Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC)
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Commission publishes Annual Report and Accounts

The Equality and Human Rights Commission yesterday issued its Annual Report and Accounts for 2011/12.  The National Audit Office has again given an unqualified audit opinion on the Commission’s accounts for this year. 

Over the 12 months covered by the report, the Commission's achievements included: 

  • The first ever formal assessment of a government spending review, in which we worked in partnership with Her Majesty's Treasury and other government departments to assess whether decisions on spending decisions met legal requirements and provided best value for money.
  • A landmark inquiry into the home care system in England which revealed disturbing evidence that the poor treatment of many older people is breaching their human rights.  The Commission joined forces with the Care Quality Commission (CQC) to produce equality and human rights guidance for care inspectors.
  • The largest ever inquiry into disability-related harassment which revealed that while hundreds of thousands of disabled people regularly experience harassment or abuse, a culture of disbelief is preventing public authorities from tackling it effectively.  
  • An inquiry into human trafficking in Scotland which led to a series of 10 findings and recommendations designed to make Scotland a more hostile environment for traffickers.  
  • Undertaking landmark legal actions which increased protection against discrimination and clarified the law for small businesses, as well as other organisations and individuals.
  • As a UN National Human Rights Institution, the Commission published an in-depth review on the state of human rights in England and Wales and monitored the UK government's compliance with its international obligations.
  • During the year, the Commission began an ambitious restructuring programme, which will result in the Commission working in partnership with the private and public sectors in a more enabling role which maximises our value to the public. The restructuring will also result in a reduction in staff numbers cut to around 150

The Commission is committed to delivering greater value for money. In 2011/12 it cut its travel and subsistence costs by just under 70 per cent; office overheads by 38 per cent; and agency and interim staff expenditure by 40 per cent.  These reductions come on top of an overall reduction in administrative spend in 2010/11 of 32 per cent.

Mark Hammond, Chief Executive Officer of the Equality and Human Rights Commission said:

"This has been a year of achievement for the Commission, as we successfully delivered numerous projects to promote and protect equality and human rights while helping individuals and organisations better understand and work with the changing legal and economic environment.

"The changes to the Commission we are putting in place will further increase our flexibility and our ability to adapt to the changing nature of the society around us, As a result of this work, I believe the Commission will be ideally placed to play a vital role in protecting and promoting human rights, supporting economic recovery and providing the maximum value for the money we receive from taxpayers."

For more press information contact the Commission’s media office on 020 3117 0255, out of hours 07767 272 818.
For general enquiries please contact the Commission’s national helpline: England 0845 604 6610, Scotland 0845 604 5510 or Wales 0845 604 8810.

Notes to editors

The Commission's Annual Report and Accounts can be found at: http://www.equalityhumanrights.com/about-us/corporate-reporting/annual-reports

The Equality and Human Rights Commission is a statutory body established under the Equality Act 2006.  It is the independent advocate for equality and human rights in Britain.  It aims to reduce inequality, eliminate discrimination, strengthen good relations between people, and promote and protect human rights.  The Commission enforces equality legislation on age, disability, gender, race, religion or belief, sexual orientation or transgender status, and encourages compliance with the Human Rights Act.  It also gives advice and guidance to businesses, the voluntary and public sectors, and to individuals.

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