Consultation update

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Details of significant consultation exercises currently being carried out by government departments and other public sector bodies in Northern Ireland. Queries on individual consultations should be referred to the organisation concerned, as outlined.

Department of Agriculture and Rural Development

There are no current consultations

Department of Education

There are no current consultations

Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment

There are no current consultations

Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety

There are no current consultations

Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure

There are no current consultations

Department for Regional Development

There are no current consultations

Department of Justice

There are no current consultations

Department for Employment and Learning

Review of employment agency regulation

Opened 27 March

The Minister has published a range of proposals which aim to streamline administrative procedures for employment agencies and provide extra legal protections for those seeking work.

Comments and responses should be submitted by 19 June to: Deirdre Walsh, Department for Employment and Learning, Employment Relations Policy and Legislation Branch, Room 201, Adelaide House, 39-49 Adelaide Street, Belfast, BT2 8FD

Tel: 028 9025 7627

Email: employment.rights@delni.gov.uk

Department of the Environment

Significant water management issues

Opened 18 December

A series of consultations sets out the official assessment of pressures and impacts on the water environment, describes progress towards the 2015 Water Framework Directive’s objectives, and identifies significant water management issues in the Neagh-Bann, North Eastern and North Western river basin districts.

Comments and responses should be submitted by 22 June to: Water Management Unit, Northern Ireland Environment Agency, 17 Antrim Road, Tonagh, Lisburn, BT28 3AL

Tel: 028 9262 3100

Email: riverbasinplanning@doeni.gov.uk

Department of Finance and Personnel

Small Business Rate Relief Scheme evaluation

Opened 17 February

The department has asked the University of Ulster’s Northern Ireland Centre for Economic Policy to evaluate the effectiveness of the scheme, whether it should continue (or how it should be replaced) after April 2015, and how any further scheme could be funded.

Comments and responses should be submitted by 1 July to: The Northern Ireland Centre for Economic Policy, Room 1D09, University of Ulster, Jordanstown, BT37 0QB

Tel: 028 9036 8128

Email: nicep@ulster.ac.uk

Northern Ireland Office

Electoral forms

Opened 3 April

The Government plans to change voter-facing forms and notices used across the UK. The proposed changes cover ballot papers and guidance for voters, polling cards, declaration of identity, proxy papers, certificates of employment, and the declaration of the companion of a disabled person.

Comments and responses should be submitted by 13 June to: Constitutional Policy Team, Northern Ireland Office, 1 Horse Guards Road, London, SW1A 2HQ

Tel: 020 2710 0840

Email: electionsunit@nio.x.gsi.gov.uk

Maritime and Coastguard Agency

Marine health and safety

Opened 15 January

The consultation – jointly run by the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety and the Department of Justice – aims to improve services, protection and support for all victims and witnesses and to ensure perpetrators are called to account.

Comments and responses should be submitted by 19 May to: Bay 1/29, Maritime and Coastguard Agency, Spring Place, 105 Commercial Road, Southampton, SO15 1EG

Tel: 023 8032 9216

Email: rosemary.nelson@mcga.gov.uk

UK Department of Energy and Climate Change

Underground drilling access

Opened 23 May 2014

The consultation applies to Great Britain but may set a precedent for the regulation of hydraulic fracturing in Northern Ireland. It outlines existing procedures by which companies can access underground land and government proposals to change the law on access rights, payments for access and notification of access.

Comments and responses should be submitted by 17 April to: Economic Inactivity Strategy Branch, Department for Employment and Learning,

5th Floor, Gloucester House, 57-63 Chichester Street, Belfast, BT1 4RA

Tel: 028 9025 2009

Email: underground.access@decc.gsi.gov.uk

Irish Government

Retail energy market

Opened 22 January

The Department of the Taoiseach is seeking to identify the risks, both financial and non-financial, which Ireland faces, and therefore plan for how those risks can be prevented and controlled. The draft assessment refers to all-island issues such as climate change and the security situation in Northern Ireland.

Comments and responses should be submitted by 30 June to: Department of the Taoiseach, Government Buildings, Upper Merrion Street, Dublin 2

Tel: 00 353 1 619 4000

Email: nra@taoiseach.gov.ie

European Commission

Investment protection and investor-to-state dispute settlement

Opened 27 March

This is the first in a series of public consultations on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership Agreement (TTIP) – the proposed free trade agreement between the EU and USA. The European Commission is asking for views on how it should approach investment protection and disputes between investors and governments.

Comments and responses should be submitted by 3 July to: Directorate-General for Trade, European Commission, B-1049 Brussels, Belgium

Tel: 00 800 6789 1011

Email: Trade-TTIP-Investment-protection-and-ISDS@ec.europa.eu

Related Posts