Guide to Submitting Written Evidence to Assembly Committees
1. All organisations and individuals are welcome to submit evidence.
2. Written evidence should give a brief introduction to the persons or organisations submitting it (perhaps stating their area of expertise, etc.). It should also set out any factual information they have to offer from which the committee might be able to draw conclusions (or which could be put to witnesses for their reactions). It is also helpful to include any recommendations for action by the government departments and/or others that you or your organisation would like the committee to consider for inclusion in its report.
3. Written evidence should be in the form of a brief, self-contained memorandum with numbered paragraphs but without page numbers, and should be prefaced with a 1-2 page summary plus, if appropriate, a table of contents. Colour printing should be avoided.
4. Submissions should be structured so that each of the issues/ concerns specified in the terms of reference are addressed in turn.
5. If possible, written evidence should be emailed to the committee as a ‘word document’. If this is not possible please send fifteen copies of the material submitted. If this would cause delay or difficulty, a single copy will suffice. Memoranda should be stapled rather than bound so that further copies can easily be made.
6. Witnesses should be aware that if they decide to publish the evidence that they provide to the committee, the publication would not be covered by Assembly privilege in relation to the law of defamation. Witnesses who nevertheless decide to publish their evidence should provide the committee with advance notice of their intentions.
7. The committee must give permission for written evidence submitted by witnesses to be made available to the press/public at evidence sessions. Unless indicated otherwise it will be assumed that those submitting written evidence have no objections to it being made public by the committee. If witnesses give oral evidence, copies of their written evidence may be made available to the press and public at the hearing and treated as being in the public domain thereafter. Written evidence submitted by those not giving oral evidence will usually be made public by the committee at the end of the inquiry, by publication or other means.
8. Those submitting written evidence should indicate if they wish to be considered to give oral evidence to the committee.
9. All communications should be sent to the Committee Clerk,
Committee for Employment and Learning
Room 416 Parliament Buildings,
Belfast, BT4 3XX.