Home of the Northern Ireland Assembly
The Northern Ireland Assembly
• Established under the ‘Belfast/Good Friday
Agreement’ of 10 April 1998.
• First election to the Assembly – 25 June 1998.
• Power was first handed over on 2 December 1999.
• The Assembly was suspended on 14 October 2002.
• Second elections to the Assembly – 26 Nov 2003.
• St Andrews Agreement – 13 October 2006
• Third election – 7 March 2007
• Powers were restored on 8 May 2007.
Current Party Representation
Democratic Ulster Unionist Social
Sinn Fein Democratic and
Unionist Party Party
28 Labour Party
36 18 16
The Alliance Progressive Independent
Party Green Party
Unionist Party Health Coalition
Total = 108 MLAs
* formed 16 May 2007
Northern Ireland Assembly
DUP SF UUP
Ian Gerry Reg
Paisley Adams Empey
SDLP APNI PUP
Mark David Dawn Purvis
Brian Wilson Kieran Deeny
§ The transfer of certain powers from a central
government to a regional government.
n Allows decisions to be made at a level closer to
the people they affect.
n Central government retains power over certain
n Northern Ireland continues to elect MPs to House
n The Secretary of State continues to represent NI’s
interests in Cabinet.
The Governance of
Assembly Executive Committee
108 Elected Members First and Deputy First
Speaker & Deputy 10 Executive
Speakers Department Ministers
The Committee System
• Elected by the House to
preside over meetings of the
• Maintains a politically neutral
stance – has no vote.
• Ensures that procedures are
followed and order is
maintained in the Chamber.
• 3 Deputy Speakers:
– John Dallat SDLP
Mr William Hay MLA – Francie Molloy SF
– David McClarty UUP
What’s happening now?
• A Draft Programme for Government is in
• Plenary debates on topics of interest to
• Statutory Committees established; each is
being briefed by Depts and formulating
forward work plans.
• Executive is considering legislative
2007/2008 Legislative Programme
• Taxis Bill
• Libraries Bill
• Education Structures Bill
• Public Authorities Reform Bill
• Diseases of Animals Bill
• Road Freight Licensing Bill
• Pensions Bill
• Presumption of Death Bill
• Charities Bill
• Budget Bills
• Building Regulations Bill
• Civil Registration Bill
• Health (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill
• Children (Emergency Protection Orders) Bill
• Public Health (Amendment) Bill
• Child Maintenance Bill
• Mesothelioma Bill
• Monday and Tuesday sittings (public)
• Question Time on Mondays 2.30-4.00pm
• Adjournment debates
• Written and oral questions
• Most of the day-to-day work of the Assembly is done
• 3 types of Committees:
§ Ad Hoc
• Membership of Committees broadly reflects party
strength in the Assembly.
• Most Committees have 11 members.
• Meetings are usually held weekly and last 2 – 3 hours.
Committee Inquiry Process
• Terms of Reference
• Written Evidence
• Oral Evidence
• Published Report
• More modernity?
• Intensified scrutiny
• More boring politics
• Assembly and Executive Review Committee
• Relationship with local government?
• Relationship with other countries?
Programme for Government
• Growing a dynamic, innovative economy
• Promoting tolerance, inclusion, health & well-being
• Protecting and enhancing our environment and natural
• Investing in our infrastructure
• Deliver modern high quality and efficient public services
• Investment Strategy
Maximise your impact
• Questions – oral and written
• Adjournment Debates
• Full debates in plenary
• Committee Inquiries
• Committee Visits
Maximise your impact
• Get to know the MLAs
• Attend committee meetings
• Attend plenary business
• Ask an MLA to sponsor an event
• Invite MLAs to events, launches, celebrations
• Ask an MLA for a quote
• What is lobbying?
• Who can lobby the Assembly?
• Who do I lobby?
• Does lobbying get results?
– Draft Local Government Pension Scheme
(Amendment No.2) Regulations (Northern
Ireland) 2007- successfully annulled through
trade union lobbying.
Department of Social Development Committee
Gregory Campbell Michelle McIlveen Thomas Burns
Chair DUP SDLP
David Hilditch Mickey Brady Alban Maginness
Deputy Chair Sinn Fein SDLP
Jonathan Craig Fra McCann Fred Cobain
DUP Sinn Fein UUP
Anna Lo Committee Clerk:
Mrs Claire McGill Marie Austin
Sinn Fein (028) 90 521864
End of Presentation
• Contact NI Assembly Information 9052
Thank you for listening