13 October 2016

The Committee for the Executive Office - What it does and how it works?

What is the purpose of the Committee?

(r-l) First Minister - Arlene Foster MLA &
deputy First Minister - Martin McGuinness MLA
The Committee for the Executive Office was established to advise and assist the First and deputy First Ministers on matters within their responsibility.

The Committee undertakes a scrutiny, policy development and consultation role with respect to the Department for the Executive Office and plays a key role in the consideration and development of legislation.

How does it work?

The Committee determines its forward work plan at the beginning of each session.  It does this by looking at the topics which the Department has responsibility for, and researching which areas need to be improved or examined.  The Committee liaises with stakeholders on matters of concern to them, and incorporates what issues the Department will be focusing on, as well as what legislation it plans to bring forward.  All of this information enables the Committee to formulate its work plan for the year ahead.

Throughout the year, the Committee examines and monitors Departmental policy and financial spending, scrutinises proposed legislation, and conducts inquiries into areas of current interest.

The Committee examines ‘Quarterly Monitoring Rounds’ which are reports produced by the Department, outlining the expenditure of the Department.  The reports detail how the Department has spent its allocated monies to date, if it is able to surrender any unused money, if it intends to make any spending changes to what was agreed in the overall Budget, and whether it needs to bid for any additional funds.  There are three Monitoring Rounds each year: June, October and January.

The Committee invites the Ministers and Departmental Officials to attend meetings on a regular basis, to update and inform the Committee Members on the implementation of any current and future policies. Committee Members have this opportunity to directly question Ministers and Departmental Officials on their work.

The Committee produces a number of reports on its work which outline the decision making process behind its findings and recommendations.

Who sits on the Committee?

There are 11 MLAs on the Committee for the Executive Office:

Committee Membership (as at 27/9/2016)

Committee Chairperson: Mr Mike Nesbitt (Ulster Unionist Party) Strangford
Deputy Chairperson: Mr Danny Kennedy (Ulster Unionist Party) Newry and Armagh
Mr Stewart Dickson (Alliance) East Antrim
Mrs Pam Cameron (Democratic Unionist Party) South Antrim
Mr William Irwin (Democratic Unionist Party) Newry and Armagh
Mr Phillip Logan (Democratic Unionist Party) North Antrim
Mr Christopher Stalford (Democratic Unionist Party) South Belfast
Mr Cathal Boylan (Sinn Féin) Newry and Armagh
Mr Seán Lynch (Sinn Féin) Fermanagh and South Tyrone
Mr Phillip McGuigan (Sinn Féin) Mid Ulster
Mr Richie McPhillips (SDLP) Fermanagh and South Tyrone

How can I get involved with the work of the Committee?

There are lots of ways you can get keep up to date with the work of the Committee:

Attend
The Committee for the Executive Office meets each week when the Assembly is in session.

Watch/listen live
You can watch the Committee’s meetings live via our website, or if you missed it, the video/audio file will be available for viewing by the next working day

Subscribe
Subscribe to the Committee’s newsletter and get a weekly update on the work of the Committee, direct to your inbox.

Give evidence
Committee carry out inquiries into specific areas of interest. You can contribute to any of the Committee’s Inquiries by providing evidence during the consultation period.  Information on how and when to do this will be advertised in newspapers, via the Committee’s twitter page, in the weekly Committee newsletter and on the Committee’s webpage.

Follow
You can follow the Committee on Twitter @NIAEOCttee

Contact
You can contact the Committee by:

Writing to the Committee Clerk:

Kathy O'Hanlon
Room 346, Parliament Buildings,
Ballymiscaw,Stormont,
Belfast, BT4 3XX

Email: Committee.Executive@niassembly.gov.uk