To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, how many equality impact assessments have been carried out in the last three years on public service reforms which impact on (a) departmental staff and (b) members of the public; and if she will make a statement.
28 February 2017
This answer is a correction from the original answer.
DCMS is committed to offering all applicants equality of opportunity to ensure that we attract and retain candidates with the most talent and potential. To this end, the DCMS recruitment process does not require applicants to declare unspent criminal convictions at the initial recruitment stage. Applicants are asked to declare unspent criminal convictions as part of basic employment checks when a provisional offer of employment has been made. Decisions concerning appointment to a post where an individual has a conviction history are made on a case-by-case basis.
The department does not retain details centrally that would allow us to identify employees with unspent convictions so the information requested could only be obtained at disproportionate cost.
Through the Government’s National Cyber Security Programme, my Department is delivering an ambitious set of initiatives to support the growth of and investment in cyber security companies across the United Kingdom, including those from Northern Ireland. In particular, we provide opportunities for early stage companies from across the UK to be represented at selected events where they can showcase their technologies and expertise in order to secure investment. We are also funding the delivery of two cyber innovation centres which are open to companies from across the UK.
We are also funding the delivery of ‘Hut Zero’, an accelerator programme for individuals with cyber security ideas , and ‘Cyber 101’ business training ‘bootcamps’ for early stage companies, some of which are being delivered in Northern Ireland. I am particularly delighted that Queen’s University Belfast’s Centre for Secure Information Technology is playing a pivotal role in the delivery of both of those initiatives.