, formal benchmarking and the nature of services available.

20.06.14
75/14

Peacebuilding in Bosnia and Herzegovina: Mostar and Brčko
This Briefing Note supplements the Briefing Paper Peace Building Initiatives: Examples Outside Northern Ireland (74/14), prepared for the Committee for the Office of the First Minister and deputy First Minister in the context of scrutinising community relations policy in Northern Ireland.

19.06.14
74/14

Peace Building Initiatives: Examples Outside Northern Ireland
This paper has been written in relation to an inquiry by the Committee for the Office of the First Minister and deputy First Minister (OFMdFM) into the current strategy for good relations and reconciliation in Northern Ireland, Together: Building a United Community (TBUC).

19.06.14
73/14

Rural isolation, poverty and rural community/farmer wellbeing – scoping paper
This scoping paper explores the topical issues of rural isolation, poverty and rural community/farmer wellbeing, which have been identified as topics of interest by the Members of the ARD Committee.

18.06.14
72/14

Road Traffic (Amendment) Bill
This paper considers the Road Traffic (Amendment) Bill for Northern Ireland as introduced to the Assembly on 12 May 2014.  It should be considered as an introduction to the Bill, where it gives a brief overview of the provisions and considers some of the issues/impacts surrounding it.

16.06.14
71/14

Accountability systems for legislators’ staff and guidance on sanctions for misconduct.
The Committee on Standards and Privileges asked for this paper as part of its ongoing review of the Northern Ireland Assembly’s Code of Conduct.

12.06.14
70/14

Codes of Conduct, contempt and developments in relation to the rules on Members’ Interests in UK legislatures.
This briefing paper has been prepared for the Committee on Standards and Privileges to inform its review of the Code of Conduct for Members of the Northern Ireland Assembly.

12.06.14
69/14

Rules on the receipt of gifts and hospitality
This paper sets out the position on the receipt of gifts and hospitality in other legislatures, the Judiciary and the Civil Service. The Assembly’s Committee on Standards and Privileges commissioned this paper to inform its review of the Assembly’s Code of Conduct. As part of this review, the Committee is considering issues raised in a report by the Group of States Against Corruption (GRECO).

12.06.14
68/14

Renewable Energy Initiatives within the Public Sector
The purpose of this paper is to provide an overview of initiatives taken within the public sector to implement forms of renewable energy, with a particular emphasis on measures taken by local authorities

12.06.14
67/14

Rates reliefs for Amateur Sports Clubs: comparative information
This Briefing Paper presents details of reliefs from non-domestic rates for Community Amateur Sports Clubs in the United Kingdom. It also explains the rates exemption for land used for sporting activities in the Republic of Ireland.

12.06.14
66/14

Post-Secondary Support for People with Learning Disabilities in Great Britain
This paper discusses the government support provided for people with learning disabilities in Great Britain. The paper is part of a series of work carried out by RaISe for the Committee for Employment and Learning’s Inquiry into post Special Educational Need (SEN) Provision in education, employment and training for those with Learning Disabilities in Northern Ireland.

11.06.14
65/14

Transition Planning for Young People with Learning Disabilities in Great Britain
This paper provides an overview of transition planning services provided to young people with learning disabilities as they move from children’s services to adult services in England, Scotland and Wales.

11.06.14
64/14

International Methods of Gathering Learning Disability Prevalence Statistics.
This paper will identify and discuss methods of data collection on people with Learning Disabilities (LD) used by countries outside Northern Ireland. It forms part of a series of papers on LD by RaISe for the Committee for Employment and Learnings inquiry into post-secondary support for people with learning disabilities. This paper should be considered a companion paper to NIAR 259-2014 which discussed statistics on people with learning disabilities in Northern Ireland.

11.06.14
63/14

Refugees and Asylum Seekers in Northern Ireland
This Research Paper briefly summarises issues for refugees and asylum seekers in Northern Ireland.

11.06.14
62/14

Defamation and the Dead
This Briefing Paper is written in the context of the consideration by the Committee for Finance and Personnel of a proposed Private Member’s Bill in relation to defamation .  The paper supplements previous papers on this subject .

11.06.14
61/14

Prescriptions: Costs and charges in the UK and Republic of Ireland
This paper provides a brief overview of prescription costs and charges in Northern Ireland and compares this data with other jurisdictions in the UK and the Republic of Ireland (ROI). Private prescriptions are not considered in this paper.

10.06.14
60/14

Census 2011: Key Statistics at LGD 2014 level
This Research Paper updates NIAR 5-13, which contained Key Statistics for the old 26 council areas, with a selected list of key statistics for the eleven new local government districts (LGD 2014).

10.06.14
59/14

A brief explanation of Shari‘a law
Shari‘a is an Arabic word which means the ‘way’ or ‘path’. It is often described as an Islamic legal code, but what is it and how does it work?

06.06.14
58/14

Comparative Research on Legal Complaints and Regulation This paper examines the provisions in the draft Legal Complaints and Regulation Bill (Northern Ireland) 2013 and provides comparative information on legal complaints systems in England and Wales, Scotland and the Republic of Ireland.

04.06.14
57/14

The Use of Quotas to Increase the Political Representation of Women
This Briefing Paper has been prepared in the context of the Assembly and Executive Review Committee review of the representation of women in the Northern Ireland Assembly. It supplements a previous Research Paper, Women in the Northern Ireland Assembly. A brief overview of the rationale behind the use of quotas is given, a survey of types of quota, a summary where they are in use and some discussion on their effectiveness is undertaken.

27.05.14
56/14

Female Candidates in Local Elections in Northern Ireland
This Note has been prepared in the context of the Assembly and Executive Review Committee review on women in the Northern Ireland Assembly. The Note summarises female candidates by party in local elections in Northern Ireland.

27.05.14
55/14 Emergency Care in Northern Ireland: 2012/13 update
This paper provides an overview of the latest data from the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety (DHSSPS) regarding emergency care.  Data is mainly taken from 2012/13 and compared with data from previous years.
27.05.14
54/14 Marriage of same sex couples across the UK: What’s the same and what’s different?
This paper provides information about the similarities and differences relating to marriage of same sex couples and the legislation which provides for it, as well as about the similarities and differences relating to marriage of opposite sex couples and civil partnership across the UK.
15.05.14
53/14 Regional and minority language academies
This paper summarises the role and services provided by a selection of regional and minority language academies around the world, highlighting a number of common features.
12.05.14
52/14 European Investment Bank – Potential Financial Assistance Opportunities for Northern Ireland
This paper provides an overview of key financial assistance opportunities via the European Investment Bank (EIB), which could be availed of when seeking to support infrastructure investment in Northern Ireland.
08.05.14
51/14 Preventative Expenditure
This Research Paper examines Preventative Expenditure initiatives in the United Kingdom, with particular emphasis on Scotland and its Budgeting for Prevention for Programme.
08.05.14
50/14 Statistics on People with Learning Disabilities in Northern Ireland
This paper identifies and discusses publically available statistics on people with learning disabilities in Northern Ireland.  It provides data on prevalence of learning disabilities in Northern Ireland, Higher Education and Further Education participation of people with learning disabilities and people with learning disabilities in employment.
This paper forms part of the Committee for Employment and Learnings Inquiry into post-secondary support for people with learning disabilities and Special Educational Needs (SEN) in Northern Ireland.
08.05.14
49/14 European Commission Legislative & Non Legislative Proposals Q2 2014
This paper provides spreadsheets detailing European Commission legislative and non-legislative proposals Q2 2014
07.05.14
48/14 Candidates for the 2014 Elections in Northern Ireland by Gender
This Briefing Note supplements previous papers  written in the context of a review by the Assembly and Executive Review Committee of the representation of women in the Northern Ireland Assembly.  The Note summarises candidates for the European and local government election in Northern Ireland by gender.
06.05.14
47/14 Women in Local Councils: Statistical Overview
This Briefing Note supplements previous papers written in the context of a review by the Assembly and Executive Review Committee review of the representation of women in the Northern Ireland Assembly.  The Note gives figures for women’s representation in local councils in England, Scotland, Wales and the Republic of Ireland 1999-2012.
06.05.14
46/14 Women in the Northern Ireland Assembly - Update
This note has been prepared for the Assembly and Executive Review Committee (AERC) in the context of the Committee’s consideration of topics for review. The note updates the Research Paper 'Women in the Northern Ireland Assembly' presented to the AERC on 10 September 2013.
06.05.14
45/14

Census 2011: Detailed Characteristics of Housing, the Labour Market, and Voluntary Work at the Northern Ireland Level.
This Paper focuses on the topics of Housing, the Labour Market and Voluntary Work. It considers how they interact with a series of variables, including age, religion, household size, tenure, health and education.

29.04.14
44/14

Women and sport: A summary of potential issues
This paper examines current participation levels of women in sport and physical activity in both Northern Ireland and elsewhere. It summarises the nature of current strategies and policies around this issue, before suggesting a number of potential issues for further consideration.

15.04.14
43/14

Substance Misuse
Background briefing jointly prepared by the Research and Information Service (RaISe) of the Northern Ireland Assembly and by the Library & Research Service (L&RS) of the Houses of the Oireachtas (Tithe an Oireachtais).

10.04.14
42/14

Legal Aid and Coroners’ Courts Bill
This paper outlines the main provisions of the Bill and considers what the Bill means for the delivery of legal aid and the Coroners’ Court.

 
41/14

Scottish Universities – Proof of Residence: Update
This paper briefly discusses the proof of residence requirements to be met in order to be considered eligible for free tuition (‘home fees’) as an EU student in Scottish universities.  The paper provides an update to the Briefing Note ‘Scottish Universities – Proof of Residence’, originally published in October 2012.

10.04.14
40/14

Models of Support for People with Learning Disabilities Post-Secondary School
This paper provides examples of models of support for individuals with learning disabilities and Special Education Needs (SEN) who have left the education system.

03.04.14
39/14

Post-Secondary School Provision for People with Special Education Needs in Northern Ireland
This paper provides a brief introduction to the provision for people in Northern Ireland (NI) with Special Education Needs (SEN) and/or Learning Disabilities (LD) who have left the secondary school system.   This paper is intended as a companion piece to NIAR 936-2013 on International Examples of post-secondary SEN Provision.

03.04.14
38/14

Science in the Revised Curriculum
There has been little research carried out to investigate the impact of the revised curriculum on the teaching of science. This paper makes reference to the limited number of studies that have been undertaken in this area. It should be noted that the Education and Training Inspectorate will undertake an evaluation survey of the World Around Us. This will be complete in June 2014.

26.03.14
37/14

Defamation in Scotland and the Republic of Ireland
The Committee for Finance and Personnel commissioned background research into the approaches adopted by the Scottish Parliament and the Oireachtas with respect to defamation law. This paper supplements Briefing Paper 90/13 ‘The Defamation Act 2013’ , presented to the Committee for Finance and Personnel on 26 June 2013. The paper considers defamation law in Scotland and the Republic of Ireland in the light of legislative change in England and Wales brought about by the Defamation Act 2013.

26.03.14
36/14

Caring for an aging population: TYC proposals
The most radical DHSSPS proposals to change how the health and social care system currently operates is known as Transforming Your Care (TYC). In the original TYC publication (2011), the theme of ‘older people’ was listed as one of ten major areas of care requiring transformation. This paper explores the issues surrounding this theme in more detail.

13.03.14
35/14

Framework Programme 7: Per Capita Statistics for 2007-2013
This briefing note is provided in response to a request for further information on European Union (EU) competitive funding in Northern Ireland. It supplements RaISe briefing NIAR 795-13 for the Committee for the Office of the First and deputy First Minister.

07.03.14
34/14

Call –in: Protection of minorities in divided societies
The following paper is a response to a request from the Environment Committee on call-in procedures in divided societies and the consideration of minorities. The paper explores examples from the UK and internationally in relation to commitments made under the Constitution for Kosovo.

04.03.14
33/14

Call-in operation in England and Wales
The Environment Committee requested information on the use of call-in by local authorities in England, with interest in examples of its operation. The following paper refers to reviews of call-in powers conducted for both England and Wales.

04.03.14
32/14

Breaches of the Code of Conduct for Councillors
This briefing note is in response to a request for information from the Environment Committee and considers the sanctions available in both England and Wales in relation to breaches of the code of conduct for councillors.

04.03.14
31/14

Publication pending

 
30/14

Provisions Contained in the EU Tobacco Products Directive
The purpose of this paper is to provide an overview of the provisions contained within the revised Tobacco Products Directive (TPD). It assesses the implementation and potential impact on Member-States of the proposed revision to the TPD, whilst offering some context for Northern Ireland’s tobacco industry.

26.02.14
29/14

Specialised Grouped Housing for Older People - Introductory Briefing
This briefing paper provides an introduction to the subject of specialist grouped housing for older people, often referred to as sheltered housing.  The focus of this briefing is the policy around, and examples of, this type of housing in Northern Ireland and also the outworkings of the Housing our Ageing Population: Panel for Innovation (HAPPI). 

20.02.14
28/14

The Scottish Qualification Authority: Quality Assurance and Governance
This briefing note outlines the quality assurance arrangements and governance model adopted by the SQA. It also refers to the separation of awarding and accrediting functions and makes comparison to the system in Northern Ireland.

19.02.14
27/14

Parent Councils
This briefing note looks at the Scottish Schools (Parent Involvement) Act 2006 which established a new model of parent representation and came into effect on 1 August 2007. The Act replaced School Boards with Parent Councils, designed to be less formal and friendlier to encourage more parents to get involved school issues.

19.02.14
26/14

Language Immersion
This briefing note gives an overview of the immersion systems used as a technique of teaching a second language in the Republic of Ireland, Wales and Scotland. It also makes reference the provisions made to inspect schools which adopt the immersion model.

19.02.14
25/14

Complaints Procedures for School Inspections
This paper summarises the processes with respect to school inspections by the Education and Training Inspectorate in Northern Ireland (ETI), Ofsted in England, HM Inspectorate of Education in Scotland, Estyn in Wales & the Inspectorate in the Republic of Ireland.

19.02.14
24/14

Inspections: Notification and Information
This briefing note outlines the notice period given to schools in advance of an inspection in the various jurisdictions. It also details the information and documents that the respective inspectorates request from schools.

18.02.14
23/14

Inspectorate Governance and Budget: England, Scotland and Finland
This paper summarises who has the power to make decisions and how account is rendered with respect to the school inspectorates in England, Scotland and Finland. It also makes reference to the budgetary arrangements for the inspectorates in England and Scotland.

18.02.14
22/14

European Funding Streams: Education
This Briefing Note provides an overview of non-competitive & competitive EU funding.

18.02.14
21/14

The Reservoirs Bill
This Bill paper provides an overview of the Reservoirs Bill as introduced to the Assembly on the 20th January 2014. The paper also identifies those areas within the Bill which may be contentious and, where relevant, compares similar legislation within England, Scotland and Wales

13.02.14
20/14

Human Rights and Equality Proofing of Public Bills
This paper outlines the procedures by which legislation made by the Northern Ireland Assembly is scrutinised on human rights and equality grounds. The paper is written in the context of the Assembly and Executive Review Committee’s (A&ERC) Review of Petitions of Concern.

11.02.14
19/14

European Commission Legislative & Non Legislative Proposals Q1 2014
This paper provides spreadsheets detailing European Commission legislative and non-legislative proposals Q1 2014

07.02.14
 18/14

European Commission Legislative & Non Legislative Proposals Q4 2013
This paper provides spreadsheets detailing European Commission legislative and non-legislative proposals Q4 2013.

 07.02.14
17/14

Electoral Registration statistics and voting patterns
This Briefing Note reviews voting behaviour in the Northern Ireland Assembly Elections, held on 5 May 2011. In particular, as requested, the note will consider the following three questions:

  1.  The percentage turnout by constituency.
  2.  The percentage of women who voted and / or registered to vote by constituency; and
  3.  The percentage of the population registered as an ethnic minority by constituency (2013)

 

05.01.14
16/14

Waiting Times - Supplementary ‘Issues’ Briefing on the 18 Week RTT Policy in England and Scotland
As waiting time policies for elective care in England and Scotland have been in place for a number of years (particularly in England), this briefing paper takes a look at a range of the issues that have arisen in England and Scotland (and possible lessons to take) from the outworking of the policies in order to further inform the Committee review.

31.01.14
15/14

Review of Gender Issues in Northern Ireland
This paper briefly summarises some of the recent developments in Northern Ireland on issues related to gender.

28.01.14
14/14

Electricity prices: European comparisons
This paper compares domestic and industrial electricity prices across 32 European countries. The allocation of component costs on a per kilowatt charge basis is also examined.

27.01.14
13/14

Power NI: Hedging
The Utility Regulator requires a company to outline its hedging policy in advance in a hedging policy statement. The purpose of this paper is to provide a brief overview of this hedging policy statement and to outline the hedging products available to electricity suppliers within the Single Electricity Market (SEM). It has not been possible to provide specific details of Power NI’s historic hedges as this information is commercially sensitive.

27.01.14
12/14

Power NI: tariff methodology
This paper supplements Northern Ireland Assembly Research and Information Service paper 11/14 ‘Electricity tariffs: components and legislative underpinnings’. It does so by outlining how Power NI’s total allowable revenue is broken down into the pence per kilowatt hour (p/kWh) rate consumers pay for their electricity.  Information on this is limited due to commercial sensitivity.1 It is therefore, only possible to discuss the tariff methodology in general terms. 

27.01.14
11/14

Electricity tariffs: components and legislative underpinnings
This paper provides a brief outline of the legislation which underpins the Northern Ireland electricity market. The latter part of the paper provides a breakdown of Power NI’s retail tariff and outlines the reasons for the recent increase in these component parts. The focus on Power NI’s retail tariff is due to that fact that it is the only tariff upon which all details are publicly available since it is a regulated tariff.  

27.01.14
10/14

Electricity: security of supply
This paper provides an overview of evidence presented to the Enterprise, Trade and Investment Committee1 on the issue of electricity security of supply. To provide context the paper begins by examining historic electricity consumption in Northern Ireland and outlining forecasted consumption until 2022.

27.01.14
09/14

Women in the Northern Ireland Assembly
This paper summarises the background to women’s representation in politics, outlines the legislative frameworks relevant to women’s representation in the Northern Ireland Assembly and reviews some mechanisms for increasing female representation.

21.01.14
08/14

Governance models for sport across the UK and Ireland
This paper examines the different governance models adopted by the sports councils across the UK and some of the different ways in which local councils deliver their sports services. It includes some information on the relationship between sports bodies and local government.

21.01.14
07/14

Statutory Bodies in Community Planning: Scotland
This paper is in response to a request from the Environment Committee on the contribution of statutory bodies to community planning in Scotland. The paper describes the connection made between statutory planning partners under the Local Government Bill in Northern Ireland, for comparison with the detail given on the situation in Scotland.

21.01.14
06/14

General Power of Competence in England
This paper considers the General Power of Competence under the Localism Act 2011. As requested by the Environment Committee, it provides information on the use of the power by local authorities throughout England. The power came into force in 2012, therefore reviews and information on its implementation is relatively limited.

21.01.14
05/14

Commissioner for Complaints in other jurisdictions
This briefing paper considers the roles of the Commissioner for Complaints in other jurisdictions, in particular, the system used under the Localism Act in England; however it also briefly explores the approaches used in Wales and Scotland.

20.01.14
04/14

Call–in
This briefing note is in response to a request from the Environment Committee on the process for call in as stated under the Local Government Bill, and consideration of the process in other jurisdictions such as England and Scotland.

20.01.14
03/14

Single Transferable Vote: Operation in the new councils
This paper is a supplementary to the briefing note on Single Transferable Vote (STV) (NIAR 854-13). Information on how STV may operate in the new councils was discussed with Departmental Officials.  Detail on the specific operations of STV has not been confirmed as yet; therefore information provided in this paper may alter in any resulting guidance to come.

06.02.14
02/14

Single Transferable Vote
This briefing note is in response to a request from the Environment Committee on information surrounding the Single Transferable Vote (STV) model.

20.01.14
01/14 Standing Committees that examine conformity with human rights and equality issues in legislatures in the UK and Ireland
This briefing paper has been prepared following a request from the Assembly & Executive Review Committee for information, where it exists, on the role and remit of any Standing Committees in the UK and Ireland examining conformity with human rights and equality issues, their membership and the main processes of these Committees.
15.01.14

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