APN 1 - 17/22: Arrangements for giving the undertaking and signing the Roll of Membership in the Chamber at 4pm on Monday 13 March 2017

1. Members should be in their places by 3.55pm at the latest and there will be no Prayers or formal Speaker's procession.

2. The Clerk will arrive at the Table at 4.00pm and will read the formal notice of the first meeting of the Assembly. She will then invite the Speaker to take the Chair.

3. The Speaker will explain the procedure for giving the undertaking provided for by section 40A of the Northern Ireland Act 1998 (see Annex A), and the arrangements for signing the Roll of Membership. This procedure is set out in Standing Order 3.

4. The Speaker will sign both documents first which will then be placed on the two tables in front of the Speaker's Table.

5. Parties will then be called in alphabetical order as follows to come forward, through the 'Aye' lobby, as if a division were in progress:

  • Alliance Party
  • Democratic Unionist Party
  • Green Party
  • People Before Profit Alliance
  • Sinn Féin
  • Social Democratic and Labour Party
  • Traditional Unionist Voice
  • Ulster Unionist Party
  • Independent Member

6. Members should emerge through the door nearest the Table two at a time. Clerks will be in the lobby to assist with the process.

7. The undertaking should be given at the first table in front of the Speaker's table with Members entering the date, their name and signature under a copy of the undertaking.

8. Members will then move to the second table to sign the Roll of Membership entering the date, their name, their signature and their designation ("Nationalist", "Unionist" or "Other").

9. There will be two of each document at each table enabling two Members to sign at the same time.

10. A Member may not sign the Assembly's Roll of Membership unless they have given the undertaking in accordance with the procedure outlined by the Speaker. The Clerk to the Assembly and Director of Parliamentary Services will be in attendance to assist Members.

11. Members should then return to their places, using the 'No' lobby if expedient.

12. When all Members present have signed the Roll, the Speaker will adjourn the Assembly. The undertaking and Roll will be examined to ensure that Members have taken their seats in accordance with Standing Order 3.

13. A Member not entering a designation will be deemed to be designated "Other".

14. A Member who has not signed both the undertaking and the Roll will be deemed not to have taken their seat. Members unable to sign at this stage will be able to do so at a later date but will not be able to participate in proceedings until they have done so.

15. When the Speaker is content that Members have taken their seats in accordance with standing orders an announcement will be made via the annunciator and an All Party Notice issued. A list of the party affiliations of the members will be placed in Members' pigeonholes.

16. A Member may table motions, adjournment topics and amendments to motions once the Speaker has announced that he is content that the Member has taken his/her seat. Questions may only be tabled after Ministers have been appointed.

17. Proposals for private member's bills, for which support is being sought under the Assembly's drafting service, may not be tabled until guidance has been approved by the Speaker. This will take place following the election of a Speaker.

Annex A

The Undertaking provided for by section 40A of the Northern Ireland Act 1998
I undertake:

— to support the rule of law unequivocally in word and deed and to support all efforts to uphold it;

— to work collectively with the other members of the Assembly to achieve a society free of paramilitarism;

— to challenge all paramilitary activity and associated criminality;

— to call for, and to work together with the other members of the Assembly to achieve, the disbandment of all paramilitary organisations and their structures;

— to challenge paramilitary attempts to control communities;

— to support those who are determined to make the transition away from paramilitarism;

— to accept no authority, direction or control on my political activities other than my democratic mandate alongside my own personal and party judgment.


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