ASSEMBLY BUSINESS

Research Papers 2012

Synopsis Here you will find a list of Committee for Finance and Personnel research papers published during 2012.

  • Northern Ireland’s fiscal deficit in real terms

    Reference: 197/12 - Date: 20/12/2012

    The Department of Finance and Personnel (DFP) recently published its latest estimate of Northern Ireland’s net fiscal balance. DFP’s publication presents estimates of the fiscal deficit for the years 2009-10 and 2010-11. The purpose of this short Briefing Note is to show the impact of presenting the figures for Northern Ireland’s net fiscal balance in real terms.

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  • The quality of financial forecasting and Improving Spending Control

    Reference: 196/12 - Date: 18/12/2012

    This Briefing Paper considers a recent analysis of financial forecasting provided to the Committee of Finance and Personnel by the Department of Finance and Personnel. In particular, it examines the requirements of a recent policy issued by the Treasury called Improving Spending Control. It suggests possible enhancements to the information provided to the Committee by the Department in the context of the requirements of that policy.

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  • Prompt Payment of Invoices and New EU Directive

    Reference: 178/12 - Date: 18/12/2012

    This briefing paper provides an overview of how the new EU Directive 2011/7/EU (2011 Directive) combating late payments on commercial transactions may impact existing UK legislation, which extends to Northern Ireland. The paper highlights: •aspects of the joint consultation launched in September 2012 by the Whitehall Department of Business, Industry and Skills (BIS) and the Scottish Government (joint consultation) on the 2011 Directive, including its context and provisions; •the UK legislative context, including an outline of existing legislation and its application in Northern Ireland and; •some potential issues for consideration in light of performance figures provided by Account NI, the body responsible for the processing and payment of invoices on behalf of government departments.

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  • Financial forecasting performance data: scrutiny by committees

    Reference: 190/12 - Date: 11/12/2012

    This research paper examines the forecasting of expenditure by departments. It explains the financial forecasting data that DFP provides to the Assembly, and makes some suggestions for committee scrutiny.

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  • Equality Issues in Recruitment to the Northern Ireland Civil Service

    Reference: 185/12 - Date: 29/11/2012

    This paper includes an analysis of recruitment competition outcomes in the Northern Ireland Civil Service and an examination of equality monitoring information made available by the Department of Finance and Personnel

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  • House of Commons Public Administration Committee Report on Special Advisers

    Reference: 174/12 - Date: 07/11/2012

    In the context of the scrutiny of the Civil Service (Special Advisers) Bill 2012 by the Committee for Finance and Personnel, the House of Commons Public Administration Committee has published a report on its inquiry into political special advisers. This Briefing Note summarises the conclusions and recommendations of the report.

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  • The Release of Prisoners as Part of the Belfast Agreement 1998

    Reference: 173/12 - Date: 07/11/2012

    This paper is written in the context of the consideration by the Committee for Finance and Personnel of the Civil Service (Special Advisers) Bill 2012, which includes a provision to exclude individuals with a serious criminal offence from the post of special adviser (Clause 2). In response to discussions within the Committee, this paper briefly summarises the circumstances and conditions of the release of prisoners as part of the Belfast Agreement 1998.

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  • The Employment of Ex-Prisoners Released under the Belfast Agreement

    Reference: 172/12 - Date: 07/11/2012

    This paper is written in the context of the consideration by the Committee for Finance and Personnel of the Civil Service (Special Advisers) Bill 2012, which includes a provision to exclude individuals with a serious criminal offence from the post of special adviser (Clause 2). In response to discussions within the Committee, this paper briefly considers the effectiveness of guidance for the employment of prisoners released in relation to the Belfast Agreement.

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  • Tax Incentives for Enterprise Zones

    Reference: 168/12 - Date: 26/10/2012

    This paper provides an overview of Tax Incentives for Enterprise Zones.

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  • Air Passenger Duty (Setting of Rate) Bill

    Reference: 164/12 - Date: 15/10/2012

    This Research Paper provides background on the Air Passenger Duty (Setting of Rate) Bill, which is to be debated at Second Stage on 16 October 2012. The Bill seeks to set a rate of duty for air passengers on certain flights departing from Northern Ireland. Previous Research Papers: NIA 71/12 Legislative Consent Motion: UK Finance (No. 4) Bill 2012 Air Passenger Duty and NIA 82/12 Further information on Air Passenger Duty deal with many of the surrounding issues of the course of this process and may be referred to for more information.

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  • Shared Services in central government

    Reference: 157/12 - Date: 12/10/2012

    This Briefing Paper presents a short history of the international trend towards public bodies sharing back office services. It also details the services shared by Northern Ireland Civil Service departments. It concludes by drawing together some lessons learned, and suggests points for future scrutiny by the Committee for Finance and Personnel.

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  • The Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012: additional information

    Reference: 143/12 - Date: 03/10/2012

    This note gives some information on recent developments since the passing of the Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012, and is a companion piece to the previous RaISe paper on the Act (Paper 142-12).

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  • The Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012

    Reference: 142/12 - Date: 03/10/2012

    This research paper outlines the anticipated impact of the UK Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012 , which was enacted on 8 March 2012. It further outlines the potential effects on public service commissioning of enacting similar legislation in Northern Ireland.

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  • The Civil Service (Special Advisers) Bill 2012

    Reference: 141/12 - Date: 03/10/2012

    This Bill Paper summarises the main points of the Civil Service (Special Advisers) Bill 2012 and briefly outlines some of the related debates.

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  • Rates (Amendment) Bill

    Reference: 09/12 - Date: 23/01/2012

    Paper addressing the Rates (Amendment) Bill, including key developments in the Department of Finance and Personnel’s formulation of policy and legislative proposals and a commentary on the Bill.

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  • The Superannuation Bill: further evidence

    Reference: 125/12 - Date: 06/09/2012

    This Research Paper provides further evidence for committee stage of the Superannuation Bill. It focuses on issues relevant to the Committee for Finance and Personnel’s consideration of potential amendments to the Bill, including Assembly procedure and negotiation versus consultation. Information is also provided on parity in public service pension provision in Northern Ireland.

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  • Flexible Working

    Reference: 95/12 - Date: 30/05/2012

    This paper provides a range of current case studies on flexible working practices in the private and public sectors, to inform the Committee for Finance and Personnel’s Inquiry into Flexible Working.

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  • Effective Legislative Scrutiny

    Reference: 84/12 - Date: 18/05/2012

    This Note provides some detail on best practices put forward by international organisations in relation to scrutiny of budgets and financial information. It also raises some issues facing parliamentary scrutiny in the wake of the international financial crisis

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  • Further information on Air Passenger Duty

    Reference: 82/12 - Date: 17/05/2012

    This briefing note looks at issues surrounding the conditions which have been attached to airlines, and airport operators, in instances where European governments have considered reducing or abolishing Air Passenger Tax.

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  • Legislative Consent Motion: UK Finance (No. 4) Bill 2012 Air Passenger Duty

    Reference: 71/12 - Date: 04/05/2012

    This Paper provides background on the forthcoming legislative consent motion that is to be put forward by the Department of Finance and Personnel. The motion concerns the devolution of Air Passenger Duty (APD) to Northern Ireland, as proposed by the UK Government’s Finance (No. 4) Bill 2012, which is currently under consideration in Westminster. Details surrounding the general APD debate are outlined, as well as potential issues for consideration.

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  • Consultation: legal requirements and good practice

    Reference: 69/12 - Date: 03/05/2012

    This Briefing Paper is a follow-up to RaISe Bill Paper 59/12 The Superannuation Bill. Members of the Committee for Finance and Personnel requested additional research. The Paper concerns the duties that the Bill would place on the Department of Finance and Personnel to consult with trades unions, and to report the outcome of the consultation to the Assembly.

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  • The Superannuation Bill

    Reference: 59/12 - Date: 23/02/2012

    This paper provides a general overview of existing redundancy pay – statutory, and in the private and wider public sector. It then concentrates on the provisions of the Superannuation Bill and raises some specific issues for Assembly Members’ consideration.

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  • State Aid

    Reference: 30/12 - Date: 09/02/2012

    This Briefing Paper provides a general briefing on European State Aid rules. It explains the legislative background and gives some detail on what is, and what is not, permissible under those rules.

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  • Pros and cons of the Barnett Formula for Northern Ireland

    Reference: 29/12 - Date: 08/02/2012

    The purpose of this Briefing Note is to provide the Committee for Finance and Personnel with a concise summary of the advantages and disadvantages of the Barnett Formula for Northern Ireland. It draws together information from a number of previous RaISe papers1 and provides background for the evidence session with expert witnesses on 8 February 2012

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  • Staffing levels in the Northern Ireland Civil Service

    Reference: 16/12 - Date: 27/01/2012

    This Briefing Paper is to support the Committee for Finance and Personnel’s consideration of options for holding an Inquiry. The first part of the Note presents evidence published by the National Audit Office on staff costs, staffing levels and distribution by grade in the home civil service. The process for approving new posts in the Northern Ireland Civil Service – in particular in relation to the Department of Finance and Personnel’s role is presented. Some initial data from DFP’s Comprehensive Pay and Grading Review is also discussed.

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  • Barnett Consequentials

    Reference: 04/12 - Date: 17/01/2012

    This Briefing Paper explains how changes to Northern Ireland’s block grant are determined. Consideration is given to how ‘Barnett consequentials’ are announced and applied by the Northern Ireland Executive, the Scottish and the Welsh Governments. Some of the difficulties for the Assembly’s statutory committees’ financial scrutiny processes associated with the Barnett mechanism are also discussed.

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