Maximising the Assembly's Contribution to the Northern Ireland Budget Process

Letter from Conor Murphy, Chairperson of the Committee, to stakeholders:

1. As part of its consideration of recommendations arising from the Executive's Review of the Financial Process in NI, the Committee for Finance and Personnel agreed to prepare a discussion paper to consider the options for improving the Assembly input to the budget process, including measures to address the issues that have been repeatedly identified by Assembly Committees as impediments to fulfilling their financial scrutiny and advisory functions effectively.

2. The attached discussion paper sets out the range of issues to be addressed and considers the merits of an agreement between the Executive and the Assembly in respect of budgetary and financial scrutiny, which may be underpinned in the Assembly's standing orders, compared to the option of statutory provision.

3. A number of questions have been set out at Section 5 to help guide responses to the paper. This is not a prescriptive list, and any other comments would also be welcome.

4. Responses should be provided to or Room 419, Parliament Buildings, Ballymiscaw, Stormont, Belfast BT4 3XX by 25 June 2012.

5. If you have any queries, please contact Shane McAteer, Clerk to the Committee, on (028 905) 21843.

Yours sincerely,

Conor Murphy MP MLA

Conchur MacMhurchaidh FP CTR

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