HC Deb 25 January 2001 vol 361 cc664-5W
Mr. McNamara

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps he takes to ensure his policy regarding the placing of recruitment advertisements for posts in his Department is applied to the Irish ethnic press on the same basis as other ethnic minorities; and on what date his recruitment policy was last subjected to a PAFT analysis. [146979]

Mr. Hain

I refer my hon. Friend to the replies given to him on 14 December 2000,Official Report, columns 228–30W.

On advice from the former Fair Employment Commission in Northern Ireland we advertise all but the most junior posts in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office through the Belfast Telegraph. FCO Recruitment policy is subject to the Civil Service Commissioner's Recruitment Code and will not be designated for the purposes of Section 75 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998, which has replaced the Policy Appraisal and Fair Treatment (PAFT).

The Recruitment Code sets out the requirement that recruitment to the Civil Service must follow the principle of selection on merit on the basis of fair and open competition. Government Departments are audited by the Commissioners to ensure they comply with the Code. The Commissioner's audited the FCO Recruitment Section in February 2000 and noted that recruitment was carried out in a professional and efficient manner.