Page last updated at 14:12 GMT, Tuesday, 22 May 2012 15:12 UK

Question Time: Social Development and Justice

The social development minister has ordered a review of the Housing Executive's (NIHE) double glazing programme due to concerns about value for money and the quality of work, on 22 May 2012.

Nelson McCausland said the current estimate was that 30,000 homes required double glazing, at a cost of £69m.

He said there were concerns about the costs of NIHE's specification for double glazing, including the removal of plaster around windows.

This had led a requirement of increased grants for redecoration.

Mr McCausland said he had personal experience of poor quality workmanship.

He had visited the home of a constituent and had been "shocked by the poor quality of the work".

A window cleaner had refused to wash the windows as he feared that placing a sponge on the glass would cause it to fall in, the minister added.

Sinn Fein's Alex Maskey was concerned that 200 employees had already been put on protective notice as work on the double glazing programme had been put on hold.

The minister doubted the figure, said many of the employees would have been put to work on other projects and described Mr Maskey's figures as "unnecessaily alarmist".

The SDLP's Conall McDevitt called on the Justice Minister to introduce legislation to define sectarianism.

David Ford reminded the member that the previous year the assembly had been unable to agree upon a definition of sectarianism in the context of chanting at sports matches.

Mr McDevitt mentioned a recent incident when police had been unable to take action following sectarian chanting at a football game.

The minister this may be an issue the assembly would want to return to in future legislation.

The DUP's Ian McCrea expressed the opinion that sectarianism also existed in the naming of sports grounds.

Sinn Fein's Gerry Kelly asked for an update on the pilot scheme for full-body scanners in prisons.

The minister replied that two systems were to be tested.

The first system, transmission x-ray, was currently subject to a licensing process and he could not give a date for its testing.

The trial of millimetre wave equipment should begin during the summer and last for 3 to 6 months, with a recommendation on its use a short time after.


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