Recent Amendments

Recent Amendments to Standing Orders are presented below.

Standing
Order

Date

Amendment

20A(1) 12/11/13

In Standing Order 20A(1), line 2, leave out ‘first’ and insert ‘last’

30 16/09/13

In Standing Order 30, after paragraph (6), insert –

(7) Subject to paragraph (8), a Bill which is in the same or similar terms to a Bill
which has fallen or been rejected by the Assembly –

(a) must not be introduced in the Assembly within a period of 6 months from the date of that fall or rejection; but

(b) may be introduced at any time following the dissolution of the Assembly in which the fallen or rejected Bill was introduced.

(8) In exceptional circumstances, the Assembly may, on a motion by the appropriate
person, allow the introduction of a Bill to which paragraph (7) applies. The
'appropriate person' is –

(a) where the Bill is proposed to be introduced by a Minister, that Minister;

(b) where the Bill is proposed to be introduced by a member of the Assembly, that member.

20A 01/07/13

After Standing Order 20 insert –

‘20A.   Topical Questions

(1) Topical questions for a Minister shall be taken during the first 15 minutes of
the time allocated for questions for oral answer by that Minister.

(2) No topical questions shall be asked of the Assembly Commission.

(3) A member who wishes to ask a topical question of a Minister at a particular
sitting shall submit his or her name in advance to the Speaker who shall
select 10 members by ballot.

(4) The Speaker shall determine, by means of a random selection, the order in
which questions are taken.

(5) The Speaker shall inform –

(a) members; and

(b) the Ministers to whom the questions will be addressed at the sitting;

in advance, of the names and order in which questions are to be taken.

(6) Answers may not be debated, but the member asking the question may ask a
supplementary question.  A supplementary question may contain no more
than one enquiry.

(7) Where a member is not present to ask a topical question, the Speaker shall
move to the next member in accordance with the order determined under
paragraph (4).

(8) Paragraphs (1)(a) and (2) of Standing Order 19 and paragraphs (2), (8A), (10)
and (11) of Standing Order 20 shall apply to topical questions as they apply to
questions for oral answer.’

The current Standing Order 20A is renumbered as Standing Order 20B.

The current Standing Order 20B is renumbered as Standing Order 20C.

10(2)(a)  

In Standing Order 10(2)(a) leave out ‘and 20A’ and insert ‘to 20B’

19(3)  

Leave out Standing Order 19(3) and insert –

‘(3) A question may be –

(a) for oral answer (see Standing Order 20);

(b) a topical question for oral answer (see Standing Order 20A);

(c) for urgent oral answer (see Standing Order 20B); or

(d) for written answer (see Standing Order 20C).’

19(4)  

In Standing Order 19(4) line 1, after ‘question’ insert – 

‘(other than a topical question)’

20(1)  

In Standing Order 20(1) leave out sub-paragraphs (a) and (b) and the hyphen immediately preceding them and insert –

‘2.00 pm and 3.30 pm on those Mondays and Tuesdays’

59 16/10/12

Leave out Standing Order 59 and insert –

‘59. Assembly and Executive Review Committee

(1) There shall be a standing committee of the Assembly to be known as the
      Assembly and Executive Review Committee.

(2) The committee may -

(a) exercise the power in section 44(1) of the Northern Ireland Act 1998;

(b) report from time to time to the Assembly and the Executive Committee.

(3) The committee shall consider -

(a) such matters relating to the operation of the provisions of Parts 3 and 4 of
     the Northern Ireland Act 1998 as enable it to make the report referred to in
     section 29A(3) of that Act; and

(b) such other matters relating to the functioning of the Assembly or the
     Executive Committee as may be referred to it by the Assembly.’

49B 18/09/12

After Standing Order 49A insert – 
Changes to Statutory Committees 

(1) This order applies where all Northern Ireland Ministers cease to hold office as a consequence of the application of section 18(1) of the  Northern Ireland Act 1998, for example, where a new department is established or an existing one dissolved.

(2) All statutory committees shall be dissolved.

(3) After all Ministerial offices are subsequently filled, the procedures referred to in paragraph (4) for constituting statutory committees shall be run as they are run following the election of the Assembly.

(4) Those procedures are the procedures set out in Standing Orders for –

(a) determining the number of statutory committees;

(b) establishing them;

(c) appointing chairpersons and deputy chairpersons to them; and

(d) allocating seats on them.’

 57(1)(c)   Leave out Standing Order 57(1)(c) and insert –


‘to consider any matter relating to the conduct of members;’

57(1)(e)  

Leave out Standing Order 57(1)(e)

57(1)(f)
   In Standing Order 57(1)(f) leave out ‘Standing Orders 69B and 69C’ and insert –


‘Standing Orders 69A to 69C’

NB As Standing Order 57(1)(e) has been deleted, please renumber the subsequent sub paragraphs in Standing Order 57(1), ie, Standing Order 57(1)(f) will become Standing Order 57(1)(e) and Standing Order 57(1)(g) will become Standing Order 57(1)(f)
69A
   Leave out Standing Order 69A and insert –


‘Northern Ireland Assembly Commissioner for Standards

(1)This order supplements Part 2 of the Assembly Members (Independent Financial Review and Standards) Act (Northern Ireland) 2011.

(2) In these Standing Orders “the Commissioner” means the Northern Ireland Assembly Commissioner for Standards established by section 16 of the Act.

(3) The Committee on Standards and Privileges shall exercise the following functions in respect of the Commissioner –

(a) considering any report made by the Commissioner under section 17(1)(c) or section 26 of the Act;

(b) requesting and considering advice from the Commissioner under section 17(1)(d);

(c) directing the Commissioner under section 24 (including specifying matters under section 24(2)(b)(i) and making requirements under section 24(2)(b)(ii));

(d) requesting a further investigation under section 26; and

(e) publishing a report under section 27(3).

(4)The consideration of a report or advice by the Committee on Standards and Privileges does not preclude its consideration by the Assembly.

(5) The Commissioner must investigate a referral –

(a) made by the Committee on Standards and Privileges, that relates to –

(i) the conduct of members; or

(ii) members and Assembly privilege, including alleged breach of privilege by a member;

(b) made by the Clerk to the Assembly, that relates to –

(i) the conduct of members, and

(ii) the Clerk’s duties as accounting officer within the meaning of the Government Resources and Accounts Act (Northern Ireland) 2001.’

69C    Leave out Standing Order 69C and insert –


‘Members’ Interests: Rectification of Minor Errors

(1) This order applies to a failure by a member –

(a) to register an interest in the Register of Members’ Interests,

(b) to declare an interest.

(2) The Committee on Standards and Privileges may determine not to apply Standing Order 69B in respect of that failure if–

(a) the Commissioner recommends it;

(b) the failure was minor or inadvertent; and

(c)  the member acknowledges the failure and apologises to the Assembly for it.

(3) Where the failure is under paragraph (1)(a), the Register must also be rectified.’

49A 12/06/12

Leave out Standing Order 49A and insert –

‘49A. Membership of the Committee for Justice

A person cannot be a member of the statutory committee established to advise and assist the Minister of Justice if that person is a member of –

(a) the Northern Ireland Policing Board;

(b) a policing and community safety partnership; or

(c) a district policing and community safety partnership;

and those words have the same meaning as in the Justice Act (Northern Ireland) 2011.’

 

76(2) 30/04/12

In Standing Order 76(2) line 1, leave out ‘also’


76(1) 30/04/12

Leave out Standing Order 76(1) and insert –

‘Any determination made by the Assembly under section 47(2A)(a) of the Northern Ireland Act 1998 shall be published in full.’


27(2) 30/04/12

In Standing Order 27(2) line 1 leave out ‘this direction’ and insert –

‘a direction under paragraph (1) or (1A)(a)’


27(1) 30/04/12

Leave out Standing Order 27(1) and insert –

‘(1) Subject to paragraph (1A), the Speaker shall direct that the lobbies be cleared and the division bells sounded if –

(a)  the Speaker is unsure whether or not a question is carried following the collection of voices under Standing Order 26; or

(b)  the Speaker’s judgement as to whether a question is so carried is challenged.’

After Standing Order 27(1) insert – 

‘(1A) Where a question is put immediately after the result of a previous division is announced, and paragraph 1(a) or (b) applies –

(a)  the Speaker may direct that the lobbies be cleared and the division bells sounded; or

(b)  the Speaker may direct that the lobbies be cleared and proceed immediately in accordance with paragraphs (4) to (11)

and in deciding whether to direct that the lobbies be cleared and the division bells sounded under this paragraph, the Speaker shall have regard to any representations made by any party whip.’


26 30/04/12

In Standing Order 26(1)(a) leave out ‘a provision of the Northern Ireland Act 1998’ and insert ‘any statutory provision’


42A 24/01/12

After Standing Order 42 insert – 

Legislative Consent Motions

(1)   A legislative consent motion is a motion which seeks the agreement of the Assembly to the United Kingdom Parliament considering provisions of a Bill which deal with a devolution matter.

(2)   A legislative consent memorandum shall be laid in respect of any devolution matter for which a legislative consent motion is proposed. 

(3)   A legislative consent memorandum may include the Bill and any explanatory notes attached to the Bill and shall include—

(a)   a draft of the legislative consent motion;

(b)   sufficient information to enable debate on the legislative consent motion;

(c)    a note of those provisions of the Bill which deal with a devolution matter; and

(d)   an explanation of—

(i)    why those provisions should be made; and

(ii)   why they should be made in the Bill rather than by Act of the Assembly.

(4)   The Minister whom the devolution matter concerns shall, normally not later than 10 working days after the relevant day, either—

(a)   lay a legislative consent memorandum before the Assembly; or

(b)   lay a memorandum before the Assembly explaining why a legislative consent motion is not sought.

(5)   A member of the Assembly other than the Minister whom the devolution matter concerns may lay a legislative consent memorandum but shall not do so until—

(a)   the Minister has laid a legislative consent memorandum under paragraph (4)(a);

(b)   the Minister has laid a memorandum under paragraph (4)(b); or 

(c)    the 10 working days provided for in paragraph (4) have expired.

(6)   Upon a legislative consent memorandum being laid before the Assembly, those provisions of the Bill dealing with a devolution matter shall stand referred to the appropriate statutory committee unless the Assembly shall order otherwise.

(7)   The committee may, within 15 working days from the date of referral, consider those provisions of the Bill which deal with a devolution matter and report its opinion thereon to the Assembly.

(8)   A legislative consent motion shall not normally be moved until at least—

(a)   5 working days after publication of the committee report; or

(b)   20 working days after the date of referral to the committee.

(9)   A subsequent legislative consent motion may be moved if appropriate, having regard to the nature of any amendment dealing with a devolution matter made, or proposed to be made, to the Bill.   Paragraphs (4) to (8) shall not apply to that motion.

(10)   In this order a “devolution matter” means—

(a)      a transferred matter, other than a transferred matter which is ancillary to other provisions (whether in the Bill or previously enacted) dealing with excepted or reserved matters;

(b)          a change to—

(i)     the legislative competence of the Assembly;

(ii)    the executive functions of any Minister;

(iii)   the functions of any department.

(11)  In this order the “relevant day” means—

(a)    in respect of a Bill other than a Private Member’s Bill—

(i)     the day the Bill is introduced in the United Kingdom Parliament; or

(ii)    the day the Bill  completes the stage in the United Kingdom Parliament during which an amendment is made to the Bill which makes it a Bill to which this order applies;

(b)   in respect of a Bill which is a Private Member’s Bill—

(i)     the day the Bill completes the first stage at which it may be amended in the House of the United Kingdom Parliament in which it was introduced; or, if later,

(ii)    the day the Bill completes the stage in the United Kingdom Parliament during which an amendment is made to the Bill which makes it a Bill to which this order applies.

(12)  This order does not apply in respect of Bills which are consolidation Bills or Statute Law Revision Bills.’

 

49(A) 28/11/11

Leave out Standing Order 49A and insert –

‘Committee for Justice


(1)The statutory committee established to advise and assist the Minister of Justice (in this Standing Order referred to as ‘the Committee for

Justice’) shall –

(a) review the operation of the amendments made by Schedules 2 to 5  to the Northern Ireland Act 2009;

(b) report on its review by 30 April 2012; and

(c) include in its report any recommendations it has for changes to the way in which judicial office holders are appointed and removed.

(2) A person cannot be a member of the Committee for Justice if that person is a member of the Northern Ireland Policing Board, a district policing partnership or a sub-group of the Belfast district policing partnership.’

49(B) 28/11/11

Deletion of Standing Order 49(B)

 
59 28/11/11 Leave out paragraph 4(A)
65(6) 28/11/11

In Standing Order 65(6) leave out ‘, if he or she thinks it      necessary, adjourn the Assembly without question put or suspend any sitting for one hour’ and insert –

'–
(a) suspend the sitting until a later time on that sitting day; or

(b) adjourn the Assembly without question put.’

1(3) 14/06/11

In Standing Order 1(3) leave out 'may be called “Mr Deputy Speaker”, “Madam Deputy Speaker” or “Deputy Speaker” and'.

5 14/06/11

In Standing Order 5, after paragraph (3) insert -

'(4) A Deputy Speaker may be called “Mr Deputy Speaker”, “Madam Deputy Speaker” or “Deputy Speaker”.'

5A 14/06/11

After Standing Order 5 insert -

'5A. Principal Deputy Speaker

(1) Any Member of the Assembly may nominate a Deputy Speaker, who has been elected in accordance with Standing Order 5(1), to act as Principal Deputy Speaker.

(2) Once a nomination under paragraph (1) has been made, no further nomination under that paragraph shall be made, unless the person nominated does not agree to act as Principal Deputy Speaker or the nomination is not approved, in which case a further nomination may be made.

(3) A nomination to act as Principal Deputy Speaker shall not take effect unless the person nominated agrees to act as Principal Deputy Speaker and the nomination is approved by resolution of the Assembly.

(4) Where a nomination has taken effect in accordance with paragraph (3), the person so preferred may be called “Mr Principal Deputy Speaker”, “Madam Principal Deputy Speaker”, or “Principal Deputy Speaker”.

(5) If the Assembly resolves that the person acting as Principal Deputy Speaker should no longer so act, it may, in accordance with the provisions of this Standing Order, nominate another Deputy Speaker to act as Principal Deputy Speaker.

(6) Where the Principal Deputy Speaker ceases to hold office as a Deputy Speaker, any Member of the Assembly may, in accordance with the provisions of this Standing Order, nominate another Deputy Speaker to act as Principal Deputy Speaker.

(7) Where a Deputy Speaker is nominated to act as Principal Deputy Speaker under paragraph (1) or a motion is moved for a resolution under paragraph (5), a debate relevant to that nomination or resolution may take place in which no member shall speak more than once.

(8) A resolution under paragraph (3) or (5) shall not be passed without cross-community support.'
20(1)(b) 29/11/10

In Standing Order 20(1)(b) line 1, leave out ‘2.30 pm and 3.30 pm’ and insert -

‘2.00 pm and 3.00 pm’.

20(8) 29/11/10

In Standing Order 20(8), at the end insert -

‘A supplementary question may contain no more than one enquiry.’

20 29/11/10

In Standing Order 20, after paragraph (8) insert –

‘(8A) Answers (including those to supplementary questions) may be no longer than two minutes.  This period may be extended at the discretion of the Speaker.’

10(3) 29/06/10
In Standing Order 10(3) leave out from line 6 to line 9.
10 29/06/10
In Standing Order 10, after paragraph (3) insert -

‘(3A) Where it appears that Monday’s business may not be completed by 7.00 pm, a motion to extend the sitting into the evening may be moved by –

(a) a member of the Executive Committee (in respect of outstanding Executive Committee Business);

(b) a member of the Business Committee (in respect of any other outstanding business).

(3B) A motion under paragraph (3A) may only be moved if –

(a) notice of the motion has been given to the Speaker by –

(i) 11.00 am on the Monday in question; or

(ii) such later time as the Speaker may allow; and

(b) the motion specifies the latest time at which the Assembly is to adjourn and the Speaker considers that time to be reasonable.

(3C) Consideration of business on the Order Paper not concluded by the time the Assembly adjourns on a Monday shall be postponed until such time as the Business Committee determines.’
10(4) 29/06/10
In Standing Order 10(4) line 1, leave out ‘7.00 pm’ and insert –

‘the time the Assembly is to adjourn’

10(8) 29/06/10
In Standing Order 10(8) line 3 leave out ‘a motion made by a member of the Executive Committee’ and insert -
‘a motion moved by a member of the Executive Committee’
12 29/06/10
In Standing Order 12 leave out paragraph (7) and insert -

‘(7) Motions relating to the business of the Assembly –

(a) subject to Standing Order 10(3B)(a)(ii), shall be taken at the commencement of public business after notice; and

(b) shall be decided without amendment

or debate.’
20(1)
29/06/10
In Standing Order 20(1)(b) line 1 leave out ‘3.00pm’ and insert –

2.30pm

40(1)(a)
22/03/10
In Standing Order 40(1)(a) line 1 leave out ‘Judicial Committee decide’ and insert –  
‘Supreme Court decides’
40(1)(b)
22/03/10
In Standing Order 40(1)(b) line 1 leave out ‘Judicial Committee made by the Attorney General for Northern Ireland’ and insert –  

‘Supreme Court made by the Advocate General for Northern Ireland or the Attorney General for Northern Ireland’

44(3)
22/03/10
In Standing Order 44(3) line 3 after ‘1998’ insert –  

‘, otherwise than by virtue of an Assembly election,’

44(5)
22/03/10
In Standing Order 44 after paragraph (4) insert –  

‘(5) This order does not apply in respect of the Minister of Justice or the office of Minister of Justice.’

46
22/03/10
In Standing Order 46(2) line 1 leave out ‘Committees to assist the Assembly in the discharge of its business shall be appointed’ and insert –  

‘Committees shall be established’

47
22/03/10
In Standing Order 47 leave out from ‘following’ in line 3 until the end of line 8 and insert –  
‘after –  

(a) all Ministerial offices have been filled following the election of the Assembly; and  

(b) the Business Committee has considered the matter and made a recommendation having had regard to –’

48
22/03/10
In Standing Order 48(1) line 1 leave out ‘As soon as practicable after the appointment of Ministers’ and insert –  

‘As soon as is practicable after the Assembly makes a determination under Standing Order 47’

49A
22/03/10
After Standing Order 49 insert –  
‘49A. ESTABLISHMENT OF COMMITTEE FOR JUSTICE  

(1) This order applies where, subsequent to all Ministerial offices being filled following the election of the Assembly, the office of Minister of Justice is established.  

(2) All chairpersons and deputy chairpersons of statutory committees shall cease to hold their offices on

those committees. All other members shall continue to hold their seats on those committees.  

(3) The procedures set out in Standing Orders for –  

(a) determining the number of statutory committees;  

(b) establishing statutory committees (in respect of the Minister of Justice);  

(c) appointing chairpersons and deputy chairpersons to statutory committees; and  

(d) allocating seats on statutory committees (in respect of the Minister of Justice);  

shall apply as they apply after all Ministerial offices have been filled following the election of the Assembly.  

(4) The Business Committee shall review the allocation of seats on statutory committees made under Standing Order 49(2) as soon as is practicable following the application of this order.’

49B
22/03/10
After Standing Order 49A (as inserted above) insert -  
‘49B. MEMBERSHIP OF COMMITTEE FOR JUSTICE  

A person cannot be a member of the statutory committee established to advise and assist the Minister of Justice if that person is a member of the Northern Ireland Policing Board, a district policing partnership or a sub-group of the Belfast district policing partnership.’

51(1)
22/03/10
In Standing Order 51(1) in line 5 and line 6 leave out ‘process’ in both places where it occurs and insert –
‘procedure’
51(1A)
22/03/10
In Standing Order 51 after paragraph (1) insert –  

‘(1A) The procedure set out in this order shall be applied as soon as is practicable following the election of the Assembly.’

52A
22/03/10
After Standing Order 52 insert –
‘52A. CHANGES IN THE NUMBER OF STANDING COMMITTEES

(1) This order applies in respect of changes in the number of standing committees, including changes by way of –

(a) the establishment of a new standing committee; or

(b) the dissolution of an existing standing committee;

subsequent to the application of the procedure set out in Standing Order 51 following the election of the Assembly.

(2) All chairpersons and deputy chairpersons of standing committees shall cease to hold their offices on those committees upon that change taking effect. All other members shall continue to hold their seats on those committees.

(3) The procedures set out in Standing Orders for –

(a) establishing standing committees (in respect of any new committee);

(b) appointing chairpersons and deputy chairpersons to standing committees; and

(c) allocating seats on standing committees (in respect of any new committees);

shall apply as they apply following the election of the Assembly.

(4) The Business Committee shall review the allocation of seats on standing committees made under Standing Order 52(2) as soon as is practicable following the application of this order.’

59
22/03/10
In Standing Order 59 after paragraph (4) insert –  

‘(4A) The committee shall –  

(a) review the operation of the amendments made by Schedules 2 to 5 to the Northern Ireland Act 2009;  

(b) report on its review by 30 April 2012; and  

(c) include in its report any recommendations it has for changes to the way in which judicial office holders are appointed and removed.’

60(1)
22/03/10
In Standing Order 60(1) line 1 leave out ‘appoint’ and insert –  

‘establish’

93(1)(a)
22/03/10
In Standing Order 93(1)(a) line 1 leave out ‘Judicial Committee decide’ and insert –  

‘Supreme Court decides’

93(1)(b)
22/03/10
In Standing Order 93(1)(b) line 1 leave out ‘Judicial Committee made by the Attorney General for Northern Ireland’ and insert –  

‘Supreme Court made by the Advocate General for Northern Ireland or the Attorney General for Northern Ireland’

73
22/03/10 
Leave out Standing Order 73 and insert –
‘73. SUB JUDICE

(1) A member shall not, in any proceedings of the Assembly, refer to any matter in respect of which legal proceedings are active (within the meaning of section 2 of the Contempt of Court Act 1981) except to the extent permitted by the Speaker.

(2) Where the proceedings are committee proceedings, paragraph (1) applies as if the reference to the Speaker were a reference to the chairperson of that committee.

(3) Nothing in this order shall prevent the Assembly from considering legislation.’

44A
09/03/10
After Standing Order 44 insert –
‘44A. OFFICE OF MINISTER OF JUSTICE

(1) The office of Minister of Justice must be filled by applying the procedures set out in paragraph 3D(4) to (8) in Part 1A of Schedule 4A to the Northern Ireland Act 1998 within a period of seven days beginning with the day on which –

(a) the determination mentioned in paragraph 3D(2)(a) takes effect;

(b) the resolution mentioned in paragraph 3D(2)(b) is passed;

(c) the direction mentioned in paragraph 3D(2)(c) is given;

(d) the period of exclusion mentioned in paragraph 3D(2)(d) comes to an end as so mentioned; or

(e) the Minister of Justice ceases to hold office as mentioned in paragraph 3D(14), otherwise than by virtue of an Assembly election.

(2) Where under paragraph 3D in Part 1A of Schedule 4A to the Northern Ireland Act 1998 a person is nominated to be Minister of Justice –

(a) that nomination must take effect; and

(b) the person nominated must affirm the terms of the pledge of office and take up the office;

within 30 minutes of the nomination, unless the person nominated, or another member of the Assembly asks the Assembly to extend that time limit, and gives a reason or reasons for so asking, and the Assembly approves the extension.

(3) If a vote to fill the office of Minister of Justice is delayed under Standing Order 28(1) in order to comply with a petition of concern, the time periods set out in paragraphs (1) and (2) shall not run for the period of that delay, provided that that delay is no longer than one sitting day.’

66-68
22/10/10
Leave out Standing Orders 66 to 68 and insert –
66. PUBLIC ACCESS TO ASSEMBLY PROCEEDINGS

(1) Members of the public seeking to attend proceedings of the Assembly shall be permitted in such places reserved for them by the Speaker save that –

(a) they are not permitted in the Public Gallery during Prayers;

(b) they are not permitted to have any item in the Public Gallery which in the opinion of the Speaker could interfere with the preservation of order; and

(c) the Speaker may, in the interests of preserving order, require them to leave.

(2) Where the proceedings are committee proceedings, members of the public shall be permitted in such places reserved for them by the chairperson of the committee save that –

(a) they are not permitted to have any item in a public area which in the opinion of the chairperson could interfere with the preservation of order;

(b) the chairperson may, in the interests of preserving order, require them to leave; and

(c) the committee may resolve to sit in closed session.

(3) An authorised person may, during proceedings of the Assembly, lawfully remove any member of the public who is –

(a) in breach of paragraph (1) or (2);

(b) in a place reserved for members of the Assembly; or

(c) acting in a disorderly manner.

(4) In this order “authorised person” means –

(a) the Speaker or a person authorised by the Speaker;

(b) in the case of committee proceedings, the chairperson or a person authorised by the chairperson.

(5) This order applies whether the proceedings are carried on in Parliament Buildings or in some other place.

(6) These provisions are without prejudice to any other functions of the Speaker, the Assembly Commission or an authorised person in respect of Parliament Buildings which may be exercised by virtue of any other statutory provision or rule of law.

67. MEDIA ACCESS TO ASSEMBLY PROCEEDINGS

Standing Order 66 applies to the media as if –

(a) references to members of the public were references to members of the media;

(b) references to the Public Gallery were references to the Press Gallery; and

  • references to public areas were references to areas reserved for the media.’
74
22/02/10
Leave out Standing Order 74
9A
23/11/09
After Standing Order 9 insert -
9A. TEMPORARY SPEAKER

(1) If neither the Speaker nor any Deputy Speaker is able to chair a sitting of the Assembly, the sitting shall be chaired by a temporary Speaker.

(2) Paragraph (1) does not apply in cases where Standing Order 3(2) or 4(2) applies. If the Acting Speaker under Standing Order 4(8) is unable to chair a sitting, the sitting shall be chaired by a temporary Speaker.

(3) The temporary Speaker shall be the member, present at the sitting, who has served the Assembly the longest number of days, and in the case of a tie, the oldest of the longest-serving members present. Ministers and junior Ministers are not eligible to be considered as temporary Speakers.

3(2)
23/11/09
In Standing Order 3(2) line 3 leave out ‘eldest member of the Assembly’ and insert –

‘oldest member present at the meeting’

4(2)
23/11/09
In Standing Order 4(2) line 5 leave out ‘eldest member of the Assembly’ and insert –

‘oldest member present at the meeting’

4(8)
23/11/09
In Standing Order 4(8) line 7 leave out ‘eldest member’ and insert –

‘oldest member’

81
12/10/09
In Standing Order 81, after ‘In these Standing Orders - ’ insert –
“Code of Conduct” means any code of conduct for members together with any guide to the rules relating to the conduct of members agreed to by the Assembly;
57
12/10/09
Leave out Standing Order 57 and insert -
57. COMMITTEE ON STANDARDS AND PRIVILEGES

(1) There shall be a standing committee of the Assembly to be known as the Committee on Standards and Privileges -

(a) to consider specific matters relating to privilege referred to it by the Assembly;

(b) to oversee the work of the Clerk of Standards; to examine the arrangements for the compilation, maintenance and accessibility of the Register of Members’ Interests and any other registers of interests established by the Assembly; and to review from time to time the form and content of those registers;

(c) to consider any matter relating to the conduct of members, including specific complaints in relation to alleged breaches of the Code of Conduct which have been drawn to the committee’s attention;

(d) to recommend any modifications to the Code of Conduct;

(e) to consider any reports of the Assembly Commissioner for Standards;

(f) to perform the functions described in Standing Orders 69B and 69C;

(g) to make reports (including reports to the Assembly) on the exercise of any of its functions or any other matter listed above.

(2) The committee shall be appointed at the commencement of every Assembly and may exercise the power in section 44(1) of the Northern Ireland Act 1998.

69
29/06/09
Leave out Standing Order 69 and insert -
69. MEMBERS’ INTERESTS

(1) A Register of Members’ Interests, which shall list the categories of registrable interest, shall be established, published and made available for public inspection.

(2) The Clerk of Standards shall compile, maintain and from time to time publish, the Register of Members’ Interests.

(3) Every member shall inform the Clerk of Standards of such particulars of their registrable interests as shall be required, and of any alterations to such interests within 28 days of each alteration occurring.

(4) Before taking part in any debate or proceeding of the Assembly or its committees, a member shall declare any interest, financial or otherwise, which is relevant to that debate or proceeding, where such interest is held by the member or an immediate relative.

(5) No member shall, in any proceeding of the Assembly –

(a) advocate or initiate any cause or matter on behalf of any outside body or individual; or

(b) urge any other member to do so;

in return for any payment or benefit specified in this context in the Code of Conduct.

(6) In this order –

“financial interest” means any registrable interest other than one falling within category 3 which is not remunerated, category 11 or category 12 of the Code of Conduct;

“registrable interest” means any category of registrable interest defined as such in the Code of Conduct.

69A. ASSEMBLY COMMISSIONER FOR STANDARDS

(1) There shall be an officer of the Assembly, to be known as the Assembly Commissioner for Standards, who shall upon referral –

(a) from any person of a specific complaint, in relation to alleged contravention of the Code of Conduct; and

(b) from the Clerk of Standards, in relation to any matter falling within paragraph (2);

carry out an investigation and make a report thereon to the Committee on Standards and Privileges.

(2) Those matters are –

(a) matters relating to members and Assembly privilege, including alleged breach of privilege;

(b) specific complaints about members made in relation to the registering or declaring of interests; and

(c) matters relating to the conduct of members, including specific complaints in relation to alleged contravention of the Code of Conduct.

(3) A report made under paragraph (1) shall not include any recommendation for any sanction to be imposed upon any member, other than a recommendation for rectification under Standing Order 69C.

(4) The Commissioner shall not, in the exercise of any function, be subject to the direction or control of the Assembly.

(5) The Commissioner shall not be dismissed unless –

(a) the Assembly so resolves; and

(b) the resolution is passed with the support of a number of members which equals or exceeds two-thirds of the total number of seats in the Assembly.

69B. SANCTIONS

(1) Where it appears to the Committee on Standards and Privileges that a member has failed to comply with any provision of the Code of Conduct or Standing Orders 69 to 69C, the committee may make a report to the Assembly. The report may include a recommendation that a sanction be imposed upon the member.

(2) In consideration of such a report, the Assembly may impose a sanction upon a member who has failed to comply with any of those provisions.

(3) Sanctions may include, but are not limited to –

(a) a requirement that the member apologise to the Assembly;

(b) censure of the member by the Assembly;

(c) exclusion of the member from proceedings of the Assembly for a specified period;

(d) withdrawal of any of the member’s rights and privileges as a member for that period;

and for the avoidance of doubt, the rights and privileges withdrawn under sub-paragraph (d) may include the rights to salary and allowances.

69C. RECTIFICATION

(1) Rectification under this order means –

(a) rectification of the Register of Members’ Interests, in the case of a complaint following failure by a member to register an interest in the Register;

(b) reporting and apologising to the Assembly in respect of a failure of a member to declare an interest, in the case of a complaint following that failure.

(2) The Committee on Standards and Privileges may allow rectification under this order if –

(a) the Assembly Commissioner for Standards recommends it;

(b) the failure was minor or inadvertent; and

(c) the member acknowledges the failure and either undertakes to apologise for it or has apologised for it.

10(7)

29/06/09

In Standing Order 10 leave out paragraph (7) and insert –

‘(7) Where an oral Ministerial statement made under Standing Order 18A impinges upon the time bands specified in this order, the Speaker shall act in accordance with Standing Order 18A(6).’  

81

29/06/09

Leave out Standing Order 81 and insert -
‘81. INTERPRETATION

In these Standing Orders –

“day” means calendar day;

“nominating officer”, in relation to a party, means-

(a) the person registered under Part 2 of the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2002 as the party’s
nominating officer; or

(b) a member of the Assembly nominated by him;

“public holiday” includes Christmas Day, Good Friday, any bank holiday and any other day appointed as such;
“sitting day” means a day on which the Assembly sits in plenary;

“working day” means any day which is neither a Saturday, Sunday, public holiday nor day when the Assembly is in Recess.’

3(10)

29/06/09

In Standing Order 3(10) line 3 leave out ‘seven calendar days’ and insert

– ‘seven days’

15(1)

29/06/09

In Standing Order 15(1) line 4 leave out

‘two clear Working Days’ and insert –

‘two working days’

15(2)

29/06/09

In Standing Order 15(2) line 7 leave out

‘two clear Working Days’ and insert –

‘two working days’

15(3)

29/06/09

In Standing Order 15(3) line 7 leave out

‘two clear Working Days’ and insert –

‘two working days’

20(2)

29/06/09

In Standing Order 20(2) line 5 leave out

‘day when the Assembly does sit’ and insert–

‘sitting day’

20A(1)

29/06/09

In Standing Order 20A(1) at end insert–

‘The question may only be asked on a sitting day.’

20A(2)

29/06/09

In Standing Order 20A(2) line 1 leave out

‘on the day it is submitted’

20B(4)(a)

29/06/09

In Standing Order 20B(4)(a) leave out

‘clear working days’ and insert –

‘working days’

20B(4)(b)

29/06/09

In Standing Order 20B(4)(b) line 3 leave out

‘clear working days’ and insert –

‘working days’

33(2)

29/06/09

In Standing Order 33(2) line 4 leave out

‘(excluding any periods when the Assembly is adjourned for more than three working days)’

35(5)

29/06/09

In Standing Order 35(5) line 10 leave out

‘thirty working days’ and insert –

‘30 working days’

35(7)

29/06/09

In Standing Order 35(7) line 8 leave out

‘thirty working days’ and insert –

‘30 working days’

46

29/06/09

In Standing Order 46 leave out paragraph (3) and insert –

‘(3) Committees may sit on any day.’

61

29/06/09

In Standing Order 61 line 1 leave out ‘one week’ and insert –

‘seven days’

65(2)

29/06/09

In Standing Order 65(2) line 13 leave out ‘five sitting days’ and insert–

‘five working days’

65(3)

29/06/09

In Standing Order 65(3) line 10 leave out ‘five sitting days’ and insert –

‘five working days’

70(3)

29/06/09

In Standing Order 70(3) line 14 leave out

‘next day on which the Assembly shall meet’ and insert– ‘next sitting day’

797(4)

29/06/09

In Standing Order 79(4) line 5 leave out

‘sitting’

82-99

29/06/09

After Standing Order 81 insert -
82. PRELIMINARY MATTERS AND INTERPRETATION

(1) The provisions of these Standing Orders apply to Private Bills.

(2) In these Standing Orders–

"explanatory and financial memorandum", in relation to a Private Bill, means a memorandum detailing –

(a) the issue the Bill is intended to address;

(b) the consultative process undertaken;

(c) the main options considered;

(d) the option selected and why; and

(e) the cost implications of the proposal;

"Objector" means a person objecting to a Private Bill;

"Private Bill" means a Bill introduced for the purpose of obtaining for the Promoter particular powers or benefits in excess of or in conflict with the general law, and includes a Bill relating to the estate, property, status or style, or otherwise relating to the personal affairs, of the Promoter; and

"Promoter" means the individual, body corporate or unincorporated association of persons promoting a Private Bill.

83. STAGES IN CONSIDERATION OF PRIVATE BILLS

(1) The stages in the consideration of a Private Bill are –

(a) Preliminary Scrutiny Stage: consideration as to whether the Bill satisfies the pre-requisites;

(b) Introduction and First Stage: introduction of the Bill to the Assembly;

(c) Investigation Stage: initial investigation by a Private Bill committee into the principles of the Bill and report to the Assembly;

(d) Second Stage: general debate on the Bill with an opportunity for members to vote on its general principles;

(e) Committee Stage: detailed investigation and opportunity to amend by the committee followed by report to the Assembly;

(f) Consideration Stage: consideration of and an opportunity for the Assembly to vote on the details of the Bill, including amendments proposed to the Bill;

(g) Further Consideration Stage: opportunity for members to consider and vote on amendments proposed to the Bill;

(h) Final Stage: passing or rejection of the Bill without further amendment.

(2) In the circumstances set out in Standing Order 90, Committee Stage may be re-opened.

84. PRELIMINARY SCRUTINY STAGE

(1)A Private Bill shall not be introduced in the

Assembly unless the Promoter has satisfied the
Speaker that –

(a) there is proof of need for the Bill;

(b) there is no suitable alternative other than the matter proceeding by way of a Private Bill;

(c) there has been sufficient consultation with those who may be affected by the Bill;

(d) the Bill would be within the legislative competence of the Assembly;

(e) the Promoter has been authorised to promote the Bill in accordance with its constitution or such higher standard as the Speaker may require; and

(f) the Bill would not have the effect of authorising any sum to be paid out of the Consolidated Fund.

(2) In addition to the requirements of paragraph (1) the Bill must be –

(a) signed by the Promoter;

(b) in such form as the Speaker may require; and

(c) accompanied by –

(i) an explanatory and financial memorandum;

(ii) a statement in writing signed by the Promoter, to the effect that, in the Promoter’s view, the Bill would be within the legislative competence of the Assembly;

(iii) such other documents as the Speaker may require; and

(iv) such fee as the Assembly Commission may determine.

(3) The fee referred to in paragraph (2)(c)(iv) shall be reduced by 75% where the Promoter –

(a) is a charity; or

(b) is a body –

(i) which is not established or conducted for profit; and

(ii) whose main objects are charitable or are concerned with science, literature or the fine arts.

(4) The Speaker may reduce the fee referred to in paragraph (2)(c)(iv) to nil if satisfied that the Bill –

(a) is largely the same as a Bill recently withdrawn; and

(b) has the same Promoter as the withdrawn Bill.

85. INTRODUCTION AND FIRST STAGE

(1) A Private Bill shall be introduced in the Assembly by the Speaker. The Speaker shall announce that the Bill has been received, has passed Preliminary Scrutiny Stage and will now be published. This shall constitute the Bill's First Stage.

(2) The following shall accompany the Bill on introduction –

(a) the statement of legislative competence referred to in Standing Order 84(2)(c)(ii);

(b) the explanatory and financial memorandum; and

(c) such other documents as the Speaker may require.

(3) After introduction, the Bill shall stand referred to a Private Bill committee for its Investigation Stage.

(4) The Speaker shall, as soon as is reasonably practicable after the introduction of the Bill, send a copy of it to the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission.

86. INVESTIGATION STAGE

(1) Investigation Stage shall commence when the Private Bill is referred to the Private Bill committee and shall last at least 60 working days.

(2) The committee shall carry out an initial investigation into the general principles of the Bill and report its opinion to the Assembly.

(3) On the report being made to the Assembly, the Bill shall be set down in the list of pending future business until a date for its Second Stage is determined.

87. SECOND STAGE

(1) The debate on the motion "That the Second Stage of the …….. Bill be agreed" shall be confined to the general principles of the Bill.

(2) Amendments may be proposed to this motion, to leave out the words after "That" and insert words which state a reason for the Assembly not to agree to the Second Stage of the Bill.

(3) If an amendment proposed in accordance with paragraph (2) is negatived the Speaker shall immediately put the question that the Second Stage of the Bill be agreed.

88. COMMITTEE STAGE

(1) On the Second Stage of a Private Bill being agreed, the Bill shall stand referred to the Private Bill committee, unless the Assembly shall order otherwise.

(2) Proceedings at Committee Stage shall be conducted in accordance with the directions of the committee.

(3) The committee shall consider the Bill within the period of 30 working days from the date of referral.

(4) Before the conclusion of that period, a motion may be moved in the Assembly by the chairperson of the committee to extend the period until a date specified in the motion.

(5) The committee shall take such evidence and hear from such witnesses as it thinks fit.

(6) The parties may present their case to the committee, introduce evidence and call witnesses. A party may cross examine any other party, any witness called by that party and, at the discretion of the committee, any other witness.

(7) The parties must make full written disclosure in advance of the issues they intend to raise and the evidence they intend to introduce.

(8) The parties may act on their own behalf or by means of a representative.

(9) The committee may make such amendments as it thinks fit to the Bill and report its opinion on the Bill to the Assembly.

(10) On a report being made to the Assembly under paragraph (9), or on the conclusion of any period specified in this order or extended by the Assembly under this order, the Bill shall be set down on the list of pending future business until a date for its Consideration Stage is determined.

(11) In this order "parties" means –

(a) the Promoter; and

(b) (b) any Objector whose objection has been admitted under Standing Order 96.

89. CONSIDERATION STAGE

(1) Consideration Stage shall not commence until at least five working days after the Private Bill committee makes its report to the Assembly under Standing Order 88.

(2) Any amendments proposed to be made to a Bill at Consideration Stage shall be deposited with the clerk in time for inclusion on a Notice Paper circulated on a day before the day appointed for Consideration Stage. Amendments shall be arranged in the order in which the Bill is to be considered. Amendments may be moved, at the discretion of the Speaker, in very exceptional circumstances without such notice.

(3) On consideration of a Bill, the clauses and schedules shall be considered in the order in which they stand in the Bill unless the Assembly, on a motion moved after notice by the chairperson of the committee, decides otherwise. The question shall be put in respect of each clause and schedule, that the clause or schedule (or, as the case may be, the clause or schedule as amended) stand part of the Bill.

(4) Consideration of the preamble and the long title shall be postponed until after the consideration of the clauses and of any schedules.

(5) Members may speak more than once in debate during Consideration Stage.

(6) At the completion of Consideration Stage the Bill shall stand referred to the Speaker.

90. ADJOURNMENT OF CONSIDERATION STAGE AND RE-OPENED COMMITTEE STAGE

(1) The Assembly may, in view of the number or complexity of amendments proposed to be moved at Consideration Stage and on foot of a motion moved by the chairperson of the Private Bill committee, adjourn Consideration Stage and refer the Bill, together with such amendments as are thought fit, to the committee for a re-opened Committee Stage.

(2) Notice of the motion must be given to the Speaker not later than 9.30 am on the day appointed for Consideration Stage.

(3) Re-opened Committee Stage shall be conducted in accordance with Standing Order 88 save that –

(a) debate and vote shall be confined to those amendments referred to the committee; and

(b) the duration of the re-opened Committee Stage shall be determined in accordance with the motion adjourning Consideration Stage.

(4) Consideration Stage may only be adjourned once under this order.

91. FURTHER CONSIDERATION STAGE

(1) Further Consideration Stage shall not commence until at least five working days after Consideration Stage ends.

(2) Any amendments proposed to be made to a Bill at Further Consideration Stage shall be deposited with the clerk in time for inclusion on a Notice Paper circulated on a day before the day appointed for Further Consideration Stage. Amendments shall be arranged in the order in which the Bill is to be considered. Amendments may be moved, at the discretion of the Speaker, in very exceptional circumstances without such notice.

(3) During proceedings at Further Consideration Stage, debate and vote shall be confined to those amendments which have been selected. The amendments shall be considered in the order in which the relevant clauses or schedules stand in the Bill.

(4) Any amendments selected which relate to the long title shall be considered after those relating to the clauses and schedules of the Bill.

(5) Members may speak more than once in debate during Further Consideration Stage.

(6) At the conclusion of the debate on Further Consideration Stage the Bill shall stand referred to the Speaker.

92. FINAL STAGE

(1) After completion of Further Consideration Stage of a Bill, it shall be set down on the list of pending future business until a date for its Final Stage is determined.

(2) Final Stage shall not commence until at least five working days after Further Consideration Stage ends.

(3) No date may be determined for Final Stage of a Bill until-

(a) the Speaker has considered the Bill in accordance with section 10 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998 and signified to the chairperson of the Private Bill committee that in his or her opinion it may properly proceed to its Final Stage; or

(b) if the Bill is referred to the Secretary of State by the Speaker under section 10(2)(b) of that Act, the Secretary of State has signified his or her consent, or informed the Assembly of his or her opinion, under section 10(2)(c) of that Act.

(4) Debate at Final Stage shall be on the motion "That the Bill do now pass" and shall be confined to the content of the Bill. No amendments may be made to the Bill at Final Stage.

93. RECONSIDERATION

(1) Notwithstanding that a Bill has been passed under Standing Order 92 or approved under paragraph (3) of this order, it shall be set down in the list of pending future business as awaiting reconsideration if (but only if) –

(a) the Judicial Committee decides that any provision of the Bill is not within the legislative competence of the Assembly;

(b) a reference to the Judicial Committee made by the Attorney General for Northern Ireland in relation to a provision of the Bill under section 11 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998 has been withdrawn following a request for withdrawal under section 12 of that Act;

(c) a decision is made by the Secretary of State under section 14(4) or (5) of that Act not to submit the Bill for Royal Assent; or

(d) a motion under section 15(1) of that Act that the Bill shall not be submitted for Royal Assent has been passed by either House of Parliament.

(2) During proceedings on reconsideration of a Bill, the Assembly shall consider only amendments proposed to be made to the Bill; and the provisions of Standing Order 89(2) shall apply to such amendments.

(3) Where a Bill has been amended during proceedings on reconsideration, the question, that the Bill, as amended, be approved shall be put immediately and decided without amendment or debate.

94. CONTINUATION OF BILLS INTO NEW SESSION

(1) Where a Bill has not completed its passage by the end of a session of the Assembly, its passage shall be continued into the next session.

(2) A Bill shall not be continued if the Assembly is dissolved.

95. AMENDMENTS

Amendments proposed to a Private Bill shall be relevant to the provisions of the Bill and shall not be in conflict with the principles of the Bill as agreed to at Second Stage.

96. OBJECTIONS

(1) Subject to paragraph (2), any objections to a Private Bill must be lodged within 42 working days of the commencement of Investigation Stage.

(2) The committee may accept objections lodged outside that period if it is satisfied that –

(a) there are exceptional circumstances; and

(b) the objection is lodged as quickly as possible,

provided that the objection must be lodged at the latest before the first sitting of the committee at Committee Stage.

(3) The committee shall consider all objections lodged in accordance with this order and admit them if –

(a) the Objector has shown that his or her property or interests are directly and specially affected by the Bill;

(b) the objection is in such form and accompanied by such information as may be required; and

(c) the objection is accompanied by such fee as the Assembly Commission may determine.

(4) An Objector may take no further part in proceedings unless the objection is admitted.

(5) An Objector cannot raise an issue subsequently unless it was contained in the original objection.

97. HUMAN RIGHTS ISSUES

(1) For the purpose of obtaining advice as to whether a Private Bill is compatible with human rights (including rights under the European Convention on Human Rights) the Assembly may proceed on a motion made in pursuance of paragraph (2).

(2) Notice may be given by any member of a motion "That the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission be asked to advise whether the …….. Bill is compatible with human rights".

(3) Notice of such a motion may be given at any time after the Bill's introduction.

(4) On a motion being moved under paragraph (2) a brief explanatory statement may be made by the member who proposes the motion and by a member who opposes it, and the Speaker shall then put the question without further debate.

(5) Any advice tendered to the Assembly by the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission in response to a request made in pursuance of paragraph (2) shall be circulated to all members and published in a manner determined by the Speaker.

98. FEES AND COSTS

(1) The Promoter must pay the costs associated with a Private Bill incurred by the Assembly Commission (in addition to the fee which must be paid before a Bill is introduced).

(2) All fees and costs (including Objectors' fees) payable under the provisions of these Standing Orders shall be paid to the Assembly Commission.

99. PRIVATE BILL COMMITTEES

(1) The Assembly shall establish a Private Bill committee to exercise the functions set out in the provisions of these Standing Orders, in respect of each Private Bill introduced in the Assembly.

(2) Each committee shall –

(a) consist of five members; and

(b) have a chairperson and deputy chairperson who shall be elected by the committee.

(3) The quorum of the committee shall be three. Members linked by a video-conferencing facility shall not count towards the quorum.

(4) All questions at the committee shall be decided by a simple majority. Voting shall be by a show of hands unless otherwise requested. In the event of a tied vote, the chairperson shall have a casting vote.

(5) Members of the committee shall normally attend all meetings of the committee and may be absent from a meeting in exceptional circumstances only.

(6) A member with a personal or constituency interest in the Bill shall not be eligible to sit on the committee.

(7) Each committee may exercise the power in section 44(1) of the Northern Ireland Act 1998.’

12(1)

29/06/09

In Standing Order 12(1) line 2 leave out

‘Bills’ and insert –

‘Public Bills’

13

29/06/09

In Standing Order 13 leave out paragraph (1) and insert –

‘(1) The stages and procedures for Private Bills shall be as set out in the provisions of Standing Orders dealing with Private Bills.’

22(1)

29/06/09

In Standing Order 22(1) line 2 leave out

‘, not being a petition for a private Bill or relating

to any Private Bill before the Assembly,’

50(1)

29/06/09

In Standing Order 50(1) line 2 leave out

‘two’ and insert –

‘three’

50(1)

29/06/09

In Standing Order 50(1) line 4 after ‘standing committees’ insert–

‘, Private Bill committees’

50

29/06/09

In Standing Order 50 after paragraph (3) insert

– '(4) Private Bill committees shall be established in accordance with the provisions of Standing Orders dealing with Private Bills.'

10(2) (a)
2/06/09 In Standing Order 10(2), leave out sub-paragraph (a) and insert -

'(a) there shall be a period for questions as set out in Standing Orders 20 and 20A;'

10(2) (c)
2/06/09 In Standing Order 10(2), leave out sub-paragraph (c).
19 & 20
2/06/09 Leave out Standing Orders 19 and 20 and insert -

‘19. QUESTIONS

(1) A member may ask questions of –

(a) a Minister, on matters relating to the Minister's official responsibilities;

(b) a member representing the Assembly Commission, on matters relating to the Commission's official responsibilities.

(2) A question should not contain –

(a) statements of facts or names of persons, unless they are necessary to make the question intelligible and can be authenticated;

(b) arguments, inferences or imputations;

(c) adjectives, unless they are necessary to make the question intelligible;

(d) ironical expressions;

(e) hypothetical matter; or

(f) requests for expressions of opinion, legal or otherwise.

(3) A question may be –

(a) for oral answer (see Standing Order 20);

(b) for urgent oral answer (see Standing Order 20A); or

(c) for written answer (see Standing Order 20B).

(4) A question must –

(a) be in writing;

(b) indicate the type of answer sought, within the meaning of paragraph (3);

(c) be submitted to the Business Office by the member, or by the person authorised in writing by the member;

(d) be submitted by hand, by post, by email or by fax.

(5) A question must be answered as clearly and as fully as possible.

20. QUESTIONS FOR ORAL ANSWER

(1) Questions for oral answer for Ministers shall be taken between –

(a) 2.30 pm and 3.30 pm on those Mondays; and

(b) 3.00 pm and 3.30 pm on those Tuesdays;

on which the Assembly is sitting. Where questions for members representing the Assembly Commission are to be taken, they shall be taken after questions for Ministers.

(2) If for any reason the Assembly does not sit on a day when questions for oral answer would normally be taken, the Speaker may allocate additional time for questions on the nearest day when the Assembly does sit.

(3) The Speaker shall from time to time consult the Business Committee on the need to provide additional time for questions.

(4) A rota, agreed by the Business Committee, shall determine who should answer questions on a particular day.

(5) A member who wishes to ask a question of a Minister at a particular sitting shall submit his or her name in advance to the Speaker who shall select 15 members by ballot.

(6) Each member selected shall submit his or her question to the Business Office, and the Business Office shall publish the questions on the penultimate Friday before the day they are due to be taken.

(7) The Speaker shall determine, by means of a random selection, the order in which questions are taken. However, the first question may not be from a member of the same party as the Minister to whom it is addressed, unless all the questions are from members of that party.

(8) Answers may not be debated, but the member asking the question may ask a supplementary question. Further supplementary questions may be asked at the discretion of the Speaker.

(9) Where –

(a) the member who submitted the question is not present to ask it; or

(b) the question is not reached in the time allocated for questions;

the Minister or member representing the Assembly Commission to whom the question is addressed shall give a written answer. This question and answer shall be published in the Official Report (Hansard).

(10) No question shall be taken outside the time allocated for questions except a question which has not been answered in consequence of the absence, in exceptional circumstances, of the Minister or member representing the Assembly Commission to whom it is addressed.

(11) Where a question or supplementary question is asked of the First Minister and deputy First Minister which relates to a matter in respect of which the junior Ministers in the Office of the First Minister and deputy First Minister have been assigned a specific responsibility by the First Minister and deputy First Minister, the First Minister or deputy First Minister, as appropriate, may call upon a junior Minister in OFMDFM to answer the question. The First Minister or deputy First Minister shall be present in the Chamber during the time for questions for oral answer.

20A. QUESTIONS FOR URGENT ORAL ANSWER

(1) A question for urgent oral answer may be taken if, in the opinion of the Speaker, it is of an urgent nature and relates to a matter of public importance.

(2) A member may ask a question on the day it is submitted if -

(a) it is submitted before 10.30 am; and

(b) the Minister or member representing the Assembly Commission to whom it is addressed is given a minimum of four hours’ notice.

(3) Subject to paragraph (2)(b), the time for taking questions shall be at the discretion of the Speaker.

(4) Paragraphs (8) and (11) of Standing Order 20 shall apply to questions for urgent oral answer as they apply to questions for oral answer.

20B. QUESTIONS FOR WRITTEN ANSWER

(1) A member may submit up to five questions for written answer each working day, one of which may be for priority answer.

(2) Priority questions shall indicate whether an answer is sought within two, three, four or five working days.

(3) The Business Office shall publish all written questions.

(4) The Minister or member representing the Assembly Commission to whom a question is addressed shall answer it –

(a) by the end of ten clear working days after it is published; or

(b) in the case of a question for priority answer, by the end of two, three, four or five clear working days (as the case may be) after it is published.

(5) A question for priority answer should not request a large amount of historical or statistical information.

(6) The Minister or member representing the Assembly Commission to whom a written question is addressed shall cause the question and answer to be printed in the Official Report (Hansard).’

9

23/03/09

In Standing Order 9, leave out paragraph (2) and insert -

‘(2) If, at any time, a quorum is not present and the Speaker’s attention is directed to that fact, he or she shall order the division bells to be rung. If at the expiration of five minutes a quorum is present, it shall not be in order to direct the attention of the Speaker to the absence of a quorum for a period of one hour from that time.

(3) If at the expiration of five minutes a quorum is not present, the Speaker shall, without question put, either -

(a) suspend the Assembly to a later time; or

(b) adjourn the Assembly until the next sitting day.

(4) Where the Assembly is suspended under paragraph (3), the outstanding business on the Order Paper for that day shall be, subject to any direction of the Speaker to the contrary, the first business when the Assembly resumes.

(5) Where the Assembly is adjourned under paragraph (3), the outstanding business on the Order Paper for that day shall be, subject to any direction of the Speaker to the contrary, the first business when the Assembly next sits.’

18
23/03/09

Amend Standing Order 18

Leave out Standing Order 18 and insert -

'18. MINISTERIAL STATEMENTS

(1) Ministers shall make statements to the Assembly on matters relating to their official responsibilities, which may be either -

(a) oral Ministerial statements (see Standing Order 18A); or

(b) written Ministerial statements (see Standing Order 18B).

(2) A statement shall be oral unless the Minister considers it appropriate to make a written statement, having regard to, among other things, whether the statement relates to a matter of public importance and when the Assembly will next sit.

18A. ORAL MINISTERIAL STATEMENTS

(1) The Minister shall deliver the oral Ministerial statement in the Assembly.

(2) The Minister shall make a written copy of the statement available to members as early as possible and in any event at least 30 minutes before delivering the statement in the Assembly. Where this has not been possible he or she shall state to the Assembly the reason.

(3) The written copy, whether or not embargoed, shall not be given to members of the news media before it is made available to members.

(4) Notice of a statement shall be given to the Speaker not later than, 9.30am on the working day before the day, or in cases of urgency 2½ hours before, it is due to be made and the Speaker shall communicate such information to members as soon as is practicable.

(5) After a statement has been delivered in the Assembly a period of questions on the statement, which shall last no more than one hour, may then ensue. The Speaker shall determine the period taking into consideration the content of the statement, the number of members wishing to ask questions and the pressure of other business.

(6) Statements shall ordinarily be made outside the time bands specified in Standing Order 10(2) for questions and adjournment debates. However, where a statement is of urgent public importance it may impinge upon those bands. In such cases, the Speaker shall make arrangements for appropriate additional time to be scheduled under Standing Order 10 for questions and/or an adjournment debate unless, by leave, the Assembly determines to dispense with this requirement.

18B. WRITTEN MINISTERIAL STATEMENTS

(1) The written statement shall be delivered to the Speaker not later than 24 hours (or in cases of urgency 2 ½ hours) before it is -

(a) made public; or

(b) given, whether or not embargoed, to members of the news media;

whichever comes first.

(2) The statement shall be included in the Official Report (Hansard).'

26
23/03/09

Amend Standing Order 26

In Standing Order 26, leave out paragraph (3) and insert –

‘(3) Subject to Standing Order 27, the Speaker shall judge whether the question be carried or not by collecting voices.’

26
23/03/09

Amend Standing Order 26

In Standing Order 26, leave out paragraph (5).

27
23/03/09

Leave out Standing Order 27 and insert -

'27. VOTING - DIVISIONS

(1) The Speaker shall direct that the lobbies be cleared and the division bells sounded if -

(a) he or she is unsure whether or not a question is carried following the collection of voices under Standing Order 26; or

(b) his or her judgement as to whether a question is so carried is challenged.

(2) Three minutes after this direction, the Speaker shall put the question again, and if paragraph (1)(a) or (b) still applies, he or she shall proceed as set out below. Otherwise he or she shall judge whether the question be carried in accordance with Standing Order 26(3).

(3) If, in the Speaker's opinion, his or her judgement is unnecessarily challenged, he or she may take the vote of the Assembly by calling upon the members who support and who challenge his or her judgement successively to rise in their places and he or she shall thereupon, as he or she thinks fit, declare the determination of the Assembly without proceeding as set out below.

(4) The Speaker shall call for the nomination of two tellers for each side of the question but, if within a reasonable time after this call -

(a) two tellers for one side but not the other have been nominated, the determination of the Assembly shall be that of the side which has nominated the two tellers;

(b) two tellers for each side have not been nominated, the question shall not be carried.

(5) After tellers have been nominated, the Speaker shall direct the Assembly to divide, “ayes” to the right and “noes” to the left, and that the division bells be again sounded.

(6) Four minutes after this direction, the Speaker shall direct that the doors from the corridors to the Chamber and lobbies are secured.

(7) When all members in the lobbies have voted, the tellers shall bring the division lists to the table clerks who will announce the result.

(8) A member may vote in a division although he or she did not hear the question put.

(9) A member shall not be obliged to vote.

(10) If the votes in a division are equal the question shall not be carried.

(11) If any member is present within the precincts of the Assembly and is disabled by infirmity from passing through a lobby, his or her name may be communicated by his or her party whip to the lobby clerks and tellers and may be included in the numbers counted.'

80
23/01/09

In Standing Order 80(2), line 8, after ‘and answers’ insert ‘and written Ministerial statements’

64
19/01/09

In Standing Order 64, delete all and insert -

‘64. MATTERS OF JOINT CONCERN: OPTIONS AVAILABLE TO COMMITTEES

Where a matter may be of concern to two or more committees ("the relevant committees") it may be dealt with by –

(a) one of the relevant committees disposing of it, in accordance with Standing Order 64A;

(b) the relevant committees sitting concurrently, in accordance with Standing Order 64B;

(c) an ad hoc joint committee established for that purpose, in accordance with Standing Order 64C.

64A. MATTERS OF JOINT CONCERN: DISPOSAL BY ONE COMMITTEE

(1) The chairpersons of the relevant committees shall consult and agree which committee the matter should fall to for disposal. Where they are unable to agree, they shall make their views known to the Business Committee which shall rule on which committee the matter should fall to for disposal.

(2) The committee to which the matter falls for disposal shall seek the views and establish the interests of the other relevant committees before arriving at any conclusions and may invite the other relevant committees to carry out the consideration of any stated issue and provide it with a draft report.

64B. MATTERS OF JOINT CONCERN: COMMITTEES SITTING CONCURRENTLY

(1) The relevant committees shall consult and agree that the matter be disposed of by the relevant committees sitting concurrently.

(2) The procedures normally applicable to committees shall continue to apply to concurrent sittings, save that the relevant committees shall, as far as practicable, operate as a single committee. While operating as a single committee, they shall, for example, deliberate and consider any evidence together, produce a single set of minutes, and prepare any reports together.

(3) The chairpersons of the relevant committees shall consult and agree that–

(a) one of them shall act as chairperson and another as deputy chairperson, or

(b) the posts of chairperson and deputy chairperson shall be rotated between them.

The chairpersons shall prefer that a person not act as chairperson at the concurrent sittings if he or she is of the same party as a Minister (including the First Minister and deputy First Minister) who the concurrent sittings may advise or assist.

(4) Where the chairpersons of the relevant committees fail to agree on one of the alternatives set out in paragraph (3), they shall make their views known to the Business Committee which shall rule on the matter.

(5) For the avoidance of doubt –

(a) a person acting as chairperson at a concurrent sitting, who is a chairperson of one of the relevant committees, shall not be regarded as breaching any prohibition in Standing Order 48(13) or 51(10);

(b) a quorum shall be present at a concurrent sitting if there is a quorum present for each of the relevant committees;

(c) all questions at concurrent sittings shall be decided by a simple majority of all members present; voting shall be by a show of hands unless otherwise requested by a member of a relevant committee.

64C. MATTERS OF JOINT CONCERN: ESTABLISHMENT OF JOINT COMMITTEE

(1) The relevant committees shall consult and agree that the matter be disposed of by the establishment of an ad hoc joint committee.

(2) Save as is set out below, the ad hoc joint committee shall be established in accordance with Standing Order 53.

(3) Membership of the ad hoc joint committee shall be drawn from the memberships of the relevant committees.

(4) The ad hoc joint committee shall appoint its own chairperson and deputy chairperson, and if it fails to do so, it shall make its views known to the Business Committee which shall rule on the matter.’

49

12/02/08

In Standing Order 49, after paragraph (1) insert:

“(2) The Committee may exercise the power in section 44(1) of the Northern Ireland Act 1998.”

50

12/02/08

In Standing Order 50, after paragraph (1) insert:

“(2) The Committee may exercise the power in section 44(1) of the Northern Ireland Act 1998.”

53

12/02/08

In Standing Order 53, delete all and insert:

“(1) There shall be a Standing Committee of the Assembly to be known as the Audit Committee to exercise the functions mentioned in section 66(1) of the Northern Ireland Act 1998. In accordance with section 66(2) of that Act, no more than one Member of the Committee shall at the same time be a Member of the Public Accounts Committee.

(2) Any motion for a resolution of the Assembly relating to the salary payable under Article 4(1) of the Audit ( Northern Ireland) Order 1987 to the holder of the office of Comptroller and Auditor General shall be tabled on behalf of the Committee.

(3) The Committee may exercise the power in section 44(1) of the Northern Ireland Act 1998.

(4) The Committee shall have a membership of five and a quorum of two.”

10(1)

29/04/08

In Standing Order 10(1), after sub-paragraph (h) at end insert new paragraph

(i) “Matters of the day”.

68(1)

29/04/08

In Standing Order 68(1), after sub-paragraph (c) insert new paragraph

“(d) in any statement made pursuant to Standing Order 23A,”.

68(2)

29/04/08

In Standing Order 68(2), after sub-paragraph (c) insert new paragraph

“(d) in any statement made pursuant to Standing Order 23A,”.

23A

29/04/08

After Standing Order 23 insert:
‘23A MATTERS OF THE DAY

(1) A Member may seek leave of the Speaker to make a statement to the Assembly on a matter which fulfils the criteria specified in paragraph (2) by making a formal request not later than the time provided for in paragraph (3), which formal request shall outline the subject matter of the proposed statement.

(2) In deciding whether to grant leave to a Member who has made a formal request under paragraph (1) the Speaker shall take account of the following criteria –

(a) whether the proposed statement relates to a matter which has occurred and has come to public attention since the Assembly last stood adjourned;

(b) whether the proposed statement relates to a matter which is of exceptional public interest;

(c) whether the proposed statement relates to a matter which directly affects the people of Northern Ireland;

(d) that the specific subject matter of the proposed statement is not, and has not previously been, the subject of or directly related to a statement, application, notice or referral made or given under this or any other Standing Order.

(3) Any request under this Standing Order shall be made not later than–

(a) 9.30 am on any sitting day; or

(b) if the Speaker is satisfied that the event or incident to which the formal request relates came to the attention of the Member at such time that the Member could not reasonably have made a formal request by the time stipulated in sub-paragraph (a), such later time as the Speaker may direct.

(4) As soon as possible after receipt of a formal request under this Standing Order the Speaker shall decide whether to give a Member who has made the formal request under this Standing Order leave to make a statement, and shall forthwith notify the Member of that decision. If the Speaker gives leave for a statement to be made he/she shall allow the Member (together with such other Members as the Speaker may select) to make the statement as soon as reasonably practicable.

(5) No Member may intervene during a Member’s statement under this Standing Order and there will be no questions and no vote will be taken at the conclusion of the statement or statements.’

15(1)
01/07/08 In Standing Order 15 leave out paragraph (1) and insert -

‘(1) Except as provided for in paragraphs (1A) and (1B), any amendment to a motion shall be given in writing to the Speaker not later than 9.30 a.m. two clear Working Days before the day on which the motion is to be taken.

(1A) Any amendment to a motion to be debated on a day on which the Business Committee has arranged an additional sitting of the Assembly under Standing Order 10(6) shall, where the time between such decision of the Business Committee and the day of the additional sitting is less than two clear Working Days, be given to the Speaker not later than 9.30 a.m. on the day of the additional sitting.

(1B) Any amendment to a motion to be debated on a day on which the Assembly is summoned to meet earlier than that to which it stood adjourned shall, where the time between the Speaker’s summons and the meeting to which the Speaker’s summons relates is less than two clear Working Days, be given to the Speaker not later than 9.30 a.m. on the day on which the Assembly is summoned to meet.’
45(b)
01/07/08 In Standing Order 45(b)(i) after ‘46’ insert -

‘and 47’
46(3)
01/07/08 In Standing Order 46(3) line 2 leave out ‘and a number of Members other than himself/herself to’ and insert -

‘appointed in accordance with this Standing Order. The other Members of a Statutory Committee shall’
46(4)
01/07/08 In Standing Order 46(4) leave out from line 12 to end of line 15 and insert -

‘C is the number of Chairpersons and Deputy Chairpersons of Statutory Committees established under this Standing Order who are members of the party.’
46(5)
01/07/08 In Standing Order 46(5) line 5 leave out all after ‘Deputy Chairperson’ and insert -

‘of a Statutory Committee and to specify on which
Committee that Member is nominated to serve. In making nominations, nominating officers shall prefer Committees in which they do not have a party interest over those in which they do have a party interest.’
46(7)
01/07/08 In Standing Order 46(7) line 1 leave out ‘paragraph 8’ and insert –

‘paragraphs (7A), (8) and (9)’
46(7)
01/07/08 In Standing Order 46(7) leave out sub-paragraph (b) and insert -

‘(b) if the person nominated does not take up the specified office within 15 minutes of the request being made (whether that person was present when nominated or not),

the power shall be exercisable by the nominating officer of the party for which the formula in paragraph (4) gives the next highest figure.’

(7A) Where the nominating officer, the person nominated, or another Member of the Assembly asks the Assembly to extend the 15 minute time period mentioned in paragraph (7) and gives a reason or reasons for so asking, the Assembly may grant the extension.’
46(8)
01/07/08 In Standing Order 46(8) leave out ‘Paragraph (7)’ and insert -

‘Paragraphs (7) and (7A)’
46(9)
01/07/08 In Standing Order 46(9) line 1 leave out all after ‘as’ and insert -

‘necessary to ensure that the positions of Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson have been filled.’
46(10)
01/07/08 In Standing Order 46 after paragraph (9) insert -

‘( ) Once a Member has accepted a nomination as Chairperson or Deputy Chairperson the Speaker shall announce and confirm the appointment.’
46(11)
01/07/08 In Standing Order 46 leave out paragraph (11)
46(12)
01/07/08 In Standing Order 46 leave out paragraph (12) and insert -

‘(12) A Member shall not be eligible for nomination as a Chairperson of a Statutory Committee if at the date of such nomination the Member is a Chairperson of another Statutory Committee or a Standing Committee.’
46(14)
01/07/08 In Standing Order 46 leave out paragraph (14) and insert -

‘(14) If an office of Chairperson or Deputy Chairperson of a Statutory Committee becomes vacant by reason of any circumstances described in paragraph (13), the nominating officer of the party on whose behalf the previous incumbent was nominated shall nominate a member of the party who is a Member of the Assembly to replace the previous incumbent.

(15) If the nominating officer fails to make such a nomination within a period of ten days of the vacancy occurring or the nominated person does not take up office within this period, the power of nomination shall become exercisable by the nominating officer of the party for which the formula in paragraph (4) gives the next highest figure. Any such nominations must comply with paragraphs (5), (6), (11) and (12). Nominations shall be announced and confirmed by the Speaker at the next following meeting of the Assembly.’
47(1)&(2)
01/07/08 In Standing Order 47 leave out paragraphs (1) and (2)
47(3)
01/07/08 In Standing Order 47 leave out paragraph (3) and insert –

‘( ) Statutory Committees shall be constituted to reflect, as far as possible, the party composition of the Assembly except in so far as individual parties or individual Members may waive their rights.’
47(4)
01/07/08 In Standing Order 47(4) before paragraph (a) insert -

‘( ) that each Statutory Committee will consist of 11 Members including the Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson;’
47(4)
01/07/08 In Standing Order 47(4)(b) line 4, leave out ‘is’ and insert -

‘constitutes’
47(4)
01/07/08 In Standing Order 47(4)(c) line 4, leave out ‘are allocated to each political party’ and insert -

‘is allocated to each political party as far as possible’
47(6)
01/07/08 In Standing Order 47(6) line 2, leave out ‘representation of the different political parties as soon as may be’ and insert -

‘allocation made under paragraph (4) as soon as practicable’
47(7)
01/07/08 In Standing Order 47 leave out paragraph (7) and insert -

‘(7) The quorum of a statutory committee shall be five except when no decision is taken or question put to the committee, when the quorum shall be four. A quorum shall be deemed to be present where members are linked by a video-conferencing facility.’
47(8)
01/07/08 In Standing Order 47 leave out paragraph (8) and insert -

‘(8) A Statutory Committee shall continue for the duration of the Assembly unless the Assembly determines otherwise.’
48
01/07/08 In Standing Order 48 leave out paragraphs (3) to (7) and insert -

‘(3) Ad Hoc Committees may be established from time to time to deal with any specific time-bounded terms of reference that the Assembly may set.

48A ESTABLISHMENT OF STANDING COMMITTEES

(1) Unless otherwise provided for in these Standing Orders, each Standing Committee shall have one Chairperson and one Deputy Chairperson appointed in accordance with this Standing Order as part of a process that is separate and distinct from the process of nominating the Chairperson or Deputy Chairperson of a Statutory Committee.

(2) By reference to the consolidated list of political parties and their members, the Speaker shall calculate each party’s figure for the purpose of this Standing Order by applying the formula-

_S_
1 + C

where
S is the number of seats which were held by members of that party on the day on which the Assembly first met following its election.

C is the number of Chairpersons and Deputy Chairpersons of Standing Committees established under this Standing Order who are members of the party.

Where two or more parties have an identical figure they shall be ranked by applying the formula–

_V_
1 + C

where
V is the total number of first preference votes cast for the party at the most recent general election of Members of the Assembly and C has the same meaning as above.

(3) The Speaker shall then invite the nominating officer of the party with the highest figure to nominate a member of that party who is a Member of the Assembly to be Chairperson or Deputy Chairperson of a Standing Committee and to specify on which Committee that Member is nominated to serve.

(4) Subject to paragraphs (5), (6) and (7), where the Speaker asks the nominating officer to make a nomination under paragraph (3)–

(a) if he or she fails to do so within 15 minutes of the request being made (whether the nominating officer was present when the request was made or not), or

(b) if the person nominated does not take up the specified office within 15 minutes, of the request being made, (whether that person was present when nominated or not).

the power shall be exercisable by the nominating officer of the party for which the formula in paragraph (2) gives the next highest figure.

(5) Where the nominating officer, the person nominated, or another Member of the Assembly asks the Assembly to extend the 15 minute time period mentioned in paragraph (4), and gives a reason or reasons for so asking, the Assembly may grant an extension.

(6) Paragraph (4) and (5) shall not operate whilst the Assembly is adjourned.

(7) Paragraphs (3) to (5) shall be applied as many times as may be necessary to ensure that the positions of Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson have been filled.

(8) Once a Member has accepted a nomination as Chairperson or Deputy Chairperson the Speaker shall announce and confirm the appointment.

(9) A Minister or junior Minister may not be the Chairperson or Deputy Chairperson of a Standing Committee.

(10) A Member shall not be eligible for nomination as a Chairperson of a Standing Committee if at the date of such nomination the Member is a Chairperson of another Standing Committee or a Statutory Committee.

(11) The Chairperson or Deputy Chairperson of a Standing Committee shall cease to hold office on–

(a) resigning that office by notice in writing to the Speaker;

(b) ceasing to be a Member of the Assembly; or

(c) being dismissed by the nominating officer of the party which nominated him/her and the Speaker is notified of his/her dismissal.

(12) If an office of Chairperson or Deputy Chairperson of a Standing Committee becomes vacant by reason of any circumstances described in paragraph (11), the nominating officer of the party on whose behalf the previous incumbent was nominated shall nominate a member of the party who is a Member of the Assembly to replace the previous incumbent.

(13) If the nominating officer fails to make such a nomination within a period of ten days of the vacancy occurring or the nominated person does not take up office within this period the power of nomination shall become exercisable by the nominating officer of the party for which the formula in paragraph (2) gives the next highest figure. Any such nominations must comply with paragraphs (9) and (10). Nominations shall be announced and confirmed by the Speaker at the next meeting of the Assembly.

48B MEMBERSHIP OF STANDING COMMITTEES

(1) Standing Committees shall be constituted to reflect, as far as possible, the party composition of the Assembly except in so far as individual parties or individual Members may waive their rights.

(2) Seats on Standing Committees will be allo-cated on a proportional basis in accordance with the following principles –

(a) that unless otherwise provided for in these Standing Orders, each Standing Committee shall consist of 11 Members including the Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson;

(b) that not all the seats on a Standing Committee are allocated to the same political party;

(c) that the majority of the seats on each Standing Committee is allocated to a particular political party if the number of persons belonging to that party constitutes a majority of the Assembly membership;

(d) subject to paragraphs (b) and (c) above, that the number of seats on the Standing Committees of the Assembly which is allocated to each political party as far as possible bears the same proportion to the total of all the seats on the Standing Committees as is borne by the number of Members of that party to the membership of the Assembly; and

(e) subject to paragraphs (b) and (d) above, that the number of seats on each Standing Committee which is allocated to each political party as far as possible bears the same proportion to the number of seats on that Standing Committee as is borne by the number of Members of that party to the membership of the Assembly.

(3) The allocation of seats to parties or individual Members on the Standing Committees other than the Business Committee shall be undertaken by the Business Committee and shall be approved by resolution of the Assembly.

(4) The Business Committee shall review the allocation made under paragraph (2) as soon as practicable following any numerical changes to party membership in the Assembly.

(5) Unless otherwise provided for in these Standing Orders, the quorum of every Standing Committee shall be five, except when no decision is taken or question put to the Committee, when the quorum shall be four. A quorum shall be deemed to be present where Members are linked by a video-conferencing facility.

(6) Unless otherwise provided for in these Standing Orders, all questions at a Standing Committee shall be decided by a simple majority. Voting shall be by show of hands unless otherwise requested by a Member of the Committee.’

48C ESTABLISHMENT OF AD HOC COMMITTEES

(1) Ad Hoc Committees shall be established from time to time to deal with any specific time-bounded terms of reference that the Assembly may set. The Assembly shall decide the membership of any such Committee and may direct its method of operation.

(2) Each Ad Hoc Committee may exercise the power in section 44(1) of the Northern Ireland Act 1998.’
50(4)
01/07/08 In Standing Order 50 leave out paragraph (4) and insert -

‘(4) The Speaker shall nominate two Members of the Committee, either of whom, in the Speaker’s absence shall act as Chairperson of the Committee.’
50(6)
01/07/08 In Standing Order 50 leave out paragraph (6) and insert -

‘(6) ‘The Business Committee shall comprise the Chairperson and a maximum of twelve other Members of the Assembly. Each of these other Members shall be entitled to appoint a substitute Member to attend the Committee in his or her place.’
50(7)
01/07/08 In Standing Order 50 leave out paragraph (7) and insert:

‘(7) Each party delegation present at the Committee, whether comprised of members or their substitutes, shall be entitled to cast a number of votes equivalent to the number of Members who adhere to the Whip of that party. For the purposes of this Standing Order, the Speaker shall not be considered to adhere to any Whip; but a Member acting as Chairperson in accordance with paragraph (4) shall be considered to adhere to a Whip.’
76
01/07/08 In Standing Order 76, at end insert:

‘“Nominating officer”, in relation to a party, means:

(a) the person registered under Part 2 of the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 as the party’s nominating officer; or

(b) a member of the Assembly nominated by him.’
10(1)
29/04/08

In Standing Order 10(1), after sub-paragraph (h) at end insert new paragraph

(i) “Matters of the day”.
68(1)
29/04/08

In Standing Order 68(1), after sub-paragraph (c) insert new paragraph

“(d) in any statement made pursuant to Standing Order 23A,”.
68(2)
29/04/08

In Standing Order 68(2), after sub-paragraph (c) insert new paragraph

“(d) in any statement made pursuant to Standing Order 23A,”.
23A
29/04/08

After Standing Order 23 insert:

‘23A MATTERS OF THE DAY

(1) A Member may seek leave of the Speaker to make a statement to the Assembly on a matter which fulfils the criteria specified in paragraph (2) by making a formal request not later than the time provided for in paragraph (3), which formal request shall outline the subject matter of the proposed statement.

(2) In deciding whether to grant leave to a Member who has made a formal request under paragraph (1) the Speaker shall take account of the following criteria –

(a) whether the proposed statement relates to a matter which has occurred and has come to public attention since the Assembly last stood adjourned;

(b) whether the proposed statement relates to a matter which is of exceptional public interest;

(c) whether the proposed statement relates to a matter which directly affects the people of Northern Ireland;

(d) that the specific subject matter of the proposed statement is not, and has not previously been, the subject of or directly related to a statement, application, notice or referral made or given under this or any other Standing Order.

(3) Any request under this Standing Order shall be made not later than–

(a) 9.30 am on any sitting day; or

(b) if the Speaker is satisfied that the event or incident to which the formal request relates came to the attention of the Member at such time that the Member could not reasonably have made a formal request by the time stipulated in sub-paragraph (a), such later time as the Speaker may direct.

(4) As soon as possible after receipt of a formal request under this Standing Order the Speaker shall decide whether to give a Member who has made the formal request under this Standing Order leave to make a statement, and shall forthwith notify the Member of that decision. If the Speaker gives leave for a statement to be made he/she shall allow the Member (together with such other Members as the Speaker may select) to make the statement as soon as reasonably practicable.

(5) No Member may intervene during a Member’s statement under this Standing Order and there will be no questions and no vote will be taken at the conclusion of the statement or statements.’
49
12/02/08

In Standing Order 49, after paragraph (1) insert:

“(2) The Committee may exercise the power in section 44(1) of the Northern Ireland Act 1998.”
50
12/02/08

In Standing Order 50, after paragraph (1) insert:

“(2) The Committee may exercise the power in section 44(1) of the Northern Ireland Act 1998.”
52
12/02/08

In Standing Order 53, delete all and insert:

“(1) There shall be a Standing Committee of the Assembly to be known as the Audit Committee to exercise the functions mentioned in section 66(1) of the Northern Ireland Act 1998. In accordance with section 66(2) of that Act, no more than one Member of the Committee shall at the same time be a Member of the Public Accounts Committee.

(2) Any motion for a resolution of the Assembly relating to the salary payable under Article 4(1) of the Audit ( Northern Ireland) Order 1987 to the holder of the office of Comptroller and Auditor General shall be tabled on behalf of the Committee.

(3) The Committee may exercise the power in section 44(1) of the Northern Ireland Act 1998.

(4) The Committee shall have a membership of five and a quorum of two.”

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