Consultation Launched on Prior Disclosure of Interests

27 FEBRUARY 2015  

The Independent Financial Review Panel has today launched a consultation exercise to take the views of individuals and organisations on the Prior Disclosure of Interests by Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs).

The Independent Financial Review Panel (‘the Panel’) was established in July 2011 to independently set the Pay and Allowances of Members of, and Office Holders in, the NI Assembly.  Their remit includes a range of subjects, for example:

  • MLAs’ Salaries;
  • Pensions;
  • Office Costs Allowance paid to MLAs to support their work in constituencies;
  • Travel expenses; and
  • Additional Allowances paid to Office Holders within the Assembly and Executive (eg Ministers, Committee Chairs, the Speaker, etc).

The Panel’s first Determination was published in March 2012 and was subsequently revised in December 2012 to clarify the definition of “connected persons”. The revised Determination set out the level of salaries and allowances of Assembly Members for the remainder of the current Assembly mandate which at that time was due to end in May 2015.

The Panel normally publishes one Determination for each Assembly, setting out its assessment of what monies should be paid to members and any restrictions on how they can be paid or spent. The Panel has a duty to keep this Determination under review and on analysis have decided that a number of changes are necessary.

The Panel are of the view that having reviewed the contents of the March 2012 Determination as amended, recent information coming to light and continuing analysis by the Panel have demonstrated that exceptional circumstances, necessitating the issue of a revised Determination, have emerged.

The Panel would hope to support the effective administration of their proposals through the introduction of changes at the beginning of the next financial year 2015/16 and are seeking the views of interested parties and stakeholders.  The Panel considers that it is the public interest and in the interests of the effective administration of Members expenses that these changes come into effect from 1 April 2015.

The Panel is fully independent and its decisions are not subject to approval by the Assembly. Members’ salaries have remained largely unchanged since they were determined in 2000. Members’ allowances were determined in 2010 and the current rates of pension contributions were set in April 2009.

Information about the consultation process is available on the Panel’s website (www.ifrp.org.uk) or by telephone from the Secretary to the Panel (TN 90521930).

You may access the Consultation on Prior Disclosure of Interests document at this link.

The deadline for submitting comments is 5pm on Friday 27 March 2015.

ENDS

Notes to Editor:

The Independent Financial Review Panel (the Panel) was established by the Northern Ireland Assembly Members (Independent Financial Review and Standards) Act 2011. Determinations made by the Panel are not subject to approval by the Assembly or the Assembly Commission.

The Panel is currently working on a revised Determination for introduction at the beginning of the 5th Assembly.

The Panel Chair and members are as follows:

Chair

Patrick McCartan, CBE, MSc (Dist), FCIPD.

Members

Dr Henrietta Campbell CB, MD, FRCP

Alan McQuillan OBE BSc (Hons) MBA

For more information on the Independent Review Panel and its work visit

www.ifrp.org.uk

For more information please contact:

Independent Financial Review Panel
Room 241
Parliament Buildings
Ballymiscaw
Stormont
Belfast
BT4 3XX
Tel: 028 9052 1930
Email: info@ifrp.org.uk

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