Press Release

First Minister and Deputy First Minister outline Executive's Programme for Government considerations

Session: 2006/2007

Date: Wednesday, 20 June 2007

Reference: COFMDFM 04/07

At their meeting with the Committee for the Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister today, the First Minister and deputy First Minister outlined the emerging priorities for the Executive.

Chairperson, Mr Danny Kennedy said: “The Executive’s draft Programme for Government which will cover the period 2008-11 is due to be published in September 2007. The Programme for Government is the basis for the Executive’s spending priorities over that period and the draft document allows public consultation with the Assembly and the wider public to get things right.

“My Committee wanted this early opportunity to discuss, with the First Minister and Deputy First Minister, the emerging priorities for this Executive’s first Programme for Government.”

During the meeting the First Minister and Deputy First Minister identified five emerging priorities for the Executive, these were:
 Growing a dynamic, innovative society
 Building a peaceful, just and stable society
 Invest to rebuild our infrastructure
 Deliver modern, high quality and efficient public services
 Protect and enhance our environment and natural resources

Mr Kennedy said: “Many of these priorities featured in the considerations of the Transitional Assembly’s Programme for Government Committee before restoration and this is reassuring. Within those priorities there are a number of projects and programmes that will need to be undertaken by the Ministers’ own department, for which this Committee has a clear scrutiny role. During the meeting, we took the opportunity to discuss a wide range of policies including Victims and Survivors, Tackling Poverty, Delivering a Shared Future, Equality, Social Inclusion, Suicide Prevention, a Commissioner for Older People, Sustainability, the Economy and the Labour Force Survey.

“The Committee welcomed this briefing and our first opportunity to engage with the Ministers. We told the First Minister and Deputy First Minister that whilst the Committee accepts that the draft Programme for Government is still being developed and there is room for the Executive to change some of its priorities, we asked the Ministers that Assembly Committees be afforded the opportunity to be briefed on the draft Programme for Government before it goes to public consultation.”

Notes to Editors:

The Executive is required to produce an annual Programme for Government as a framework for its spending priorities and budget allocations to the Northern Ireland government departments.

The Programme for Government should set out the Executive’s programmes, priorities and the associated outline spending plans for the coming year. It provided a strategic overview of the Executive’s work and demonstrated how policies and programmes, delivered by different departments and agencies, can best be combined to achieve agreed priorities. The PfG also contained Public Service Agreements, the key targets that each department is seeking to deliver. The actions identified in the Programme for Government are supported by the allocations that are presented in the Budget document.

The role of the Committee as set out in Standing Orders for the Northern Ireland Assembly is “to advise and assist the First Minister and the deputy First Minister in the formulation of policy with respect to matters within their responsibilities as Ministers jointly in charge of the Office of First Minister and Deputy First Minister.”

Committee Membership: -
Danny Kennedy, Chairperson
Naomi Long, Deputy Chairperson
Martina Anderson
Tom Elliott
Dolores Kelly
Barry McElduff
Francie Molloy
Stephen Moutray
Jim Shannon
Jimmy Spratt
Jim Wells

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