Publications 2011

Synopsis: The Northern Ireland Assembly Research and Information Service produces a number of Research publications. These cover a variety of topics of interest to Members, Committees and the general public. 2011 papers are published below.

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Number Title Date*
177/11 Economic Impact of National Parks and Related Issues
This briefing paper looks at the economic impact of national parks and discusses related issues such as accessibility and liability insurance
21.12.11
176/11 Size of the Northern Ireland Assembly
This research paper looks at issues surrounding a reduction in the number of MLAs and/or Executive Departments in Northern Ireland. It looks at options for reforming the committee system including the constraints within which the current system operates. It also considers the resource implications on MLAs’ time if changes are made to the size, number and structure of committees.
21.12.11
175/11 Influenza Vaccination
This briefing paper provides an introduction to the subject of influenza vaccination. It gives an overview of the operation of the annual vaccination programme in Northern Ireland and then looks at selected issues related to influenza vaccination. These include influenza vaccination uptake in the UK, vaccination effectiveness and cost effectiveness of vaccination. The detailed science behind measuring influenza vaccination effectiveness is complex and is touched on in the briefing. The briefing acknowledges the work that is underway in improved influenza vaccine development for the future and highlights that in the interim support will remain for current influenza vaccines as a mainstay in the reduction of influenza morbidity.
21.12.11
174/11 Archaeological archives in Northern Ireland: Legislation, guidance and comparison with other jurisdictions
This paper describes the current state of legislation, guidance and practice governing archaeological archives in Northern Ireland, and provides some comparisons with jurisdictions elsewhere in the UK and Ireland. It seeks to highlight some of the challenges presented by current arrangements, and highlights areas of good practice followed elsewhere.
19.12.11
173/11 Victims and Witnesses in the Criminal Justice System: Good Practice
This research paper provides information on examples of good practice initiatives in a range of jurisdictions including Northern Ireland in improving the experiences of victims and witnesses in the criminal justice system.
09.12.11
172/11 The Status of Victims in the Criminal Justice System
This paper provides information on the role of the victim in the criminal justice system and the pathway experienced by victims in the criminal justice system. The paper also provides information on studies by the Department of Justice and other agencies which provide insights on the experiences of victims in the criminal justice system.
09.12.11
171/11 Key Concerns Surrounding ‘Fracking’
This briefing paper discusses the key concerns concerning hydraulic fracturing. This includes the disposal of frack fluid and the effects of fracking on human health. This paper reports experiences in North America and analyses the French ban on fracking.
09.12.11
170/11 Fracking
Fracking is the common term applied to the process of hydraulic fracturing used to recover natural gas from deep shale formations. This briefing paper explains the process of fracking and identifies where this process is used across the globe. The paper also discusses the approaches to fracking in the UK, the island of Ireland, and Northern Ireland. It examines the environmental impact of hydraulic fracturing and highlights instances where this process has been banned or delayed to allow for further investigation.
08.12.11
169/11 Programme for Government commitments: Department of Education
A Draft Programme for Government (PfG) was introduced to the Assembly on November 17th 2011, setting out the Executive’s plans and priorities for the period 2011-15. The Executive also published a Draft Investment Strategy for Northern Ireland. This briefing note provides an overview of the main commitments and priorities set out within these documents in relation to education and the investment allocations in this regard.
02.12.11
168/11 Economic Briefing (November 2011)
This paper summarises current economic conditions in Northern Ireland. It provides an overview of a range of economic indicators, including current growth projections, labour market and property market conditions, as well as the outlook for inflation / interest rates. Key data and messages are presented upfront in the Summary to provide an ‘at a glance’ synopsis of the NI economy.
25.11.11
167/11 Strategic Budget Review: further evidence
This Briefing Note is in response to the Committee for Finance and Personnel’s request for further evidence in relation to the strategic budget review phase that was presented in Briefing Paper 103/11 Options for strategic budget stages. Information is presented on how the UK’s other devolved legislatures review the executions of the budgets that they approve. Additional international evidence is also provided.
24.11.11
166/11 European Commission Disallowance relating to the CAP and Single Farm Payment system
This briefing paper includes data provided by the European Commission on the total levels of CAP disallowance between 2005-2011. It details Northern Ireland's total disallowance up to and including 2009 and compares this with the UK's total disallowance.
23.11.11
165/11 Sharing and collaborating in education
This paper considers a number of issues around sharing and collaborating in education. It finds that while attitudes to shared education are largely positive, there are a number of challenges that can discourage schools from collaborating in practice.
23.11.11
164/11 Subsidiarity Issue: Distribution of Food Products to the Most Deprived Persons in the Union
This research paper provides background to and information on a REGULATION OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL amending Council Regulation (EC) No 1290/2005 and Council Regulation (EC) No 1234/2007 as regards distribution of food products to the most deprived persons in the Union in order to support consideration of its compliance with the principle of subsidiarity.
23.11.11
163/11 EU Research, Innovation and Training Funding
This paper provides details on the research, development, innovation, training and learning funding received by Northern Ireland from the European Union.
18.11.11
162/11 Adult Literacy Strategies in Northern Ireland, the UK and ROI
This paper was commissioned by the Committee for Employment and Learning in order to examine the levels of adult literacy in Northern Ireland (NI). The paper also provides details on the literacy and numeracy strategies of NI, Wales, Scotland, England and the Republic of Ireland (ROI). For the purposes of this paper ‘literacy’ refers to both literacy and numeracy.
18.11.11
161/11 Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy
This briefing note seeks to ascertain the following in relation to Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD):
  • What are the symptoms of the condition?
  • Are there any statistics on survival rates?
  • How many people sufferer from DMD in NI, the UK and worldwide?
  • What are the current treatment options?
  • Is there any on-going research into the condition?
17.11.11
160/11

Health Targets in the Programme for Government, and Priorities for Action
This briefing paper provides an overview of the performance of the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety (DHSSPS) in relation to a range of targets set out in the following two strategic plans:

  1. The current Northern Ireland Executive Programme for Government - Building a Better Future (2008-2011) and;
  2. The DHSSPS Priorities for Action 2010/2011
17.11.11
159/11 The Pharmaceutical List and the Northern Ireland Drug Tariff
This paper provides a brief overview of 1) the Pharmaceutical List, which enables pharmaceutical services to be provided across Northern Ireland, and 2) the Northern Ireland Drug Tariff, which relates to the fees paid to community pharmaceutical contractors for dispensing health service prescriptions.
17.11.11
158/11 Adoption
This research paper outlines the adoption process in Northern Ireland, the legislative framework and the profile of children mostly likely to be adopted today. Statistical information is presented regarding the number of adoptions and the average length of time the adoption process can take. In addition, adoption legislation from England and Wales, Scotland and the Republic of Ireland is also considered.
17.11.11
157/11 The role of the EU in shaping issues and challenges in Fishing and Agriculture
This paper sets out some of the background to and issues affecting the sea fishing industries within Northern Ireland and Ireland both at present and in the near future. As such, this paper does not seek to present solutions to the issues but rather attempts to quantify and pin down some of the key challenges that fishing communities and those who live and work within them face. In the context of addressing topics of mutual concern this paper focuses mainly on the Irish Sea fishery and on the fishing of cod and Nephrops (prawns) in particular.
17.11.11
156/11 The Executive's Review of the Financial Process in Northern Ireland: a critical analysis of DFP's Discussion Paper
This Research Paper presents a critical review and evaluation of DFP's Discussion Paper in relation to its ongoing Review of Financial Process on behalf of the Northern Ireland Executive. Particular attention is paid to the initial recommendations in the light of international best practice, recommendations made by the Committee for Finance and Personnel and previous research.
16.11.11
155/11 Adoption of New Roads in Private Developments and the use of Bonds
There are many instances across Northern Ireland where people have purchased and occupied homes in private developments where the roads and footways are left unfinished. The Private Streets (Northern Ireland) Order 1980 was brought in to protect homeowners from such a situation arising by placing a duty on developers to consult with Roads Service on the design of the street and ensure it meets their standards. Developers must also take out a surety bond before they begin construction to ensure Roads Service can complete the works should they be unable to.
16.11.11
154/11 The wider contribution of cycling and its potential to replace car journeys
The purpose of this paper is to consider the wider benefits cycling makes to society and identify the potential for substantially increasing cycling levels in Northern Ireland. Approaches to the appraisal of transport schemes are discussed, with the unique benefits of cycling identified.
16.11.11
153/11 Transport governance and the management of car dependency in Belfast
Statistics show that Northern Ireland is heavily reliant on the private car as a means of travel. This paper outlines the extent of this problem, comparing rural and urban areas and looks at some of the key causes. This paper then analyses the policy response to managing car dependency over the last ten years, and provides a brief insight to how this will proceed in the context of budgetary constraints.
16.11.11
152/11 Effective management of major incidents in call centres
A prolonged cold spell in late December 2010, followed by a rapid thaw from 26 to 27 December lead to 215,000 households across Northern Ireland having their water supplies interrupted. During and after the event NI Water came under criticism for its communication with consumers; particularly in terms of their website and call centres, which were unable to cope with the demand. This paper draws on key reports in order to examine where NI Water’s communication with customers was deficient, and identifies what best practice measures could be implemented to mitigate the impact of any future major incidents.
16.11.11
151/11 Length of Assembly Mandate 
This briefing paper looks at issues surrounding the length of the mandate of the Northern Ireland Assembly in respect of the Fixed Term Parliaments Act 2011.
15.11.11
150/11 Justice Related Issues in a UK Bill of Rights
In March 2011, the UK Government established an independent Commission on a Bill of Rights. The Commission published a discussion paper “Do we need a UK Bill of Rights?” in August 2011. This briefing paper will examine issues in the Commission's paper relevant to Northern Ireland.
14.11.11
149/11 Emergency care trends in the Western HSC Trust
This briefing paper provides information on attendance rates at the three emergency care sites in the Western Trust area between 2008 to the first half of 2011.
11.11.11
148/11 Breastfeeding Rates
Northern Ireland has one of the lowest rates of breastfeeding in the world. This paper has been compiled in response to a request from the HSSPS Committee regarding the recent publication of breastfeeding rates in the UK. Breastfeeding rates in Northern Ireland and wider afield are presented. In addition, policy guidelines and initiatives designed to increase and promote breastfeeding across our local landscape are also highlighted.
10.11.11
147/11 Incidence of Caesarean Sections
This briefing note provides information in relation to the rate of Caesarean sections in Northern Ireland. A Caesarean Section, or a C-section, is the surgical method of childbirth and was introduced as a lifesaving procedure for mother and baby.
10.11.11
146/11 Infrastructure Projects in the EU Peace and INTERREG Programmes
This Briefing Note has been prepared to supplement the Research and Information Services Briefing Paper The EU PEACE and INTERREG Programmes in Northern Ireland . Where information is available, EU-funded projects are analysed according to whether funds were allocated for infrastructure or for activities where there are direct beneficiaries.
09.11.11
145/11 Local Commissioning Groups: History, Establishment, Functions and Operation
This briefing provides information on the history, establishment, functions and operation of the Local Commissioning Groups, from the first establishment of seven such bodies on a non-statutory basis in April 2007 under the Review of Public Administration to the subsequent establishment of the present five Local Commissioning Groups under Section 9 of the Health and Social Care (Reform) Act (Northern Ireland) 2009. This legislation created a new Commissioning system with the establishment of a region-wide Health and Social Care Board, including 5 Local Commissioning Groups (LCGs), and a Public Health Agency.
09.11.11
144/11 Aspects of Opposition
This paper outlines three key issues to consider in the possible formation of an Opposition within the Assembly – financial assistance, parliamentary time and the composition of committees. It looks at how the House of Commons, Scottish Parliament and National Assembly for Wales facilitate opposition with regard to these factors.
09.11.11
143/11 EU Innovation Policy – Best Practice
This paper provides case studies on best practice EU innovation policy. It examines the research and innovation systems of the three top performing EU Member States: Sweden, Germany and Finland
08.11.11
142/11 R&D Policy, Performance and Barriers
The following paper looks at R&D strategy, expenditure and constraints in Northern Ireland and beyond.
08.11.11
141/11 Framework programme 7
The following paper provides information on Framework Programme 7and the regional distribution of participants and funding under the scheme.
08.11.11
140/11 Use of the European Culture Programme for translation between Irish and English
The Culture Programme is one of the European Union’s (EU) flagship initiatives. It has three objectives; to promote cross-border mobility of those working in the cultural sector, to encourage the transnational circulation of cultural and artistic output and to foster intercultural dialogue. The programme seeks to achieve these objectives by providing funding through a series of grants programmes, and fostering collaborative links between member states. This paper presents an overview of how the programme could be used for translation between Irish and English.
02.11.11
139/11 Potential benefits of the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics for Northern Ireland
This paper presents an overview of some of the potential benefits of the London 2012 Olympic Games for Northern Ireland, including economic, cultural and sporting factors. A brief analysis of the benefits of previous Games is also presented.
01.11.11
138/11 The European Heritage Label
On 20 May 2011, European Union Culture Ministers reached agreement on the creation of a 'European Heritage Label', designed to ‘highlight sites that celebrate and symbolise European integration, ideals and history’, and ‘values such as democracy, freedom or diversity’. This briefing note includes information about the development of a European Heritage Label, its application and the UK government's view.
01.11.11
137/11 Social Briefing October 2011
This briefing presents key social indicators for Northern Ireland using the latest information published by government between August and October 2011. Data on the population, emergency care and hospital waiting times, people claiming benefits, public transport use and homelessness are provided. For each social indicator, headline data and an analysis of trends over time are presented. Some comparisons with other regions are also made. Links to source publications have been provided for those wishing to access more detailed information and analysis.
Please note that this briefing focuses key social data published in the last quarter (August-October 2011) and does not therefore cover all social aspects.
28.10.11
136/11 Committee stages of Bills
This research paper has been prepared for the Committee on Procedures. It compares the committee stages of Bills in the devolved legislatures, House of Commons and Dail Éireann. It looks at the role committees play in amending legislation and the use made of committees by the various legislatures in the scrutiny of legislation.
27.10.11
135/11 Priority questions
This research paper looks at the facility for priority, or named day questions in the Northern Ireland Assembly and House of Commons. These questions are a type of written question submitted by members who can request that it be answered within a certain number of days. The paper also examines the procedures in other legislatures for examples of similar mechanisms.
27.10.11
134/11 Directions and procedures relating to the Standards Commissioners in UK legislatures
This research paper looks at how the Standards Commissioners in the Scottish Parliament, National Assembly for Wales, House of Commons and House of Lords operate within the Directions and Procedures laid down in legislation or issued by the respective institution.
27.10.11
133/11 Food Security – background, issues and challenges
This paper seeks to provide an overview of some of the main issues and challenges pertaining to the issue of food security at present and in the future. The paper is not meant to be definitive, but is rather an attempt to raise awareness and stimulate debate around what is an increasingly significant and complex issue.
26.10.11
132/11 Rural Crime incidence – Northern Ireland and other jurisdictions
This briefing note quantifies the scale of rural crime within Northern Ireland and other neighbouring jurisdictions.
26.10.11
131/11 Rivers Agency – role, function and responsibilities
The Rivers Agency currently operates as an agency within the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD), having been established on 1st October 1996 under the auspices of the then Department of Agriculture Northern Ireland (DANI). This paper provides information about the structure and management, resources, key responsibilities and key priorities of the Rivers Agency.
26.10.11
130/11 Withdrawn  
129/11 The Common Agricultural Policy – background and challenges posed by reform
Agriculture remains a critical industry and employer in Northern Ireland with a labour force of 46,948 directly involved in agriculture. The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), has provided direct and indirect financial support to agriculture and the wider rural economy. The EU is currently committed to further and wide ranging reform of the CAP in 2013. This paper provides analysis of the background and challenges posed by this reform.
20.10.11
128/11 Presidency of the council of the European Union
This paper sets out the institutional position of the Presidency of the Council of the European Union and identifies some of the arguments that have been made for and against its ability to influence decisions. It also contains specific comment on Ireland’s previous presidencies.
20.10.11
127/11 Cohesion Policy 2014-2020
This paper provides background to and information on the ‘new architecture for cohesion policy 2014-2020’ which was announced by the European Commission on 6th October 2011.
20.10.11
126/11 The EU PEACE and INTERREG Programmes in Northern Ireland
In terms of social cohesion, Peace and INTERREG funds are seen as key EU programmes for promoting social cohesion in Northern Ireland . The Committee for the Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister plans to visit Brussels 26-27 October 2011 as part of its scrutiny role on EU matters. This paper summarises the impact of the EU Peace and INTERREG programmes in Northern Ireland to inform that visit.
20.10.11
125/11 Department of Justice Sunset Clause
During the previous mandate (2007-2011) the Assembly and Executive Review Committee undertook an inquiry into the proposed devolution of policing and justice powers to the Assembly. During the inquiry, the Office of the First and deputy First Minister communicated to the Committee that it had agreed a way forward on the discharge of policing and justice functions. The letter, dated 18 November 2008, stated that: “The…arrangements would be subject to a sunset clause which would bring them to an end not later than May 2012” . This briefing note includes a chart which sets out the broad legislative framework from which options available to the Assembly in the response to the May 2012 deadline can be identified or derived.
18.10.11
124/11 Update on European issues relating to culture, arts and leisure
This paper documents recent policy activity at a European level on culture, arts and leisure issues. It deals largely with the European Union but also references the Council of Europe.
14.10.11
123/11 UK Bill of Rights Consultation
In August 2011, the Commission on a Bill of Rights published a consultation paper ‘Do we need a UK Bill of Rights?’ , with a deadline for responses 11 November 2011. The Chair of the Commission wrote to the Committee for the Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister to invite views regarding the consultation. This paper summarises the consultation paper and places it in the context of Northern Ireland.
13.10.11
122/11 Equality and Human Rights Bodies: Powers and Responsibilities
This paper has been prepared in the context of the on-going reviews of arms-length bodies internally in the Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister and at the cross-departmental level by the Budget Review Group. The Committee for the Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister has expressed interest in the depth and detail of a review of equality and human rights bodies in Northern Ireland.
13.10.11
121/11 The EU ‘Horizontal Directive’
Non-discrimination Directives have moved towards harmonisation so that the various grounds are protected equally. The latest of these equal treatment Directives is the proposed so-called ‘Horizontal Directive’, which proposes to equalise levels of protection across equality grounds. This paper examines the content and development of the proposed Directive.
13.10.11
120/11 Emakunde: The Gender Equality Institution in the Basque Country
In the context of the review of arms-length bodies Northern Ireland, equality and human rights institutions are under scrutiny. This paper builds on the review of equality arrangements by looking broadly at gender equality structures in Spain, focussing on the example of Emakunde in the Basque Country.
13.10.11
119/11 Revised approach to the Equality Scheme
Discusses the requirement for all public authorities, including the Department of Education, to have due regard to the need to promote equality of opportunity and regard to the desirability of promoting good relations across a range of categories outlined in Section 75 of the N.I. Act 1998.
12.10.11
118/11 Procurement in education in other jurisdictions
This paper considers arrangements for procurement in education across England, Scotland and Wales and Ireland. Procurement has been identified as a key area of focus for efficiency savings in each of the jurisdictions. Recent and planned reforms to procurement tend to focus on centralisation as a means of achieving better value for money.
12.10.11
109/11 Access to Justice
The Justice Committee commissioned research on key developments and thinking in legal aid and access to justice that have recently taken place in England and Wales and other jurisdictions with comparable legal systems to Northern Ireland. This paper provides an overview of the research. To facilitate the Members of the Committee for Justice in their consideration of proposals recommended by the Access to Justice Review, eight research papers have been prepared. They cover the following areas:
12.10.11
108/11 The Confucius Institute
This paper provides a brief introduction to the Confucius Institute.
11.10.11
107/11 Energy Brokering
This paper provides background information on energy brokering and comment from the Utility Regulator and Consumer Council on the potential impact it may have on energy consumers in general
07.10.11
106/11

Parliamentary Relationships and Europe

  • The costs of 'Gold-plating' and the transposition of EU Directives in the context of the overall regulatory framework
  • Common Consolidated Corporate Tax Base (CCCTB)
  • Human Trafficking and Illegal Immigration
Background briefing prepared by the Library and Research Service of the Houses of the Oireachtas and the Northern Ireland Assembly Research and Information Service
06.10.11
105/11 European Commission Legislative Proposals 2011
This table provides details of the European Commission Legislative Proposals 2011. This includes the estimated date of adoption, current stage of progress, perceived relevance to Northern Ireland, and the indicative date of when the Committee can become involved. This table also highlights where any subsidiarity issues have been identified.
06.10.11
104/11 Withdrawn  - duplicate  
103/11 Options for strategic budget stages
This paper builds upon previous research which identified good practice requirements for two formal stages to be built into the Northern Ireland budget process. The first part of the paper looks at options for a strategic budget stage prior to the draft budget. The approaches taken in Scotland and Wales are considered. The second part of the paper presents options for strategic review of the budget during execution.
05.10.11
102/11 Mental Health Expenditure
The purpose of this short Briefing Note is to place historic Mental Health expenditure into context with historic expenditure on the other Programmes of Care (PoCs).
29.09.11
101/11 Budget System Laws: Principles and Good Practice
This Briefing Paper follows on from Paper 62/11 which set out some recommendations for enhancing the Northern Ireland budget process. One of those recommendations – based upon international good practice – was that the future process should be enshrined in statute. One approach would be to produce a revised Budget System Law. The purpose of this Briefing Paper is to examine the good practice principles that should underpin such laws; to present an analysis of how current budgeting practice aligns with those principles; and, to assess whether certain aspects of budgeting are already covered by Northern Ireland statutory provisions.
26.09.11
100/11 Fuel Poverty
This paper was commissioned on behalf of the Committee for Social Development to assist the Committee in evaluating what role it should play in a campaign to eradicate fuel poverty. The paper provides a brief profile of fuel poverty in Northern Ireland; it looks at the interventions by statutory committees in other jurisdictions in addressing fuel poverty; and explores some of the innovative area-based initiatives deployed by local councils and the voluntary, community and private sectors. The paper concludes by providing a brief overview of departmental action and cross-departmental co-operation in tackling fuel poverty and examines the issue of energy brokering and the potential role of the government estate.
21.09.11
99/11 Parity and Social Security in Northern Ireland
This paper briefly examines the parity principle within the context of the NI Act 1998; the history of parity exploring how and why it was established and why it is largely maintained; the potential budgetary implications of breaking parity; the scope for “stretching” parity; and the potential interaction between parity and European Law.
21.09.11
98/11 Common Funding Scheme
This paper provides an overview of the Department of Education's Common Funding Scheme, changes made to the 2011/12 Scheme and a number of potential challenges relating to it. It also briefly considers approaches to funding schools in other jurisdictions.
21.09.11
97/11 Arguments on the school starting age
Northern Ireland has the lowest compulsory school age in Europe, and there are some concerns regarding the comparatively low school starting age here (and throughout the UK). This briefing paper provides an overview of the different arguments or positions on the school starting age. The paper highlights that there are differing views and evidence on this issue.
21.09.11
96/11 Parliamentary/Assembly questions
This research paper looks at the procedure for answering questions in the Northern Ireland Assembly, Scottish Parliament, House of Commons and Dail Éireann. It explores what mechanisms, if any, exist to compel Ministers to provide adequate answers to members’ questions.
15.09.11
95/11 The Gender Pay Gap
This paper will briefly discuss the gender pay gap. The paper begins by discussing the existing pay differences between men and women in the United Kingdom (UK) regions with a focus on graduate pay. It then discusses the main reasons behind this pay disparity including job segregation and education.
15.09.11
94/11 Group B Streptococcus Infection in Neonates
This briefing paper provides an introduction to the subject of Group B streptococcus (GBS) infection in neonates (newborn babies). It includes some key statistics outlining the scope of the issue and an overview of the policy, professional guidance and practice around screening for GBS in the UK and some other countries. The briefing also touches on some of the conflicting research evidence. The need for further research in areas such as surveillance and more rapid GBS test development is also highlighted.
15.09.11
93/11 The Creative Industries: background, definitions and recent policy development
This paper summarises the current state of the creative industries, sets out recent policy developments in this area, and provides an analysis of government strategies in relation to the creative industries in Northern Ireland, across the UK, and in Ireland. A summary of the key challenges identified in recent strategies is also provided.
12.09.11
92/11 School Transport for Pupils with Special Educational Needs
This briefing note outlines the current arrangements for the provision for home to school transport for pupils with special educational needs.
12.09.11
91/11 Water pricing in Europe
This paper will examine the EU Water Framework Directive which, since 2010, has required member states to implement pricing mechanisms, designed to encourage sustainable water usage. This paper will examine how pricing has been managed across Europe and will analyse how the Northern Ireland Executive's policy of subsidising water supply affects compliance with the Directive.
09.09.11
90/11 Who’s who in local aviation?
The aim of this paper is to outline the roles and relationships of relevant bodies at the UK and Northern Ireland level that have responsibilities with regards to aviation. The relevant bodies which will be considered are the Department for Transport (DfT), the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), the Department for Regional Development (DRD) and the Department of the Environment (DoE).
09.09.11
89/11 The DHSSPS budget: where does the money go?
According to the Health and Social Care Board (HSCB) more than £10 million per day is spent on the health system in Northern Ireland. This paper provides some details of health and social care expenditure across nine Programmes of Care (PoC). It also provides a breakdown of the Family Health Services budget. It is intended to provide background to the Committee for Health, Social Services and Public Safety in its role in scrutinising the work of the department.
08.09.11
88/11 Conduct and discipline in the civil service
This Briefing Paper examines the disciplinary arrangements for civil servants in Northern Ireland and in other jurisdictions. It also considers lines of accountability between ministers, officials and the legislature, including rules for officials appearing before committees.
08.09.11
87/11 Administration of medication to pupils
This briefing note discusses the current arrangements for the administration of medication to pupils.
08.09.11
86/11 School governors
This paper provides an overview of a number of issues relating to school governance, including the extent to which Boards of Governors carry out a challenge function, a perceived tension between achieving both representation and an appropriate mix of skills across a governing body, training and development for governors and alternative models of school governance.
08.09.11
85/11 School councils
This paper considers the potential benefits of school councils, issues and challenges around their effective implementation, and the factors and attributes of successful councils. It finds that while the effectiveness of school councils varies, they have the potential to deliver positive outcomes for students and schools. Their effectiveness depends on a number of factors, for example, the extent to which they are situated within wider democratic structures and practices.
08.09.11
84/11 Belfast City Hospital A&E
At a meeting with the Northern Ireland Health Committee on the 20th July 2011, the Minister for Health (HSSPS) Mr Edwin Poots indicated that changes to the A&E unit at Belfast City hospital are needed which would “not be the type of A&E service that is currently provided”. This paper discusses the implications of these changes and the impact it may have on waiting times, and other A&E departments.
06.09.11
83/11 Social Briefing: July 2011
This briefing presents key social indicators for Northern Ireland. The most recent population and net migration figures are provided as are selected indicators of health, education, social welfare, crime and road traffic accidents using data published during the last quarter. It compliments the Economic Briefing (78/11) recently produced by the Research and Information Service.
18.07.11
82/11 Northern Ireland Library Authority (Libraries NI)
The Northern Ireland Library Authority (or Libraries NI) is the public library service for Northern Ireland. Its functions were established by the Libraries Act (Northern Ireland) 2008, replacing the previous structure whereby libraries were managed through five Education and Library Boards. Libraries NI is overseen by the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure, and currently operates 99 branch libraries in Northern Ireland, two specialist libraries, and 28 mobile libraries. Libraries NI is part-way through a three stage consultation process as part of a review: Meeting the Demands of a Modern Public Library Service. Stage one resulted in the closure of ten libraries in the Greater Belfast area, a decision on ten libraries outside Belfast is expected in September 2011, and a third stage on mobile library provision is yet to commence. Libraries policy is driven by the 2006 document, Delivering Tomorrow’s Libraries, which states in Public Library Service 2 that ‘85% of households should have access to a library service within two miles’ .
07.07.11
81/11 Arts Council of Northern Ireland
The Arts Council of Northern Ireland is the lead development agency for the arts in Northern Ireland, and is an arms-length body of the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure. Ninety-nine organisations are provided with funding through the Annual Support for Organisations Programme for 2011/12 . Previous research has shown that such funding typically represents around 18% of an organisation’s total income . Arts attendance is relatively high in Northern Ireland, with a recent survey indicating that 73% of adults visited at least one arts event in the last 12 months , compared with 45% as an average for the European Union . In 2009, there were 349,463 visits made to 7,905 performances of arts events in Northern Ireland, equating to just over 1.1 million tickets worth around £16m. 29% of these tickets were bought by households with an income of less than £13,500 a year . 157,300 overseas visitors (or 11%) stated that they had participated in cultural/ historical activities while visiting Northern Ireland .
07.07.11
80/11 Sport Matters strategy: Capital Requirements
The estimated capital budget required to deliver the Sport Matters strategy over the next four years is £214m, while the capital investment made by DCAL for the same period is £133m (including £110m for the three stadiums). By this calculation, there is a capital funding shortfall for sport of £81m for the period 2011/12 to 2014/15.
07.07.11
79/11 Background briefing: Sport Northern Ireland
Sport Northern Ireland (Sport NI) is one of DCAL’s nine arms-length bodies. The body was formerly known as the Sports Council Northern Ireland. Sport NI is an Executive Non-Departmental Public Body, established under the Recreation and Youth Service (Northern Ireland) Order 1986. Its stated purpose is to be the lead agency for developing sport in Northern Ireland, and with a corporate vision ‘to promote a culture of lifelong enjoyment and success in sport which contributes to a peaceful, fair and prosperous society
07.07.11
78/11 Economic Briefing: June 2011
This paper provides an overview of economic data and factors affecting the outlook for the NI/UK economies. Key data and messages are presented upfront to provide an ‘at a glance’ synopsis of economic conditions.
07.07.11
77/11 Relationships between Committees and Departments
This briefing note looks at the committee structure in the Scottish Parliament, National Assembly for Wales, the House of Commons and Dáil Éireann. In particular, it looks at how departmental committees relate to government departments.
01.07.11
76/11 Equality and Human Rights Institutions
The Committee for the Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister has expressed interest in the depth and detail of a review of equality and human rights bodies in Northern Ireland . This paper takes a brief look at equality and human rights institutions in Northern Ireland, broadly reviews developments elsewhere in the UK and in the Republic of Ireland and summarises some of the models in use in other European countries and elsewhere.
30.06.11
75/11 Equality and Human Rights Legislation in Northern Ireland: A Review
This paper reviews equality and human rights legislation in Northern Ireland in the light of European Union and international obligations.
30.06.11
74/11 Review of Regional Colleges’ Annual Reports and Financial Statements – Year end 31 July 2010
The following Briefing Note provides an overview of the current financial situation for the Northern Ireland Regional Colleges for the financial year ended 31 July 2010 and highlights any potential points of interest for the Committee. Please note, the Annual Report for Belfast Metropolitan College (BMC) for 2009-10 are not yet available – This paper therefore examines the most recently published Annual Report and Accounts for the year 2008-09 (laid before the Northern Ireland Assembly on 24 March 2011).
30.06.11
73/11 European Commission Work Programme 2011: Employment and Learning Quarter 2
The following Briefing Paper has been written for the Committee for Employment and Learning to inform their scrutiny of the Northern Ireland Executive’s implementation of strategic initiatives and legislation being produced by the European Commission which falls under the Committee’s remit.The Briefing Paper discusses the European Commission Work Programme for 2011 (published October 2010) and the proposals, initiatives and communications due to be adopted between 2011 and 2014. It provides an update to the 1st quarter paper NIAR 192/2011 .
30.06.11
72/11 Northern Ireland University Budgets
The following paper was requested by the Committee for Employment and Learning in order to provide details on the budgets for Northern Ireland’s Universities - Queen’s University Belfast (QUB); University of Ulster (UU); St. Mary’s University College; and Stranmillis University College.
30.06.11
71/11 Migration in Northern Ireland: a demographic perspective
Almost 110,000 international migrants are estimated to have arrived in Northern Ireland between 2000 and 2009. In the process, Northern Ireland has moved from a position of net migration loss to one of annual population gain. This paper outlines the key elements of this remarkable, demographic change.
27.06.11
70/11 Background briefing:Waterways Ireland
Waterways Ireland is a North-South Implementation Body, and is responsible for the management, maintenance, development and restoration of inland navigable waterways throughout Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.
27.06.11
69/11 Withdrawn - duplicate  
68/11 Background briefing: North-South language bodies
The North/South Language Body (An Foras Teanga) is one of the Implementation Bodies established by the North/South Co-operation Order. It is a single body, composed of two separate and largely autonomous agencies: Foras na Gaeilge, and the Ulster-Scots Agency (Tha Boord O Ulstér-Scotch).
27.06.11
67/11 A summary of proposed funding changes for the Irish language voluntary sector: recent developments
This paper summarises developments so far in the proposed changes to the way in which the Irish language voluntary sector is funded by Foras na Gaeilge. The roles of the various organisations involved in these developments is described, and Annexe 2 provides a commentary on some of the contextual differences of the Irish language in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.
27.06.11
66/11 Comparative Research into Sentencing Guidelines Mechanisms
This paper provides comparative research on sentencing guidelines mechanisms in 16 jurisdictions in Europe, Australia and New Zealand, the United States and South Africa.
24.06.11
65/11 The Scotland Bill: a consideration of key issues relating to the devolution of income tax varying powers
This paper considers the economic debate regarding the proposals to devolve income tax varying powers to Scotland as proposed in the Scotland Bill 2010-11.
23.06.11
64/11 EU issues in education
This briefing paper summarises recent developments in Europe relating to the work of the Education Committee. This includes:
  • Youth on the Move;
  • Early years education and care;
  • Tackling early school leaving; and
  • Benchmarks on education and training for employability
22.06.11
63/11 Procurement in education
This Research Paper considers current arrangements for procurement in education in Northern Ireland and highlights a number of issues that have been identified in this regard. It highlights concerns around the fragmentation of procurement in education, the levels of procurement expertise in the sector and the levels of strategic leadership for procurement.
22.06.11
62/11 DFP's Review of Financial Process: considerations for improving the budget process
This paper seeks to draw together a number of recommendations made by the Committee for Finance and Personnel during the previous mandate of the Assembly with good practice guidance with a view to informing the present Committee's input to the Department of Finance and Personnel's Review of Financial Process.
22.06.11
61/11 The impact of public sector gas uptake
This paper provides a range of background information that goes some way toward answering the question – What would the impact on the retail price of gas be if public sector gas use was increased within areas where gas is currently available?
It does this in three ways – by outlining the Utility Regulator’s response to that very question, by comparing the use and cost of gas and oil in the public sector, and by outlining historic trends in the retail price of each fuel.
21.06.11
60/11 Reducing the number of departments: possible savings
This Briefing Note considers the evidence relating to reorganisations of government departments. It draws Members’ attention to a number of issues that should be borne in mind when the case for a reduction or reorganisation is being considered. In particular, some good practice recommendations are highlighted.
14.06.11
59/11 Analysis of Transferred Votes in the Northern Ireland Assembly Election 2011
This paper provides an analysis of transferred votes in the Northern Ireland Assembly election held on 5 May 2011. It supplements the main analysis of the election results presented in the research paper Northern Ireland Assembly Election 2011 published by the Northern Ireland Assembly on 17 May 2011.
07.06.11
58/11 Background briefing: museums provision in Northern Ireland
Museums in Northern Ireland are supported by two key bodies: National Museums Northern Ireland provides five museums, and also has responsibility for W5; Northern Ireland Museums Council supports local museums by providing some funding, training, and research into the museums sector. This paper summarises the role of NMNI and NIMC, and briefly describes some aspects of the policy development process.
06.06.11
57/11 Devolution of Corporation Tax
This paper presents a critical analysis of the UK Government’s consultation paper Rebalancing the Northern Ireland Economy and explores a number of issues related to the devolution of corporation tax powers to Northern Ireland. There is a particular focus on matters likely to be of interest to Members of the Northern Ireland Assembly, and especially to the Committee for Finance and Personnel.
01.06.11
56/11 Proposal for a Principal Deputy Speaker
This research paper has been prepared for the Committee on Procedures as part of its inquiry into the proposal to create the post of Principal Deputy Speaker within the Assembly. The paper examines the position in the House of Commons, Scottish Parliament, National Assembly for Wales and Dáil Éireann. It also references the Canadian House of Commons as an international comparison.
01.06.11
55/11 Northern Ireland Assembly Election 2011
This paper provides an analysis of the Northern Ireland Assembly election held on 5 May 2011 and compares it with the 2007 election. The paper includes an analysis of turnout and results by party and constituency.
17.05.11
54/11 Current and Proposed Higher Education Student Finance Arrangements in the UK Regions
This paper examines the existing Higher Education finance arrangements for the four UK Regions and the current proposed changes to these systems.
17.05.11
53/11 The Economics of Higher Education
This paper provides a brief discussion on the economics of Higher Education (HE). The paper quickly explores the causes of growth, the social rates of return from HE and the individual benefits resulting from a third level education. The paper also considers perceived disadvantages of Higher Education such as overreliance on it for economic growth and the potential impact of over qualification in the labour market.
22.04.11
52/11 Carer’s Allowance Bill: Supplementary Briefing for the Committee for Social Development
This research paper was requested by the Committee for Social Development during its scrutiny of the Carer’s Allowance Bill. The paper provides background information on a range of two-tiered benefit models for carers; caring and benefit tapering; an overview of the National Care Service and the Dilnot Commission; the availability of statutory respite care in the UK; and support for young carers.
22.03.11
51/11 Economic Briefing: March 2011
This paper summarises current economic conditions in Northern Ireland. It provides an overview of a range of economic indicators, including current growth projections, labour market and property market conditions, as well as the outlook for inflation / interest rates. Key data and messages are presented upfront in the Summary to provide an ‘at a glance’ synopsis of the NI economy.
22.03.11
50/11 A demographic portrait of Northern Ireland: some implications for public policy
This research paper considers population trends in Northern Ireland during two ten-year periods, namely: 2001 – 2011 and 2011 – 2021. Comparisons will also be made with demographic trends in other jurisdictions, including the constituent regions of the UK, Ireland and the European Union. The paper will conclude with some brief observations concerning the implications of demographic change for public spending in the areas of health and state-funded pensions.
21.03.11
49/11 European Update: Social Development
The following briefing paper has been written for the Committee for Social Development to inform its scrutiny of the European Commission's strategic initiatives and legislation. The paper provides an update of three particular issues in the European Commission's Work Programme 2010 that the Committee for Social Development sought updates on – i.e. the European Green Paper on Pensions, fuel poverty interventions; and measures to prevent housing foreclosure. This briefing paper also provides a brief roundup of other social development related European news over the past few months and a list of recent Assembly Questions to the Minister for Social Development in relation to European issues. The final section of this paper provides an overview of those issues in the European Commission Work Programme 2011 which may have relevance to the Social Development portfolio.
21.03.11
48/11 European Commission Work Programme 2011: Employment and Learning
The following Briefing Paper has been written for the Committee for Employment and Learning to inform their scrutiny of the Northern Ireland Executive's implementation of strategic initiatives and legislation being produced by the European Commission which fall under the Committee's remit. The Briefing Paper discusses the European Commission Work Programme for 2011 (published October 2010) and the proposals, initiatives and communications due to be adopted between 2011 and 2014.
18.03.11
47/11 European Commission Work Programme 2010: Employment and Learning (Updated March 2011)
The following Briefing Paper has been written for the Committee for Employment and Learning to inform their scrutiny of strategic initiatives and legislation being produced by the European Commission which falls under the Committee's remit. This draft of the paper is an update of a previous version submitted on the 11 of October 2010 and includes details on the progress of initiatives and legislation.
 18.03.11
46/11 Prisoners and Mental Health
This is a scoping paper on issues relating to prisoners and mental health and initiatives in other jurisdictions identified in a range of research reports.
15.03.11
45/11 Mechanisms for Review in Sex Offenders Register Systems
This briefing paper provides information on mechanisms for review of notification requirements in sex offender registration schemes in the Republic of Ireland, Canada and France.
15.03.11
44/11 Provision of Emergency Care to Smaller Communities
Accident and Emergency (A&E)/Emergency departments provide important access to the healthcare system in Northern Ireland. They are hubs that interact directly with primary care, in-hospital care and community care services. The College of Emergency Medicine have highlighted that service development in emergency care in Northern Ireland has not been associated with the investment in staff and facilities which has taken place in the rest of the UK.
11.03.11
43/11 The office of the Northern Ireland Ombudsman
This research paper looks at issues arising from a consultation on proposals to update and reform legislation relating to the office of the Northern Ireland Ombudsman.
10.03.11
42/11
The Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Act 2011
This briefing paper looks at the key provisions relating to Northern Ireland in the Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Act (the Act) which received Royal Assent on 16 February 2011. The Act has two key components - it provides for a referendum to be held on 5 May 2011 on the voting system for UK Parliamentary elections and reduces the number of Parliamentary constituencies in the UK from 650 to 600.
 10.03.11
41/11 Helping to shape our future: a Youth Assembly for Northern Ireland
This paper presents the findings of a survey carried out to help the Youth Panel decide what a Northern Ireland Youth Assembly should look like and what it should be able to do.
07.03.11
40/11 Final Budget 2011-15
This paper provides a brief update to Assembly Research Briefing Note 04/11 Draft Budget 2011-15. The final budget allocations presented today by the Minister of Finance are shown in real terms. A comparison with the allocations in the draft budget is also included.
07.03.11
39/11 Value added measures
This briefing paper considers some of the tools used by schools for assessing the value they add to pupil outcomes. It finds that a range of tools are available that have the potential to support school improvement. However, the paper notes that it is not likely that the various tools in use can be related to InCAS in a manner that provides a system of continuous assessment for pupils due to differences in their design and use; and that value added findings for smaller schools should be treated with a degree of caution.
07.03.11
38/11 Legislative consent motion – renewable heat incentive
This Paper provides background to the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment's intention to bring a legislative consent motion on renewable heat. Details of the UK renewable heat incentive are also included.
04.03.11
37/11 Update: Comparative Car and Home Insurance Costs in NI
A previous Research and Library Service Research Paper (October 2010) considered comparative car insurance costs across the UK. The analysis indicated that the cost of car insurance appeared to be relatively high in Northern Ireland (NI). This paper provides an interim update on the ongoing research being undertaken to assess whether this apparent cost differential represents price discrimination, or whether it is in fact reflective of higher costs and/or risks associated with transacting car insurance business in NI

01.03.11

36/11 Comparison of Environmental Impact of Plastic, Paper and Cloth Bags
This Briefing Note looks at the environmental impact of different types of carrier bags- cloth, paper and plastic. Their impact is compared based on four categories: decomposition, the manufacturing process, their reusability and their recyclability.
28.02.11
35/11 Scrutiny procedures for the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body and National Assembly for Wales Commission budget proposals
This briefing note is to support consideration by the Committee for Finance and Personnel of the practices and procedures used for agreeing the budget of the legislatures in Scotland and Wales. Practices in other Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) member countries are also reported.
23.02.11
34/11 Outline of Consultation for Draft Regulations for Signs and Warning Lights on School Buses with analysis of Regulatory Impact Assessment
Currently under Regulation 17 (1), subject to paragraph (2), of the Road Vehicles Lighting Regulations (NI) 2000, buses carrying children must display a clearly visible sign to front and rear of the bus. This applies to contracted buses i.e. those secured by department to deliver a school service and Education and Library Board (ELB) vehicles. This regulation does not apply to routine stage carriage services provided by translink who do not differentiate between school children and the general public on these services.
18.02.11
33/11 The Sea Fishing industry in Northern Ireland – issues, challenges and opportunities
This paper sets out some of the issues affecting the Sea Fishing industry within Northern Ireland both at present and in the near future. As such, this paper does not seek to present solutions to the issues but rather attempts to quantify and pin down many of the key challenges that fishing communities and those who live and work within them face.
16.02.11
32/11 Lough Foyle – ownership, licensing, and levy issues relating to shellfish
Covering an area of approximately 186km² Lough Foyle is a shallow estuarine sea Lough straddling the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. The Lough has supported active salmon, oyster and mussel fisheries for hundreds of years and these fisheries continue to be important to the local economy on both sides of the border.
16.02.11
31/11 The Horse as an Agricultural animal – implications and opportunities for the equine industry in N.I.
Within Northern Ireland there are estimated to be more than 35,000 horses and ponies and the equine industry as a whole here is estimated to employ the full time equivalent of 5,657 people equating to an annual labour value of c£54 million .Currently within Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK the horse is not defined as an agricultural animal.
16.02.11
30/11 Rural Development issues and challenges in Northern Ireland
This paper while not definitive, highlights and indicates a range of issues that may need to be addressed if the undoubted potential of rural communities and their citizens are to be fully utilised
16.02.11
29/11 Assessing the value and impact of museums
This research paper sets out a summary of recent attempts to assess the impact and value of museums across the UK and Ireland. Both economic and social impacts are considered, and the methodologies adopted by such assessments are discussed. Two case studies are used to highlight how economic and social impacts can be assessed in practice, and the lessons learned from each exercise are described.
14.02.11
28/11 Education budgets in other jurisdictions
This research paper considers the recent education budgets for England, Scotland, Wales and the Republic of Ireland. It finds that budgetary reductions will be made to education across a range of areas across the jurisdictions, with capital spending, central administration and public sector pay commonly targeted areas for savings.
02.02.11
27/11 Parliamentary privilege
This research paper examines the concept of parliamentary privilege as it exists at Westminster and compares this to the more limited legal protections and immunities enjoyed by the devolved institutions. The paper also considers the nature and handling of breaches of privilege and contempt.
01.02.11
26/11 Heritage and Cultural Rights: International Standards
This paper sets out a summary of the international, European and domestic instruments which deal with cultural rights. The relationship between cultural rights instruments and cultural heritage is examined.
01.02.11
25/11 Analysis of Museums Policy Consultation Responses
This Briefing Paper provides a brief analysis of the responses received by the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure (DCAL) as part of the consultation exercise on a draft museums policy, Museums Policy for Northern Ireland , released for consultation between 24 July and 30 September 2010.
01.02.11
24/11 Foreign National Prisoners
This paper provides an overview of the numbers of foreign prisoners in Northern Ireland and the offences committed.
31.01.11
23/11 Immigration Detention and Removal in Northern Ireland
Immigration is a reserved matter in terms of the Northern Ireland Assembly, but there are impacts on the devolved administration with regard to immigration operations in this jurisdiction, which are considered in this paper.
31.01.11
22/11 Public Petitioning in Legislatures in the UK and Ireland
This paper examines the public petitioning systems that operate in the Scottish Parliament; the National Assembly for Wales; both houses of the UK Parliament and both Houses of the Oireachtas.
27.01.11
21/11 Operational aspects of the Northern Ireland Assembly
This briefing paper has been prepared in conjunction with the Business Office and Central Committee Office. It explains how key aspects of the Northern Ireland Assembly operate, including Plenary, business programming, parliamentary language and behaviour and the role of the statutory committees.
27.01.11
20/11 Health and social care: plans, priorities and performance
This paper is the third in a series of three papers commissioned by the Committee for Health, Social Services and Public Safety within the context of the Executive's Budget 2010. Its purpose is to provide the Committee with an overview of the high level plans and priorities pertinent to health and social care (HSC) in Northern Ireland.
27.01.11
19/11 Costs and efficiencies: supporting evidence
This paper provides a brief overview regarding several issues that arose in relation to the Budget where the HSSPS Committee requested further information. These are considered particularly in relation to Northern Ireland and include:
  • Current levels and cost of obesity; Reducing unnecessary hospitalisation;
  • Cost savings from patient reminder systems using mobile phone text messaging;
  • Reducing health costs in the pharmaceutical sector;
  • Alternatives to agency staff;and
  • DHSSPS bid concerning pay award of £250 for staff earning under 21K.
27.01.11
18/11 Mental health: Legislative update
This paper has been prepared in relation to a research query submitted by the Committee for Regional Development. The query relates to the Mental Health (Northern Ireland) Order (1986) and a provision outlined within the Transport Bill. In response, this paper provides: 1) an overview of the current mental health legislation in Northern Ireland, 2) details of its imminent reform, and 3) an overview of how the NI Order (1986) differs from that in other nearby jurisdictions.
27.01.11
17/11 Economic Impact of Cuts in Annually Managed Expenditure
This paper considers the potential economic impacts of the impending cuts to Annually Managed Expenditure in Northern Ireland. It is shown that there is evidence to indicate that the Coalition Government's plans in respect of welfare reform are regressive , and will have a particularly detrimental impact upon families with children. Northern Ireland is shown to be particularly vulnerable to these cuts, and, in fact, the evidence indicates that the plans will have a particularly regressive effect locally.
27.01.11
16/11 Autism Bill: Clause 1: Amendments to Disability Discrimination Act 1995
Clause 1 of the Autism Bill provides for amendments to the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (the DDA). This briefing note, which supplements an earlier research paper on the Autism Bill, provides further information to support Members' consideration of the proposed amendments.
26.01.11
15/11 The DHSSPS Budget: where does the money go?
According to the Health and Social Care Board (HSCB) almost £10 million per day is spent on the health system in Northern Ireland. This equates to nearly £6 per person in Northern Ireland every 24 hours. Tracking where that money is spent, by whom, and on what is quite a complex task. This paper provides some detail about how the budget is used. It provides detail on expenditure by various bodies and also examines some elements of the Health and Social Care (HSC)Trusts' accounts. Some figures on how they utilise the resources allocated to them are presented.
21.01.11
14/11 The DHSSPS Budget 2011-15 Consultation
The Department for Health, Social Services and Public Safety (DHSSPS) published a consultation document on its draft budget allocation on 13 January 2011. This Briefing Note considers some of the issues raised in the document and by the Minister in evidence to the Committee Health, Social Services and Public Safety ("the Committee") on the same day.
 21.01.11
13/11 An Introduction to Welfare Reform
The purpose of this briefing paper is to provide the Committee with a broad overview of the Coalition Government's plans for Welfare Reform.
20.01.11
12/11 Planning Bill (4): Implementation, Performance and Decision making: Issues of Capacity, Delivery and Quality
This paper examines issues of capacity, delivery and quality in relation to the Planning Bill. It is one of four papers and follows a common format highlighting the key issues arising in the Bill; summarising the findings of the public consultation and the Government's response; reviewing comparable arrangements in comparable jurisdictions and highlighting potential contentious issues.
20.01.11
11/11 Draft Budget 2010: DRD Spending Proposals
The Department for Regional Development (DRD) is the largest capital based department and therefore the prospect of the capital investment allocation declining by some 40 per cent over the next spending review period provides a massive challenge. The aim of this paper is to outline the key points from the budget and the department's proposed spending and saving delivery plans. Consideration will be given to the impact these proposals will have, particularly on vulnerable groups and any differential impacts will be highlighted.
20.01.11
10/11 Preventative Spending
This paper examines the case for early intervention strategies which are designed to reduce the demand for more expensive intervention or treatment at a later date.
19.01.11
09/11 Planning Bill (3): Community Involvement
This paper looks at the Community Involvement provisions set out in the Planning Bill. It is one of four papers prepared for the Bill, which follow a common format that highlights: the key issues arising in the Bill; summarises the findings of the public consultation and the Government's response; reviews comparable arrangements in comparable jurisdictions and highlights potential contentious issues that arise.
19.01.11
08/11 Planning Bill (2): Development Management, Planning Control and Enforcement
This paper is the second of four papers produced in support of the Committee stage of the Planning Reform Bill
19.01.11
07/11 Minimum Alcohol Pricing
The purpose of this briefing paper is to assist the Committee for Social Development in its consideration of the issue of minimum alcohol pricing. The paper begins by providing a brief overview of both the extent and impact of alcohol misuse in Northern Ireland; it explores the development of minimum alcohol pricing in Scotland; examines some of the arguments put forward for and against minimum alcohol pricing; and provides a brief outline of some alternatives to minimum pricing such as an increase in alcohol taxation and a ban on below cost sales of alcohol.
18.01.11
06/11 Planning Reform Bill (1): Departmental Functions & Local Development Plans
This paper is the first of four papers produced in support of the Committee stage of the Planning Bill.
14.01.11
05/11 Damages (Asbestos-related Conditions) Bill
This paper provides an overview and discussion of the Damages (Asbestos-related Conditions) Bill.
13.01.11
04/11 Draft Budget 2011-15
This paper presents a critical evaluation of the Northern Ireland Executive's draft Budget 2011-15. Some procedural questions are highlighted and a number of issues for further clarification are presented.
12.01.11
03/11 Part B: School engagement with parents and the wider community
As part of the series on Successful Post-Primary Schools Serving Disadvantaged Communities, this briefing paper explores how successful schools serving disadvantaged communities have engaged with parents and the wider community and considers the outcomes of this engagement. It finds that some positive outcomes from engagement have been identified; however it suggests that outcomes are likely to be small-scale in nature.
10.01.11
02/11 Part A: Qualities for effective school leadership
As part of the series on Successful Post-Primary Schools Serving Disadvantaged Communities, this briefing paper considers the key qualities and attributes of effective school principals, with a particular focus on those in schools serving disadvantaged areas. It finds that successful school leaders share a number of key personal qualities, including people-centred core values, emotional intelligence, resilience and conviction.
10.01.11
01/11 Successful Post-Primary Schools Serving Disadvantaged Communities: Overall summary
This paper summarises the four briefings in this series on Successful Post-Primary Schools Serving Disadvantaged Communities;Qualities for effective school leadership; School engagement with parents and the wider community; Addressing underachievement in disadvantaged communities; and Department of Education school improvement policy.
10.01.11
  * Date refers to the date on which the publication was released for the internet.  

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