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Written Answers - Equality Issues

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 752 No. 2

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 43.  Deputy Pearse Doherty Information on Pearse Doherty Zoom on Pearse Doherty  asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Ruairí Quinn Zoom on Ruairí Quinn  if he implements equality impact assessments similar to other countries when considering changes to legislation governing funding and changes in policy. [2970/12]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Ruairí Quinn): Information on Ruairí Quinn Zoom on Ruairí Quinn As with all Government Departments, when considering changes to legislation governing funding and changes in policy my Department complies with the procedures as outlined in the Cabinet Handbook. These require that where proposals for legislation relate to matters on which Government policy has not already been laid down or where they involve a new development or a material departure from existing policy, they should first be submitted to the Government by way of a memorandum for a decision in principle of the policy at issue.

Any such memorandum seeking approval for legislation involving changes to the regulatory framework or seeking approval for a Government Order involving changes to the regulatory framework must be accompanied by a Regulatory Impact Analysis, which includes an examination of possible impacts on the socially excluded or vulnerable groups including gender equality, poverty, people with disabilities and rural communities.

Where no requirement for a RIA arises, each memorandum is required to indicate clearly, as appropriate, the impact of the proposal for employment including gender equality, the impact on persons experiencing or at risk of poverty or social inclusion and people with disabilities.

[307]As regards any further or systematic equality impact assessments the IVEA and the Equality Authority have been developing guidelines and practice on Equality Impact Assessments. In 2007 the IVEA/ Equality Authority produced “Guidelines for conducting equality impact assessments on IVEA and VEC plans, policies and programmes”. These guidelines, inter alia: define equality impact assessments (EIAs); identify when an EIA should be carried out; identify equality target groups; illustrate how to undertake an EIA. They also include an EIA template.


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