21 Nov 2007

THE Northern Ireland Commissioner for Children and Young People, Patricia Lewsley today reported on the ongoing success of her office to the Committee for the First Minister and deputy First Minister.

Ms Lewsley was presenting to the Committee in response to a recent review of her office and of the legislation it operates under.

“NICCY has achieved on average almost 90% of all its objectives and outcomes over the last two years,” said the Commissioner. “This has been acknowledged in the review of the office, which also confirmed the need for a Children’s Commissioner’s office.

“The success of this office has been achieved, despite some trying circumstances for staff, including the death of the first Commissioner, Nigel Williams, and never having a full complement of staff in post.

“I pay tribute to each and every member of staff – past and present – for maintaining this level of success.”

Ms Lewsley said issues raised in the review were already being tackled.

“The review highlighted the need for fewer than our previous priorities, to help make sure we retained a strategic focus.

“Last week I launched the UR Voice Consultation, which asks the public to help select which action areas we’ll be working on under five priorities.”

Ms Lewsley said she was delighted to present her analysis of the review and of her recommended changes to the legislation which governs NICCY.

“I have been in post just over 10 months. I believe the review of my office is an excellent starting point for NICCY to build on to make a real difference to children and young people’s lives.

“Of course, it has aired issues about improvements we can make, but I assured the committee that I am already addressing many of these.”

Notes for Editors

  • More information on the work of the Northern Ireland Commissioner for Children and Young People can be found here on the web site.  
  • The Review of the Office must be carried out every three years, according to Article 24 of the NICCY Establishing Order. This was carried out by the Office of First Minister, deputy First Minister.
  • The review of NICCY’s legislation is available here.