Guide to Submitting Written Evidence

1. All organisations and individuals are welcome to submit evidence.

2. Written evidence should give a brief introduction to the persons or organisations submitting it (perhaps stating their area of expertise, etc.). It should also set out any factual information they have to offer from which the committee might be able to draw conclusions (or which could be put to witnesses for their reactions). It is also helpful to include any recommendations for action by the government departments and/or others that you or your organisation would like the committee to consider for inclusion in its report.

3. Written evidence should be in the form of a brief, self-contained memorandum with numbered paragraphs but without page numbers, and should be prefaced with a 1-2 page summary plus, if appropriate, a table of contents. Colour printing should be avoided.

4. Submissions should be structured so that each of the issues/concerns specified in the terms of reference are addressed in turn.

5. Written evidence should be emailed to the committee as a word document.

6. Witnesses should be aware that if they decide to publish the evidence that they provide to the committee, the publication would not be covered by Assembly privilege in relation to the law of defamation. Witnesses who nevertheless decide to publish their evidence should provide the committee with advance notice of their intentions.

7. Unless indicated otherwise it will be assumed that those submitting written evidence have no objections to it being made public by the committee. The Northern Ireland Assembly will not publish information which it considers to be personal data. Written evidence submitted anonymously will not be considered by the committee.

8. Those submitting written evidence should indicate if they wish to be considered to give oral evidence to the committee. If witnesses give oral evidence, copies of their written evidence may be made available to the press and public at the hearing and treated as being in the public domain thereafter. Written evidence submitted by those not giving oral evidence will usually be published on the committee’s website during the course of an inquiry and included in the appendices to the inquiry report.

9. All submissions should be sent to the relevant Committee Clerk. Contact details are available on the Assembly website at www.niassembly.gov.uk . Clerks will also be able to provide guidance on how to structure your submission, if required.

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