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The ministerial advisory council (MAC) was established in July 2014 and brings together an international expert advisory panel of practitioners, business people and academics to provide independent expert advice on public-sector reform, improvement and innovation in Northern Ireland.
The MAC has met on three occasions to consider and provide advice on a range of reform-related themes and initiatives, including the OECD review, staff reward and recognition and outcome-based measures. The most recent MAC meeting involved members working alongside senior officials from all Departments in a workshop format to explore the challenges and obstacles associated with addressing and implementing cross-cutting reform. The topic of ageing was used as a practical exemplar. Outputs from this work will help to inform future approaches to cross-cutting reform.
I thank the Minister for her answer. I am sure that the work of this body is very important and potentially fruitful, but it is a fact, I think, that it has not actually met since March. Is the Minister satisfied with that situation and satisfied with the general progress of the project?
I welcome the work that the MAC is engaged on. The meeting that was scheduled for 17 June was cancelled, not by the group but by me, because I was called to attend an urgent meeting at Her Majesty's Treasury in London. A second meeting was to take place on 10 September, but, if I can remind the Member, that coincided with the commencement of all-party talks, so there have unfortunately been two dates on which meetings have not been able to be completed. I look forward to chairing the next meeting of the ministerial advisory council on 3 December, when we will focus on communication and public engagement. I am sure that everybody in the House wants that meeting to take place.