The Northern Ireland Assembly is the devolved legislature for Northern Ireland. We are responsible for making laws on transferred matters and for scrutinising the work of Ministers and Government departments.

Learn more about the history of the Assembly.

The Assembly is overseen by the Northern Ireland Assembly Commission, which ensures that the Assembly has all the services, staff and structures to function. The staff employed by the Assembly Commission are called the Assembly Secretariat. The Secretariat is divided into:

  • Corporate Services Directorate;
  • Corporate Support Unit;
  • Legal, Governance & Research Services Directorate; and
  • Parliamentary Service Directorate.
 
There is more information available on each of these Directorates and business areas in the Organisation Chart below:

Northern Ireland Assembly Organisational Structure

If you prefer, a text description of our organisational structure is available by expanding the link below:

Clerk/Chief Executive

The role of the Clerk/Chief Executive comprises three important elements.

First, as Clerk she is responsible for the provision of procedural advice to the Speaker and Members of the Assembly.

Secondly, as Chief Executive she is responsible to the Assembly Commission for the management of the administrative support services to the Assembly.

Thirdly, the Clerk/Chief Executive is the Accounting Officer for the Assembly’s budget.

Corporate Support Unit

The Corporate Support Unit is comprised of the Commission / Chief Executive’s Office and the Speaker’s Office.

Commission and Clerk / Chief Executive’s Office

The Commission and Clerk / Chief Executive’s Office is responsible for supporting the Clerk/ Chief Executive in her work, providing advice and support to the members of the Assembly Commission and supporting the meetings of the Assembly Commission and Secretariat Management Group. 

Office of the Speaker

The Speaker’s Office is responsible for supporting the Speaker and Deputy Speakers in their procedural responsibilities towards the Assembly as well as supporting the Speaker to fulfil his/her statutory duties and his/her corporate role as Chair of the Assembly Commission.  Additionally, the Office manages the representational functions of the Speaker including leading the Assembly on keynote and civic occasions, engaging with the wider community and representing the Assembly in contacts with other regions and parliaments. 

Corporate Services Unit

The Corporate Services Unit is comprised of:

  • Finance Office
  • Human Resources Office
  • Equality Unit
  • Building Services (including Support Services)
  • Usher Services


Finance Office

The Finance Office is responsible for the following functions of the NI Assembly: 

  • Budgeting
  • Financial accounting and management reporting
  • Payroll (Secretariat, Members and Member Support Staff)
  • Secretariat travel 
  • Processing of all Members claims


Human Resources Office

The role of the Human Resources Office is to support the delivery of the Assembly Commission’s Corporate Strategy through the provision of high quality HR services.

The Office provides a wide range of HR services to support the Assembly Secretariat including:  

  • Workforce Planning and Resourcing
  • Equality and Diversity
  • Pay, Reward and Grading
  • Employee Relations
  • Learning and Development
  • Health and Wellbeing
  • Managing Attendance
  • Managing and Developing Performance
    Pension services


At a strategic level, the Human Resources Office is responsible for advising and guiding senior management on organisational change and development and for leading on specific corporate projects.

Equality Unit

The Equality and Good Relations Unit provides support for the Assembly Commission to ensure it is compliant with all the statutory requirements of section 75(1&2) of the Northern Ireland Act and section 49A of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995. 

Section 75 compliance:

  • provide advice and support in respect of the NI Assembly Equality Scheme
  • arrange relevant training for Secretariat staff on section 75 awareness, front line service provision and policy screening
  • advise and assist business areas in carrying out policy screening and equality impact assessments (EQIAs)
  • compile an annual report on the progress of the Equality Scheme to the Equality Commission Northern Ireland (ECNI)
  • conduct a review of the Equality Scheme within 3 years of its approval by ECNI


Disability Discrimination Act compliance:

  • provide advice and support to business areas in respect of the Disability Action Plan
  • compile an annual report on the progress of the Disability Action Plan to ECNI
  • facilitate an informal Working Group consisting of representatives of people with disabilities, to assist and guide all future consultation exercises and implementation of the actions within the Disability Action Plan;
  • conduct a review of the Disability Action Plan within 3 years of approval by ECNI


Building Services (including Support Services)

Building Services Branch is responsible for all accommodation and associated services, some of which are:

  • Allocation of accommodation
  • Provision and allocation of all furniture requirements and subsequent office layouts
  • Building management
  • Energy management
  • Building maintenance
  • Maintenance of all fire prevention equipment
  • Provision of telephones, voicemail and mobile telephones
  • Development of health and safety policy
  • Room Moves – Vacating Office Procedures


Building Services Branch provides a proactive service to Members and all those who work in the building. Building Services Branch also liaises with outside agencies in respect of maintenance and works.

Usher Services

The key roles and responsibilities of Usher Services include:

  • Provision of Usher support to Plenaries and Committees
  • Management of access by persons to Parliament Buildings including use of Assembly Security Management System
  • Management of Assembly ID passes and Visitor Management System
  • Provision of security to all users of Parliament Buildings
  • Provision of security advice when required
  • Investigation of breaches of security
  • Oversight of Emergency evacuation procedures
  • Liaison with Stormont Estate Management and other organisations
  • Liaison with relevant organisations in relation to Security reviews
  • Development and implementation of security procedures
  • Management of Internal postal system
  • Management of  lost property service for the building
  • Oversight of Assembly car parks


Parliamentary Services

The Parliamentary Services Directorate is made up of the following business services:

  • Committees
  • Business Office
  • Business Office
  • Communications
  • Official Report and Public Engagement
  • Information Systems


Bill Office and Committees

Role of the Bill Office

The Bill Office supports the work of the Assembly in its consideration of primary legislation by preparing and arranging the publication of all primary legislative documents; and by providing information and advice on the primary legislative process to the Speaker, Members, Assembly Officials, Departments and others.

The Bill Office is responsible for:

  • facilitating the passage of primary legislation through the Assembly
  • providing guidance and assistance to the Speaker, Committee Clerks and Members
  • on all matters related to primary legislation; in particular amendments to bills
  • assisting the Speaker and Deputy Speakers during the plenary sessions of the Assembly on bills
  • producing Notices of Amendments, Marshalled Lists of Amendments and Speaker’s Provisional Grouping of Amendments List prior to the Consideration and Further Consideration Stages of a bill
  • producing bills as Introduced at First Stage, and re-printing bills when amended at the Consideration and Further Consideration Stages
    producing copies of Acts for publication
  • Assembly Legislation


Standing Committees

The Northern Ireland Act 1998 and Assembly Standing Orders numbers 51, 52 and 54 to 59 provide for the establishment of standing committees.

Standing committees are permanent committees of the Assembly and have specific roles assigned to them within Standing Orders.

Statutory Committees

Section 29(1)(a) of the Northern Ireland Act (1998) requires that Standing Orders ‘make provision for establishing committees of Members of the Assembly (statutory committees) to advise and assist each Northern Ireland minister in the formulation of policy with respect to matters within his/her responsibilities as a minister’.

Business Office

The Business Office exists to support plenary meetings of the Assembly, to provide procedural advice to the Speaker and Members and to maintain the legal record of the Assembly’s proceedings. In all matters of business or procedure the Business Office operates in accordance with the Northern Ireland Act 1998 and Standing Orders, guided further by Speakers’ rulings.

In this context it is responsible for the:

  • Handling of Motions and Amendments to Motions
  • Scheduling of requests for Adjournment Debates
  • Tabling of Questions to Ministers and the Assembly Commission
  • Conduct of Voting in the Assembly
  • Facilitation of the laying and presenting of documents


Communications Office

The Communications Office provides information about the work of the Assembly to the media, public, government departments, and other key stakeholders. The Communications Office is at the centre of the strategy for engaging the wider public in the life of the Assembly.

We work with the local, national, and international media, managing media access and accommodation at Parliament Buildings, manage the Assembly’s website, social media and other online services, and oversee the Assembly’s broadcasting and advertising needs.

Official Report and Public Engagement

This business area is made up of four distinct offices, namely the Official Report (Hansard), the Events Office, the Education Service and the Outreach and Engagement Office.

The Official Report (Hansard)

The Official Report (Hansard) does exactly what its name suggests — it produces the official reports (an official report is essentially a transcript) for all sittings of the Assembly and most of the Assembly’s Committee meetings.

The Events Office

Staff in the Events Office are responsible for organising and managing a wide variety of events that take place in Parliament Buildings, including corporate events and weddings/receptions, and also manage and provide a programme of public and private tours.

The Education Service

The Education Service develops and delivers a range of educational programmes and events (both in Parliament Buildings and externally) aimed largely, but not exclusively, at young people and teachers to raise awareness and understanding of the work of the Assembly, and it also has its own dedicated website.

The Outreach and Engagement Office also delivers a range of events, programmes and visits aimed increasing awareness and understanding of, and participation in, the work of the Assembly and also looks after the Assembly’s various inter-parliamentary activities and relationships, for example membership of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association and the British-Irish Parliamentary Assembly

Information Systems

Information Systems Office (ISO) provides the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) systems and services to support the business of the Assembly. 

There are at present fifteen staff in the ISO team supporting 650+ users including Assembly Members, their staff (including staff in Constituency Offices), Party support staff and Assembly Secretariat staff. 

Staff are predominantly Information Systems (IS) and Information Technology (IT) specialists and there are a small number of administrative staff. 

Legal, Governance and Research Services

The Legal, Governance and Research Services Directorate is made up of the following business services:

  • Legal Services Office
  • Examiner of Statutory Rules
  • Information Standards
  • Internal Audit Unit
  • Governance Services
  • RaISe
  • Procurement Office


Legal Services

The Legal Services Office supports the Director of Legal, Governance and Research Services, who is Counsel to the Speaker.  The Office provides legal advice directly to the Clerk, the Speaker and his/her deputies, the Assembly Commission, committees, and the Secretariat on a broad range of issues, including:

  • Public and constitutional law
  • Human rights law
  • Information law and the law of confidence
  • Employment and equality law
  • EU law (including retained EU law)
  • Procurement and contract law


Examiner of Statutory Rules / Information Standards

Examiner of Statutory Rules

Under the Standing Orders of the Assembly, the Examiner of Statutory Rules carries out technical scrutiny of subordinate legislation where delegated to do so by the Committees of the Assembly reporting to the Committees and the Assembly.

Information Standards

The Information Standards Office is responsible for the following functions –

  • Compliance with legal obligations imposed by the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and Data Protection legislation, including the Data Protection Act 2018, as well as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR);
  • Assurance of records and information management practises to specified standards.


Research and Information Service

The Research and Information Service (RaISe) provides the Northern Ireland Assembly with impartial, objective, timely and non-partisan information and research.

Our support services consist of two, interlinked components: Library and Research.

Library

The Library maintains a collection of hard copy and electronic publications to support the work of the Assembly in subject areas such as government and politics, public administration and social policy, constitutional law and the history of Northern Ireland. 

The Library team assist MLAs and Assembly staff in sourcing additional publications, where resources allow, as well as conducting fact-finding, literature searches and legislation tracking. 

Plenary debates are supported through Library produced Information Packs on Private Members’ Motions and selected Committee Motions. 

The Library is also responsible for Deposited Papers, which are unpublished papers placed in the Library at the direction of the Speaker or a Minister in the Executive

Research

Four teams of research specialists support MLAs and Assembly Committeesin their work scrutinising the Executive, proposing legislation, and supporting constituents. Together, the four research teams provide the following services:

  • In-depth, analytical briefings regarding policy, legislation and public finance.
  • Bill papers addressing Executive and non-Executive legislative proposals.
  • Research to assist MLAs develop proposals for private member’s legislation.
  • Research to help MLAs respond to matters of concern to their constituents.
  • Statistical services addressing all aspects relating to the collection and use of data.
  • Mapping services and Geographical Information Systems (GIS).
  • Workshops and seminars, including the Knowledge Exchange Seminar Series’ (KESS) which is delivered in partnership with local universities.


Internal Audit Unit and Governance Officer

The purpose of the Northern Ireland Assembly Commission’s (“the Assembly Commission’s”) Internal Audit Unit is to provide independent, objective assurance and control-related consulting services designed to add value and improve the organisation’s operations. 

The mission of internal audit is to enhance and protect organisational value by providing risk-based and objective assurance, advice and insight. The Internal Audit Unit helps the organisation accomplish its objectives by bringing a systematic, disciplined approach to evaluate and improve the effectiveness of governance, risk management, and control processes.

The scope of internal audit activities encompasses, but is not limited to, objective examinations of evidence for the purpose of providing independent assessments to the Accounting Officer, the Secretariat Management Group (SMG), the Secretariat Audit & Risk Committee (SARC) and management on the adequacy and effectiveness of governance, risk management, and control processes. Internal audit assessments include evaluating whether:

  • Risks relating to the achievement of objectives are appropriately identified and managed;
  • Operations are in compliance with the organisation’s policies, procedures and governance standards;
  • The results of operations are consistent with established goals and objectives;
  • Operations are being carried out effectively and efficiently;
  • Information and the means used to identify, measure, analyse, classify, and report such information are reliable and have integrity; and
  • Resources and assets are acquired economically, used efficiently, and protected adequately.

The work of the Unit is directed by a risk-based annual plan approved by SMG and endorsed by SARC.   In addition to planned risk-based audit engagements, Internal Audit may be required to conduct special reviews, e.g. under the terms of the Fraud Prevention and Anti-Bribery Response Plan.

Governance Officer

The primary purpose of the Governance Officer is to actively support and advise the Clerk/ Chief Executive and the Director of Legal, Governance & Research Services in carrying out governance duties. 

The Governance Officer maintains and develops the Assembly Commission’s Corporate Governance Framework and Risk Management Strategy, timetabling and coordinating key governance tasks throughout the year, providing secretarial support to the Secretariat Audit and Risk Committee (“SARC”), coordinating stewardship statements, facilitating the necessary reviews of Directorate Risk Registers and the Corporate Risk Register.

Procurement Office

The Procurement Office provides professional purchasing expertise, including advice and direction on good (procurement) practice, to ensure propriety, efficiency, best value and compliance with legal obligations including:

  • Development and implementation of procurement policies and procedures across the Secretariat
  • Interpreting, negotiating and purchasing contracts over £30,000 in value
  • Monitoring and reviewing supply and service contracts to ensure quality and value for money

Directorates and offices have delegated authority, under the Procurement Procedures, for procurements up to £30,000 in value.

If you have difficulty viewing the interactive chart above on your mobile device, a text description of our organisational structure is available by expanding the link below:

Clerk/Chief Executive

The role of the Clerk/Chief Executive, Leslie Hogg, comprises three important elements:

  1. As Clerk she is responsible for the provision of procedural advice to the Speaker and Members of the Assembly.
  2. As Chief Executive she is responsible to the Assembly Commission for the management of the administrative support services to the Assembly.
  3. The Clerk/Chief Executive is the Accounting Officer for the Assembly’s budget.

To assist with these duties, the Clerk/Chief Executive oversees four directorates – Corporate Support Unit, Corporate Services, Parliamentary Services and Legal, Governance and Research Services.

Corporate Support Unit

The Corporate Support Unit is comprised of the Commission / Chief Executive’s Office and the Speaker’s Office.

Commission and Clerk / Chief Executive’s Office

The Assembly Commission and Clerk/Chief Executive’s Office currently provides the following main functions:

  • Provision of support to the Clerk/Chief Executive
  • Provision of procedural, corporate and secretarial support to the Assembly Commission
  • Provision of secretarial support to the North/South Inter-Parliamentary Association
  • Provision of secretarial support to the Secretariat Management Group (SMG)
  • Performance monitoring against Directorate Business Plans

Role of Office:

Support to the Assembly Commission: Support the Assembly Commission in carrying out its functions as outlined under section 40 of the Northern Ireland Act.

In particular:

  • to provide advice and support to Members in carrying out their role as Assembly Commission Members;
  • to provide a timely, professional and non-partisan service to Members of the Assembly Commission;
  • to act as a central point of co-ordination for arranging meetings of the Assembly Commission;
  • to collate and disseminate papers for consideration at the meetings of the Assembly Commission; 
    to provide a record of meetings of the Assembly Commission and designated House Committees; and
  • to co-ordinate the production of research papers and reports required by the Assembly Commission to inform their consideration on matters of business.

Corporate Support:

In particular:

  • to collate and disseminate papers for consideration at the meetings of the Secretariat Management Group (SMG) and provide an accurate record of these meetings;
  • to co-ordinate the development of strategic and business planning;
  • to monitor and report on the performance against individual Directorate Business Plans;
  • to provide support to the Assembly Leadership Forum.

Office of the Speaker

The Office of the Speaker exists to provide high quality, efficient and effective support to the Speaker of the Northern Ireland Assembly and the Deputy Speakers in the execution of their statutory and non-statutory duties and to act as a communications channel between the Speaker, Assembly Members, the Secretariat and external contacts. 

The Office of the Speaker aids the Speaker in their procedural, corporate and representational roles.

Procedural Role:

  • Chairing plenary sessions of the Assembly
  • Calling Members to speak on debates
  • Maintaining order in the Chamber
  • Replying to areas of dispute raised by Members
  • Chairing meetings of the Business Committee which is responsible for determining the business to be discussed in plenary sessions

Corporate Role:

  • Chairing the Assembly Commission which is responsible under legislation to ensure that the Assembly is provided with the property, staff and services it requires to carry out its work

Representational Role:

  • Receiving VIP visitors to the Assembly, such as Heads of State, Ambassadors and senior political figures
  • Attending external events to promote the work of the Northern Ireland Assembly, such as officially opening the Assembly marquee at the Balmoral Show
  • Hosting events at Parliament Buildings to widen public access to their locally devolved institution

Corporate Services Unit

The Corporate Services Unit is comprised of:

  • Finance Office
  • Human Resources Office
  • Equality Unit
  • Building Services (including Support Services)
  • Usher Services

Finance Office

The Finance Office is responsible for the following functions of the NI Assembly: 

  • Budgeting
  • Financial accounting and management reporting
  • Payroll (Secretariat, Members and Member Support Staff)
  • Secretariat travel 
  • Processing of all Members claims

Human Resources Office

The role of the Human Resources Office is to support the delivery of the Assembly Commission’s Corporate Strategy through the provision of high quality HR services.

The Office provides a wide range of HR services to support the Assembly Secretariat including:  

  • Workforce Planning and Resourcing
  • Equality and Diversity
  • Pay, Reward and Grading
  • Employee Relations
  • Learning and Development
  • Health and Wellbeing
  • Managing Attendance
  • Managing and Developing Performance
  • Pension services

At a strategic level, the Human Resources Office is responsible for advising and guiding senior management on organisational change and development and for leading on specific corporate projects.

Equality Unit

The Equality and Good Relations Unit provides support for the Assembly Commission to ensure it is compliant with all the statutory requirements of section 75(1&2) of the Northern Ireland Act and section 49A of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995. 

Section 75 compliance:

  • provide advice and support in respect of the NI Assembly Equality Scheme
  • arrange relevant training for Secretariat staff on section 75 awareness, front line service provision and policy screening
  • advise and assist business areas in carrying out policy screening and equality impact assessments (EQIAs)
  • compile an annual report on the progress of the Equality Scheme to the Equality Commission Northern Ireland (ECNI)
  • conduct a review of the Equality Scheme within 3 years of its approval by ECNI

Disability Discrimination Act compliance:

  • provide advice and support to business areas in respect of the Disability Action Plan
  • compile an annual report on the progress of the Disability Action Plan to ECNI
  • facilitate an informal Working Group consisting of representatives of people with disabilities, to assist and guide all future consultation exercises and implementation of the actions within the Disability Action Plan;
  • conduct a review of the Disability Action Plan within 3 years of approval by ECNI

Building Services (including Support Services)

Building Services Branch is responsible for all accommodation and associated services, some of which are:

  • Allocation of accommodation
  • Provision and allocation of all furniture requirements and subsequent office layouts
  • Building management
  • Energy management
  • Building maintenance
  • Maintenance of all fire prevention equipment
  • Provision of telephones, voicemail and mobile telephones
  • Development of health and safety policy
  • Room Moves – Vacating Office Procedures

Building Services Branch provides a proactive service to Members and all those who work in the building. Building Services Branch also liaises with outside agencies in respect of maintenance and works.

Usher Services

The key roles and responsibilities of Usher Services include:

  • Provision of Usher support to Plenaries and Committees
  • Management of access by persons to Parliament Buildings including use of Assembly Security Management System
  • Management of Assembly ID passes and Visitor Management System
  • Provision of security to all users of Parliament Buildings
  • Provision of security advice when required
  • Investigation of breaches of security
  • Oversight of Emergency evacuation procedures
  • Liaison with Stormont Estate Management and other organisations
  • Liaison with relevant organisations in relation to Security reviews
  • Development and implementation of security procedures
  • Management of Internal postal system
  • Management of  lost property service for the building
  • Oversight of Assembly car parks

Parliamentary Services

The Parliamentary Services Directorate plays a key role in relation to:

  • Effective support for all plenary business
  • Effective support for all committee business
  • Monitoring the legislative programme and its impact on resources
  • Preparation of a Members’ Support Programme
  • Planning for Assembly elections
  • Providing information about the work of the Assembly to the media, public, government departments, and other key stakeholders
  • Engaging with the public and promoting the work of the Assembly
Parliamentary Services is comprised of:
  • Bill Office and Committees
  • Business Office and Committees
  • Communications
  • Official report and Public Engagement
  • Information Systems

Bill Office and Committees

Role of the Bill Office

The Bill Office supports the work of the Assembly in its consideration of primary legislation by preparing and arranging the publication of all primary legislative documents; and by providing information and advice on the primary legislative process to the Speaker, Members, Assembly Officials, Departments and others.

The Bill Office is responsible for:

  • facilitating the passage of primary legislation through the Assembly
  • providing guidance and assistance to the Speaker, Committee Clerks and Members
  • on all matters related to primary legislation; in particular amendments to bills
  • assisting the Speaker and Deputy Speakers during the plenary sessions of the Assembly on bills
  • producing Notices of Amendments, Marshalled Lists of Amendments and Speaker’s Provisional Grouping of Amendments List prior to the Consideration and Further Consideration Stages of a bill
  • producing bills as Introduced at First Stage, and re-printing bills when amended at the Consideration and Further Consideration Stages
    producing copies of Acts for publication
  • Assembly Legislation

Standing Committees

The Northern Ireland Act 1998 and Assembly Standing Orders numbers 51, 52 and 54 to 59 provide for the establishment of standing committees.

Standing committees are permanent committees of the Assembly and have specific roles assigned to them within Standing Orders.

Statutory Committees

Section 29(1)(a) of the Northern Ireland Act (1998) requires that Standing Orders ‘make provision for establishing committees of Members of the Assembly (statutory committees) to advise and assist each Northern Ireland minister in the formulation of policy with respect to matters within his/her responsibilities as a minister’.

Business Office

The Business Office exists to support plenary meetings of the Assembly, to provide procedural advice to the Speaker and Members and to maintain the legal record of the Assembly’s proceedings. In all matters of business or procedure the Business Office operates in accordance with the Northern Ireland Act 1998 and Standing Orders, guided further by Speakers’ rulings.

In this context it is responsible for the:

  • Handling of Motions and Amendments to Motions
  • Scheduling of requests for Adjournment Debates
  • Tabling of Questions to Ministers and the Assembly Commission
  • Conduct of Voting in the Assembly
  • Facilitation of the laying and presenting of documents

Communications Office

The Communications Office provides information about the work of the Assembly to the media, public, government departments, and other key stakeholders. The Communications Office is at the centre of the strategy for engaging the wider public in the life of the Assembly.

We work with the local, national, and international media, managing media access and accommodation at Parliament Buildings, manage the Assembly’s website, social media and other online services, and oversee the Assembly’s broadcasting and advertising needs.

Official Report and Public Engagement

The Office does exactly what its name suggests — it produces a full Official Report for all sittings of the Northern Ireland Assembly and most of the Assembly’s Committee meetings.

The Official Report is essentially a transcript detailing everything that was said and done. On days when the Assembly sits, the report is published on the Assembly website on a rolling basis during the day. Generally, the complete report of each day’s sitting will be available around two hours after the business is finished. Reports of Committee meetings are also published on the Assembly website, but within three working days of the relevant meeting, not necessarily the same day.

Information Systems

Information Systems Office (ISO) provides the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) systems and services to support the business of the Assembly. 

There are at present fifteen staff in the ISO team supporting 650+ users including Assembly Members, their staff (including staff in Constituency Offices), Party support staff and Assembly Secretariat staff. 

Staff are predominantly Information Systems (IS) and Information Technology (IT) specialists and there are a small number of administrative staff. 

 

Legal, Governance and Research Services

The Legal, Governance and Research Services Directorate is made up of the following business services:

  • Legal Services Office
  • Examiner of Statutory Rules
  • Information Standards
  • Internal Audit Unit
  • Governance Services
  • RaISe
  • Procurement Office

Legal Services

The Legal Services Office supports the Director of Legal, Governance and Research Services, who is Counsel to the Speaker.  The Office provides legal advice directly to the Clerk, the Speaker and his deputies, the Assembly Commission, committees, and the Secretariat on a broad range of issues, including:

  • Public and constitutional law
  • Human rights law
  • Information law and the law of confidence
  • Employment and equality law
  • EU law (including retained EU law)
  • Procurement and contract law

Examiner of Statutory Rules / Information Standards

Examiner of Statutory Rules

Under the Standing Orders of the Assembly, the Examiner of Statutory Rules carries out technical scrutiny of subordinate legislation where delegated to do so by the Committees of the Assembly reporting to the Committees and the Assembly.

Information Standards

The Information Standards office is responsible for information standards and governance across the Secretariat. This includes freedom of information, data protection, records management and information assurance.

Research and Information Service

RaISe aims to meet the information needs of the Assembly Members, their staff and the secretariat. The service employs subject specialists and library professionals to provide research and information support across the range of Assembly business areas. 

Internal Audit Unit and Governance Officer

The purpose of the Northern Ireland Assembly Commission’s (“the Assembly Commission’s”) Internal Audit Unit is to provide independent, objective assurance and control-related consulting services designed to add value and improve the organisation’s operations. 

The mission of internal audit is to enhance and protect organisational value by providing risk-based and objective assurance, advice and insight. The Internal Audit Unit helps the organisation accomplish its objectives by bringing a systematic, disciplined approach to evaluate and improve the effectiveness of governance, risk management, and control processes.

The scope of internal audit activities encompasses, but is not limited to, objective examinations of evidence for the purpose of providing independent assessments to the Accounting Officer, the Secretariat Management Group (SMG), the Secretariat Audit & Risk Committee (SARC) and management on the adequacy and effectiveness of governance, risk management, and control processes. Internal audit assessments include evaluating whether:

  • Risks relating to the achievement of objectives are appropriately identified and managed;
  • Operations are in compliance with the organisation’s policies, procedures and governance standards;
  • The results of operations are consistent with established goals and objectives; 
  • Operations are being carried out effectively and efficiently;
  • Information and the means used to identify, measure, analyse, classify, and report such information are reliable and have integrity; and
  • Resources and assets are acquired economically, used efficiently, and protected adequately.

The work of the Unit is directed by a risk-based annual plan approved by SMG and endorsed by SARC.   In addition to planned risk-based audit engagements, Internal Audit may be required to conduct special reviews, e.g. under the terms of the Fraud Prevention and Anti-Bribery Response Plan.

The Governance Officer (AG6) sits within the Legal, Governance and Research Services Directorate and reports to the Director. 

The primary purpose of the Governance Officer is to actively support and advise the Clerk/ Chief Executive and the Director of Legal, Governance & Research Services in carrying out governance duties. 

The Governance Officer maintains and develops the Assembly Commission’s Corporate Governance Framework and Risk Management Strategy, timetabling and coordinating key governance tasks throughout the year, providing secretarial support to the Secretariat Audit and Risk Committee (“SARC”), coordinating stewardship statements, facilitating the necessary reviews of Directorate Risk Registers and the Corporate Risk Register.

Procurement Office

The Procurement Office provides professional purchasing expertise, including advice and direction on good (procurement) practice, to ensure propriety, efficiency, best value and compliance with legal obligations including:

  • Development and implementation of procurement policies and procedures across the Secretariat
  • Interpreting, negotiating and purchasing contracts over £30,000 in value
  • Monitoring and reviewing supply and service contracts to ensure quality and value for money

Directorates and offices have delegated authority, under the Procurement Procedures, for procurements up to £30,000 in value.

Northern Ireland Assembly Organisational Chart

Information Videos

The Assembly’s Education Service and Communications Office has produced a number of videos that help illustrate the work of the Assembly and provide background information on how MLAs are elected and how the Assembly has performed in previous mandates. Watch the videos to gain a further insight into life in the Northern Ireland Assembly.

The Education Service has its own dedicated website which is a valuable resource for digestible information and video suite on the Assembly and how it operates – http://education.niassembly.gov.uk/

Northern Ireland Assembly Secretariat Management Structure

The Management structure of the Northern Ireland Assembly

If you prefer, a text description of our management structure is available by expanding the link below:

The Northern Ireland Assembly Management Structure is as follows:

  • AG1 – Clerk / Chief Executive
  • AG2 – Director
  • AG3 – Head of Business / Clerk Assistant
  • AG4 – Assembly Clerk
  • AG5 – Senior Assistant Assembly Clerk
  • AG6 – Assistant Assembly Clerk
  • AG7 – Clerical Supervisor
  • AG8 – Clerical Officer

Northern Ireland Assembly

Parliament Buildings

Ballymiscaw

Stormont

Belfast

BT4 3XX

Email:

[email protected]

Telephone:

028 90 520327