Review of the Size of the Northern Ireland Assembly and Number of Government Departments - Terms of Reference

The Assembly and Executive Review Committee will review the potential benefit of streamlining governing institutions, focusing on the number of MLAs elected to the Northern Ireland Assembly as a result of the Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Act 2011 and any further reductions for the next Assembly election; and the reduction in the number of Northern Ireland departments and associated re-allocation of functions.

Phase 1 – REVIEW EVIDENCE GATHERING

The Review will take evidence on:

(1) Whether the statutory link between Westminster and Northern Ireland constituencies should be removed and the implications of removing or retaining this link.

(2) The implications of the forthcoming reduction (on the implementation of the Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Act 2011) and any further reduction in the number of MLAs;

(3) The reduced number of MLAs required to ensure that the effectiveness of the Assembly in delivering its key functions is maintained, consistent with the safeguards on inclusivity;

(4) Proposals to mitigate the impact of reducing the number of MLAs on the effectiveness of the Assembly in delivering its key functions, including in particular, proposals to ensure a robust and effective committee system; and

(5) The reduction in the number of NI departments and associated re-allocation of functions which will ensure the effectiveness of the Executive functions are maintained.

Phase 2 – CONSIDERATION AND REPORT ON NUMBER OF MLAs

The Committee will consider all evidence received in relation to reducing the number of MLAs and report and make recommendations to the Assembly on these matters by early June 2012.

Phase 3 – CONSIDERATION AND REPORT ON NUMBER OF NI DEPARTMENTS

The Committee will consider all evidence received in relation to reducing the number of Northern Ireland departments and report and make recommendations to the Assembly in late October 2012

 

Submissions should be made using the Stakeholder ‘Call for Evidence’ Paper.

Deadline for submissions: 28th March 2012

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