Second Stage: The Executive Committee (Functions) Bill – Monday 6 July 2020

After the Bill was introduced earlier in the day, and Members approved the motion to permit the Bill pass through the Assembly by accelerated passage, the second stage of the Executive Committee (Functions) Bill is discussed.

The policy objective of the Bill is to clarify that:

(i) referral to the Executive Committee must take place where a matter is significant and controversial and (i) outside the scope of the Programme for Government approved by the Assembly and in force; and (ii) where no such Programme has been approved by the Assembly and in force.

(ii) decision-making functions of Department for Infrastructure and its Minister under the Planning Act (Northern Ireland) 2011 (and regulations made under that Act), are the responsibility of that department and do not require Executive referral, whilst maintaining the position that planning policy formulated under section 1 of the Act must be referred to the Executive Committee for discussion and agreement.

(iii) a Minister is not required to have recourse to the Executive Committee in relation to any matter unless the matter affects the statutory responsibilities of one or more than one Minsters more than incidentally.

(iv) a statutory responsibility to consult a Minster does not affect the statutory responsibility of that Minister more than incidentally. Members discuss the proposal before approving that the Bill progresses by accelerated passage.