The Independent Financial Review Panel has today launched a consultation (.docx) exercise to take the views of individuals on the employment of Assembly Members’ staff.

The key proposals within this consultation document include clarity in the number of support staff to be allocated to an MLA. Definitive job descriptions with pay bands, maximum hours, and lastly the introduction of the merit principle to be used when MLAs’ are recruiting support staff to their constituency offices.

The Panel was established in July 2011 to determine a level of remuneration which reflects the responsibilities of Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs) and which does not deter, on financial grounds, people with the necessary commitment and ability from seeking election to the Assembly.

The Panel is also required to ensure that the expenses paid to MLAs to carry out their Assembly and constituency duties are set at the appropriate level.

The Panel is a completely independent body. Under the Act, the Panel controls members’ pay, allowances and pensions by issuing “Determinations” setting out its decisions. The Determinations are implemented by the Assembly Commission and the Secretariat. The Panel may make a Determination in relation to Members’ salaries, allowances, expenses and pensions once for each mandate. It is only in exceptional circumstances that the Panel can make more than one Determination in relation to a mandate. Once these Determinations have been issued, the Assembly is unable to amend them.

Information about the consultation process is available on the Panel’s website ( or by telephone from the Secretary to the Panel (Telephone: 90521930).

The deadline for submitting comments is 5pm on Wednesday 11 March 2015.


Notes to Editor:

The Independent Financial Review 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 Chair and members are as follows:

Patrick McCartan, CBE, MSc (Dist), FCIPD

Dr Henrietta Campbell CB, MD, FRCP
Alan McQuillan OBE BSc (Hons) MBA

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

For more information please contact:

Tony Logue
Independent Financial Review Panel
Room 241
Parliament Buildings

Tel: 028 9052 1930