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Review of Assembly Secretariat:
Assembly Commission agrees to implement report in full;
Speaker describes the review as “a fresh start”.

The Northern Ireland Assembly Commission has today published the report of an independent review of the Assembly Secretariat, that is, the staff employed to service the Assembly and the public who visit Parliament Buildings. The Commission has agreed to implement all 46 recommendations, covering business planning and communication, corporate governance and organisational structures, to human resource management.

The Speaker of the Assembly, William Hay, described the review as “a fresh start”, saying that “MLAs and staff could now go forward with a sense of common purpose.”

Reflecting a new emphasis on engagement, the Speaker explained that the Commission’s vision is of “an Assembly that strengthens democracy and engages the people in creating a better future for all. The Review of the Secretariat provides the foundation upon which that vision can be built.

“We gave the review team a mandate to examine the Management, Structure and Governance of the Secretariat, and to make recommendations for improvement. Their work produced some very serious findings about the capability of the Secretariat’s senior management team. The Commission has responded to those findings. But the report also highlights the strength of commitment and dedication to the Assembly shown by staff and their pride in working there.

“Looking to the future, the implementation of the recommendations will mean good news – good for MLAs, good for staff and good for the public to whom we are responsible.”


Background Notes:

The Northern Ireland Assembly Commission is the corporate body responsible for ensuring that the Assembly is provided with the staff, services and property it requires. Membership of the Commission includes the Speaker, William Hay (who chairs the Commission), and five other MLAs: Paul Butler, Robert Coulter, Alban Maginness, Stephen Moutray, and Sean Neeson.
A Steering Group was established to oversee the review process, chaired by the Rt. Hon George Reid, former Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament. A Review Team was appointed, led by John Hunter, former Permanent Secretary at the Department of Finance and Personnel.

Operational Notes:

The full report of the Review will be published on the Assembly website at 12.00hrs. Strictly embargoed copies are available from by contacting the Assembly Information Office on 9052 1137 or e-mail

Members of the Commission will be available for interview, by arrangement through the Assembly Information Office (tel: 9052 1137).

George Reid will be available for interview between 11:30am and 1pm on Friday 2 November, by arrangement through the Assembly Information Office (tel: 9052 1137).

Assembly Information Officer: Sinead Lee
Tel: 9052 1137
Assembly Website:



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