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Civil Service (Special Advisers) Bill - Call for Evidence

The Civil Service (Special Advisers) Bill was formally introduced to the Northern Ireland Assembly on 2 July 2012 and received its Second Reading on 25 September 2012. The Bill has been referred to the Committee for Finance and Personnel for Committee Stage.

In broad terms, the Bill:

  • provides that no person shall hold the post of special adviser if they have a “serious criminal conviction”, which is defined as any custodial sentence of five years or more;
  • places statutory duties on the Department of Finance and Personnel to publish: a code for appointment of special advisers; a code of conduct for special advisers; and an annual report about the number and cost of special advisers;
  • amends the Civil Service Commissioners (Northern Ireland) Order 1999 to remove the Presiding Officer of the Northern Ireland Assembly (the Speaker) from the list of office holders who are entitled to appoint a special adviser to the Civil Service.

Any organisation or individual with an interest in this call for evidence is invited to make a written submission to the Committee by email to or by post to

Committee Clerk, Room 419, Parliament Buildings, Ballymiscaw, Stormont, Belfast BT4 3XX.

The evidence must be structured to address the specific clauses of the Bill.

Please note that oral evidence taken on the Bill to date is available here.

If you do not have access to the internet or email facilities or you have any other enquiries, please contact the Committee Clerk on 028 9052 1843.

The closing date for submissions is Friday 26 October 2012.

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