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How the NI Assembly Works

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					     Parliament Buildings




Home of the Northern Ireland Assembly
       www.niassembly.gov.uk
      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.
Constituency Map
       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
        7                                    1
                             1                                   1


                              Total = 108 MLAs


* formed 16 May 2007
           Northern Ireland Assembly
                 Party Leaders
DUP              SF             UUP
Ian              Gerry          Reg
Paisley          Adams          Empey


SDLP             APNI           PUP

Mark             David          Dawn Purvis
Durkan           Ford

Green            Ind
Party            Health
Member           Coalition
Brian Wilson     Kieran Deeny
                    Devolution
§ 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
  areas.
n Northern Ireland continues to elect MPs to House
  of Commons
n The Secretary of State continues to represent NI’s
  interests in Cabinet.
        The Governance of
         Northern Ireland

    Assembly           Executive Committee
                              ‘Cabinet’


108 Elected Members     First and Deputy First
       including               Ministers
  Speaker & Deputy         10 Executive
       Speakers         Department Ministers



The Committee System
                The
              Speaker
                     • Elected by the House to
                       preside over meetings of the
                       NI Assembly
                     • 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
  preparation.
• Plenary debates on topics of interest to
  MLAs.
• Statutory Committees established; each is
  being briefed by Depts and formulating
  forward work plans.
• Executive is considering legislative
  programme
             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
          Assembly Operation


•   Monday and Tuesday sittings (public)
•   Question Time on Mondays 2.30-4.00pm
•   Adjournment debates
•   Written and oral questions
                   Committees
• Most of the day-to-day work of the Assembly is done
  in Committees.
• 3 types of Committees:
   §   Statutory
   §   Standing
   §   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
         Coming Soon?
•   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
  resources

• 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
•   Petitions
•   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
              Lobbying MLAs
•   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
   DUP



   David Hilditch     Mickey Brady                   Alban Maginness
   Deputy Chair       Sinn Fein                      SDLP
   DUP



   Jonathan Craig     Fra McCann                     Fred Cobain
   DUP                Sinn Fein                      UUP




   Anna Lo                                Committee Clerk:
                      Mrs Claire McGill   Marie Austin
   Alliance
                      Sinn Fein           (028) 90 521864
                                          committee.socialdevelopment
                                          @niassembly.gov.uk
          End of Presentation

• Contact NI Assembly Information 9052
  1137
• www.niassembly.gov.uk

          Thank you for listening

				
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