Northern Ireland music industry - Economic Impact Assessment.

Mr P.J Mercer made this Freedom of Information request to Arts Council of Northern Ireland

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

The request was partially successful.

Dear Arts Council of Northern Ireland,

I am writing to you on the matter of our protracted ongoing exchanges in relation to the Economic Impact Assessment (EIA) commissioned by the then Northern Ireland Music Industry Commission (NIMIC) and conducted by individuals from Queens University Belfast (your ref: FOI 108).

Since our first communication on the matter of March 2010 you have repeatedly advised that Arts Council Northern Ireland have been “Working to finalize the report”. However, in your most recent reply of April 11th 2011 you advised that “.... the EIA remains in draft form”.

Given that this report was designed, as Dr McCole himself asserts in his preamble, to “....provide a detailed analysis of the scope of the industry and will inform both ourselves and government as to how best to proceed with future supporting policies“ and affording consideration to the fact he delivered the report sometime around July 2009 I find it highly unusual that completion / finalization and publication of same is taking so long.

On that basis I feel it only fair that information in relation to this matter be published in the public domain as a matter of public interest regarding the governance and use of tax payer / lottery funded monies being disbursed in connection with the creative industries.

Can I ask you therefore to furnish me with the following information?

When did Arts Council Northern Ireland actually take delivery of the final draft as submitted by Queens University Belfast / Dr McCole?

What statistical / data manipulation is required beyond the QUB final draft and who has determined same as appropriate / suitable?

Was the task of completion / finalization of the EIA tendered for and, if so, through what medium(s)?

Who has been tasked with the completion of same and what were the terms / stipulations and deadline in relation to same?

How much of the original available funding for the report has been claimed and what has been done with the remaining balance?

Is it the case, as it appears to be, that Arts Council Northern Ireland are deliberately delaying the finalization of the report or that they are intent on suppressing the information / data contained in this particular report?

If not – and given the obvious importance of the report in relation to “future supporting policies” - then why is the finalization of same taking such a lengthy period of time to conclude?

What has been the cost to date of the work in relation to the finalization of the report and what is the total funding available to those charged with the finalization of same and where are these funds being drawn from?

Who approved any additional funding?

On the survey itself.

How many respondents were there to the original survey?

Of that number what percentage were businesses or individuals who are not, or have not been, recipients of funding from Arts Council Northern Ireland or other Government funding sources as identified by Q25 thereof?

What percentage of the respondents are “part-time” in their activities and what steps were taken to ascertain / determine their PAYE status in relation to earnings made or benefits / funding claimed?

Is it the case that data gathered as part of the survey stood to adversely affect policy decisions (whether Government or private sector) in relation to ongoing or future funding of businesses or individuals who are active in the Northern Ireland music industry – to include Arts Council Northern Ireland revenue / funding streams in relation to same?

Has the information / data in this report been shared with anyone who has been involved in either the commissioning or conduct of any of the subsequent reports on the music industry / business sector within Northern Ireland.

Have any such parties been advised of the existence of this data / report?

If not, why not?

Has the data or the report in whatever form been shared with anyone else outside of Arts Council Northern Ireland?

How many subsequent surveys on the Northern Ireland music industry have Arts Council Northern Ireland advocated, commissioned, funded / part funded or been involved with in the interim?

Will Arts Council Northern Ireland give an assurance, and deadline, for the completion and publication of this survey in keeping with Q39 thereof where respondents were asked “If you would like to receive a copy of the report and join our sectoral mailing list, please enter your email address below".

As ever, thanking you in anticipation of your ongoing cooperation in this matter and a prompt reply.

Yours faithfully,

Mr P.J Mercer

Maria Lynch, Arts Council of Northern Ireland

1 Attachment

<<Public information leaflet.doc>>

Ref: FOI/159

 

 

Dear Mr Mercer

 

Freedom of Information Act 2000

 

Thank you for your request for information in relation to the Economic
Impact Assessment commissioned by NIMIC.

 

I am dealing with it under the terms of the above legislation.

 

The leaflet attached tells you about the legislation and the procedures I
will follow in handling your request.

 

In some circumstances a fee may be payable but if that is the case I will
let you know the likely charges before proceeding.

 

If you have any queries about this letter, please contact me. Please
remember to quote the reference number above in any future communications.

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

M Lynch

Operations Officer

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Maria Lynch, Arts Council of Northern Ireland

Our Ref: FOI/159

Dear Mr Mercer

Freedom of Information Act 2000

I am writing to confirm that the Arts Council of Northern Ireland has now
completed its search for the information in relation to the Economic
Impact Assessment commissioned by NIMIC.

In response to your request, I would advise the following:

When did Arts Council Northern Ireland actually take delivery of the final
draft as submitted by Queens University Belfast / DrMcCole?

The Arts Council received the report from the then chairman of NIMIC on 12
November 2009.

What statistical / data manipulation is required beyond the QUB final
draft and who has determined same as appropriate / suitable?

No data manipulation has been requested.

Was the task of completion / finalization of the EIA tendered for and, if
so, through what medium(s)?

Queen’s University was requested to update the report. This was not
tendered as it was not a new piece of work but a re-drafting of elements
of the draft report given the prevailing circumstances. QUB agreed to
carry out this work at no extra cost.

Who has been tasked with the completion of same and what were the terms /
stipulations and deadline in relation to same?

Following meetings in early 2010, Professor Richard Harrison, author of
the report, agreed to re-draft the work by end June 2010.

How much of the original available funding for the report has been claimed
and what has been done with the remaining balance?

The original report was commissioned and paid for in full by NIMIC.

Is it the case, as it appears to be, that Arts Council Northern Ireland
are deliberately delaying the finalization of the report or that they are
intent on suppressing the information / data contained in this particular
report?

Following receipt of the draft report in November 2009 and the demise of
NIMIC the Arts Council sought meetings with Professor Harrison. He did
not make himself available until April 2010 at which time Professor
Harrison agreed to re-draft the report by end June. The re-drafted report
has still not been delivered despite requests from the Arts Council and
Invest NI. We continue to ask for this report.

If not – and given the obvious importance of the report in relation to
“future supporting policies” - then why is the finalization of same
taking such a lengthy period of time to conclude?

See above

What has been the cost to date of the work in relation to the finalization
of the report and what is the total funding available to those charged
with the finalization of same and where are these funds being drawn from?

There is no cost for the re-drafting work

Who approved any additional funding?

No approval required

On the survey itself.

How many respondents were there to the original survey?

The report is in draft form and therefore we cannot comment.

Of that number what percentage were businesses or individuals who are not,
or have not been, recipients of funding from Arts Council Northern Ireland
or other Government funding sources as identified by Q25 thereof?

The work is in draft form and therefore we cannot comment.

What percentage of the respondents are “part-time” in their activities
and what steps were taken to ascertain / determine their PAYE status in
relation to earnings made or benefits / funding claimed?

The work is in draft form and therefore we cannot comment.

Is it the case that data gathered as part of the survey stood to adversely
affect policy decisions (whether Government or private sector) in relation
to ongoing or future funding of businesses or individuals who are active
in the Northern Ireland music industry – to include Arts Council
Northern Ireland revenue / funding streams in relation to same?

The work is incomplete so could not be taken into account in any Arts
Council decisions

Has the information / data in this report been shared with anyone who has
been involved in either the commissioning or conduct of any of the
subsequent reports on the music industry / business sector within Northern
Ireland?

The only other party with whom the draft report has been shared is Invest
NI.

Have any such parties been advised of the existence of this data /report?

Invest NI have been party to the negotiations with QUB to re-draft the
report.

If not, why not

As above

Has the data or the report in whatever form been shared with anyone
else outside of Arts Council Northern Ireland?

The only other party with whom the draft report has been shared is Invest
NI.

How many subsequent surveys on the Northern Ireland music industry have
Arts Council Northern Ireland advocated, commissioned, funded/ part funded
or been involved with in the interim?

The Arts Council is currently conducting a review of its music strategy
with the aim of enabling all those involved in music in Northern Ireland
to secure high standards in their work, create a higher profile at home
and internationally and engage a greater number and a wider range of
people than is currently the case.

It will establish a clear vision for the development of music within
Northern Ireland, reflecting the evolving needs of educators, composers,
performers, teaching institutions, bands, companies, orchestras, industry
and service organisations, trainers and mentors, funders and developmental
bodies.

The Arts Council is also a member of a group set up by Invest NI to
oversee its review of the music industry with the aim of developing a
clear and coherent strategy for the development of the music industry in
Northern Ireland.

If you have any queries about this response please contact us at 028 9038
5200 in the first instance. You have the right to request a formal review
by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland and if you wish to do so, please
write to me at the address below.

If after such an internal review you are still unhappy with the response,
you have the right to appeal to the Information Commissioner at 51
Adelaide Street, Belfast, BT2 8FE, who will undertake an independent
review.

If you have any queries about this email, please contact me. Please
remember to quote the reference number above in future communications.

Yours sincerely

MARIA LYNCH

Operations Officer

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