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IEDP to Challenge Government Recommendations On Equality Duties

The Institute of Equality and Diversity Practitioners (IEDP) have called a series of emergency meetings to discuss their challenge to the government’s proposed changes to specific equality duties required by public sector bodies.

In their draft response they have heavily criticised the proposed removal of requirement of publishing data to determine the impact of decisions on different groups as counterproductive. They argue that the removal of such a requirement takes away the key information individuals will need to hold public bodies to account on equalities. If the proposals were adopted the only way obtain such evidence would be through freedom of information requests.
 
The IEDP argue that such a change would actually add to the bureaucracy the Coalition Government were attempting to remove because of the increase in freedom of information requests. The IEDP also argue that the strengthening of equalities duties following the Macpherson report was a good thing and was a big factor in the good practise exercised by public bodies in the last decade. It is claimed that a step in the wrong direction here would potentially take us back to the days before Stephen Lawrence’s tragic death. In the words of the IEDP
 
“In our view, the removal of the requirement to publish information will increase friction between those with particular protected characteristics and those without such characteristics. The Government’s proposals may instead foster ignorance, prejudice and misconceptions about the facts regarding inequality as public bodies become less transparent and accountable.”
The policy review paper concludes:
 
“In the interests of democratic accountability and transparency, and to avoid the bureaucracy associated with Freedom of Information requests, the IEDP calls on the Government not to proceed with the proposals outlined in its Policy Review Paper, “Equality Act 2010: The public sector Equality Duty: reducing bureaucracy”
 
The full draft response can be read here
 
Meetings are due to be held on Monday April 11th
Venue: Princess Diana Rooms, The County Hall, Westminster Bridge Road, London SE1 7PB
Meeting 1: 10:30 a.m. to 12.30 p.m.
Meeting 2: 1.30 p.m. to 3.30 p.m.

If you agree with the IEDP’s response, you can send an email confirming that we may add your name to the list of signatories. They have instructed that you confirm also if you are signing in an individual capacity or on behalf of an oorganisation. Email: info@iedp.org.uk
Responses are requested before April 18th.

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