Second Stage

Part of Executive Committee Business – in the Northern Ireland Assembly at 11:45 am on 3rd March 2009.

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Photo of Declan O'Loan Declan O'Loan Social Democratic and Labour Party 11:45 am, 3rd March 2009

I did not speak earlier because I was broadly comfortable with the different proposals in the Bill, which we will see in more detail when it reaches Committee Stage. However, in the light of what the Minister has just said, I want to ask him a question. Obviously, the Comptroller and Auditor General will use the protection that is given to him with due seriousness. The Minister said that the Comptroller and Auditor General might include matters in his reports on the basis of evidence and information that he has but that might not stand the ultimate test of judicial proceedings. That is what I understood the Minister to have meant. If that were the case and if such information were published, what would be the position for someone who reports on, or copies, that report? Would they have the same protection, and if so, is that covered by the legislation?