Northern ireland office equality scheme




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Equality Impact Assessment





    1. An equality impact assessment (EQIA) is a thorough and systematic analysis of a policy, whether that policy is formal or informal, and irrespective of the scope of that policy. The primary function of an EQIA is to determine the extent of any impact of a policy upon the Section 75 categories and to determine if the impact is an adverse one. It is also an opportunity to demonstrate the likely positive outcomes of a policy and to seek ways to more effectively promote equality of opportunity and good relations.




    1. Once a policy is screened and screening has identified that an equality impact assessment is necessary, we will carry out the EQIA in accordance with Equality Commission guidance. The EQIA will be carried out as part of the policy development process, before the policy is implemented.




    1. Any equality impact assessment will be subject to consultation at the appropriate stage(s). For details see above Chapter 3 “Our Arrangements for Consulting”).



Publishing the results





    1. Our arrangements for publishing the results of the assessments of the likely impact of policies we have adopted or propose to adopt on the promotion of equality are in accordance with Schedule 9 4.(2)(d) and Schedule 9 9.(1).



    1. We make publicly available the results of our assessments (screening and EQIA) of the likely impact of our policies on the promotion of equality of opportunity and good relations.

What we publish



Screening reports


    1. These are published six monthly. Screening reports detail:

  • All policies screened by the NIO over the six month period.

  • A statement of the aim(s) of the policy/policies to which the assessment relates.

  • Consideration given to measures which might mitigate any adverse impact.

  • Consideration given to alternative policies which might better achieve the promotion of equality of opportunity.

  • Screening decisions, i.e.:

  • whether the policy has been ‘screened in’ for equality impact assessment;

  • whether the policy has been ‘screened out’ with mitigation or an alternative policy proposed to be adopted; and

  • whether the policy has been ‘screened out’ without mitigation or an alternative policy proposed to be adopted.

  • Where applicable, a timetable for conducting equality impact assessments.

  • A link to the completed screening template(s) on our website.


Screening templates


    1. For details on the availability of our screening templates please refer to 4.13.


Equality Impact Assessments


    1. EQIA reports are published once the impact assessment has been completed. These reports include:




  • A statement of the aim of the policy assessed

  • Information and data collected

  • Details of the assessment of impact(s)

  • Consideration given to measures which might mitigate any adverse impact

  • Consideration given to alternative policies which might better achieve the promotion of equality of opportunity

  • Consultation responses

  • The decision taken

  • Future monitoring plans.




    1. All information we publish is accessible and can be made available in alternative formats on request. Please see Chapter 6 for further details.

Where we publish the information





    1. The results of our assessments (screening reports and completed templates, the results of equality impact assessments) will be made available on the NIO website: www.nio.gov.uk

And by contacting:


Corporate Governance Team

Stormont House

Stormont Estate

Belfast


BT4 3SH
equality.scheme@nio.x.gsi.gov.uk
Tel: 028 9076 5497

Text phone: 028 9052 7668


4.26 In addition to the above, screening reports (electronic link or hard copy on request if more suitable for recipients) which include all policies screened over a 6 month period are also sent directly to all consultees on a six monthly basis.
4.27 We will inform the general public about the availability of this material through communications such as press releases where appropriate.

Arrangements for monitoring

4.28 Monitoring can assist us to deliver better public services and continuous improvements. Monitoring Section 75 information involves the processing of sensitive personal data (data relating to the racial or ethnic origin of individuals, sexual orientation, political opinion, religious belief, etc). In order to carry out monitoring in a confidential and effective manner, the NIO follows guidance from the Office of the Information Commissioner and the Equality Commission.


4.29 The NIO will monitor any adverse impact on the promotion of equality of opportunity of policies we have adopted. We are also commited to monitoring more broadly to identify opportunities to better promote equality of opportunity and good relations in line with Equality Commission guidance.
4.30 Systems for monitoring the effects of policies and identifying opportunities to promote equality of opportunity and good relations will vary according to the policy area. However, these may include:


  • The collection, collation and analysis of existing relevant quantitative and qualitative data across all nine equality categories. This includes both primary and secondary sources.

  • An audit of existing information systems within one year of approval of this equality scheme, to identify the extent of current monitoring and take action to address any gaps in order to have the necessary information on which to base decisions

  • Undertaking or commissioning new data if necessary.

4.31 If over a two year period monitoring and evaluation show that a policy results in greater adverse impact than predicted, or if opportunities arise which would allow for greater equality of opportunity to be promoted, we will ensure that the policy is revised to achieve better outcomes for relevant equality groups.


4.32 We review our screening and EQIA monitoring information on an annual basis.
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