Equality Commission Progress Report Apr 02 - M by sdfsb346f


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									                         -EQUALITY COMMISSION
                         FOR NORTHERN IRELAND
            Public Authorities Progress Reports 2002 - 2003

                  Template for Public Authorities to report on
            implementation of the equality and good relations duties
                     under Section 75 of the NI Act 1998

The information required from public authorities will cover the period from 1 April
2002 to the 31 March 2003 and is to be submitted to the Commission by 31 July
2003, electronically (by completing this template) and in writing, with a signed
cover letter from the Chief Executive or, in his/her absence, the Deputy Chief

This year’s progress report builds upon the guidance provided for the past two years,
for purposes of consistency and comparison. It also seeks some additional
information on: the status of EQIAs planned and progressed, aspects of Section 75
consultation and the identified impact/outcomes of Section 75 implementation to

Please report on progress by entering information at the end of each section in
the template below. Prompts are included under each Section to allow you to
assess the extent to which progress has been made within each area. Please note
that these prompts are neither prescriptive or inclusive. It is important that the
authority reports on what it views as being relevant in terms of progress being made
on implementation of the statutory duties.

Name of public authority

Arts Council of Northern Ireland,
MacNeice House,
77 Malone Road,

Telephone    028 9038 5200
Fax          028 9066 1715
Typetalk     0800 515 152
E-mail       equality@artscouncil-ni.org

Equality Officer name and contact details

Mr Dominic McCanny     (Resigned from the Arts Council 30th April 2003)
Address – As Above
Telephone 028 9038 5243
Fax        028 9066 1715
Typetalk   0800 515 152
E-mail     d.mccanny@artscouncil-ni.org

Section 1: Preparation of Equality Scheme
      (Applies only to organisations whose scheme was not approved by the
      Commission prior to 1 April 2002)

•   Outline measures taken during the year to develop the authority’s draft Equality
    Scheme, including consultation, and details of the authority’s formal consideration
    of the draft Equality Scheme, before submission for final approval to the
•   Highlight any other areas of the scheme implemented prior to approval of the

Have affected groups, staff, service users and groups representing the nine Section
75 categories been consulted about the organisation’s draft scheme.

Arts Council Response:

Arts Council’s Equality Scheme approved June 2001

Section 2: Strategic Implementation of the Section 75 Equality Duties

•   Outline evidence of progress made in developing equality and good relations
    objectives, performance indicators and targets and inclusion of these in corporate
    and annual operating plans. This may include performance information and
    targets for 2003-2004.
•   Outline steps taken to work with other public authorities in progressing the duties.
•   Outline any details of partnership work developed with the voluntary and/or
    community sector as a consequence of Section 75 work? Comment on whether
    these partnerships have proved beneficial?
•   Indicate if S75 is a standard agenda item for Board and/or Senior Management
    Team on a quarterly basis.
•   Provide details of steps to progress the Good Relations duty such as undertaking
    a good relations audit, developing a strategy or providing training.
•   Outline any factors that enhance or impede the process of Strategic
Have the Board and Senior Officers reviewed the authority’s progress report?
Has responsibility for equality been agreed and designated within the authority?
Has a clearly defined organisational structure with resources for implementation of
the duties and assessment of policies been established?
Are equality objectives built into the job descriptions and performance targets of
relevant staff, and are these reflected on in the appraisal process?
Is the authority on course for completing its 5-year timetable for implementation of its
scheme? If not which areas of implementation are proving most difficult?

Arts Council Response:

The Arts Council’s strategic objective is:

“To implement Equality and Good Relations Duty within the strategic
objectives of the Arts Council.”

Within this objective performance indicators have been established to
positively discharge the Equality Duties. These range from completing
Equality Impact Assessments within the timetable framework, screening new
policies, building partnerships with various Departments and NDPB’s,
reconsidering monitoring in light of experiences as well as receiving a report
on Cultural Diversity.

As the Equality Commission is aware the ‘good relations duty’ is difficult to
define and more importantly pragmatically implement. The Arts Council now
requests of all organisations applying for funding, completion of an ‘Equality of
Opportunity Commitment’. This will then be tied into compliance requirements
both at the pre-grant and post-grant stages. The Community Relations Council
believes that this is one pragmatic step in delivering the ‘good relations duty’.
In addition and in conjunction with the Community Relations Council a ‘cultural
diversity’ project is currently underway. This is a jointly appointed position
between the Arts Council and the Community Relations Council. It is
envisaged that once results emanate from this project it will allow the Arts
Council to progress a good relations type strategy.

The Equality Officers of the Community Fund, New Opportunities Fund,
Heritage Fund, Sports Council and Arts Council have met regularly in the last
year sharing areas of common interest. As part of this network, a workshop
was held with various outside agencies, e.g. Youth Council for Northern Ireland
on consultation techniques with young people. In addition DCAL (the Arts
Council’s reporting body) has also formed an equality coalition that includes
all public bodies that also report to them. This consortium meets
approximately every three months.

The Arts Council’s Equality Committee and Senior Management Team meet on
a regular basis (approximately every two months) to ensure implementation of
the Equality Duties.

With the resignation of the Equality Officer with effect from 30th April 2003, the
Council will experience some delay in appointing a replacement. It is the
intention of the Council to fill this position as quickly as possible.
Consequently, not all of the EqIAs scheduled for assessment in Year 2 will be
completed by June 2003. However, only one EqIA will not have been published
for consultation that is, the Cultural Diversity Programme. Notwithstanding, a
further policy was added to Year 2 that is, the Architecture Policy which has
also went out to public consultation during this reporting year.

Section 3: Screening & Equality Impact Assessment (EQIA) Timetable
      -   If a Screening Report has not yet been submitted to the Commission please
          advise us on the current position with regard to producing this report and
          forwarding to the Commission.

• If a Screening Report and EQIA Timetable has previously been submitted to
    the Commission please provide an update (using the matrices in Appendix A)
    detailing -
    - those policies that were subject to Equality Impact Assessment during 2002-
    - the timetable for Equality Impact Assessments in 2003-4.

•     (If relevant) list any proposals for legislation for which an assessment for the
      implications for the Section 75 duties was undertaken.
•     Outline any other factors that enhance or impede the process of policy screening
      or EQIA.
•     Outline how the authority, following screening of new policies, informs consultees
      of the outcomes from such screening exercises.
Does the authority require each department/directorate to identify how its policies
impact on equality of opportunity and can promote good relations?
Has the authority involved consultees in screening of new policies? If so how?
Has the authority informed consultees of the outcomes from screening of new
policies? If so, how?

Arts Council Response:

The Arts Council’s Directors have developed a system whereby the adoption of
new policies or changes to policy, are referred to the Equality Officer so that
these are screened. During the past year four new/amended policies have
been screened as follows:

Architecture Policy – Decision made to conduct EqIA during period 2002 – 2003

Musical Instruments for Bands – Decision made to conduct EqIA during period
2002 – 2003 under the Capital Programme – Equipment.

Craft Policy – Decision made to conduct EqIA during period 2004 – 2005.

Community Arts Internet Pilot Project – Decision made not to impact assess this
pilot project.

All consultees were sent the screening reports and asked for their comments
on this exercise. No responses were received, probably due to the fact that
decisions were made to conduct an EqIA on three of these policies. Two of
these policies are due for assessment in the current year.

Section 4: Training and Communication

•   Indicate if your organisation has developed a 5-year Training Plan (the
    Commission may wish to discuss details with individual bodies).
•   Outline details of staff and Management Board/Committee training provision
    associated with the Section 75 duties/Equality Scheme requirements. Provide
    details of types of training provision (e.g. general awareness raising, specialist
    training on EQIA, Screening, Consultation) and who this training was provided
•   Provide details of how affected groups have been involved in the development
    and/or delivery of training.
•   Provide a summary of any training evaluations and comments on the benefits of
    such training.
•   Provide details of internal and external communication of the authority’s
    commitment to the statutory duties.
•   Outline any factors that enhance or impede the process of communication and
Does the authority monitor attainment of the training objectives contained within it’s
equality scheme?
Has section 75 training involved input from representatives of the 9 groups? If so
please state how this happened and if it proved useful?
Has section 75 training been evaluated? If so how has this happened and what are
the lessons learned?
Do the Board and/or Senior Officers promote the authority’s equality objectives in
public statements, interviews and external events such as conferences?

Arts Council Response:

At present approximately 25% of staff are actively involved in assisting the
Equality Officer in preparing EqIAs as well as making decisions on policy after
the consultation process. The Equality Officer is a Chartered Occupational
Psychologist and has a particularly wide experience in training in diversity and
equality issues.

As a result of the number of consultations carried out many of the staff are
very conversant with equality issues as they affect the various Section 75
groups. It is the intention of Council to continue to keep equality issues to the
forefront of all staff’s work. The Equality Officer provides updates to staff both
at a formal level as well as in informal meetings.

With the recent restructuring in the Arts Council all new staff will receive
training in Equality Duties.       (This was conducted during April 2003.
Evaluations of this training will be included in the annual report 2003 – 2004.)
All new entrants receive a copy of the Equality Scheme and are encouraged to
make comments on the scheme. Refresher courses are planned for all staff in
the year 2004 – 2005 and this may involve training provision by a number of the
Section 75 umbrella bodies.

The Equality Officer has also prepared an equality-training manual in
completing EqIAs so that Officers and Management are aware of the variety of
issues that may arise.

In respect of keeping abreast of the issues for the various S75 groups, due to
the amount of consultation the Arts Council has become familiar with a number
of the areas preventing equality of outcome. The Equality Officer also provides
staff with regular briefings in this area.

In an attempt to enhance the process of communication approximately 80% of
our consultees are now communicated with by E-mail. This initiative has been
well received by voluntary organisations. The Council has also published a
summary of its Equality Duties and this has been favourably commented upon
by the Committee on the Administration of Justice (CAJ).

In relation to how the Council more effectively communicates with people with
learning difficulties the Equality Officer has discussed with Mencap a number
of issues, such as 'symbols' language. Unfortunately, due sometimes to the
complexity of EqIAs it has not been possible to make available a specific
format for people with learning disabilities. When public meetings are held,
symbol posters are sent to disability organisations encouraging individuals to
attend. This is one area that the newly appointed Equality & Compliance
Officer will pursue so that the Arts Council delivers a quality public service.

Equality issues are seen as a core value within the Council and at all times the
Chair of the Council, Chief Executive and Directors stress the importance of
promoting social inclusion, particularly S 75 groups.

Section 5: Data Collection & Analysis

•   Describe systems that have been established to supplement your available
    statistical and qualitative research including consideration given to using internal
    organisational data and external networks.
•   Describe systems established to monitor the future adverse impact of policies that
    have been equality impact assessed
•   Outline any factors that enhance or impede the process of data collection and

Are the results of awareness or satisfaction surveys used to inform the development
and review of policies?
Is relevant external data (for example Census, workforce profiles, customer surveys,
focus groups) used to inform policy development?
Have new information systems been linked to arrangements for screening policies?

Arts Council Response:

The Arts Council of Northern Ireland works closely with all the relevant Arts
Councils in England, Wales, Scotland and Republic of Ireland. In this regard,
the Council can draw on data where none exists in a Northern Ireland context.
The Council avails of data from numerous sources, such as internal research,
research conducted by Department of Culture Arts and Leisure, Census
statistics etc.

The Arts Council has also been to the forefront in publishing extensive data
and the provision of this data has been warmly welcomed by the Equality
Coalition. The Arts Council’s website has a separate Equality section and
currently includes published information on monitoring returns under the
Support for the Individual Artists Programme.

With the provision of a ‘premium payment’ under the Access to the Arts Fund,
uptake will be monitored and these figures published as is required by our
Equality Scheme.

Currently the Council is reviewing its approach to monitoring for
organisations. At present organisations applying for funding are requested to
indicate under the various Section 75 Groups, the types of individuals who will
benefit from funding. Some issues have arisen in this area, namely that
organisations may only see the completion of this form as a ‘tick box’ concept.
It is envisaged that the Council will focus on the collation of data using a
qualitative format in the forthcoming year.

Section 6: Information Provision and Access to Services

•   Outline what action has been taken to review and develop arrangements for the
    provision of information in accessible formats.
•   Detail steps taken to make affected groups aware of information disseminated by
    the authority and the services it provides.
•   Describe any arrangements to develop monitoring systems regarding access to
    information and services to ensure equality of opportunity.
•   Outline any factors that enhance or impede the process of information provision
    and ensuring/improving access to services.

Are alternative formats provided where appropriate to enable people from across the
nine Section 75 categories to have access to all services?
Have appropriate consultation mechanisms been developed and used to establish
needs /satisfaction levels?
Does the authority monitor uptake of services as a standard procedure?

Arts Council Response:

In its first EqIA the Arts Council published this document in Large Print, Braille,
AudioTape, Irish and Ulster Scots. The executive summary was published in
Cantonese. This involved considerable expense, approximately £5000. The
only request received after publication was for two copies of the Executive
Summary in Cantonese. Due to the lack of uptake, EqIAs will be available on
request in the above formats.

However, the Arts Council is committed to making a number of its publications,
such as its Annual Report, Support for Individual Artists etc., available in
Braille, audiocassette and large print and these will be made available to main
libraries throughout Northern Ireland. In addition, to promote the principles of
inclusion, the Arts Council’s headed notepaper now includes both Irish and
Ulster Scots translations. It has also been agreed to provide ‘Welcome’
signage in Irish and Ulster Scots in the foyer of the building.

Significantly, as a result of consultations with various S 75 groups and the
difficulty that some groups may experience in accessing grants a number of
new positions have been created with the Council. These are Arts
Development – Business Support and Development of Community Arts. This
latter position places an emphasis on promoting the social inclusion of
disadvantaged groups particularly in rural communities. The creation of these
new positions will assist S 75 groups build capacity as well as to assist them in
successfully applying for funding.

Section 7: Complaints

•   Identify the number of Section 75 complaints received during the year.
•   Identify the number of Section 75 complaints resolved during the year.
•   Identify the number of ongoing Section 75 complaints.

Does the authority have in place a Section 75 complaints procedure?
Does the authority monitor Section 75 complaints and the issues arising?
Have complaints led to policy changes or an undertaking of an Equality Impact
Assessment of a policy relating to a complaint?

Arts Council Response:

The Arts Council has in place a comprehensive procedure to deal with any
complaints received. The Arts Council is pleased to advise that no complaints
have been received during the period 1 April 2002 – 31 March 2003.

Section 8: Timetable

•   Provide an update of on your equality scheme implementation timetable,
    identifying any changes since your previous report.

Is the implementation timetable reviewed on a regular basis by the Board and Senior

Arts Council Response:

The Arts Council regularly reviews its implementation timetable and is happy
to report that it is meeting its obligations in a pro-active manner. As such, two
additional policies were added to the Year 2 timetable. Therefore, for the
period July 2001 – June 2003 formal consultations will have commenced or
been completed on the following EqIA’s.

Access to the Arts
Annual Support for the Arts Programme – formerly Client Programmes
Capital Programmes – Buildings
Architecture Policy
Capital Programmes – Equipment including Musical Instruments for Bands

For the period July 2003 – June 2004

Cultural Diversity Programme
Support for the Individual Artists Programme
Education & Residencies Programme
New Work

For the period July 2004 – Jun 2005

Advancement Programme
Audience Development
Craft Policy

For the period July 2005 – Jun 2006

Special Initiatives
Finance, Personnel and Administration

Additional new/amended policies may be added after screening exercises.

Section 9: Consultation

Provide details of organisational arrangements for managing section 75 consultation
exercises and processes e.g. system, processes, methods, communication channels.

Describe the system put in place by the authority to plan and manage consultation
What are the main consultation methods which you have used?
Have consultation exercises involved consulting on equality/good relations in
conjunction with other policy development/review areas e.g. best value, good
practice reviews?
Has the authority used communication channels of umbrella groups or representative
groups? If so please give examples and comment on usefulness of using such
Have consultation exercises been joined-up, in relation to consulting on similar
policies at the same time or in relation to joint-consultation exercises with other public

Arts Council Response:

The structure for managing consultations within the Arts Council is one
whereby the Equality Officer has operational responsibility for managing the
process. This has been done primarily through public meetings and focus
groups. Senior members of staff also meet with the public at these meetings.
Once consultation has been completed, the Equality Committee and Senior
Management team meet in a workshop format, to progress the decision-making
process, i.e. mitigating factors, changes of policy etc. The results of this
process are then forwarded to Council for ratification and publication.

Groups consulted throughout the year, often on more than one occasion, have

Magherafelt / Bellaghy Women’s Group, Multi-Cultural Resource Centre,
Disability Action, N I Council for Ethnic Minorities, Traveller Movement (NI),
Northern Ireland African Cultural Centre, Age Concern, Northwest Forum on
People with Disabilities, Mencap, National Carers Association of Northern
Ireland, Coalition on Sexual Orientation, ADAPT NI, Arts & Disability Forum,
Community Arts Forum and Citizens Forum on Arts (Central Advisers).

In addition the Council has hosted nine public meetings and two invited
meetings to discuss various EqIAs as well as focus group sessions (including
a telephone focus group) with the above organisations.

Currently, 80% approximately of our 180 consultees currently receive EqIAs via
e-mail. This has been widely welcomed by consultees as it provides them a
readily available means of communicating documents to their interested

Whilst consultation has not been done in conjunction with policy reviews, best
value etc., the EqIAs have fed into policy reviews as a separate issue. This has

proved useful to the Arts Council in that it effectively mainstreams equality
issues at the commencement of such reviews.

Links with umbrella organisations have proved valuable to the Council in
discharging its equality duties. An example of this is in working with CoSo on
monitoring uptake of funds on the basis of one’s sexual orientation. CoSo
were able to suggest options for wording questions as well as providing
information in interpreting returns. One potential difficulty with the use of
umbrella organisations is that they may not always be representative of the
community they wish to serve. This is one reason why the Arts Council has
held public meetings, even though these have been poorly attended.

Due to the nature of the Arts Council’s work it has not been possible to co-join
consultation exercises with other public bodies. However, under the Awards
for All Programme, the Arts Council are collaborating with other funding
agencies in producing an Equality Impact Assessment on this programme.
These are the Community Fund, New Opportunities Fund, National Heritage
Council and Sports Council.

Section 10: Impacts and outcomes

Please provide relevant information about impact of implementation of Section 75 to
end of 2003. This should include details of existing policies changed to better deliver
equality of opportunity; equality proofing of new policies; information about impact of
new policy (better service provision, alternative service provision, accessibility to
services, information gathering on users/non-users of services, satisfaction survey
information); information on improved policy/services for nine groups.

How is policy formulation being managed to take account of the need to mainstream
Section 75 duties?
Are all new or revised policies equality proofed by the authority? If so what process is
How have policies subject to EQIA changed as a consequence of the process?
Is there any evidence of how newly formulated policies or existing policies changed
as a result of impact assessment are better delivering equality and/or good relations?
Has Equality Impact Assessment led to better policymaking and service delivery?
Please provide specific examples. These should indicate which Section 75 groups
have benefited from policy changes, and how.
What, at this stage, do you perceive to be the main outcomes from implementation of
the statutory duties?

Arts Council Response:

As at 31 March 2003, the Arts Council has not amended any of its policies as a
result of conducting EqIAs. However, the next annual report will outline a
number of initiatives in relation to the way in which the Council will provide
additional funding to Section 75 organisations. Briefly this is were the Arts
Council has introduced a ‘premium payment’ of up to £3,000 as a result of its
EqIA on the Access to the Arts Fund. The concept of a ‘premium payment’ has
also been introduced to two additional funds.

Notwithstanding the Council has implemented as part of its internal
restructuring various initiatives to effectively mainstream equality as a core
element in how we function. An example of this, is the new position of
Business Support Officer. This role provides an integrated platform for all
organisations seeking information on funding.           Undoubtedly this will
eventually assist in capacity building within Section 75 categories. The new
position of Disability & Health Officer and Community Arts (Social Inclusion)
Officer will provide additional support to the disability sector as well as to
organisations and individuals in rural areas.

In relation to the formulation of policies the Arts Council reviews all of the
potential equality issues that may arise. New policies are screened and this
screening has been sent to all consultees.

Undoubtedly, within the Council all staff, are particularly conscious of their
duties in meeting the requirements of the Equality Scheme. Much informal
debate takes place on a weekly basis with the Equality Officer about the

inclusion and mainstreaming of Section 75 categories by staff. Council has
adopted a ‘business’ model in the implementation of its duties. The particular
advantage of this is that better public policy and consequently outcome is
delivered to all and not just Section 75 categories.

Section 11: Additional Information

•   Report information on any other matters considered relevant to the authority’s
    implementation of the Section 75 duties.

•   Please include a general statement on whether the implementation of the duties
    is leading to improvement in how the authority undertakes its work?

Arts Council Response:

Much of the initial concern within the Council about discharging the equality
duties has now dissipated as the advantages of conducting extensive
consultation leads to better delivery of public policy.

Whilst many difficult issues have been raised for the Council, the willingness
to find a solution is testimony of the determination of staff to ensure that
barriers to participation in funding are eradicated or considerably lessened for
S 75 categories.

With the effective implementation of processes, i.e. appointment of an Equality
Officer, setting up of an Equality Committee and at least quarterly reporting to
Council members, the Arts Council is well placed to deliver on its equality
impact assessments. The focus on ‘equality of outcomes’ provides the Arts
Council the initiative to ensure as far as possible that it strategically and
systematically reviews the way in which it delivers a high quality public
service, offering value for money whilst at the same time providing equality of
opportunity for all the citizens of Northern Ireland.

Put simply, the Arts Council has developed a more pro-active and fair
approach in how we deliver a public service.

                                     Appendix A

                                  EQIA Timetables


Please enter details relating to the authority’s Equality Impact Assessment timetable
and progress on it.

         EQIA Timetable Reporting Matrices – period to end March 2003

               Existing policies – included in initial EQIA timetable

  Title of existing     Stage (as per      If joint-      If EQIA         If EQIA
   policy EQIA’s        Steps 1-7 of         EQIA      completed is   completed is
      due to be        EQIA Process)       please        amended        amended
  completed pre-                             state      policy now          were
     March 2003                           partner          being      adjustments
                                          authorit     implemented     to policy a
                                              ies             ?          result of
                                                             Y/N      Assessment
                                                                       of adverse
                                                                        , or Both
                                                                      Please enter
                                                                      A, C or Both
1.Access to the Arts   Stage 5            None         Yes – As at    Both
                       Decision by                     1/4/03
                       Public Authority
2.Annual Support for   Stage 5           None     Not yet          Not yet
Organisations          Decision by                completed        completed
(formerly known as     Public Authority
Client Programmes)
3.Capital              Stage 5           None     Not yet          Not yet
Programmes             Decision by                completed        completed
Buildings              Public Authority
4.Capital              Stage 3           None     Not yet          Not yet
Programmes             Consideration of           completed        completed
Equipment              measures
5. Cultural Diversity Not yet            N/A      N/A              N/A
Programme              commenced
   New policies, i.e. new or revised policies developed after initial EQIA time-
                                  table produced

Title of new policy        Stage         If joint-       If EQIA          If EQIA
       EQIA’s           reached (as        EQIA      completed is     completed is
     due to be         per Steps 1-7     please        amended          amended
 completed pre-           of EQIA          state      policy now            were
    March 2003            Process)      partner           being       adjustments
                                       authorities   implemented       to policy a
                                                             ?           result of
                                                      Please enter    Assessment
                                                            Y/N        of adverse
                                                                        , or Both
                                                                      Please enter
                                                                      A, C or Both
1.Architecture         Stage 5         None          Not yet          Not yet
Policy                 Decision by                   completed        completed
2.Musical              Stage 3         None          Not yet          Not yet
Instruments for        Consideration                 completed        completed
Bands (included        of Measures
under Capital
Programmes –

                              EQIA time-table for 2003-4

   Title of EQIA’s      Existing or New         If joint-EQIA          Expected
      due to be             policy?             please state         completion date
    commenced            Please enter               partner             of EQIA
 during April 2003       E or N below.           authorities
   – March 2004
1.Cultural Diversity   Existing               None               November 2003
2.                     Existing               None               January 2004
Support for
Individual Artists
3.                     Existing               None               March 2004
Education and
4.                     Existing               None               June 2004
New Work


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