Northern ireland office equality scheme




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NORTHERN IRELAND OFFICE
EQUALITY SCHEME




November 2013

Equality scheme for the Northern Ireland Office (NIO)

Drawn up in accordance with Section 75 and Schedule 9 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998


This document is available in a range of formats on request. Please contact us with your requirements (see page 9 for contact details).

Northern Ireland Office

1 Horse Guards Road

London


SW1P 2HQ

Approved by the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland on 13 December 2013.



FOREWORD
Section 75 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998 (“the Act”) requires public authorities, in carrying out their functions relating to Northern Ireland, 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 the Act1.
In this equality scheme we set out how the Northern Ireland Office proposes to fulfill the Section 75 statutory duties.
We will commit resources in terms of people, time and money to make sure that the Section 75 statutory duties are complied with and that the equality scheme is implemented effectively, and on time.
We commit to having internal arrangements in place for ensuring our compliance with the Section 75 statutory duties and for monitoring and reviewing our progress.
We will develop and deliver a programme of communication and training with the aim of ensuring that all our staff and Board members are made fully aware of our equality scheme and understand the commitments and obligations within it. We are fully committed to fulfilling our Section 75 statutory duties across all our functions (including service provision, employment and procurement) through the effective implementation of our equality scheme.
We realise the important role that the community and voluntary sector and the general public have to play to ensure the Section 75 statutory duties are effectively implemented. Our equality scheme demonstrates how determined we are to ensure there are opportunities, for people affected by our work, to positively influence how we carry out our functions in line with our Section 75 statutory duties. It also offers the means whereby persons directly affected by what they consider to be a failure, on our part, to comply with our equality scheme, can make complaints.
On behalf of the Northern Ireland Office and its staff I am pleased to support and endorse this equality scheme which has been drawn up in accordance with Section 75 and Schedule 9 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998 and Equality Commission guidelines.


Rt. Hon Theresa Villiers Julian King

Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Director General

Northern Ireland Office
Date 27 November 2013 Date: 25 November 2013

Contents
Please note: Foreword and Appendices 3, 4 & 6 form part of this equality scheme.








Page

Foreword








Chapter 1

Introduction

5




  • Section 75 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998

5




  • The Equality Act 2010

5




  • The Disability Discrimination Act 1995

6




  • Section 75 duties in relation to the functions of the NIO

6




  • Who we are and what we do

7


Chapter 2


Our arrangements for assessing our compliance with the Section 75 Duties



9




9




  • Complaints

9




  • Assessing compliance

9




  • Reporting on compliance

10




10


Chapter 3


Our arrangements for consulting



12




  • Process for consultation

12




  • Consultation period

13


Chapter 4


Our arrangements for assessing, monitoring and publishing the impact of policies



15




  • Assessing the impact adopted or proposed to be adopted on the promotion of equality of opportunity of policies

15




  • Screening

15




17




  • Publishing the results

18




  • Where we publish the information

19




19




  • Arrangements for publishing the results of monitoring

20



Chapter 5


Staff training


21




21




  • Training objectives

21




  • Awareness raising and training arrangements

21




22


Chapter 6


Our arrangements for ensuring and assessing public access to information and services we provide



23




  • Access to information

23




23


Chapter 7


Timetable for measures we propose in this equality scheme



25


Chapter 8


Our complaints procedure


26




26


Chapter 9


Publication of our equality scheme


28


Chapter 10


Review of our equality scheme


29










Appendix 1

Organisational chart


29

Appendix 2

Example groups relevant to the Section 75 categories for Northern Ireland purposes



31

Appendix 3

List of consultees


32

Appendix 4

Timetable for measures proposed


34

Appendix 5

Glossary of terms


35

Appendix 6

Action plan/action measures

42


Chapter 1: Introduction

Section 75 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998




    1. Section 75 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998 (the Act) requires the Northern Ireland Office (NIO) to comply with two statutory duties:

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