Liquor license at the Northern Ireland Assembly Commission

Information Standards Freedom of Information Response

Our Ref: FOI 5-22


15 February 2022



Freedom of Information Act 2000 (“FOIA”)


I am writing to confirm that the Northern Ireland Assembly Commission (Assembly Commission) has processed your request dated 18 January 2022 in line with the Freedom of Information Act 2000. In your request, you asked:

“During the week commencing 12/12/21, I was refused entry to a private members club building for a meeting, where no alcohol would be available, due to the building having a liquor license.

Can you confirm the following?

1. Are Parliament Buildings, Stormont subject to a liquor license?
Who is responsible for the liquor license?

The Northern Ireland Assembly Commission is not required to hold a licence authorising the sale of intoxicating liquor on the basis that the Assembly Commission is a Crown body for the purposes of the Licensing (Northern Ireland) Order 1996 (‘the 1996 Order’).

2. As the building is licensed, can MLAs, or other members of the public, enter Parliament without the appropriate paperwork for the Covid Certification Scheme?

3. If yes, has a provision been made in legislation for the benefit of the Northern Ireland Assembly?

4. If MLAs are unable to enter Parliament Buildings legally, due to not meeting the requirements of the Covid Certification Scheme, what work arounds have been put in place to ensure democracy is maintained and the constituents’ representation at a maximum.”

As noted, the building is not a licensed premise. However, MLAs, pass holders and members of the public using the public dining facilities or attending functions and events in the building were required to provide evidence of COVID status certification, until the requirement was withdrawn by the Executive on 26 January 2022.

You have the right to request a formal review by the Assembly Commission and if you wish to do so, please write to me at the above address. If after such an internal review you are still unhappy with the response, you have the right to appeal to the Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF who will undertake an independent review.

The Assembly Commission may publish details of your FOI request and our official response within the organisational disclosure log. The request will be completely anonymised and you will not be identified in any way. This is to meet the requirements as laid out by in the agreed publication scheme with the Information Commissioners’ Office.


Yours sincerely


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