Audit Committee End of Session Report 2009-2010


The Audit Committee is a Standing Committee of the Northern Ireland Assembly established in accordance with paragraph 10 of Strand One of the Belfast Agreement and under Assembly Standing Order No. 58. The Committee has 5 members including a Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson and a quorum of 2. 


  • The Committee has the power to:
  • Consider and approve the Northern Ireland Audit Office (NIAO) estimates;
  • Examine and scrutinise the NIAO corporate plan;
  • Consider the powers and functions of the NIAO;
  • Table a motion in respect of the salary of the Comptroller and Auditor General Northern Ireland (C & AG); and
  • Approve the appointment of auditors for the NIAO

The Chairperson of the Audit Committee also has a lead role in the recruitment of the C & AG (NI).


The membership of the Committee during the 09/10 session was as follows:

  • Mr Peter Weir, Chairperson 2(Chairperson)
  • Mr Samuel Gardiner (Deputy Chairperson)
  • Dr Stephen Farry
  • Mr Paul Maskey 1
  • Mr Tommy Gallagher 3

NB – Mr Weir ceased being Chairperson w.e.f. 28 th June 2010 and was replaced by Mr Jonathan Craig on 3 rd September 2010.

1 As from 29 September 2008 Mr Paul Maskey replaced Mr John O’Dowd
2 As from 29 June 2009 Mr Peter Weir replaced Mr Robin Newton as Chairperson
3 As from 29 June 2009 Mr Tommy Gallagher replaced Mr Pat Ramsey


1. This is the end of session report of the Audit Committee of the Northern Ireland Assembly from 1 September 2009 to 31 August 2010.

NIAO Corporate Plan

2. Following a presentation from the NIAO and having discussed the issues, the Committee approved the draft NIAO Corporate Plan 2010/2011-2012/13. 

NIAO Accounts and Estimates

3. Having considered a submission from the auditors and having examined the NIAO Resource Accounts for year ended 31 March 2009, the Committee was content with the accounts.

4. The Committee agreed the NIAO Spring Supplementary Estimate and the NIAO Estimates for 2010-2011. 

Comptroller and Audit General’s Salary - Motion

5. The Committee had the following motion debated and agreed in the Assembly:-

‘That this Assembly determines that from 1 April 2010 until such time as the Assembly makes a further determination, the salary to be paid, under Article 4 (1) of the Audit (NI) Order 1987, to the holder of the office of Comptroller and Auditor General, shall be the same as the amount which was paid from 1 April 2009 to 31 March 2010.’


6. The Committee met three meetings during this session. All three meetings were held in public session.  


7. Details of the Committee’s expenditure are shown in Annex A.

Key Priorities for next Session

To agree the estimates of the NIAO, in light of the changing public expenditure climate.


Audit Committee
Expenditure for the period 1 September 2009 – 31 August 2010

Budget area



General Committee expenses

Cost of refreshments for committee meetings, working lunches, seminars, room hire and witness expenses





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