Audit Committee - End of Session Report 2010-2011

This is the end of session report of the Audit Committee of the Northern Ireland Assembly from 1 September 2010 to 24 March 2011.


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:

  • Exercise the functions mentioned in Section 66(1) of the Northern Ireland Act 1998. The Committee therefore agrees in place of the Department of Finance and Personnel, the estimates of the NIAO and lays them before the Assembly.
  • Table a motion in respect of the salary of the Comptroller and Auditor General Northern Ireland (C & AG)

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


The membership of the Committee is as follows:

Mr Jonathan Craig (Chairperson) 3,4,5
Mr Samuel Gardiner (Deputy Chairperson)
Dr Stephen Farry 6,7
Mr Tommy Gallagher 2
Mr Paul Maskey 1

1 with effect from 29 September 2008 Mr Paul Maskey replaced Mr John O’Dowd
2 with effect from 29 June 2009 Mr Tommy Gallagher replaced Mr Pat Ramsey
3 with effect from 4 July 2009 Mr Peter Weir replaced Mr Robin Newton
4 with effect from 28th June 2010 Mr Peter Weir ceased being chair of the Committee
5 with effect from 3rd September 2010 Mr Jonathan Craig was appointed as Chair of the Committee
6 with effect from 13th September 2010 Ms Anna Lo replaced Dr Stephen Farry as a member of the Committee
7 with effect from 15 November 2010 Dr Stephen Farry replaced Ms Anna Lo

NIAO Corporate Plan

1. Following a presentation from the NIAO and having discussed the issues, the Committee approved the draft NIAO Corporate Plan 2011/2012-2013/14.

NIAO Accounts

2. Having considered a submission from the auditors and having examined the NIAO Resource Accounts for year ended 31 March 2010, the Committee was content with the accounts.

NIAO Estimates

3. The Committee agreed the NIAO Spring Supplementary Estimate and the NIAO Main Estimates for 2011-2012.

Comptroller and Auditor General’s Salary

4. The Committee agreed that the Comptroller and Auditor General’s salary for 2011/12 remain frozen at its current level and that further to the outcome of the major review of the judicial salary structure, the Audit Committee in the next mandate should carry out a review of the options open to it for determining the Comptroller and Auditor General’s salary in the future.


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


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


Audit Committee

Expenditure for the period 1 September 2010 – 24 March 2011

Budget areaDetailsExpenditure
General Committee expenses Cost of refreshments for committee meetings, working lunches, seminars, room hire and witness expenses xxxxxxx
Total   xxxxxxx

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