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At the meeting of the Committee for the Office of First Minister and Deputy First Minister yesterday the delay in the appointment of the Victims Commissioner was discussed.

Speaking after the meeting the Chairperson Mr Danny Kennedy said,

“Grave concerns were expressed by members regarding the lack of progress in appointing a Victims Commissioner. Recognising the importance of this issue to the wider community and acknowledging the growing speculation arising from the unexplained delay, the Committee believes that action on this issue is now crucial.”

Mr Kennedy confirmed that the Committee will be pressing the First Minister and deputy First Minister for an urgent response on the reasons for the delay and the current difficulties surrounding the appointment.

Mr Kennedy also said that given the sensitivities around this issue, the Committee will be offering to meet with the First Minster and deputy First Minister, if necessary in private session, to discuss this matter.

Notes for editors

The Committee for the Office of First Minister and Deputy First Minister is one of the statutory committees established by the Northern Ireland Assembly on 9 May 2007.

A motion was approved in the Assembly on Tuesday 12 June 2007 proposing that the committee’s name be changed from the Committee of the Centre to the Committee for the Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister.

The role of the Committee as set out in Standing Orders for the Northern Ireland Assembly is “to advise and assist the First Minister and the deputy First Minister in the formulation of policy with respect to matters within their responsibilities as Ministers jointly in charge of the Office of First Minister and Deputy First Minister.”

Committee Membership: -
Danny Kennedy, Chairperson
Naomi Long, Deputy Chairperson
Martina Anderson
Tom Elliott
Dolores Kelly
Barry McElduff
Francie Molloy
Stephen Moutray
Jim Shannon
Jimmy Spratt
Jim Wells

All enquiries regarding the work of the Committee should be directed to the Committee Clerk: -
Christine Darrah
Room 242, Parliament Buildings
Tel: 028 9052 1629

Media enquiries should be addressed to the Northern Ireland Assembly Information Office: -
Room B2, Parliament Buildings Stormont, Belfast BT4 3XX
Tel: 028 9052 1137