Douglas McIldoon, the Director General of Electricity Supply for Northern Ireland and the Director General of Gas for Northern Ireland, today published his Draft Equality Scheme for consultation prior to submission to the Equality commission.
On 1 January 2000, Section 75 and Schedule 9 to the Northern Ireland Act 1998 came into force. The legislation places a statutory obligation on public authorities to ensure that, in carrying out their functions relating to Northern Ireland, they have due regard to the need to promote equality of opportunity between a number of social groups. In addition, and without prejudice to that obligation, they must also have regard to the desirability of promoting good relations between persons of different religious belief, political opinion, and racial group.
The way in which Ofreg intends to meet its equality obligations is set out in the attached draft Equality Scheme. We would welcome your views on the draft which is being issued to all the organisations listed at Annex B.
While you are free to comment on any aspect of the Scheme we are particularly interested in your views on the following:
whether Ofreg’s functions and responsibilities are clear;
whether you are content with the list of functions which will be subject to equality impact assessment;
whether you are content with the timescale for carrying out the equality impact assessments;
whether you are content with arrangements for future consultation.
We would be grateful for your comments by 11 May 2001.
At the end of the consultation period we will review all the comments received before submitting a final draft to the Equality Commission for approval. This will include the substance of comments received and how Ofreg responds to those comments. If you submit comments but would prefer not to have them attributed to you when the Scheme is being submitted to the Equality Commission, you should indicate this in your response.
Comments on the draft Equality Scheme should be forwarded by post, fax or email to:
Leslie Adams OFREG
42 Fountain Street
Telephone: 028 9031 1575
Fax: 028 9031 1740