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Legislation

Office Of The First Minister And Deputy First Minister – in the Northern Ireland Assembly at 2:30 pm on 1st June 2009.

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Photo of Thomas Burns Thomas Burns Social Democratic and Labour Party 2:30 pm, 1st June 2009

2. asked the Office of the First Minister and deputy First Minister to detail how many pieces of draft legislation from its Department are currently awaiting Executive approval.      (AQO 2832/09)

Photo of Martin McGuinness Martin McGuinness Sinn Féin

No legislative proposals are awaiting Executive approval at present. The Office of the First Minister and deputy First Minister is, however, developing proposals for a commissioner for older people and a new victims and survivors’ service. Legislation will be required to establish both, but we intend, as the first stage, to issue policy proposals for consultation later this year. After consultation, we will seek the agreement of the Executive to introduce the relevant Bills in the Assembly. Other legislative requirements may arise, and the Executive’s agreement to the policy and the legislation will be sought in accordance with established procedures.

Photo of Thomas Burns Thomas Burns Social Democratic and Labour Party

What is the timetable for bringing forward new equality legislation as requested by the Equality Commissioner?

Photo of Martin McGuinness Martin McGuinness Sinn Féin

As the Member well knows, we will continue to legislate to provide legal protection against discrimination and to promote equality of opportunity. Thus far, no policy decisions have been made about a single equality Bill.

Photo of Naomi Long Naomi Long Alliance

How does the deputy First Minister, as leader of the Executive, rate their performance given that three Ministers have complained about issues that they want addressed being held up in the Executive? Sammy Wilson, Caitríona Ruane and Michael McGimpsey have raised that issue in the Chamber in the past couple of weeks.

Photo of Martin McGuinness Martin McGuinness Sinn Féin

People will know that, on an ongoing basis, there are matters to be agreed, processes to go through and agreements to be forged before we can move to deal with those matters. From our perspective, quite clearly, we need to see a situation develop whereby the issues that people want to bring to the Assembly will be dealt with. However, that can happen only in the context of us being in a position to do that by reaching the agreements that are required to ensure that those processes are expedited.

Photo of Paul Maskey Paul Maskey Sinn Féin

Go raibh maith agat, a LeasCheann Comhairle agus a Aire. Will the Minister, as joint Chairperson of the Executive, outline the legislative record of the Executive?

Photo of Martin McGuinness Martin McGuinness Sinn Féin

Since restoration, 27 Executive Bills have been introduced to the Assembly. Members will know that the First Minister and I were responsible for three of those: namely, the Public Authorities (Reform) Bill, the Commission for Victims and Survivors Bill and the Financial Assistance Bill.

A substantial body of work has been undertaken over the past couple of years.