The Northern Ireland Assembly is in Recess. The Business Committee will meet on the 1st of September and the First Plenary Sitting is the 7th of September.

Terms of Reference

COMMITTEE ON PROCEDURES

INQUIRY INTO TOPICAL QUESTIONS

Terms of Reference

This Inquiry will:

  • Investigate whether a gap exists in opportunities for Members to question Ministers and the Assembly Commission;
  • Consider whether Topical Questions should be spontaneous or whether notice should be given to ensure that the information is available to provide an answer;
  • Look at definitions of Topical Questions;
  • Identify the potential benefits of introducing Topical Questions;
  • Analyse and compare practice and the effectiveness of Topical Questions in other legislatures;
  • Consider any rules surrounding the admissibility of Topical Questions;
  • Consider how frequently Topical Questions should be asked, of whom and how the Members asking the questions should be selected;
  • Consider whether time limits should be imposed on responses.

The Committee will then produce a report with findings, conclusions and recommendations for consideration by the Assembly.

Duration of the inquiry

As the Committee on Procedures meets monthly it is likely to be October 2012 before a report is presented to the Assembly.

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