Northern Ireland news

Jim Allister's governance bill passes final assembly stage

Jim Allister's Functioning of Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill is due to become law. Picture by Aine McMahon/PA

TUV leader Jim Allister's private members bill which seeks to tighten governance shortcomings exposed by the RHI scandal has passed its final stage in the assembly.

The Functioning of Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill, which had its first hearing last autumn, will become law once it receives royal assent.

Among the measures it brings into force are making special advisers accountable under the civil service code and ensuring complaints against ministers are within the competence of Stormont's standards commissioner, making the ministerial code enforceable.

Other measures include making it a statutory duty to make and keep proper records of ministerial decisions and records of when ministers or spads are lobbied.

It also imposes a statutory duty on departments to provide scrutiny committees with requested documents.

“While it would be easy for someone with my view of the current governmental arrangements in Northern Ireland to just point out the flaws I have attempted to do something to address some of them," Mr Allister said.

"I am gratified that these efforts have resulted in success today."

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Northern Ireland news