Civil Service (Special Advisers) Bill Marshalled List of Amendments Consideration Stage Tuesday 19 March 2013

Amendments tabled up to 9.30am Thursday, 14 March 2013 and selected for debate

The Bill will be considered in the following order

Clauses, Schedule and Long Title

Amendment 1 [Made]

Clause 1 , Page 1, Line 7

After ‘position on’ insert ‘or before’

Mr Jim Allister

Amendment 2 [Made on Division]

Clause 2 , Page 1, Line 9

Leave out subsection (1) and insert -

‘(1) Subject to subsection (2) and section (Determination of eligibility of special advisers by Commissioners (Amendment 11)), a person is not eligible for appointment as a special adviser if the person has a serious criminal conviction.

(2) Where a Minister proposes to appoint as a special adviser a person who has a serious criminal conviction, that person may refer the proposed appointment to the Commissioners.’

Mr Jim Allister

Amendment 3 [Not Called]

Clause 2 , Page 1, Line 9

Leave out subsection (1) and insert -

‘(1) Where a Minister proposes to appoint as a special adviser a person who has a conviction for a conflict-related offence, the Minister must refer the proposed appointment to the Commissioners.’

Mr Dominic Bradley
Mr Alban Maginness

Amendment 4 [Not Called]

Clause 2 , Page 1, Line 10

At end insert -

‘, but this is subject to section (Exception for conflict-related offences: procedure for proposed appointees).’

Mr Mitchel McLaughlin
Ms Megan Fearon

Amendment 5 [Made]

Clause 2 , Page 1, Line 14

Leave out ‘section’ and insert ‘subsection’

Mr Jim Allister

Amendment 6 [Negatived without Division]

Clause 2 , Page 1

Leave out line 17 and insert -

‘the Minister who appointed that person must, after consultation with that person, refer the appointment to the Commissioners, within 21 days of this subsection coming into operation.’

Mr Dominic Bradley
Mr Alban Maginness

Amendment 7 [Negatived on Division]

Clause 2 , Page 1, Line 17

At end insert -

‘, but this is subject to section (Exception for conflict-related offences: procedure for existing appointees).’

Mr Mitchel McLaughlin
Ms Megan Fearon

Amendment 8 [Made on Division]

Clause 2 , Page 1, Line 17

At end insert -

‘( ) but a person to whom subsection (3) will apply may refer the appointment to the Commissioners, within 21 days of this subsection coming into operation.’

Mr Jim Allister

Amendment 9 [Made]

Clause 2 , Page 1, Line 18

Leave out ‘Ministers’ and insert ‘A Minister’

Mr Jim Allister

Amendment 10 [Made]

Clause 2 , Page 1, Line 19

Leave out ‘them’ and insert ‘the Minister’

Mr Jim Allister

Clause 2 [Question that clause 2 as amended stand part agreed on Division ]

The Members listed below give notice of their intention to oppose the question that clause 2 stand part of the Bill.

Ms Judith Cochrane
Mr Stewart Dickson
Mr Chris Lyttle

Amendment 11 [Made on Division]

New Clause

After clause 2 insert -

‘Determination of eligibility of special advisers by Commissioners

2 A. - (1) Where -

(a) a proposed appointment is referred to the Commissioners under section 2(2- as inserted by Amendment 2), or

(b) an appointment is referred to the Commissioners under section 2(subsection as inserted by Amendment 8 ),

the Commissioners shall determine whether the person is eligible for appointment as, or to continue to hold appointment as, a special adviser.

(2) The Commissioners shall only determine that a person is eligible for appointment as, or to continue to hold appointment as, a special adviser, if satisfied that there are exceptional circumstances justifying it -

(a) after having regard to the matters set out in subsection (3), and

(b) in the case of a proposed appointment, after taking account of the outcome of the vetting procedures mentioned in subsection (4).

(3) Those matters are -

(a) whether the person has shown contrition for the offence to which the serious criminal conviction relates,

(b) whether the person has taken all reasonable steps to assist in the investigation and prosecution of all other persons connected with the commission of the offence,

(c) the views of any victim of the offence, or where a victim has died, the views of any close family member of the victim.

(4) The Commissioners must arrange for the proposed appointee to be the subject of the same vetting procedures as apply to the appointment of persons as Senior Civil Servants to the Northern Ireland Civil Service.’

Mr Jim Allister

Amendment 12 [Negatived on Division]

New Clause

After clause 2 insert -

‘Exception for conflict-related offences: procedure for proposed appointees

2A. -(1) Where a Minister proposes to appoint as a special adviser a person who has incurred a serious criminal conviction for a conflict-related offence, the Minister must refer the matter to the First Minister and deputy First Minister.

(2) The First Minister and deputy First Minister, acting jointly, must within 14 days of the referral, establish a review panel in accordance with section (Exception for conflict-related offences: review panel) and refer the matter to it.

(3) The review panel must arrange for the proposed appointee to be the subject of the vetting procedures referred to in section 6.

(4) Subject to the outcome of those procedures, the review panel must determine that the proposed appointee is eligible for appointment, unless satisfied that the nature of the proposed appointee’s role as a special adviser is manifestly incompatible with the circumstances of the conflict-related offence.’

Mr Mitchel McLaughlin
Ms Megan Fearon

Amendment 13 [Negatived on Division]

New Clause

After clause 2 insert -

‘Exception for conflict-related offences: procedure for existing appointees

2B. -(1) This section applies if, on the date of its coming into operation -

(a) a person holds an appointment as a special adviser,

(b) the person has before that date incurred a serious criminal conviction, and

(c) the serious criminal conviction was for a conflict-related offence.

(2) The Minister who appointed that person may, within 21 days of the coming into operation of this section, and after consultation with the person, refer the matter to the First Minister and deputy First Minister.

(3) The First Minister and deputy First Minister, acting jointly, must within 14 days of the referral, establish a review panel in accordance with section (Exception for conflict-related offences: review panel) and refer the matter to it.

(4) The review panel must determine that the person’s appointment will not be, or is not, terminated by virtue of this Act, unless satisfied that the nature of the person’s role as a special adviser is manifestly incompatible with the circumstances of the conflict-related offence.’

Mr Mitchel McLaughlin
Ms Megan Fearon

Amendment 14 [Not Called]

New Clause

After clause 2 insert -

‘Exception for conflict-related offences: review panel

2C. -(1) This section applies where the First Minister and deputy First Minister, acting jointly, are required to appoint a review panel for the purposes of section (Exception for conflict-related offences: procedure for proposed appointees) or (Exception for conflict-related offences: procedure for existing appointees).

(2) The First Minister and deputy First Minister, acting jointly, must -

(a) appoint independent persons with suitable qualifications, expertise or experience, to be members of the review panel,

(b) pay those persons such fees, allowances or expenses as appear appropriate,

(c) provide the review panel with staff, accommodation or other facilities as appear appropriate.

(3) A review panel may regulate its own procedure.

(4) A review panel only remains in existence for so long as is necessary for it to exercise its functions.’

Mr Mitchel McLaughlin
Ms Megan Fearon

Amendment 15 [Not Called]

New Clause

After clause 2 insert -

‘Exception for conflict-related offences: appeals

2D. -(1) Where a review panel -

(a) determines under section (Exception for conflict-related offences: procedure for proposed appointees) that a person is not eligible for appointment as a special adviser, or

(b) determines under section ( Exception for conflict-related offences: procedure for existing appointees) that a person’s appointment as a special adviser will be, or is terminated by virtue of this Act,

that person may appeal to the High Court.

(2) The appeal can only be brought on the ground that the nature of the person’s role as a special adviser would not be, or is not manifestly incompatible with the circumstances of the conflict-related offence.

(3) The appeal must be brought within 21 days from the day on which the review panel made the determination.

(4) On hearing the appeal, the High Court may make such order as it thinks fit in respect of the person’s -

(a) eligibility for appointment as a special adviser, or

(b) termination of appointment as a special adviser.’

Mr Mitchel McLaughlin
Ms Megan Fearon

Amendment 16 [Not Called]

New Clause

After clause 2 insert -

‘Determination of eligibility of special advisers by Commissioners

2A. -(1) Where -

(a) a proposed appointment is referred to the Commissioners under section 2(1 - as inserted by Amendment 3), or

(b) an appointment is referred to the Commissioners under section 2(3- as amended by Amendment 6),

the Commissioners shall determine whether the person is eligible for appointment as, or to continue to hold appointment as, a special adviser.

(2) The Commissioners shall only determine that a person is eligible for appointment as, or to continue to hold appointment as, a special adviser, if satisfied that it is reasonable to do so -

(a) after having regard to the matters set out in subsection (3), and

(b) in the case of a proposed appointment, after taking account of the outcome of the vetting procedures mentioned in subsection (4).

(3) Those matters are -

(a) the nature of the offence to which the serious criminal conviction relates,

(b) the relevance of the nature of the offence to the person’s role as a special adviser, and

(c) such other matters as the Commissioners consider relevant.

(4) The Commissioners must arrange for the proposed appointee to be the subject of the same vetting procedures as apply to the appointment of persons as Senior Civil Servants to the Northern Ireland Civil Service.’

Mr Dominic Bradley
Mr Alban Maginness

Amendment 17 [Made on Division]

New Clause

After clause 2 insert -

‘Appeals against Commissioners’ determinations

2B. -(1) Where a person who is the subject of a determination of the Commissioners is aggrieved by that determination, that person may appeal to the High Court.

(2) The appeal can only be brought on the ground that it was not reasonable for the Commissioners to make that determination.

(3) The appeal must be brought within 21 days from the day on which the Commissioners made the determination.

(4) On hearing the appeal, the High Court may make such order as it thinks fit in respect of a person’s eligibility for appointment as, or to continue to hold appointment as, a special adviser.’

Mr Dominic Bradley
Mr Alban Maginness

Amendment 18 [Made]

Clause 3 , Page 2, Line 1

After ‘sentence of’ insert ‘immediate’

Mr Jim Allister

Amendment 19 [Made]

Clause 3 , Page 2, Line 5

After ‘State’ insert ‘or the Minister of Justice’

Mr Jim Allister

Amendment 20 [Made]

Clause 3 , Page 2, Line 9

After ‘Governor’ insert ‘or the Secretary of State’

Mr Jim Allister

Amendment 21 [Made]

Clause 3 , Page 2, Line 15

Leave out ‘Act’ and insert ‘section’

Mr Jim Allister

Amendment 22 [Made]

Clause 3 , Page 2, Line 15

At end insert -

‘(3) Where the person was convicted in a country or territory outside Northern Ireland, the references in subsection (1)(c), (d) and (e) to sentences are to be read as references to equivalent sentences in the country or territory in which the person was convicted.’

Mr Jim Allister

Clause 3 [Question that Clause 3 as amended stand part agreed on Division]

The Members listed below give notice of their intention to oppose the question that clause 3 stand part of the Bill.

Ms Judith Cochrane
Mr Stewart Dickson
Mr Chris Lyttle

Amendment 23 [Not Called]

New Clause

After clause 3 insert -

‘Meaning of “conflict-related offence”

3A. In this Act, ‘conflict-related offence’ means -

(a) an offence for which a person was released on licence under the Northern Ireland (Sentences) Act 1998, and that licence has not been revoked, or

(b) an offence for which a person would have been released on licence under the Northern Ireland (Sentences) Act 1998, had the person not already been released before that Act came into operation.’

Mr Mitchel McLaughlin
Ms Megan Fearon

Amendment 24 [Made]

Clause 4 , Page 2, Line 18

After ‘employed’ insert ‘at any time’

Mr Jim Allister

Amendment 25 [Made]

Clause 5 , Page 2, Line 26

Leave out ‘3’ and insert ‘2’

Mr Jim Allister

Amendment 26 [Made]

Clause 5 , Page 2, Line 30

Leave out ‘function’ and insert ‘power’

Mr Jim Allister

Amendment 27 [Made]

Clause 5 , Page 2, Line 32

Leave out ‘function’ and insert ‘power’

Mr Jim Allister

Amendment 28 [Made]

Clause 5 , Page 2, Line 34

Leave out ‘function’ and insert ‘power’

Mr Jim Allister

Amendment 29 [Made]

Clause 5 , Page 2, Line 38

Leave out ‘employment’ and insert ‘appointment’

Mr Jim Allister

Amendment 30 [Made]

Clause 6 , Page 3, Line 3

Leave out ‘3’ and insert ‘2’

Mr Jim Allister

Amendment 31 [Made on Division]

Clause 6 , Page 3, Line 3

At end insert -

‘( ) Where a Minister proposes to appoint a special adviser, such an appointment shall be subject to the terms of the code.’

Ms Judith Cochrane
Mr Stewart Dickson
Mr Chris Lyttle

Amendment 32 [Made on Division]

Clause 6 , Page 3, Line 4

Leave out subsection (2) and insert -

‘(2) Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (1), the code must provide that persons proposed for appointment as special advisers -

(a) must be subject to the same vetting procedures as persons to be appointed as Senior Civil Servants to the Northern Ireland Civil Service,

(b) must not be subject to further vetting procedures if they have been subject to vetting procedures in accordance with section (Determination of eligibility of special advisers by Commissioners (Amendment 11)).’

Mr Jim Allister

Amendment 33 [Not Called]

Clause 6 , Page 3, Line 4

Leave out subsection (2) and insert -

‘(2) Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (1), the code must provide that the appointment of special advisers must be subject to -

(a) an assessment of the candidate’s character by the Department of Finance and Personnel, including a criminal record check; and

(b) a recommendation to the appointing Minister regarding test of character, consistent with the decision that would have been taken with any other applicant to the NICS.’

Ms Judith Cochrane
Mr Stewart Dickson
Mr Chris Lyttle

Amendment 34 [Not Called]

Clause 6 , Page 3, Line 4

Leave out subsection (2) and insert -

‘(2) Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (1), the code must provide that persons proposed for appointment as special advisers -

(a) must be subject to the same vetting procedures as persons to be appointed as Senior Civil Servants to the Northern Ireland Civil Service,

(b) must not be subject to further vetting procedures if they have been subject to vetting procedures in accordance with section (Determination of eligibility of special advisers by Commissioners (Amendment 16)).’

Mr Dominic Bradley
Mr Alban Maginness

Amendment 35 [Not Moved]

Clause 6 , Page 3, Line 7

At end insert -

‘( ) Until such times as the appointment process has been completed, and an appointment made in accordance with the code, no person may exercise the functions or be entitled to the benefits and privileges of a special adviser.

( ) The code must provide for a mechanism that would allow an appointing Minister or a prospective candidate to appeal to an independent panel appointed for that purpose by the First Minister and deputy First Minister.’

Ms Judith Cochrane
Mr Stewart Dickson
Mr Chris Lyttle

Amendment 36 [Not Moved]

Clause 6 , Page 3, Line 9

At end insert -

‘(4) All persons exercising functions in respect of the appointment of special advisers must have regard to the code.’

Mr Jim Allister

Clause 6 [Question that Clause 6 as amended stand part agreed on Division]

The Members listed below give notice of their intention to oppose the question that clause 6 stand part of the Bill.

Mr Mitchel McLaughlin
Ms Megan Fearon

Amendment 37 [Not Called]

New Clause

After clause 6 insert -

‘Procedure for appointments

6A. -(1) The Department must, within 3 months from the date of coming into operation of this section, make regulations governing the appointment of special advisers.

(2) Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (1), those regulations must provide that -

(a) a person to be appointed as a special adviser must be subject to the same vetting procedures as persons appointed as civil servants to the Northern Ireland Civil Service, save that the vetting procedures must not take into account any serious criminal conviction the person has for a conflict-related offence,

(b) where enhanced vetting procedures apply to a particular class of civil servants, those enhanced vetting procedures do not apply to persons to be appointed as special advisers,

(c) where a person has been subject to vetting procedures in accordance with section (Exception for conflict-related offences: procedure for proposed appointees), the person will not be subject to any further vetting procedures for the purposes of appointment as a special adviser.

(3) Regulations under this section must not be made unless a draft of the regulations has been laid before and approved by a resolution of the Assembly.’

Mr Mitchel McLaughlin
Ms Megan Fearon

Amendment 38 [Made]

Clause 8 , Page 3, Line 19

At end insert -

‘ “the Commissioners” means the Civil Service Commissioners for Northern Ireland,’

Mr Jim Allister

Amendment 39 [Made]

Clause 8 , Page 3, Line 20

Before ‘Department’ insert ‘The’

Mr Jim Allister

Amendment 40 [Made]

Clause 8 , Page 3, Line 21

Before ‘Minister’ insert ‘The’

Mr Jim Allister

Amendment 41 [Made]

Clause 10 , Page 3, Line 32

After ‘Sections’ insert ‘2(subsection as inserted by Amendment 8), (Determination of eligibility of special advisers by Commissioners (Amendment 11)),’

Mr Jim Allister

Amendment 42 [Not Called]

Clause 10 , Page 3, Line 32

After ‘Sections’ insert ‘(Exception for conflict-related offences: procedure for existing appointees), (Exception for conflict-related offences: review panel), (Exception for conflict-related offences: appeals), (Meaning of “conflict-related offence”),’

Mr Mitchel McLaughlin
Ms Megan Fearon

Amendment 43 [Not Called]

Clause 10 , Page 3, Line 32

After ‘Sections’ insert ‘2(subsection as amended by Amendment 6), (Meaning of “conflict-related offence”), (Determination of eligibility of special advisers by Commissioners (Amendment 16)),’

Mr Dominic Bradley
Mr Alban Maginness

Amendment 44 [Made]

Clause 10 , Page 3, Line 32

Leave out ‘and 6’ and insert ‘, 6, 8, 10 and 11’

Mr Jim Allister

Find Your MLA

tools-map.png

Locate your local MLA

Find MLA

News and Media Centre

tools-media.png

Read press releases, watch live and archived video

Find out more

Follow the Assembly

tools-social.png

Keep up to date with what’s happening at the Assem

Find out more

Contact information

tools-newsletter.png

Contact us for further information about our work.

Contact us