Funding received by the Assembly Commission from a US Businessman to help MLAs improve their political skills

Information Standards Freedom of Information Response

Our Ref: FOI 49-21

24 November 2021



Freedom of Information Act 2000 (“FOIA”)

I am writing to confirm that the Northern Ireland Assembly Commission (Assembly Commission) has processed your request dated 27 October 2021 in line with the Freedom of Information Act 2000. In your request, you asked:

In 2015, the NI Assembly received £600,000 in funding from US businessman Chuck Feeney to help MLAs improve their political skills.

Could you please provide me with the following answers?

  1.  An exact breakdown of where the money was allocated and spent
  2.  Was all of the money spent or has some of it remained unallocated?
  3.  Has the assembly received any further funding from Chuck Feeney or other philanthropists since then, to be used to help MLAs improve their skills? If so, how much and where has this been allocated or spent?”


The Assembly Commission does not hold this information. The Assembly Commission has not received funding from Mr. Chuck Feeney or any other philanthropists in order to help MLAs improve their political skills.

You have the right to request a formal review by the Assembly Commission and if you wish to do so, please write to me at the above address.

If after such an internal review you are still unhappy with the response, you have the right to appeal to the Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF who will undertake an independent review.

The Assembly Commission may publish details of your FOI request and our official response within the organisational disclosure log. The request will be completely anonymised and you will not be identified in any way. This is to meet the requirements as laid out by in the agreed publication scheme with the Information Commissioners’ Office.


Yours sincerely