Steps for the establishment of the civic advisory panel were set out in the Stormont Agreement and implementation plan. It anticipates a panel of six people, with members, including the chair, being identified and appointed by then OFMDFM — now the Executive Office — and the panel being tasked by the Executive to consider specific strategic issues relevant to the Programme for Government and report to the Executive, although it may also propose subjects that it wishes to consider and seek agreement from the Executive to do so. As I have indicated, consideration is currently being given to identifying and appointing panel members.
The Civic Forum, which operated for just two years between 2000 and 2002, was not then reconvened when devolution was restored in 2007. Back between 2000 and 2002, the purpose of the forum was to provide views on social, economic and, indeed, cultural matters. The Stormont House Agreement provides for the establishment of a civic advisory panel as the new model for civic engagement. I think that it will be more focused because it will be a lot smaller, and it is envisaged that it will be on a non-statutory basis. Every effort will be made to minimise administration costs in connection with the new civic panel.