Questions For Answer
The purpose of Assembly Questions is to ask for information or to press for action.
When the Assembly is in session, Members may table up to five questions for written answer each day, one of which may be for priority answer within two to five working days. Non priority questions should receive a written answer within ten working days.
Members who wish to ask an oral question of a Minister submit their names for inclusion in a computer ballot each Tuesday and, if selected, they table their question by Thursday of that week.
A list of the Questions for Written Answer tabled by MLAs are published on a daily basis. You can find older questions for written answer using the Written Answer calendar search.
The answers to written questions are published as and when they are received by the Assembly and you can find them in Questions Search.
Oral Questions (Question Time)
Oral Questions otherwise known as Question Time take place during Plenary each Monday and Tuesday between 2.00pm – 3.30pm. It is an opportunity for Members to question Ministers on the work of their Departments. There are two Ministerial slots during each Question Time. The First Minister and the deputy First Minister are up for oral questions every other week. All other Ministers and the Northern Ireland Assembly Commission, the body that manages the work of the Assembly, are allocated slots in alphabetical order (according to the Departmental name).
The rota for questions to Ministers and the Commission can be accessed by clicking on this link.
Questions selected for Oral answer will be published on the website Friday mornings. Answers to oral questions are in the Official Report (Hansard) for each sitting. If you can't watch it live or want to re-watch you can watch Question Time again on niassembly.tv.
Since 09 September 2013, Question Time includes 15 minutes of topical questions at the end of each Minister's Question Time period.
The list of members who will be asking a topical question on a particular day is available by clicking on this link. The questions are not available but can be found in the Official Report (which is normally published fully the following day).
Questions for Urgent Oral Answer are questions which do not appear on the Order Paper but which, in the opinion of the Speaker, are of an urgent nature and relate to matters of public importance. Questions for Urgent Oral Answer will normally be asked immediately after Question Time.
Answers to Questions for Urgent Oral Answer are contained in the Official Report (Hansard) for each sitting as appropriate.