UK Devolved Administrations
The United Kingdom is comprised of Wales, Scotland, England and Northern Ireland. Wales and Scotland have "devolved administration".
The Northern Ireland Assembly is based in Parliament Buildings at Stormont in Belfast. A First Minister and deputy First Minister are elected on a cross-community basis and 10 Ministers are appointed with responsibility for the Northern Ireland Departments. The First Minister is Dr Ian Paisley, the deputy First Minister is Martin McGuinness.
Together these Ministers make up the Executive Committee. The Committee meets to discuss and agree on issues which cut across the responsibilities of two or more Ministers. Two Junior Ministers assist the First and deputy First Ministers.
Overall, The Assembly has 17 Committees (11 statutory and six non-statutory). The 11 Statutory Committees have a Chair and a Deputy Chair allocated suing the proportional d'Hondt System. Membership of Committees is in broad proportion to partly strengths in the Assembly to ensure that the opportunity of Committee places is available to all parties.
Each Committee has a scrutiny, policy development and consultation role in relation to its Department and a role in the initiation of legislation. They have the power to:
Consider and advise on Departmental budgets and annual plans within the overall budget allocation.
Approve relevant secondary legislation and take the Committee stage of relevant primary legislation.
Call for persons and papers to advise and assist Northern Ireland Ministers in forming policy.
Initiate enquiries and make reports.
Consider and advise on matters referred to the Committee by its Minister.
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