# Equality Scheme

Topics:

Schedule 9 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998 requires that all public authorities who are designated under the Act must set out in an Equality Scheme how it proposes to fulfill the duties imposed by Section 75 of the Act.

## What is an Equality Scheme and why do we need one?

These schemes are approved by the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland.

An equality scheme outlines the public authority’s arrangements for:

• assessing its compliance with the duties under Section 75
• assessing and consulting on the likely impact of policies on the promotion of equality of opportunity
• monitoring any adverse impact of policies on the promotion of equality of opportunity
• publishing the results of such assessments
• training staff
• ensuring and assessing public access to information and services provided by the public authority

Each government department is designated as a public authority under Schedule 9 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998 and has its own approved equality scheme.

## The Executive Office's Equality Scheme

Schedule 9 (para 8.3) of the Northern Ireland Act 1998 requires all public authorities to review their equality scheme after five years.

The Equality Scheme for former Office of the First Minister and the Deputy First Minister was approved by the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland on 25 September 2013.

The Scheme was updated in 2017 to reflect the functions of the Executive Office following departmental restructuring in May 2016. The scheme will be reviewed fully in 2018.

## Annual Report to the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland

All public authorities are required to report annually to the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland on the progress made towards implementing their statutory duties.

## The Executive Office Disability Action Plan

The Department remains committed to the fulfilment of the two disability duties, as set out in Section 49A of the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) 1995, across the Department’s functions.

## Policies screened and EQIAs

In fulfilling its obligations under Section 75 the Department is required to equality screen all of its policies and services under consideration to determine whether they should be subject to a full equality impact assessment (EQIA).

The Department is also committed to publishing a Screening Report containing details of all Policies screened in the quarter.

#### 2022/23

• Equality Screening Report: Quarter 1 – Nil return

#### 2021/22

• Equality Screening Report: Quarter 1 – Nil return
• Equality Screening Report: Quarter 2 – Nil return
• Equality Screening Report: Quarter 3 – Nil return
• Equality Screening Report: Quarter 4 – Nil return

#### 2019/20

• Equality Screening Report – Quarter 1 – Nil return
• Equality Screening Report – Quarter 2
• Equality Screening Report – Quarter 3 – Nil return
• Equality Screening Report – Quarter 4 – Nil return

#### 2017/18

• Equality Screening Report – Quarter 1 (None completed)
• Equality Screening Report – Quarter 2 (None completed)
• Equality Screening Report – Quarter 3, October to December 2017 (None completed)
• Equality Screening Report - Quarter 4