In light of the public health situation, Parliament Buildings is closed to the public.

No public tours, events or visitor activities will take place, until further notice. 

Assembly business continues, check the business diary for information on Plenary and Committee meetings.

Research Publications 2020

Synopsis: The Northern Ireland Assembly Research and Information Service (RaISe) produces a number of Research publications each year. These cover a variety of topics which are of interest to Members, Committees and the general public.

Click here to search all research publications...

Number   Title Date*
83/20

Impact of COVID-19 on arts and culture in Northern Ireland
This paper explores impacts on the arts and cultural sectors in Northern Ireland from the COVID-19 pandemic. This paper compares support measures in Northern Ireland and elsewhere, as well as longer term considerations for the sector’s recovery.

 18.12.20
82/20

Criminal Justice (Committal Reform) Bill
This paper has been prepared to inform consideration of the Criminal Justice (Committal Reform) Bill, which completed its second stage on 16 November 2020.

The Bill has 6 clauses and one Schedule. It contains two predominant policy objectives – the abolition of oral evidence at committal stage, and the introduction of direct transfer of cases to the Crown court for all indictable offences. An additional objective includes the removal of the provision for the use of oral evidence in applications to dismiss.

 17.12.20
81/20

Overview of COVID-19 funding in NI and the economic implications: an update
This briefing paper provides an overview of the key economic implications of COVID-19 Government funding made available in Northern Ireland – at central and devolved levels. It also provides contextual information on the Northern Ireland economy prior to, and during the pandemic, before looking at future challenges faced by businesses and citizens, which the Executive and the Assembly will need to address.

 16.12.20
80/20

Pilot Project - Proactive Committee Use of Departmental Forecasting & Outturn Data
This Briefing Paper outlines the terms of reference for new work undertaken by the Public Finance Scrutiny, located in the Finance and Economics Team of the Assembly’s Research and Information Service (RaISe). This venture - entitled “Pilot Project -Proactive Use of Departmental Forecasting & Outturn Data” - aims to further support Assembly committees in their budget-related roles and responsibilities; encouraging a more proactive and holistic approach.

 03.12.20
79/20

Electric-Vehicle Waste
At the Committee for Infrastructure meeting on 7 October 2020, RaISe briefed the committee on Transport Decarbonisation. At this meeting, the Committee requested information on issues relating to potential implications of waste arising from the disposal of used electric-vehicle (EV) batteries. This briefing sets out the issues relating to EV waste and outlines current mitigation measures.  

 03.12.20
78/20

Renewable energy: background scoping paper
This paper, commissioned by the Committee for the Economy, provides a range of background information on renewable electricity and renewable heat. The paper is intended to support the Committee in its scrutiny of the forthcoming Department for the Economy (DfE) Energy Strategy

 02.12.20
77/20

Sign Language Legislation
This research paper compares and contrasts recent sign language legislation passed in Ireland and Scotland with proposals for sign language legislation in Northern Ireland.

 01.12.20
76/20

Covid-19, excess deaths and hospital waiting lists
This briefing note uses the latest available statistical information to highlight some of the collateral impacts on health arising from the current pandemic in Northern Ireland.

 30.11.20
75/20

Governance and accountability arrangements for the Offices of the Ombudsman in other legislatures
This briefing paper provides information in response to the Committee’s request regarding the comparative governance and accountability arrangements for the offices of the Ombudsman in the other jurisdictions.
Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland all have unified public service ombudsmen covering devolved public services. In England, there are a number of ombudsmen covering these services. Most relevant to the Committee’s query are the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman and the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman which, respectively, carry out similar roles.

 27.11.20
74/20

Public Audit Governance
Against a background of devolution, controversy and changes in the process of public appointments, steps were taken across the UK to strengthen the governance of the post of Auditor General and associated audit offices. These reforms have been primarily concerned with independence, good governance and the quality of public audits; and had different processes but similar outcomes. This research paper has been drafted to respond to requests for specific information from the committee with regard to these reforms.

 26.11.20
73/20

Institutional review committees
The Assembly and Executive Review Committee (AERC) asked for a comparative paper on institutional review committees to inform its strategic direction for the remainder of the current mandate. This paper provides an update on a previous, similar paper prepared for the AERC in August 2016.

 26.11.20
72/20

Members' statements: information on provisions in other legislatures
This briefing paper has been prepared to inform the Committee on Procedures’ Inquiry into members’ statements. The committee requested research on the provision for members’ statements in the legislatures in the UK and Ireland. The committee undertook its inquiry following a request from the Speaker, who wished to introduce a more flexible method for members to raise important topical issues without them having to be judged against a particular set of criteria.

 26.11.20
71/20

Brexit and Health in Northern Ireland
This briefing paper provides an overview of Brexit and the likely impact that it will have on the health service in Northern Ireland. It also covers other impacted areas within the remit of the Health Committee.

 26.11.20
70/20

In-year Audit Committee scrutiny: A Comparative Perspective
This briefing note, commissioned by the Assembly's Audit Committee, provides comparative research on the Committee and its counterparts located in the UK, Wales, Scotland and the Republic of Ireland. The note offers a comparison of practices concerning committee scrutiny of underspend and overspend in legislatures with operational similarities to the Assembly. This note aims to help inform the Committee in its discharge of duties associated with the Northern Ireland Assembly Commission's budget.

26.11.20
69/20

Licensing and Registration of Clubs (Amendment) Bill
The Licensing and Registration of Clubs (Amendment) Bill was introduced to the Northern Ireland Assembly by the Minister for Communities on the 19 October 2020.  The Bill covers a wide range of issues such as permitted opening hours for licensed premises and registered clubs; a new licensing framework for local producers;  the regulation of alcohol deliveries and alcohol advertising; provisions aimed at protecting under 18s from alcohol-related harm; and a new framework for licensing in relation to major events.  This bill paper has been prepared to inform scrutiny of the Bill and should be read in conjunction with RaISe supplementary papers entitled Alcohol in Northern Ireland (Paper No. 67/20)  and Hospitality sector and the wider economy in NI: key estimated impacts of COVID-19 and related government responses (Paper No. 68/20)  

 26.11.20
68/20

Hospitality Sector and the Wider Economy in NI: Key estimated initial impacts of COVID-19 and related government responses
This paper supplements information and data to be contained in a forthcoming Bill Paper prepared by the Assembly’s Research and Information Service (RaISe), which will be entitled “Licensing and Registration of Clubs (Amendment) Bill Paper” (NIAR 66-2020). This paper includes an analysis of the estimated impacts of COVID-19 and government related responses. The pandemic presents an ever- changing, ongoing situation. As such, the latest data included in this paper provides an initial look - a snapshot - of currently identified impact of COVID-19 on the sector.

 26.11.20
67/20

Alcohol in Northern Ireland
This Briefing Note provides background statistics on the use and abuse of alcohol in Northern Ireland. It has been prepared in support of an upcoming Bill Paper on the reform of the Liquor Licensing Legislation.

 26.11.20
66/20

Information on proxy voting in other legislatures
This briefing paper has been prepared for the Committee on Procedures. The committee requested information on: "any permanent proxy voting procedures in other legislatures, including any temporary arrangements as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. "
The NI Assembly has introduced temporary provisions in Standing Orders to allow proxy voting until January 2021. Standing Orders 112 and 115 allow for proxy voting in the chamber and committees respectively (along with other measures for committees including voting by video link or telephone). The Committee is considering instances in which proxy voting could be retained on a more permanent basis and how this might be reflected in Standing Orders.

 24.11.20
65/20

Roles and Remits of Independent Fiscal Institutions: United Kingdom and Ireland
Over the last decade, there has been considerable growth internationally in the number of Independent Fiscal Institutions (IFIs).  Northern Ireland is now the only part of the United Kingdom or the Republic of Ireland that does not have such a body providing independent fiscal analysis or surveillance. This Paper provides information relating to the proposed Independent Fiscal Council for Northern Ireland (IFCNI), placing the proposal within a broader comparative context.

 12.11.20
64/20

Constituency Casework Guide - COVID-19: Social Security and other forms of support for household finances
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to have a profound impact on the Northern Ireland economy. In the weeks and months ahead, constituency offices may experience an increase in constituents seeking information and advice on social security benefits, in particular Universal Credit, and other forms of support for their household finances. The purpose of this guide is to signpost constituency staff to existing sources of information on social security benefits; other forms of financial assistance that may be available; and sources of independent information and advice.

 28.10.20
63/20

Rights, Safeguards and Equality of Opportunity in the Ireland/Northern Ireland Protocol: The Dedicated Mechanism
In December 2019, a new Ireland/Northern Ireland Protocol was presented to the European Council in the context of the withdrawal of the UK from the European Union. The Protocol was intended to seek a solution to reconcile the different interests associated with the unique position of Ireland and Northern Ireland. This Note briefly summarises the role of the dedicated mechanism for monitoring the implementation of Article 2 of the Protocol.

 26.10.20
62/20

Private Member's Bill: Zero Hours Contracts
This research paper was presented in support of a Member of the Legislative Assembly’s (MLA’s) development of a Private Member’s Bill (PMB). The PMB is intended to replace specific provisions of the existing Employment Act (Northern Ireland) 2016, as amended (the 2016 Act), i.e. those relating to Zero Hours Contracts (ZHCs), and instead introduce a “Banded Hours System”.

 16.10.20
61/20

EU ETS - Phase IV
This briefing paper is a follow up to the RaISe Paper (No. 45/20)  Common framework background paper: Emissions Trading (17 September 2020) and the accompanying presentation to the Committee.  It provides more detail on Phase IV of the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) and on a number of other areas also discussed at the presentation.

 16.10.20
60/20

Agricultural Support and Ireland/Northern Ireland Protocol
The Ireland/Northern Ireland Protocol is a key component of the Withdrawal Agreement negotiated between the UK and EU in October 2019. In effect, the Ireland/Northern Ireland Protocol is the means by which the free movement of goods on the island of Ireland is intended to be secured regardless of whether the UK and EU successfully negotiate a free trade deal.

15.10.20
59/20

Legislative Consent Motions
A legislative consent motion allows a devolved parliament to consent to legislation from the UK Parliament which deals with an area of devolved competence. This research paper has been produced to answer questions about the operation of the legislative consent motion, how it has been used in the past and how legislative consent motions will operate in the future.

14.10.20
58/20

Committee for Infrastructure: Forward work planning discussion paper (update of paper published in March 2020)
Broadly speaking the Department for Infrastructure (DfI) is responsible for roads; public transport; water; flood alleviation infrastructure; and planning. This paper looks at a number of issues within each of these policy areas with the intention of generating discussion during the Committee for Infrastructure’s forward planning day. Topics discussed include: Travel behaviour and transport policy; Concessionary Travel; Waste Water Capacity; Structural Maintenance Funding; Road Safety Strategy 2020; and Planning.

 14.10.20
57/20

Decarbonising Transport in Northern Ireland
This paper provides an overview of potential policies for decarbonising road and rail transport in Northern Ireland in support of UK wide commitments to reach net zero Green House Gas (GHG) emissions by 2050. It has been prepared for the NI Assembly Infrastructure Committee to inform their discussion on potential areas of inquiry.

 13.10.20
56/20

Department of Finance and Dilapidations Claims – An Overview
Before the Assembly’s summer recess, the Committee for Finance (CfF) commissioned this briefing paper from the Assembly’s Research and Information Service (RaISe).  The paper is to inform the Committee’s consideration of dilapidations claims made by Landlords against the Department of Finance (DoF) throughout 2016 – early September 2020. 

 13.10.20
55/20

2020-21 In-year Monitoring of Public Expenditure – First Round: Supporting Assembly Committees in their Advisory & Scrutiny Roles
The Department of Finance (DoF) has started its first round of in-year public expenditure monitoring for the current financial year; directed by its Guidelines, dated 5 May 2020, which subsequently were issued to all departments.  This briefing paper seeks to both inform and facilitate Assembly statutory committees and the Assembly’s Audit Committee (AAC), a standing committee, when: (i) Engaging on monitoring round returns to be made to the DoF by the departments and the relevant bodies; and later, (ii) Scrutinising information and data included in those returns (scrutiny role). Throughout, potential scrutiny points are identified for consideration and use by individual committees.

 13.10.20
54/20

Standarised Scrutiny Approach: Assembly Statutory Committees engaging on forthcoming Executive Budget 2020-21
This Briefing Paper seeks to inform statutory committee scrutiny of the forthcoming draft Executive Budget 2020-21.  It supplements the earlier RaISe briefing (NIAR 15-20), which sought to focus and coordinate committee engagement with departments on budget planning for 2020-21.  It now seeks to inform committee scrutiny deliberations, by securing timely, relevant and consistent departmental information and data for both the current year’s Budget and the next year’s (2020-21).  It aims to do this through the use of a committee-agreed template, which is to be disseminated by individual committees via their Clerks; and then completed and returned by appropriate officials working in individual departments. 

 13.10.20
 53/20 Funding Water and Wastewater Services
Providing water and wastewater services is a capitally intensive undertaking that requires sustained levels of investment. In order to bring infrastructure to the required level and ensure compliance with the requirements of the European Water Framework Directive, most member states have introduced various types of user tariffs for water and waste services.  In the context of continued deferral of water charges in Northern Ireland, this paper considers a number of issues - including the impact reliance on public funding is having on critical infrastructure investment in NI.
12.10.20
 52/20 Committee for Infrastructure: Forward work planning discussion paper
Broadly speaking the Department for Infrastructure (DfI) is  responsible for roads; public transport; water; flood alleviation infrastructure; and planning. This paper looks at a number of issues within each of these policy areas with the intention of generating discussion during the Committee for Infrastructure's forward planning day.
 12.10.20
51/20

Delivering Major Infrastructure Projects: Specialised project delivery bodies
In order to remain competitive and provide positive outcomes for citizens, governments have a duty to invest in infrastructure. A recent Northern Ireland Audit Office (NIAO) report has reviewed the delivery of eleven major capital projects in Northern Ireland (NI) and identified a series of issues in terms of project delivery that have resulted in delays and cost overruns. This is not an issue unique to NI; there have been a number of similar reports highlighting the complexities of delivering major infrastructure schemes elsewhere in the UK. Within the context of these reports, this paper examines what governments are doing to improve project delivery and what current structures are in place within these jurisdictions to support the delivery of major capital projects. 

 12.10.20
50/20

The Planning Act 2011 and Review Regulations
This paper gives a brief overview of the Planning Act 2011, and the main changes it brought about the planning system in Northern Ireland (NI).  It also gives a brief account of SL1:The Planning Act 2011 (Review) Regulations 2020 in terms of its context, proposals and suggests a number of considerations.

 12.10.20
49/20

An overview of COVID-19 funding in NI and the economic implications
This briefing paper provides an overview of the key economic implications of COVID-19 Government funding made available in Northern Ireland – at central and devolved levels. It also provides contextual information on the Northern Ireland economy prior to, and during the pandemic, before looking at future challenges faced by businesses and citizens, which the Executive and the Assembly will need to address.

 09.10.20
48/20

Definitions of the 'Particular Circumstances' of Northern Ireland
This paper has been written to inform the Ad Hoc Committee on a Bill of Rights. The paper briefly summarises how the ‘particular circumstances’ of Northern Ireland have been described. It is not within the scope of this paper to discuss what rights may be derived from the ‘particular circumstances’ in any Bill of Rights.

 08.10.20
47/20

Members' statements: information on provisions in other legislatures
This briefing paper has been prepared to inform the Committee on Procedures’ Inquiry into members’ statements. The committee requested research on the provision for members’ statements in the legislatures in the UK and Ireland.

05.10.20
46/20

Committee size and quorums
This briefing paper has been prepared following a request from the Committee on Procedures. The Committee asked for information on the following:

  • The number of members on committees in the other devolved legislatures along with the House of Commons and Houses of the Oireachtas;
  • and issues relating to quorum on these committees.
05.10.20
45/20

Assembly's Audit Committee and its GB counterparts: a
comparative perspective

This Briefing Paper, commissioned by the Assembly's Audit Committee (the Committee), provides comparative research on the Committee and its counterparts located in Great Britain (GB). The Paper explains key roles and responsibilities of each; and for context provides an explanation of the relationship with each jurisdiction's government audit office, including roles, responsibilities, governance arrangements and work programmes in recent years. This is followed by comparative tables based on the two previous sections, for the Committee's ease of reference.

 22.09.20
44/20

Information Sharing Between Police Forces and Home Office
This Briefing Note has been prepared for the Committee for Justice in the context of its consideration of the Domestic Abuse and Family Proceedings Bill. In the evidence received by the Committee, the position of migrants who are victims of domestic abuse but who due to their insecure immigration status were fearful of reporting the crime was raised.

 22.09.20
43/20

Defence on Grounds of Reasonableness
This Briefing Note has been prepared of the Committee for Justice in the context of its consideration of the Domestic Abuse and Family Proceedings Bill. Clause 12 of the Bill provides that, in respect of a charge of the domestic abuse offence, it is a defence for a person to show that the course of behaviour was reasonable in the particular circumstances.

 22.09.20
42/20

Common framework background paper: Emissions Trading
The purpose of this paper is to provide some background context to the new common framework on a UK emissions trading scheme (ETS). It will give a brief summary of the current policy area covered by the proposed common framework, to include existing EU provisions. It will also give a brief overview of the proposed UK ETS common framework, focusing on the provisions of the legislative Order (the Greenhouse Gas Emissions Trading Scheme Order 2020) and raise a number of further considerations around the common framework and its operation.    

 21.09.20
41/20

Personal Protective Equipment: 'make and buy' in Scotland
This Briefing Note explains Scotland’s ‘make and buy’ approach to sourcing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) during Covid-19.  It provides information underpinning that approach, including data on the dramatic increase in demand for PPE in Scotland related to Covid-19.  Publicly available information about Scottish PPE procurement is limited.  This Note therefore relies heavily on a report published by the Scottish Government in June 2020, and information provided directly to the Research and Information Service (RaISe) by a senior Scottish Government official.  

 17.09.20
40/20

Domestic Abuse Commissioners
This paper is written to inform scrutiny of the Domestic Abuse and Family Proceedings Bill. The paper compares and contrasts offices for advocacy for victims of domestic abuse and violence. In particular, the paper examines:

  • The office of the Domestic Abuse Commissioner in England
  • The office of the Domestic Abuse Advisor in Wales
  • Domestic abuse commissions elsewhere
  • Alternatives to domestic abuse commissioners

The paper finally compares and discusses the various domestic abuse commissions/commissioners and alternatives.

 17.09.20
 39/20

Autism: Training and Capacity Building
The Autism Act 2011 provided for a Government autism strategy for Northern Ireland. Theme 1 of the strategy focusses on awareness, including an autism awareness programme for frontline staff and the promotion of opportunities for raising awareness generally.
This paper outlines the commitments and provision towards training and awareness raising among frontline staff in Northern Ireland. The paper also considers training and awareness raising in England, Scotland, Wales and the Republic of Ireland

10.08.20
 38/20

Review of Independent Scrutiny Mechanisms to Monitor Implementation of Autism Strategies in Various Countries
The purpose of this briefing note is to inform a proposed Private Member's Bill to amend the Autism NI Act 2011 to address gaps and strengthen its impact. The paper explores whether any countries are using an independent scrutiny mechanism, such as an Autism Advocate, to monitor the progress of legislation or strategies aimed at improving services for people with Autism.

07.08.20
 37/20

Programmes of Care – Update
This briefing note updates briefing paper NIAR 132-2020 regarding Programmes of Care in the NI HSC and other neighbouring jurisdictions.

06.08.20
 36/20

Autism: (i) Programmes of Care and (ii) Use of Language
This briefing paper has been prepared to support the development of a potential Private Member's Bill concerning Autism. The paper focuses on two separate topics (i) Programmes of Care within the NI Health and Social Care (HSC) System (current and the potential for a new one specific to 'social and communication disabilities') and (ii) an introduction to the best practice around the use of language in the UK for the diagnosis of autism and to describe autism.

06.08.20
35/20

Pension Schemes Bill
The Pension Schemes Bill was introduced in the Northern Ireland Assembly by the Minister for Communities on 23 June 2020. The Bill mirrors the provisions of the Westminster Pensions Act 2017 which introduced a new regulatory framework for master trusts and sought to regulate unfair member-borne commissioning charges and early exit charges. This Bill paper explores the provisions of the Northern Ireland Bill.

07.07.20
34/20

The Impact of COVID-19 on the Health and Social Care Workforce
This paper has been produced to support the COVID-19 Ad Hoc Committee and the Health Committee with their scrutiny of the pandemic response.  The paper will focus on the psychological wellbeing of health and social care staff who have been working on the frontline throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. It will look to evidence from previous pandemics to identify potential risk factors for adverse mental health outcomes and examine emerging local and international evidence from the current crisis. The paper will also explore how decision makers can support the mental health of their workforce as well as interventions being introduced across the UK to assist staff in managing their wellbeing.

 25.06.20
33/20

The Ireland/Northern Ireland Protocol – overview and potential issues
This briefing paper provides an overview of some the main features of the Ireland/Northern Ireland Protocol as they relate to the role and responsibilities of the AERA Committee and also identifies outstanding questions/issues around its implementation and operation moving forward.  This paper is not intended as a forensic examination of the Protocol in terms of its content or its implementation, as at the time of writing there are elements of the Protocol which are still effectively ‘work in progress’ between the UK and EU. Rather, the intended purpose of this paper is to provide an accessible ‘first taste’ of the Protocol.

 25.06.20
32/20

City Growth Deals in Northern Ireland: Key Preliminary Considerations
This briefing paper has been prepared for the Committee for the Economy to facilitate its consideration and scrutiny of City Growth Deals in Northern Ireland and the individual projects contained in them.

 19.06.20
31/20 Brexit Transition and Northern Ireland: A Reading List (Updated 31.12.20)
In the period between the referendum on the United Kingdom’s membership of the European Union in June 2016 and its formal departure on 31 January 2020, the Assembly’s Research and Information Service (RaISe) published 31 versions of ‘Brexit and Northern Ireland: A Reading List’. This new reading list focuses specifically on the transition period – that is, the period until the end of 2020 during which the EU and the UK negotiate further details of their future relationship. The list is intended to assist Members of the
Legislative Assembly (MLAs) and others in scrutinising that transition period, and particularly the ways in which those negotiations and their outcome may affect Northern Ireland and the border.
10.06.20
30/20 UK Exit from the EU Briefing Paper Series: Withdrawal
Agreement, Protocol and Political Declaration - Potential
Implications for Single Electricity Market in Northern Ireland

This is paper 6 of a 6-part series, which explores key potential implications arising from the Withdrawal Agreement, the “Protocol on Ireland and Northern Ireland” and the Political Declaration in relation to the Single Electricity Market in Northern Ireland.
 05.06.20
29/20 UK Exit from the EU Briefing Paper Series: Withdrawal
Agreement, Protocol and Political Declaration - Potential
implications for state aid in Northern Ireland

This is paper 5 of a 6-part series. It explores key potential implications arising from the Withdrawal Agreement, the Protocol and the Political Declaration for state aid. Throughout, the paper provides potential scrutiny points.
 05.06.20
28/20 UK Exit from the EU Briefing Paper Series: Withdrawal
Agreement, Protocol and Political Declaration - Some Employment Considerations for Northern Ireland

This is paper 4 of a 6-part series. It highlights provisions under the Withdrawal Agreement, the Protocol and the Political Declaration, which concern employment rights and migrant workers, raising considerations for Northern Ireland. Throughout, it includes potential scrutiny points
 05.06.20
27/20 UK Exit from the EU Briefing Paper Series: Withdrawal
Agreement, Protocol and Political Declaration - Potential implications for Value Added Tax and Excise in Northern Ireland

This is paper 3 of a 6-part series.  It explores key potential implications arising from the Withdrawal Agreement, the Protocol and the Political Declaration for VAT and excise.  Throughout, the paper provides potential scrutiny points.
 05.06.20
26/20 UK Exit from the EU Briefing Paper Series: Withdrawal
Agreement, Protocol and Political Declaration - Potential Implications for Customs and Trade in Northern Ireland

This is paper 2 of a 6-part series, which explores key potential implications arising from the Withdrawal Agreement, the “Protocol on Ireland and Northern Ireland” and the Political Declaration in relation to customs and trade in Northern Ireland.
 05.06.20
25/20

UK Exit from the EU Briefing Paper Series: Withdrawal Agreement, Protocol and Political Declaration - Overview of  Governance Arrangements
This is paper 1 of a 6-part series. It provides a brief overview of the governance arrangements set out under the Withdrawal Agreement, the Protocol and the Political Declaration, for the limited purpose of providing context for subsequent paper in the series. It is not intended to be exhaustive. Throughout it includes potential scrutiny

05.06.20
24/20

Functioning of Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill
This paper has been prepared to inform consideration of the Functioning of Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill, a Private Member’s Bill that completed its second stage on 16 March. The Bill has 15 clauses and one Schedule and addresses a range of policy objectives, primarily in relation to the conduct of special advisers and ministers.

04.06.20
23/20

The Use of Digital Measures to Combat COVID-19
This paper has been produced to support the COVID-19 Ad Hoc Committee and the Health Committee with their scrutiny of the pandemic response. The purpose of this paper is to provide information for the Health Committee on the use of digital measures aimed at combating the novel coronavirus COVID-19, specifically contact tracing apps and the use of 'big data'. The paper will examine the current and potential uses of both types of measures at various stages of the pandemic as well as the technical and ethical challenges that they present. The focus of this paper will be on the use of these measures in a European and UK context with reference to international experiences where appropriate.

 26.05.20
22/20

'Exit' From COVID-19 'Lockdown': Health-Related Issues
This paper has been produced to support the COVID-19 Ad Hoc Committee and the Health Committee with their scrutiny of the pandemic response. 
It discusses a number of factors relating to the spread of infectious disease to be borne in mind when considering measures to control the virus going forward. This includes the impact of infectious dose, viral load and asymptomatic cases and the relationship between the ‘lockdown’ and the ‘R’ number of the virus. It then goes on to review a range of health-related measures and actions related to easing the ‘lockdown’. 

 20.05.20
21/20

When 'R' we going to get back to high fives, hugging strangers and kissing the Blarney Stone?
The UK Government and the devolved Governments in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales have recently announced their plans for gradually lifting the lockdown restrictions that were introduced to bring the spread of the COVID-19 disease under control. These plans have been informed by the latest scientific advice and, in particular, the ‘all important’ R number.
This briefing note describes the epidemiological concept ‘R’, and examines its usefulness and limitations as a compass for guiding us through the mists of this plague.

 19.05.20
20/20

Constituency Casework Guide - COVID-19: Housing Support
The purpose of this constituency guide is to signpost MLAs and their constituency staff to key information and resources on housing, and to provide answers to some of the frequently asked questions on housing repairs, repossessions, evictions, student housing, gas safety etc. The final section of the paper provides links to independent advice lines and other useful resources. (Updated 18/06/20)

 12.05.20
19/20

Comparative analysis of Covid-19 statistics
This Briefing Note examines a number of issues concerning comparisons of surveillance data on COVID-19 across different countries and regions.  In terms of the pandemic, the note also identifies three models of good practice and presents some meta data from selected countries.

 07.05.20
18/20

COVID-19: Testing for Sars-CoV-2 in the UK; and the Use of Testing and Contact Tracing in Selected Countries
This briefing paper has been prepared to assist the Health Committee and COVID-19 Committee with their scrutiny of the COVID-19 testing strategies in the UK to date by reviewing testing in the UK and in a selection of other countries. The paper highlights the importance of both timely testing and contact tracing (manual tracing and ICT developments) to drive suppression of transmission of the virus to a low-level, to enable or maintain parts of economic and social life.

 04.05.20
17/20

Assembly Committees: Coordinated Budget Scrutiny
This Briefing Paper updates Briefing Paper NIAR-116-20, issued on 21 April 2020.  The update is based on: data provided in return template replies from the Departments of Health and Economy, received after initial paper was compiled; and, other Executive Budget timetable developments, notified to the Committee for Finance on 24 April. The paper aims to support coordinated Assembly scrutiny of the Executive Budget 2020-21. It draws on departmental template returns, other accessible departmental data and past papers compiled by RaISe PFSU.

30.04.20
16/20

Domestic Abuse Legislative Provisions
On 31 March 2020, the Justice Minister introduced the Domestic Abuse and Family Proceedings Bill (the DA&FP Bill) to the Assembly. This Briefing Note addresses a number of domestic abuse related legislative developments, identified from other jurisdictions, which are not specifically addressed in the DA&FP Bill. Specifically the developments considered in this paper are: new 'Domestic Violence Protection Orders'; a statutory basis for domestic violence disclosure schemes; and creation of the role of Domestic Abuse Commissioner.

 27.04.20
15/20

Domestic Abuse and Family Proceedings Bill
This Bill Paper discusses the provisions of the Domestic Abuse and Family Proceedings Bill.

24.04.20
14/20

COVID-19: The use of Personal Protective Equipment and Ventilators
This Briefing Paper has been prepared to support the NI Assembly Ad-Hoc COVID-19 Committee. It provides information on the role of Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) in infection control measures including an overview of current guidelines relating to their use. The paper will also look at the use of ventilators in supportive therapies to treat COVID-19 patients.  Lastly, the paper will explore how shortages of PPE and Ventilators are a major global issue of the ongoing pandemic and will examine actions taken by the UK government to increase supplies in the face of these shortages

 02.04.20
13/20

COVID-19: Background, Public Health Measures and Testing for SARS-CoV-2
This Briefing Paper has been prepared to support the NI Assembly Ad-Hoc COVID-19 Committee.  It provides some introductory background information on COVID-19 and then focuses on the policies and actions taken in the UK and other selected countries regarding tackling the pandemic, focusing on public health measures and testing of individuals.

 02.04.20
12/20

Key Issues for a Bill of Rights
This paper has been prepared to support the Ad Hoc Committee on a Bill of Rights. The paper briefly summarises key issues in the consideration of a Bill of Rights for Northern Ireland. The issues are drawn from themes that have been raised in the past and in the context of more recent developments.

 19.03.20
11/20

Northern Ireland Qualifications per Constituency Area
RaISe has prepared this briefing note in response to an MLA query regarding:

  • The geographical spread across Northern Ireland of graduates working in the local labour markets.
  • The geographical spread across Northern Ireland of those working in the local labour market with vocational skills, and those without basic skills.

The note presents data from the Labour Force Survey (LFS) 2018 and Census 2011. It shows the geographical spread of the Northern Ireland (NI) workforce according to (i) highest qualification gained; and (ii) all persons with no qualifications, per constituency area. 

 06.03.20
10/20

UK Fisheries Bill 2019-20
This briefing paper provides an overview of the key elements of the UK Fisheries Bill 2020. The paper focusses on the Northern Ireland specific components of the Bill, some of which are unique to here, but also covers those wider UK elements which require legislative consent from the Northern Ireland Assembly.

 05/03/20
 09/20

Centralisation reforms of public procurement in the Republic of Ireland and Scotland
This Briefing Paper provides background information to the Public Accounts Committee, ahead of its forthcoming consideration of the Northern Ireland Audit Office’s (NIAO’s) examination of major capital projects in NI.  It begins with a summary of current NI public procurement structures, before reviewing the current arrangements in Republic of Ireland and Scotland.  A section on public sector efficiency is also included given the prominence afforded to savings figures in procurement reform publications.

 03.03.20
08/20

Environment Bill 2019-20
This research paper provides an overview of the key elements of the UK Environment Bill 2020. The paper focusses on the Northern Ireland (NI) specific components of the Bill, some of which are unique to here, but also covers those wider UK elements which require legislative consent from the Northern Ireland Assembly.

02.03.20
07/20

Social Sector Size Criteria ('bedroom tax') mitigation in Northern Ireland – a timeline of key developments
This short briefing note provides background context to the Social Sector Size Criteria (SSSC) and associated Welfare Supplementary Payments in Northern Ireland. It also provides an overview of some of the main developments relating to the SSSC including a timeline and links to recent key papers and research on this issue.

 24.02.20
06/20

UK Agriculture Bill 2019-20
This briefing paper provides an overview of the key elements of the UK Agriculture Bill 2019-20. The paper focusses on the Northern Ireland specific components of the Bill, some of which are unique to here, but also covers some wider UK elements which require legislative consent from the Northern Ireland Assembly.

 21.02.20
05/20

Special Advisers: Appointment and Conduct
This briefing paper has been prepared in response to a request from the Finance Committee for a comparison of the Northern Ireland Code of Appointment and Code of Conduct for Special Advisers to those of other jurisdictions.

 21.02.20
04/20

Mapping of GP Surgeries
This briefing note contains mapping of General Practices across Northern Ireland, for the years 2015 and 2020. The practices have been mapped out according to data obtained from the Business Services Organisation (BSO) website and from correspondence from the BSO.

21.02.20
03/20

Assembly Committee Engagement on 2020-21 Departmental Budget Planning
This Briefing Paper aims to support Assembly committee engagement on departmental budget planning for the new budget year, 2020-21. It highlights unique circumstances impacting on the formulation 2020-21 Executive Budget. Many are due to Northern Ireland’s Public Finance Framework under devolution (the rules), and are not within the immediate control of departments, nor the Executive. Despite challenges arising from current circumstances, this Paper is an effort both to improve openness and transparency in on-going departmental budget planning for 2020-21, and to ultimately increase government accountability through informed committee scrutiny. The Paper seeks to strategically coordinate and focus committee engagement on the Budget. Providing background information, it draws relevant linkages and identifies potential generic issues for committees’ consideration and use.

20.02.20
02/20

Waiting Lists and Waiting Times for Elective Care in Northern Ireland: Taking Stock
This paper takes its starting point from a series of previous Northern Ireland Assembly Research and Information Service briefings and provides an update on elective care waiting lists, waiting times and related policy and actions in Northern Ireland. For information and comparison, it also updates the same in neighbouring jurisdictions.

 06.02.20
01/20

Who Runs Northern Ireland?  A Summary of Statistics Relating to Gender and Power in 2020.
This Briefing Paper is prepared to update the paper Who Runs Northern Ireland?  A Summary of Statistics Relating to Gender and Power in 2019.  The paper summarises statistics on gender representation in decision-making positions in Northern Ireland. The statistics are set out in simplified tables to offer an at-a-glance view of gender and power in Northern Ireland.

 15.01.20

Find MLAs

Find your MLAs

Locate MLAs

Search

News and Media Centre

Visit the News and Media Centre

Read press releases, watch live and archived video

Find out more

Follow the Assembly

Follow the Assembly on our social media channels

Keep up-to-date with the Assembly

Find out more